This chapter takes up the discussion of cognitive modes of mimesis or simulation from the later part of Chapter 5. It offers a close reading of episodes from two major texts, the ‘Dover Cliff’ scene from Shakespeare’s King Lear and the ballroom scene in Mme de Lafayette’s novel La Princesse de Clèves where the Princess meets the Duc de Nemours. At the centre of these analyses is the way in which the audience’s or reader’s participation and empathy are induced by the joint operation of sensorimotor effects (especially kinesis) and mind-reading. The difference between dramatic and narrative modes is recognized, but it proves to be secondary to the powerful linguistic means that both authors deploy in order to enlist attention. Problems of cognitive misprision and cognitive dissonance are identified in both cases, and this issue opens a perspective towards the themes of Chapter 8.
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