Cultural Materialism In Othello

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Since the debut of Shakespeare’s world-renowned masterpiece The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice in 1604, the play has brought on an infinite array of ever-changing interpretations across time, nations and literary schools. The abundance of previous scholarship on this play provides a sound foundation for the proposal that contemporary review of it should no longer be grounded on the question of “aboutness” from singular perspectives; rather, it is the collective historical backgrounds of collective “about”s—the examination of how the world has perceived the play and how these interpretations came to be—that will fully shine light on the significance of Othello, and Shakespeare at large, both throughout history and in contemporary…show more content…
British cultural materialists emphasized the need to “pursue the literary work through its 'sleep' in cultures different from that in which it first saw the light of day.”(Hawthorne, p33) In other words, the emphasis of literary study should be “…not to awaken texts from their present sleep…to rediscover the flash of their birth; on the contrary, its function is to follow them through their sleep, or rather take up the related themes of sleep, oblivion, and lost origin, and to discover what mode of existence may characterize statements, independently of their enunciation, in the density of time in which they are preserved, in which they are reactivated, and used, in which they are also - but this was not their original destiny - forgotten, and possibly even destroyed.” (Foucault,…show more content…
New ideas of science based on observation, experimentation, and mathematics were influential throughout Rymer’s time, and it is likely he applied a similarly logical mindset in his endeavors in literary criticism. Rymer collected evidence in the text of Othello, concluded morals that he felt the evidence supported, and denounced the illogical settings he could not comprehend as more than literal. His Short View of Tragedy represents scientific principles of strict logic and reason, and brings to attention the possibility that the play is not logical, or even reasonable; the value of Othello lies
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