The can be better structured through the anxiety

The term “Marxism” was popularized by Karl Kautsky, a German philosopher, in the 19th century. Marxist philosophy examines the development of human society from the standpoint of materialism and believes that human society can be better structured through the anxiety of lower class towards upper class. In both plays, Two Trains Running and Othello, Marxism plays a dominant role where characters in both plays only care about their social status and external appearances, and are willing to do dangerous or bad things for money and power because whoever controls the most wealth and the power gets to control the people below them. Society is broken down into different groups in these two plays. In Othello, Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Roderigo are seen as members of the upper, ruling class, while Iago is part of the lower, working class.

Lower class people act and speak in a humble and respectful way when they interact with upper classes. Iago always starts speaking or ends his speaking with “My Lord” when he speaks to Othello. The voice of the upper class is always louder than the lower class, as when Othello is talking to Iago about Brabantio’s opinion on the marriage “Let him do his spite.

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My services which I have done the signiory shall out-tongue his complaints” (Shakespeare I.i.28). Since Othello is ranked higher than Brabantio in Duke’s eyes, Othello’s opinion will be accepted by the Duke and the noblemen of Venice over Brabantio’s opinion. In Two Trains Running, the whites are ranked as upper class, and the blacks are always on the bottom because they are usually poor, which is why they like to play the numbers racket in a hope to become wealthy if they are lucky enough. “The numbers give you an opportunity.

If it wasn’t for the numbers all these n* would be poor” (Wilson 3). Since the blacks are ranked very low in social status, they have been treated awfully as when Holloway speaks to Memphis of how he thinks Hambone has more sense than them because “he ain’t willing to accept whatever the white man throw at him” (Wilson 30). Hambone knows that being in the lower class doesn’t mean that he has to accept and burden whatever the higher class have put them into. As from the standpoint of Marxism, it believes that the classes are the basic unit of social structure because they are necessary for a society to progress as different classes defending for their class interest or even seeking for higher social status.   Characters in both plays care about their social status and the external appearance, such as what kind of cars they drive, whether their house is located among the wealthy community or not, and what positions are they holding. They are all willing to do dangerous or bad things in order to climb to a higher status in the society and to obtain more wealth.

In Othello, Iago is a main character who manipulates everything that happens throughout the play and leads to the tragic ending of the play. The reason why he is doing this is that his wanting of the money and the status it confers, as in the play he continually tells Roderigo, “Put money in thy purse” (Shakespeare I.iii.360). He is bitter towards Othello because he has not been given the promotion he thinks he deserves and starts to manipulate others to help him get to where he wants without regard for his peers or any others. He uses Emilia, his wife, to get Desdemona’s handkerchief and lies to Othello that he has seen Desdemona and Cassio betray him.

“What if I had said I had seen him do you wrong?” (Shakespeare IV.i.28) which then trigger the tragedy to happen. In Two Trains Running, the play has further shown the importance of one’s external appearance. What it takes to determine a successful man just like Sterling’s saying “a pocketful of money, a Cadillac, and a good woman.

That’s all he needs on the surface” (Wilson 93) and that’s why Sterling is willing to rob the bank because he “was tired of waking up every day with no money” (Wilson 45) and he thought he could get his money “where Mellon get his from” (Wilson 46). When considering the idea of Marxism, external appearance and social status are the important components because these are the ways that the lower class can see in the external of the higher class and know the differences between the classes. Another feature of wealth and power is that whoever gets to control the most wealth and power will play a dominant role in the society and get to control the people below them.

In Two Trains Running, Hambone has painted the fence for Lutz, a white man who once promised to give him a ham for painting the fence. However, Lutz has failed his promise just because he sits high above than Hambone, he can treat him whatever he wants and leaves Hambone in a deteriorated mental state. In the beginning of Othello, Iago ranks far below than Othello, however, towards the end of the play, as Iago manipulates all the lies and leaves others worse off, he reaches to the top in Othello’s heart and controls everything that he thinks, and has taken so far that Othello now sees Iago as a sort of role-model “Tis he. Oh, brave Iago, honest and just, That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong! Thou teachest me” (Shakespeare V.i.32). This has better evidenced the idea of Marxism, as the lower class has bear enough of unjust treatment from the upper class, their anxiety for upper class will be triggered by the way of social reform.

In both these two plays, the lower class is fighting to survive and gain a bigger share of the pie which is good for the society from the standpoint of Marxism because as the lower class fight to gain an equal share between different groups, the society will be promoted to a point where it is better structured for people to live in, the wealth and rights will then also be distributed more equally among these groups.  


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