When a relationship ends “there can be no turning back”. The divorce metaphor in the Brexit discourse


Brexit has inspired far more metaphors than it has solutions. Many conventional and novel metaphors have been used to frame this issue and the relationship between the EU and the UK. This paper addresses one of them: the divorce metaphor. Starting from the assumption that it is not the side with ‘the most’ or ‘best’ facts that wins but the one that provides the most plausible and reliable scenarios (Musolff 2017), this paper intends to explore how the metaphor of divorce has been used by British politicians and in British mainstream media with a view to influencing citizens when justifying political actions. Modelling our method of analysis on Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Charteris-Black 2004), we try to demonstrate how the same metaphor becomes a powerful tool for disseminating different evaluative content and expressing criticism.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v34p137

Keywords: Brexit; discourse; metaphor; divorce; frame


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