A Socio-Pragmatic Analysis of the Prisoners’ Interactional Role and Representation
In its double focus on the defendants’ interactional role in the trial and their representation in Royalist accounts, the book offers a valuable reading for historical courtroom linguists, legal historians and researchers in the field of language, ideology and political propaganda in the early modern period.
Part two - The representation of defendants in treason cases
143 Part two The representation of defendants in treason cases Chapter 4 Representation of defendants as a form of political propaganda 4.1 Object and aims of the analysis In this chapter the focus of analysis shifts from the interactional role of defendants to their representation at the author-readership dis- course level. In this regard, I examine three famous court cases for high treason taken from the ST: the trial of Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford (1641), the trial of the Duke of Hamilton (1649) and the trial of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1644). For the pur- poses of the analysis, I have ordered the three trials according to their telling mode rather than chronologically. Even so the dates testify to their importance in the history of Stuart England, covering the major phases of the Civil War, from its preparation to its outcome. The three political prisoners were all tried for their alignment with Charles I’s Personal Rule and the accounts of their trials are all Royalist in stance though they vary in terms of their reporting mode. In fact, while the trials of Strafford and Hamilton have been written by an ex- ternal recorder who presents himself as an eye-witness to the proceed- ings, the trial of Laud has been recorded by himself a posteriori. The analysis focuses on the representation of the defendant, be it in the form of other-presentation (trial of Strafford and Hamilton) or self- presentation (trial of William Laud). This requires an in-depth investigation of...
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