Critical Discourse Analysis of Verbal Violence in William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice


  • Raeda Tartory Al-Ahliyya Amman University
  • Ogareet Khoury Al-Ahliyya Amman University
  • Anoud Tayyeb Al-Ahliyya Amman University
  • Areen Al-Qudah Al-Ahliyya Amman University
  • Nuwar Al-Akash Al-Ahliyya Amman University



William Shakespeare, critical discourse, verbal violence, merchant of Venice, Fairclough


The combination of Critical Discourse Analysis and verbal violence is an entirely new field that needs to be widely explored and this study takes an in-depth dive into this using the literature, ‘Merchant of Venice' by one of the canons of literature, William Shakespeare. In doing this, this study identifies verbally abusive speeches from the text, categorizes and analyzes them to reveal the common patterns of violence in the speeches of abusers. This analysis aims to reveal the structure abusers use and the effect that verbal abuses have on their victims. Following the tradition of Critical Discourse, the study investigates, in an exegetical pattern, how violence in the form of verbal expression can cause harm. This is situated within the context William Shakespeare’s, ‘Merchant of Venice'—these investigations are done using the social and cultural realities/contexts within which Shakespeare wrote his story/narration. Seeing “Discourse” as a social critical theory that emphasizes the place of language in the making of ideas within society, Critical Discourse Analysis [especially as used within the current study] investigates language within Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ and insists that language plays a viable role in society’s communication patterns, and as such, should be taken seriously in the critique of verbal violence within Shakespeare’s corpus—as this critique is being appropriated within current times.

Author Biographies

Raeda Tartory, Al-Ahliyya Amman University

Department of English Language and Literature

Ogareet Khoury, Al-Ahliyya Amman University

Department of English Language and Translation

Anoud Tayyeb, Al-Ahliyya Amman University

Language Center

Areen Al-Qudah, Al-Ahliyya Amman University

Language Center

Nuwar Al-Akash, Al-Ahliyya Amman University

Language Center


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