Could anyone tell me the literary term (if one exists) for using someone's own words against them in the future. For example, in The Merchant of Venice when Shylock states he wants to 'catch Antonio once upon the hip' and later Gratiano repeats this to Shylock as an insult.

  • Dramatic irony.
    – Gustavson
    Dec 31, 2017 at 22:24
  • 2
    It's "media bias", obviously!
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 31, 2017 at 23:19
  • Avoid posting questions that do not detail the effort you have already made to find an answer, solutions you have already rejected, and why. Such questions may be closed as lacking research effort until they are edited to include research. Research can take many forms: checking references such as an online English dictionary, thesaurus, or grammar, searching this site for similar questions, searching the web, or putting substantial thought into the question on your own. See: “How much research is needed? – EL&U Meta”.
    – MetaEd
    Feb 2, 2018 at 16:28
  • @MetaEd I'm not sure I'd know where to start when it comes to researching this one (perhaps looking for synonyms of 'tit for tat', 'taste of his own medicine' – but this assumes one is cognisant with these expressions). // A duplicate has just been posted. Jun 20, 2019 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


How about the Shakespearean hoist(ed) by one's own petard?

  • Avoid posting answers that lack explanation, context, and supporting facts. A good expert answer includes this information to demonstrate that it is correct. This is what makes the answer useful – not only to the asker, but to future visitors to the page. Expert partial answers are welcome, but notions, trial balloons, offhand ideas, guesses, anecdotes, and general discussion are not answers. If you are unsure what the asker is looking for, a better way is to request clarification in a comment on the question.
    – MetaEd
    Feb 2, 2018 at 16:27

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.