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Othello
Act 1, scene 3

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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…

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Scene 3
Enter Duke, Senators, and Officers.

DUKE, reading a paper 
 There’s no composition in these news
 That gives them credit.
FIRST SENATOR, reading a paper 
 Indeed, they are disproportioned.
 My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.
DUKE 
5 And mine, a hundred forty.
SECOND SENATOR, reading a paper 
 And mine, two hundred.
 But though they jump not on a just account
 (As in these cases, where the aim reports
 ’Tis oft with difference), yet do they all confirm
10 A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.
DUKE 
 Nay, it is possible enough to judgment.
 I do not so secure me in the error,
 But the main article I do approve
 In fearful sense.
SAILOR, within 15 What ho, what ho, what ho!

Enter Sailor.

OFFICER A messenger from the galleys.
DUKE Now, what’s the business?
SAILOR 
 The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes.
 So was I bid report here to the state
20 By Signior Angelo.He exits.
DUKE 
 How say you by this change?
FIRST SENATOR  This cannot be,
 By no assay of reason. ’Tis a pageant
 To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
25 Th’ importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,

31
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

 And let ourselves again but understand
 That, as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
 So may he with more facile question bear it,
 [For that it stands not in such warlike brace,
30 But altogether lacks th’ abilities
 That Rhodes is dressed in—if we make thought of
 this,
 We must not think the Turk is so unskillful
 To leave that latest which concerns him first,
35 Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain
 To wake and wage a danger profitless.]
DUKE 
 Nay, in all confidence, he’s not for Rhodes.
OFFICER Here is more news.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER 
 The Ottomites, Reverend and Gracious,
40 Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,
 Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
[FIRST SENATOR 
 Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?]
MESSENGER 
 Of thirty sail; and now they do restem
 Their backward course, bearing with frank
45 appearance
 Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,
 Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
 With his free duty recommends you thus,
 And prays you to believe him.He exits.
DUKE 50’Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.
 Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?
FIRST SENATOR 
 He’s now in Florence.
DUKE  Write from us to him.
 Post-post-haste. Dispatch.

33
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

FIRST SENATOR 
55 Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.

Enter Brabantio, Othello, Cassio, Iago, Roderigo, and
Officers.


DUKE 
 Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
 Against the general enemy Ottoman.
 To Brabantio. I did not see you. Welcome, gentle
 signior.
60 We lacked your counsel and your help tonight.
BRABANTIO 
 So did I yours. Good your Grace, pardon me.
 Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
 Hath raised me from my bed, nor doth the general
 care
65 Take hold on me, for my particular grief
 Is of so floodgate and o’erbearing nature
 That it engluts and swallows other sorrows
 And it is still itself.
DUKE  Why, what’s the matter?
BRABANTIO 
70 My daughter! O, my daughter!
FIRST SENATOR  Dead?
BRABANTIO  Ay, to me.
 She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted
 By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;
75 For nature so prepost’rously to err—
 Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense—
 Sans witchcraft could not.
DUKE 
 Whoe’er he be that in this foul proceeding
 Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself
80 And you of her, the bloody book of law
 You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,
 After your own sense, yea, though our proper son
 Stood in your action.

35
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

BRABANTIO  Humbly I thank your Grace.
85 Here is the man—this Moor, whom now it seems
 Your special mandate for the state affairs
 Hath hither brought.
ALL  We are very sorry for ’t.
DUKE, to Othello 
 What, in your own part, can you say to this?
BRABANTIO 90Nothing, but this is so.
OTHELLO 
 Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
 My very noble and approved good masters:
 That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,
 It is most true; true I have married her.
95 The very head and front of my offending
 Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
 And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;
 For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
 Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
100 Their dearest action in the tented field,
 And little of this great world can I speak
 More than pertains to feats of broil and battle.
 And therefore little shall I grace my cause
 In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious
105 patience,
 I will a round unvarnished tale deliver
 Of my whole course of love—what drugs, what
 charms,
 What conjuration, and what mighty magic
110 (For such proceeding I am charged withal)
 I won his daughter.
BRABANTIO  A maiden never bold,
 Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion
 Blushed at herself. And she, in spite of nature,
115 Of years, of country, credit, everything,
 To fall in love with what she feared to look on!
 It is a judgment maimed and most imperfect

