Metaphorical Representation of Coronavirus in Spanish and Brazilian Cartoons


  • Roberto Asenjo Alcalde Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Maitê Gil Universidade do Minho (Portugal)



The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 epidemic has been profusely covered by the mass media in 2020. This research focuses on the metaphorical content of cartoons from prominent Spanish and Brazilian newspapers published online in March and April 2020. In these satirical drawings the virus is portrayed through two main modes of representation: i) pictorial and ii) verbal. The conceptual metaphors conveyed in each cartoon were identified, analysed, and classified into four source domain scenarios: i) arts and literature, ii) conflicts, iii) sports, and iv) games, and other. Mainly, two theories coming from Cognitive Linguistics, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, and the Multimodal Metaphor Theory, have been used to approach this contrastive study in which the metaphorical representation of Covid-19 serves to offer a humorous and persuasive point of view about the impact of the pandemic in the Spanish and Brazilian society and the way the most important politicians of each country dealt with the sanitary crisis.

Biografía del autor/a

Roberto Asenjo Alcalde, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Roberto Asenjo is a PhD in Philosophy and Language Science at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, professor and researcher at the Department of Applied Linguistics to Science and Technology at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He is currently a beneficiary of Margarita Salas funds (Ref.: CA1/RSUE/2021-00282; Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia del Ministerio de Universidades) and member of the research project at UAM Discursos Emergentes y Periféricos: Una Aproximación Crítica y Socio-Cognitiva (FFI2016-77540P). His research interests include Critical discourse analysis and English for specific purposes.

Maitê Gil, Universidade do Minho (Portugal)

Maitê Gil is a PhD in Languages at UFRGS (Brazil), with a collaborative period in the University of Birmingham and Universidade Católica Portuguesa. She is a Postdoc researcher at the Research Centre on Child Studies of Universidade do Minho (Portugal). Her research interests are Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Linguistics.






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