A Woman Among Men the Language of Madness and Power on TV – The Case of Carrie Mathison in Homeland

Claudia Monacelli


This study analyzes the language used in the TV series Homeland that represents a predominantly male working environment, the world of intelligence, when a key female empowered protagonist, Carrie Mathison, becomes disempowered due to her mental illness, bipolarity. After conducting an initial pilot study consisting of one episode from each of the seven seasons, we decided to focus on the ideolect and slang of intelligence circles, deixis and pronominal reference, irony, variations in register, patterns of repetition and doublespeak for this purpose. This paper concludes with a discussion of how each of these analytical tools work toward either strengthening Carrie Mathison’s power or indicating her disempowerment in relation to her social context and working environment.


Power; Madness; Women Empowerment; Deixis; Pronominal Reference; TV Series.

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