The purpose of this paper is to analyze the strategies of designation in the political discourse of Huguenots on the one hand, and Ultra-Catholics on the other hand, during the period preceding and following the conversion of Henry IV (1593). Using Discourse Analysis as a theoretical and methodological framework, this study focuses on how the different actors (parties, the King) are presented in these discourses.
The corpus is composed of two texts, both published in 1593. The first one is by the Duke of Mayenne, leader of the Catholic League, and aims to reunify all Catholics within the kingdom in order to annihilate Protestantism. It is written before the conversion of Henry IV to Catholicism and expresses the frustration of Ultra-Catholics at having a protestant king. The second text is by Philippe Duplessis-Mornay on behalf of the Huguenots’ political assemblies. It is a letter addressed to King Henry IV just after his conversion to Catholicism in 1593. This letter expresses the frustration of Huguenots as their protector converted to Catholicism. Analyzing the use of referential expressions according to the constructivist conception of the reference developed by Apothéloz and Reichler-Béguelin (1995), this study considers the referents as discourse-objects and the talking subject as acting on these objects. The study is qualitative and examines the different functions (argumentative, social, polyphonic) of the categorizations and recategorizations in order to underscore the discursive strategies of the authors. This paper argues that there are similarities in the way the different actors are presented in the two texts but that the perspective is essentially religious in the text by the Catholic League whereas the perspective is more political in the text by the Huguenots.
Copyright (c) 2019 Sophie Yvert-Hamon
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