Literary theory has become a branch of learning in its own right, and for teachers as well as students its complexities can sometimes be daunting. In this succinct introduction, Wolfgang Iser, himself a renowned theorist: explains what "theory" is and why it is that there are so many different theories deals in turn with those theories that have made the greatest impact in recent times, among them phenomenological theory, reception theory, semiotic theory, psychoanalytical theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, art as experience, and feminist theory outlines the main components of each approach and explains how it is constructed. Using classic literary texts, including Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn, Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender, and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Iser shows what a work of art looks like if viewed in terms of each of the theories concerned. He presents the different theories objectively, leaving it up to readers to decide which, if any, they subscribe to. In this way, he defuses students' fear of theory and demonstrates the potential of different theories for interpreting texts.Iser, Wolfgang is the author of 'How to Do Theory', published 2005 under ISBN 9781405115803 and ISBN 1405115807.