37
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

 That will confess perfection so could err
 Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
120 To find out practices of cunning hell
 Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
 That with some mixtures powerful o’er the blood,
 Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
 He wrought upon her.
DUKE 125 To vouch this is no proof
 Without more wider and more overt test
 Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods
 Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
FIRST SENATOR But, Othello, speak:
130 Did you by indirect and forcèd courses
 Subdue and poison this young maid’s affections?
 Or came it by request, and such fair question
 As soul to soul affordeth?
OTHELLO  I do beseech you,
135 Send for the lady to the Sagittary
 And let her speak of me before her father.
 If you do find me foul in her report,
 [The trust, the office I do hold of you,]
 Not only take away, but let your sentence
140 Even fall upon my life.
DUKE Fetch Desdemona hither.
OTHELLO 
 Ancient, conduct them. You best know the place.
Iago and Attendants exit.
 And till she come, as truly as to heaven
 [I do confess the vices of my blood,]
145 So justly to your grave ears I’ll present
 How I did thrive in this fair lady’s love,
 And she in mine.
DUKE Say it, Othello.
OTHELLO 
 Her father loved me, oft invited me,
150 Still questioned me the story of my life

39
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

 From year to year—the battles, sieges, fortunes
 That I have passed.
 I ran it through, even from my boyish days
 To th’ very moment that he bade me tell it,
155 Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances:
 Of moving accidents by flood and field,
 Of hairbreadth ’scapes i’ th’ imminent deadly
 breach,
 Of being taken by the insolent foe
160 And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence,
 And portance in my traveler’s history,
 Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
 Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads
 touch heaven,
165 It was my hint to speak—such was my process—
 And of the cannibals that each other eat,
 The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
 Do grow beneath their shoulders. These things to
 hear
170 Would Desdemona seriously incline.
 But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
 Which ever as she could with haste dispatch
 She’d come again, and with a greedy ear
 Devour up my discourse. Which I, observing,
175 Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
 To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
 That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
 Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
 But not intentively. I did consent,
180 And often did beguile her of her tears
 When I did speak of some distressful stroke
 That my youth suffered. My story being done,
 She gave me for my pains a world of sighs.
 She swore, in faith, ’twas strange, ’twas passing
185 strange,
 ’Twas pitiful, ’twas wondrous pitiful.

41
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ACT 1. SC. 3

 She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished
 That heaven had made her such a man. She thanked
 me,
190 And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
 I should but teach him how to tell my story,
 And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake.
 She loved me for the dangers I had passed,
 And I loved her that she did pity them.
195 This only is the witchcraft I have used.
 Here comes the lady. Let her witness it.

Enter Desdemona, Iago, Attendants.

DUKE 
 I think this tale would win my daughter, too.
 Good Brabantio,
 Take up this mangled matter at the best.
200 Men do their broken weapons rather use
 Than their bare hands.
BRABANTIO  I pray you hear her speak.
 If she confess that she was half the wooer,
 Destruction on my head if my bad blame
205 Light on the man.—Come hither, gentle mistress.
 Do you perceive in all this noble company
 Where most you owe obedience?
DESDEMONA  My noble father,
 I do perceive here a divided duty.
210 To you I am bound for life and education.
 My life and education both do learn me
 How to respect you. You are the lord of duty.
 I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my
 husband.
215 And so much duty as my mother showed
 To you, preferring you before her father,
 So much I challenge that I may profess
 Due to the Moor my lord.
BRABANTIO God be with you! I have done.

43
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

220 Please it your Grace, on to the state affairs.
 I had rather to adopt a child than get it.—
 Come hither, Moor.
 I here do give thee that with all my heart
 [Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart]
225 I would keep from thee.—For your sake, jewel,
 I am glad at soul I have no other child,
 For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
 To hang clogs on them.—I have done, my lord.
DUKE 
 Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence,
230 Which as a grise or step may help these lovers
 Into your favor.
 When remedies are past, the griefs are ended
 By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
 To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
235 Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
 What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,
 Patience her injury a mock’ry makes.
 The robbed that smiles steals something from the
 thief;
240 He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
BRABANTIO 
 So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile,
 We lose it not so long as we can smile.
 He bears the sentence well that nothing bears
 But the free comfort which from thence he hears;
245 But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow
 That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.
 These sentences to sugar or to gall,
 Being strong on both sides, are equivocal.
 But words are words. I never yet did hear
250 That the bruised heart was piercèd through the
 ear.
 I humbly beseech you, proceed to th’ affairs of
 state.

