Othello: Wealth or Morals

The idea of Marxism came from a man named Karl Marx who essentially believed in an economic system where the government controlled all means of production and resources to ensure equality. In various ways, one may see Marxism as part of the foundation of communism as they share many similar qualities that would lead someone to think so. Communism, in world history is typically the most unfavored for how much corruption and imbalance it has caused in creating conflict between groups with different ideals. This tension is typically in response to the claim of power over one another.

Throughout world history, humanity has suffered from consequences of greed which has brought several downfalls of hierarchies and powerful forces. Shakesphere’s Othello exemplifies the cons of a ruling class and how wealth can overtake morality. In Othello by William Shakesphere, the starting cause of a devastating tragedy is derived from the greed within the social classes which in turn led to the downfall of a well respected hierarchy.

It was evident that there was a clear social struggle in Venice where a wealthy class consisting of characters such as Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio seemed to do anything with ease and without the worry of being in a financial struggle. Iago seemed to not take his lower status with satisfaction therefore leading him to take out his anger on Othello’s life for not granting him a higher ranking into the ruling class. An explanation for Iagos’s doings are from the theory that the economically deprived are more likely to interpret struggle as the fight to survive. Also, the supposed “betrayal” of Iago from Othello not granting him his desired position and instead giving it to Cassio was substantial in committing his actions. Iago’s bitter hate towards Othello was from ignorance of the promotion he thought he deserved which could have elevated him to the upper class along with enriching him.

However, instead Othello promotes Cassio who was someone that already had a high education and wealth which is what Iago desired for. While Iago technically worked for Roderigo in obtaining Desdemona for love, he was also robbing him of his money; Iago demanded to Roderigo that he “Put money in thy purse” (1.3.336-344) several times to place the emphasis on the the amount of money he is expecting from Roderigo. The demand of greed that Iago possesses is purely out of hate and motivation to bring the downfall of Cassio. Later in the story, he accuses Cassio of having a secret relationship behind Othello’s back which essentially sparks the climax where the chaos gets to Othello’s mind.

Between Desdemona and Emelia, the standing becomes clear as the young maiden questions Emilia about her infidelity. Emilia has lived her life attending to her mistress and has not had the comforts of wealth that Desdemona has always known, cheating for such a reward as power over the whole world is extremely tempting to Emilia. She has endless needs that have been constantly unmet and ‘such as mall sin’ is nothing compared to all the wealth in the world. But, since Desdemona has never known the pain of poverty, she can live a life that preserves her chastity. Finally, as all anger and fear becomes resolved, after Othello has killed his beloved Desdemona, he still holds a partial desire to maintain his firm footing in the system of classes. Unable to bear the immense burden of just having murdered his eternally blessed wife, he ends his own life. He could have never lived with such a disgrace on his name brought upon by his own foolishness.

If Othello still withheld the rooted love for Desdemona, his suicide would have been out of guilt for taking Desdemona’s life without regard for the social standing that was highly treasurerd around town. Ihe ideas of wealth and ranking are prominent within Othello with the marxist ideals of there being high classes that own authority over lower classes. The major driving force of the plot is the idea of Othello’s urgent need for self preservation while essentially being trapped inside Iago’s scheme to gain power for wealth.

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Othello: wealth or morals. (2021, Jun 21). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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