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Theory "After Theory": Christopher Pye’s Reading of Othello



HUGH GRADY


While Shakespeare studies were supposed to have entered a posttheoretical phase ten years ago, in fact theory has continued and developed in new directions. Christopher Pye's essay on Othello is an excellent example of recent theory, rooted in Lacanian theory but overlapping and dialoguing with several other methods as well. It uses Lacanian and deconstructive textual analysis of binary opposites and metonymic connections to reveal the play's construction of a self-referential aesthetic space connected to several other dimensions of emerging modernity. In this, Pye's essay is close to Grady's own recent work on the aesthetic as developed by Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. The difference is that Pye omits discussion of the crucial utopian element of the aesthetic.



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