Vol. 61 No. 1 (2023)

Metaphorical Indicators of the Hyperthemes of “Dune: Part One” (2021): A Multimodal Cognitive-Linguistic Case Study

Pages: 77-105



In Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One, the 2021 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal science-fiction novel from 1965, the general themes, or “hyperthemes”, of the fi lmic story are often represented metaphorically, by means of more or less transparent textual indicators. The present article explores the metaphorical indicators of three hyperthemes of Villeneuve’s film—(1) “The power hierarchy Spacing Guild > Imperium > Great Houses > Fremen”, (2) “The feuding Great Houses: House Atreides and House Harkonnen”, and (3) “The colonization of Arrakis by the Imperium and Great Houses”—in an analytical framework combining the tenets and tools of multimodal analysis and cognitive linguistics. Specifically, the article explores (1) the relations between the non-metaphorical and metaphorical indicators of the hyperthemes of Dune: Part One, (2) the relations between different metaphorical indicators of the same hyperthemes of the film, (3) the relations between the verbal and non-verbal metaphorical indicators of the film’s hyperthemes, and (4) the variation among the metaphors sanctioning the hyperthematic indicators with regard to their interpretability.


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