Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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The 1641 Depositions are testimonies collected from (mainly Protestant) witnesses documenting their experiences of the Irish uprising that began in October 1641. As news spread across Europe of the events unfolding in Ireland, reports of violence against women became central to the ideological construction of the barbarism of the Catholic rebels. Against a backdrop of women’s subordination and firmly defined gender roles, this article investigates the representation of women in the Depositions, creating what we have termed “lexico-grammatical portraits” of particular categories of woman. In line with other research dealing with discursive constructions in seventeenth-century texts, a corpus-assisted discourse analytical approach is taken. Adopting the assumptions of Critical Discourse Analysis, the discussion is extended to what the findings reveal about representations of the roles of women, both in the reported events and in relation to the dehumanisation of the enemy in atrocity propaganda more generally.


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