Thinking and Feeling like the Ancients? Studying Emotion and Cognition through Reader Response

From a cognitive viewpoint, emotions are, at least in their basic design, a pan-human, universal phenomenon, and narrative in particular is intimately bound up with emotion. If basal embodied mechanisms play a central role in readers’ processing and experiencing of narrative texts, it cannot be denied that reader responses must always be similar in certain respects, even if the readers come from very different times and cultural backgrounds.

Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Emotion, and Narrative

A criticism of CMT that I regularly encounter is that its universalizing tendencies efface the cultural specificity of the phenomena it purports to explain. But this is not, I think, a criticism that stands up to scrutiny.A case in point would be the ancient Greek use of various kinds of garment metaphor for a wide range of emotions, but especially shame and grief.