marxism in othello no media

Marxist Critique
Whom does it benefit if the work or effort is accepted/successful/believed, etc.?
What is the social class (background )of the author?
Which class does the work claim to represent?
What values does it reinforce?
What values does it subvert?
What conflict can be seen between the values the work champions and those it portrays?
What social classes do the characters represent?
How do characters from different classes interact or conflict?
The Clown: Othello’s servant. Although the clown appears only in two short scenes, his
appearances reflect and distort the action and words of the main plots. Often lower class people
do not appear often (as they go unseen by most of society) but when they do are quite important
in the play, even as minor characters.
A3S4 L1 – 5
Desdemona: Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant
Cassio lies?
Clown: I dare not say he lies anywhere.
Desdemona: Why, man?
Clown: He’s a soldier, and for me to say a soldier lies, ‘tis stabbing.
L11 – 14
Clown: I know not where he lodges; and for me to
Devise a lodging and say he lies here, or he lies
There, where to lie in mine own throat.
Here the Clown gives necessary comic relief during a very intense portion of the play. He also highlights
his servitude by being told what to do by Desdemona. He also demonstrates the whit of the lower
classes through his comments.
A courtesan, or prostitute, in
Cyprus. Bianca’s favorite
customer is Cassio, who
teases her with promises of
Bianca is the only person
woman in the play (including
Othello) strong enough to
stand up for herself when
she feels as if she is being
cheated. This is significant
for two reasons:
Lower class people would be more apt to speak out and it would demonstrate her
lower class. This is contrast to Desdemona who in A4S3 says that:
So would not I. My love doth so approve him
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns –
Prithee, unpin me – have grace and favor {in them.}
Bianca in contrast says to Cassio in A4S1:
If you’’ll come to supper tonight you may. If
You will not, come when you are next prepared
• A4S3: During the conversation regarding women’s role in
society, Bianca (and if you interpret her as a representative of
the lower class of women) all lower class women are not
• One then makes the judgment that the lower class is left out
of the discussion of women’s rights.
Read A5S1 L88 – 150 and analyze the manner in which Bianca is treated
by not only Iago, but Emilia. Do you think this is reflective of her class and
stature? How do you feel she acts when she sees Cassio? Overall, what is
your feeling about Bianca in the play?
Individual Writing Task:
• Compare and contrast the 3 women in the play from a Marxist
perspective. Write a Thesis and then use a T-Chart to answer 3
questions of each woman in the play from the list on slide 2.

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