“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first— verdict afterwards.”

This statement from the Queen of Hearts not only shows how unreasonable and ridiculous the Queen’s demands are, as they don’t follow the normal order of things, but also how the Queen cares only for punishment, not for justice. She wants the knave to be sentenced with a punishment – likely an execution – before the jury gives their verdict on whether or not the knave is guilty. Here, Carroll may be poking fun at the corruption of the monarchy, or other powerful figures and groups.

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. “Off with his head!” she said without even looking round.

The Queen is not a very reasonable person. She’s bloodthirsty, hotheaded, and completely unfair, which leads her to order the executions of practically every creature she encounters. She has no interest in trials or justice, and she certainly has no interest in democratic discussions. She wants total authority over her domain, and solves every problem or inconvenience by ordering the deaths of at least one person involved. To the Queen, other people’s deaths are trivial, and she orders executions without knowing or caring what’s happened.

At this moment Five, who had been anxiously looking across the garden, called out “The Queen! The Queen!” and the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon their faces.

This passage shows that the Queen of Hearts’ subjects live in constant fear and anxiety, as they know she is likely to have them executed – or at least, attempt to have them executed – for any perceived slight or mistake. The gardeners have planted roses at the Queen’s request, but they’ve mistakenly planted white ones instead of red ones. They know they’ll be executed for this, and they quickly attempt to fix things by painting the roses. When the Queen arrives, they throw themselves on the ground in a pathetic display of submission, hoping they might be pardoned.