A Critical Discourse Study of Shakespeare’s Theological Conceptions in Acts IV and V of Richard II: The ‘Divine Mandate’ of Richard Kingship Falls Apart

Document Type : Original Article


14 Abu Rashed Alasdy


This article studies the rebellious Shakespeare’s politico-religious discourse in the Renaissance England. An appropriated interdisciplinary blend of Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA) is employed to lay bare the discursive strategies appropriated by William Shakespeare to safely express his pragmatic philosophy of politics and religiosity in Acts 4 and 5 of Richard II. This study attempts to bring together linguistic, sociocognitive, and critical metaphorical aspects in one single CDA framework. Serving methods and tools of analysis from various well-known CDA approaches such as Fairclough (1989 and 1995), Van Dijk (1993 and 2001), and the Critical Metaphor Analysis (henceforth CMA) model (e.g., Lakoff and Johnson, 1980) are selected to fulfil the aims of analysis. The horrendous fate of King Richard II is an exemplar that evidently embodies Shakespeare’s preach of political pragmatism against a deep-rooted holistic system of politico-religious justified by alleged divine regencies.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Richard II, discourse analysis, politics, religiosity