2004
Volume 56, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Abstract

Emotions make a story more than a list of events. While reading, readers assign emotions to characters, and this constitutes an important, if not crucial, aspect of understanding narrative texts. Information in the text enables this process of assigning emotions, but readers’ pre-existing knowledge and their previous (emotional) experiences also play a role. In this article, I aim to provide more insight into the interaction between reader and text, and present different types of information that play a role in understanding emotions in narratives. These types are based on research on text comprehension and reading processes and concepts from cognitive and affective narratology. Examples include knowledge about typical plot structures, types of characters and emotional scripts. I provide illustrations taken from the set texts of the 2023 Latin Dutch exam (Ovid’s ). Some passages in this corpus provide detailed descriptions of a character’s emotions, while others appeal more to the reader’s background knowledge. The collected texts contain many stories with a romantic plot line. We find gods with sudden feelings of desire, unrequited love, budding and forbidden relationships, long and happy marriages. Deception, misunderstanding and bad news () are obstacles to these relationships, creating strong emotions.

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2023-03-01
2023-06-02
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