The article is on “Women and Witches in Scot’s The Discoverie of Witchcraft and in James I’s Daemonologie”. When editing the Italian edition of the city comedy The Devil Is an Ass by Ben Jonson and analysing the characters of devils and witches in Jacobean drama, the author consulted Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline treatises on demonology and witchcraft. In particular, she referred to two influential works, namely The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) by the sceptical scholar Reginald Scot, and Daemonologie (1597) by James I Stuart. Despite the contrasting viewpoints conveyed in Scot’s and James’ works, the author concludes that their descriptions of women and witches are not very different, since the picture that both authors paint of the female figure and of female nature is more stereotypical than real. In her article, the author examines the two writers’ representations of women and witches and the ideology behind them by selecting a passage from each text and studying these extracts from a linguistic perspective through structural and functional grammar, pragmatics, stylistics and the newer approach of feminist linguistics. Linguistic scrutiny reveals the main dissimilarity between the misogynous descriptions of the female figures in the two treatises. Whilst James simply hints at their alleged moral and intellectual defects, Scot also considers their supposedly weak physical appearance. On the one hand, James effectively manages to persuade his readers of his viewpoint, and achieves his perlocutionary goal without referring to the bodies of the alleged witches. On the other hand, Scot’s repeatedly mentioning their bodies in a derogatory fashion constantly infringes the Gricean maxims of Quantity and Relevance, since those remarks are dysfunctional to his discourse. It is thus notable that Scot, an author sceptical about witchcraft, who is presupposed by his Elizabethan and modern reader as regarding alleged witches as helpless victims, hence with pity and compassion, depicts them even more chauvinistically and conventionally than James, a renowned believer in the black arts.
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|Titolo:||Women and Witches in Scot’s The Discoverie of Witchcraft and in James I’s Daemonologie: A Linguistic Analysis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Tipologia:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|