Othello: New Perspectives

Front Cover
Virginia Mason Vaughan, Kent Cartwright
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991 - Drama - 276 pages
This anthology offers an exciting range of new critical responses to Shakespeare's most controversial tragedy. In her introduction, Virginia Mason Vaughan surveys the entire anthology, relating each new perspective to the traditional viewpoints of earlier twentieth-century critics. For the first half of the twentieth century, critics catalogued and analyzed Shakespeare's poetic language while they debated Othello's stature as a tragic hero and Iago's motivation as a villain. By contrast, the essays included in this volume reveal the play's dissonance's and ambiguities. They employ a variety of contemporary discourses - deconstruction, feminism, performance theory, speech act theory, and cultural poetics - to reexamine Othello. Throughout, they treat Shakespeare's tragedy as theatrical text, foregrounding its dramatic properties and exploiting current theories about performance to show how the play actually works.

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