Reading the veil of imperial discourse: Shakespeare and Arab-English accounts of the death of Diana

Charles Campbell*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper applies literary reading techniques to journalism. The texts under study are British editorial essays reacting to Arab journalism about the death of Princess Diana, a British national tragedy, and also a moment of unique Arab/Western interface, since she died in a car crash with her Egyptian lover, Dodi Fayed. The texts are about Arabs: one a response to Arab publications on Diana's death, the other a tendentious consideration of the possibility of conspiracy in her death. Literary parallels are made with Othello and Antony and Cleopatra, and correctives offered from contemporary sources. Inspired by the work of Edward Said and Rana Kabbani, the study reveals the hidden desires that obscure western descriptions of Arab reality, how Orientalist stereotypes invade the most liberal western prose; and that the voice of Iago is still speaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Arabic-English Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Al-Ahram weekly
  • Diana
  • Dodi Al-Fayed
  • Egypt
  • Imperialism
  • Orientalism Robert Fisk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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