Rhetoric of Persuasion: A Critical Look at Intertextuality and Interdiscursivity as Persuasive Discursive Practices in Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons"

Basarati, Ali


Rhetoric of persuasion, as a discursive practice, is a pivotal tool in obtaining consensus and establishing hegemony. On this basis, the present research seeks to study the exploitation of intertextuality and interdiscursivity, as two important tools of persuasion, in acquiring consensus for legitimating political affairs. To this end, Robert Bolt's "A man for all seasons" is analyzed based on the principals of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Fairclough's 3D approach to find out the historical and discoursal elements that are enacted to construct intertextuality and interdiscursivity, and also the orders of discourse which may have been transformed as a result of enacting given persuasive discursive practice in the body of the society. Regarding the intertextuality, the historical events and religious issues like Tudors, Yorkist war, Leviticus and Deuteronomy are used to persuade Sir Thomas More. In connection with interdiscursivity, too, the king and Cromwell used mixed discourses to have the maximum of effect. Specifically concerned with the transformation of orders of discourse, it is to say that the King's new orders of discourse transform the pre-defined forms of administrative discourse, but keep its content and spirit untouched. This formal transformation adapts itself with the upcoming ever new needs of administration.

Keywords: rhetoric of persuasion, intertextuality, interdiscursivity, consensus, hegemony

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