List iconOthelloList icon

Othello
Act 1, scene 2

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In Venice, at the start of Othello, the soldier Iago announces his hatred for his commander, Othello, a Moor. Othello has…

Act 1, scene 1

In the streets of Venice, Iago tells Roderigo of his hatred for Othello, who has given Cassio the lieutenancy that…

Act 1, scene 2

Iago warns Othello about Brabantio’s anger, but Othello is confident in his own strength and in his love for Desdemona….

Act 1, scene 3

The duke and the senators discuss the movements of the Turkish fleet and conclude that its target is, indeed, Cyprus….

Act 2, scene 1

The Turkish fleet is destroyed in a storm, while Cassio and then Desdemona, Emilia, and Iago arrive safely at Cyprus….

Act 2, scene 2

Othello proclaims a public celebration.

Act 2, scene 3

Iago gets Cassio drunk, making it easy for Roderigo to provoke Cassio into a brawl, first with Roderigo, then with…

Act 3, scene 1

Cassio arrives with musicians to honor Othello and Desdemona. As Iago has recommended, Cassio asks Emilia to arrange a meeting…

Act 3, scene 2

Othello prepares to tour Cyprus’s fortifications.

Act 3, scene 3

Desdemona’s interview with Cassio is cut short by the arrival of Othello. Cassio leaves hastily in order to avoid speaking…

Act 3, scene 4

Desdemona, still actively seeking to have Cassio reinstated, is worried about the loss of her handkerchief. Her anxiety about it…

Act 4, scene 1

Iago continues to torment Othello with vivid descriptions of Desdemona’s alleged sexual activity. Othello falls into an epileptic seizure. Iago…

Act 4, scene 2

Othello questions Emilia about Cassio and Desdemona’s relationship, acting as if Emilia is the mistress of a brothel and Desdemona…

Act 4, scene 3

Othello, walking with Lodovico, orders Desdemona to go to bed and to dismiss Emilia. As Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for…

Act 5, scene 1

In the dark streets of Cyprus, Roderigo attacks Cassio, who, uninjured, stabs Roderigo. Iago then wounds Cassio in the leg….

Act 5, scene 2

Desdemona is asleep in bed when Othello enters. He kisses her and wakes her and once again charges her with…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 2
Enter Othello, Iago, Attendants, with Torches.

IAGO 
 Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
 Yet do I hold it very stuff o’ th’ conscience
 To do no contrived murder. I lack iniquity
 Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times
5 I had thought t’ have yerked him here under the
 ribs.
OTHELLO 
 ’Tis better as it is.
IAGO  Nay, but he prated
 And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
10 Against your Honor,
 That with the little godliness I have
 I did full hard forbear him. But I pray you, sir,
 Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
 That the magnifico is much beloved,
15 And hath in his effect a voice potential
 As double as the Duke’s. He will divorce you
 Or put upon you what restraint or grievance
 The law (with all his might to enforce it on)
 Will give him cable.
OTHELLO 20 Let him do his spite.
 My services which I have done the signiory
 Shall out-tongue his complaints. ’Tis yet to know
 (Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
 I shall promulgate) I fetch my life and being
25 From men of royal siege, and my demerits
 May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
 As this that I have reached. For know, Iago,
 But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
 I would not my unhousèd free condition
30 Put into circumscription and confine
 For the sea’s worth. But look, what lights come
 yond?

23
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 2

IAGO 
 Those are the raisèd father and his friends.
 You were best go in.
OTHELLO 35 Not I. I must be found.
 My parts, my title, and my perfect soul
 Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
IAGO By Janus, I think no.

Enter Cassio, with Officers, and Torches.

OTHELLO 
 The servants of the Duke and my lieutenant!
40 The goodness of the night upon you, friends.
 What is the news?
CASSIO  The Duke does greet you, general,
 And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
 Even on the instant.
OTHELLO 45 What is the matter, think you?
CASSIO 
 Something from Cyprus, as I may divine.
 It is a business of some heat. The galleys
 Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
 This very night at one another’s heels,
50 And many of the Consuls, raised and met,
 Are at the Duke’s already. You have been hotly
 called for.
 When, being not at your lodging to be found,
 The Senate hath sent about three several quests
55 To search you out.
OTHELLO  ’Tis well I am found by you.
 I will but spend a word here in the house
 And go with you.He exits.
CASSIO  Ancient, what makes he here?
IAGO 
60 Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.
 If it prove lawful prize, he’s made forever.
CASSIO 
 I do not understand.

25
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 2

IAGO  He’s married.
CASSIO  To who?
IAGO 
65 Marry, to—

Reenter Othello.

 Come, captain, will you go?
OTHELLO Have with you.
CASSIO 
 Here comes another troop to seek for you.

Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, with Officers, and Torches.

IAGO 
 It is Brabantio. General, be advised,
70 He comes to bad intent.
OTHELLO  Holla, stand there!
RODERIGO 
 Signior, it is the Moor.
BRABANTIO  Down with him,
 thief!
They draw their swords.
IAGO 
75 You, Roderigo! Come, sir, I am for you.
OTHELLO 
 Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust
 them.
 Good signior, you shall more command with years
 Than with your weapons.
BRABANTIO 
80 O, thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my
 daughter?
 Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her!
 For I’ll refer me to all things of sense,
 [If she in chains of magic were not bound,]
85 Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,
 So opposite to marriage that she shunned
 The wealthy curlèd darlings of our nation,
 Would ever have, t’ incur a general mock,

27
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
90 Of such a thing as thou—to fear, not to delight!
 [Judge me the world, if ’tis not gross in sense
 That thou hast practiced on her with foul charms,
 Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
 That weakens motion. I’ll have ’t disputed on.
95 ’Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.
 I therefore apprehend and do attach thee]
 For an abuser of the world, a practicer
 Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.—
 Lay hold upon him. If he do resist,
100 Subdue him at his peril.
OTHELLO  Hold your hands,
 Both you of my inclining and the rest.
 Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
 Without a prompter.—Whither will you that I go
105 To answer this your charge?
BRABANTIO To prison, till fit time
 Of law and course of direct session
 Call thee to answer.
OTHELLO  What if I do obey?
110 How may the Duke be therewith satisfied,
 Whose messengers are here about my side,
 Upon some present business of the state,
 To bring me to him?
OFFICER  ’Tis true, most worthy signior.
115 The Duke’s in council, and your noble self
 I am sure is sent for.
BRABANTIO  How? The Duke in council?
 In this time of the night? Bring him away;
 Mine’s not an idle cause. The Duke himself,
120 Or any of my brothers of the state,
 Cannot but feel this wrong as ’twere their own.
 For if such actions may have passage free,
 Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.
They exit.