The various components that make up a teacher's professional identity involve a complex interplay of elements. The significance of the teaching subject discipline for secondary teachers' identitites is well recognised as a key component. What is less certain is the exact nature of the role that is played by teachers' perceptions of their subject in shaping their professional identities, especially when the particular discipline itself is open to contestation about its own meaning. This case study analyses what English teachers themselves consider to be the nature of their professional identities and it unmasks the ways in which their discourses represent these constructions of self and subject. The study reveals that most teachers view their professional identities as being closely aligned with, or even inseparable from, their sense of self.