Most accounts of narrative assume that moral meaning only results from some coherent narratives, and that the author can chose whether or not his story has moral meaning.
I am using ‘moral’ in the widest sense, to cover what is of value and how we should live, not just specific doctrines about moral obligation.
I will argue that moral meaning is a necessary feature of ALL coherent narrative, The thesis is based in the concept of Protagonal Volition - i.e. that the protagonist/s in a dramatic narrative make choices, moral choices, (i.e. choices between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ actions) and the results of these choices (chosen by the author) are what gives the narrative its meaning and that because of the moral nature of these choices, the meaning of the narrative is necessarily moral.
The paper will explore ideas from various disciplines including, Ethical and Moral Philosophy, Social History, Sociology, Social Psychology, Anthropology, Aesthetics and Literary Theory.
If proven the thesis has potentially important implications for both the perception of dramatic narrative as a cultural and social force and the status of dramatic narrative within the political, ethical, moral and aesthetic discourse of Western post-industrial societies.
|Keywords:||Ethics, Morality, Philosophy, Social History, Sociology, Social Psychology, Anthropology, Aesthetics, Literary Theory, Drama, Society, Politics|
Senior Lecturer, School Of Music & Performing Arts, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
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