Sentencing Parricides: Text and Context; Rhetoric and Silence

  • Paul Robertshaw


This article considers the sentencing of two eighteenth centuryparricides, one committed by a daughter, the other by a son. In eachcase the sentencing remarks are first subject to generic analysis,derived from the work of Rukiya Hasan and Susan Urmston Philips. Withinthose thematic structures there is a traditional rhetorical analysis. Bycombining both types of analysis one can demonstrate the salientfeatures of each set of judicial remarks. The focus of the article thenshifts from these texts to their contexts, and reveals features in theiroffence narratives which have been omitted in these otherwise powerfulrhetorical utterances. Explanations for these silences are given.


Generic Analysis Apply Linguistics Thematic Structure Rhetorical Analysis Sentencing Remark 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Robertshaw
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawCardiff UniversityWalesUK

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