Edited By Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky
From monarch, through traitor, to martyr and saint:Power shift in the trial of King Charles I. Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky, University of Vienna
From monarch, through traitor, to martyr and saint: Power shift in the trial of King Charles I Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky, University of Vienna 1. Introduction The aim of the present analysis is to demonstrate how the constant power shift be- tween King Charles I and his interrogators is deeply rooted in the socio-historical con- text. The methodology applied here combines the notions of power and community of practice and maps them onto the realm of historical socio-pragmatics. In the analysed text of the Early Modern trial of King Charles I (1649) we encounter two alternating argumentation schemes used by the king and the court, represented by the House of Commons. Following Corder and Meyerhoff (2007: 442), I assume here that “it is pos- sible to use studies of different communities of practice to frame questions about inter- cultural (mis)communication”. In their analysis the authors employ one of the most widely-quoted definitions of community of practice due to Eckert and McConnell- Ginet, based on the original concept proposed by Wenger (1998)1: A community of practice is an aggregate of people who come together around mutual en- gagement in an endeavour … practices emerge in the course of this mutual endeavour, Eckert and McConnell-Ginet (1992: 464). My assumption is that the two parties on the opposite sides of the bar represent two different communities of practice. In the course of the trial proceedings both the king and the court had to negotiate new meanings relevant to the emergent context and in so...
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