Literature, Rhetorical Devices, and Juridical Imagination: A Symbiotic Dynamic


  • Mark J.R. Wakefield


Literature has long been held as a powerful medium by which the world can be perceived through aesthetic forms of rending. Literary devices have often been deployed as vehicles of meaning outside their original contexts and one key instance of this practice is the area of legal doctrine. Detailed analysis of legal practice illustrates the deeply ingrained aesthetic nature of the area that relies heavily on literary tropes that are frequently applied in the service of authority and reason. Imagistic language and literary devices remains a central driving force in the creation and expression of legal principle and key concepts it relies upon to effect its judgements and decisions. This text seeks to explore and illustrate the manner and means of how this relationship has developed in certain contexts dating back a number of centuries to a time when important legal concepts where first being developed and which required the imaginative use of language to ensure their coming into being was as effective as possible. Certain rhetorical devices in this context are thus explored to illustrate their nature and impact.