Narrative sequences in political discourse
In political speeches, narrative functions as a device that supports the fundamental persuasive intention by presenting an ideologically biased selection of past events. On the basis of this premise, it is possible to distinguish between four central functions fulfilled by political narrative (personalizing, integrating, exemplifying, and polarizing). Such effects are heightened by multimodal media, which provide political storytelling with additional possibilities in the form of hypermedia discourse. On websites such as <www.number-10.gov.uk> or <www.whitehouse.gov>, political oratory is integrated in hypertext frameworks of online narratives backing the superordinate function of persuasion. Such e-narratives appear in the form of politicians’ biographies, historical surveys, and so-called “photo essays”, visualizing stories by connecting words with images. Taking into account the multi-sequential character of online political storytelling, this paper investigates the ways in which e-narratives closely cooperate in the constitution of a complex master narrative.