n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - A cognitive interpretation of the emotion of anger in the Hebrew Bible

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


This contribution applies the cognitive model of anger suggested by Lakoff & Kövecses to the expressions of anger in the Hebrew Bible. This theory holds that the metaphors and metonymies used in expressions for anger are not arbitrary but are motivated instead by our psychology. The general metaphor for anger is: "Anger is heat". When the metaphor is applied to fluids in a container (the body serves as the container), it yields different metaphorical entailments (fluid can "rise", produce "steam, "overflow", etc.). When the cultural model "Anger is heat" is applied to solids, it gives rise to the version: "Anger is fire". This motivates the "heat" and "redness" aspects of the psychological effects of anger. Other principal metaphors for anger also included in this system are: "Violent frustrated behaviour stands for anger", "Anger as an opponent" and "Anger as a dangerous animal". The application of this cultural model to expressions of anger in the Hebrew Bible allows a clearer comprehension of the conceptual organisation of these expressions and their respective relationships to one another.

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