Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Publications
• Shakespeare Quarterly

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

"To throw out our eyes for brave Othello": Shakespeare and Aesthetic Ideology



CHRISTOPHER PYE


This article argues that Othello reflects the appearance of the aesthetic as an autonomous domain. That transformation must be understood in historical terms, in relation to the emergence of the citizen-subject and the novel signifying economy implied by that "universal" being, to the appearance of the state as at once abstract and constitutive, and to a constituting opposition between the categories of the literary and law. At the same time, structured around its own illimitability as representational form—its own conjured horizon or vanishing point—the play suggests the problematic nature of the relation between historical and aesthetic determination. In particular, Othello’s engagement with race should be conceived in terms of that unstable limit of the play's status as an historical and aesthetic form. The debate the drama mobilizes about whether race does or does not "exist" in the play reflects the way race ultimately functions, neither as an empirical nor as a discursive category but in relation to more fundamental problems of reference and to the phantasmatic grounds of the modern social-symbolic field tout court.



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623