45
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

DUKE The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes
255 for Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is
 best known to you. And though we have there a
 substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a
 sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer
 voice on you. You must therefore be content to
260 slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this
 more stubborn and boist’rous expedition.
OTHELLO 
 The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
 Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
 My thrice-driven bed of down. I do agnize
265 A natural and prompt alacrity
 I find in hardness, and do undertake
 This present wars against the Ottomites.
 Most humbly, therefore, bending to your state,
 I crave fit disposition for my wife,
270 Due reference of place and exhibition,
 With such accommodation and besort
 As levels with her breeding.
DUKE 
 Why, at her father’s.
BRABANTIO  I will not have it so.
OTHELLO 275Nor I.
DESDEMONA Nor would I there reside
 To put my father in impatient thoughts
 By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,
 To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear
280 And let me find a charter in your voice
 T’ assist my simpleness.
DUKE What would you, Desdemona?
DESDEMONA 
 That I love the Moor to live with him
 My downright violence and storm of fortunes
285 May trumpet to the world. My heart’s subdued
 Even to the very quality of my lord.

47
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

 I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,
 And to his honors and his valiant parts
 Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
290 So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
 A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
 The rites for why I love him are bereft me
 And I a heavy interim shall support
 By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
OTHELLO 295Let her have your voice.
 Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not
 To please the palate of my appetite,
 Nor to comply with heat (the young affects
 In me defunct) and proper satisfaction,
300 But to be free and bounteous to her mind.
 And heaven defend your good souls that you think
 I will your serious and great business scant
 For she is with me. No, when light-winged toys
 Of feathered Cupid seel with wanton dullness
305 My speculative and officed instruments,
 That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
 Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
 And all indign and base adversities
 Make head against my estimation.
DUKE 
310 Be it as you shall privately determine,
 Either for her stay or going. Th’ affair cries haste,
 And speed must answer it.
FIRST SENATOR 
 You must away tonight.
OTHELLO  With all my
315 heart.
DUKE 
 At nine i’ th’ morning here we’ll meet again.
 Othello, leave some officer behind
 And he shall our commission bring to you,
 With such things else of quality and respect
320 As doth import you.

49
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

OTHELLO  So please your Grace, my
 ancient.
 A man he is of honesty and trust.
 To his conveyance I assign my wife,
325 With what else needful your good Grace shall think
 To be sent after me.
DUKE  Let it be so.
 Good night to everyone. To Brabantio. And, noble
 signior,
330 If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
 Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
FIRST SENATOR 
 Adieu, brave Moor, use Desdemona well.
BRABANTIO 
 Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.
 She has deceived her father, and may thee.He exits.
OTHELLO 
335 My life upon her faith!
The Duke, the Senators, Cassio, and Officers exit.
 Honest Iago,
 My Desdemona must I leave to thee.
 I prithee let thy wife attend on her,
 And bring them after in the best advantage.—
340 Come, Desdemona, I have but an hour
 Of love, of worldly matters, and direction
 To spend with thee. We must obey the time.
Othello and Desdemona exit.
RODERIGO Iago—
IAGO What sayst thou, noble heart?
RODERIGO 345What will I do, think’st thou?
IAGO Why, go to bed and sleep.
RODERIGO I will incontinently drown myself.
IAGO If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why,
 thou silly gentleman!
RODERIGO 350It is silliness to live, when to live is torment,
 and then have we a prescription to die when death is
 our physician.

51
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

IAGO O, villainous! I have looked upon the world for
 four times seven years, and since I could distinguish
355 betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found
 man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say
 I would drown myself for the love of a guinea hen, I
 would change my humanity with a baboon.
RODERIGO What should I do? I confess it is my shame
360 to be so fond, but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
IAGO Virtue? A fig! ’Tis in ourselves that we are thus or
 thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our
 wills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles
 or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme,
365 supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it
 with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or
 manured with industry, why the power and corrigible
 authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance
 of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise
370 another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our
 natures would conduct us to most prepost’rous
 conclusions. But we have reason to cool our raging
 motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts—
 whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect, or
375 scion.
RODERIGO It cannot be.
IAGO It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission
 of the will. Come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown
 cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy
380 friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving
 with cables of perdurable toughness. I could never
 better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse.
 Follow thou the wars; defeat thy favor with an
 usurped beard. I say, put money in thy purse. It
385 cannot be that Desdemona should long continue
 her love to the Moor—put money in thy purse—
 nor he his to her. It was a violent commencement in
 her, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration

53
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

 —put but money in thy purse. These Moors are
390 changeable in their wills. Fill thy purse with money.
 The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts
 shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida.
 She must change for youth. When she is sated
 with his body she will find the error of her choice.
395 Therefore, put money in thy purse. If thou wilt
 needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than
 drowning. Make all the money thou canst. If sanctimony
 and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian
 and a supersubtle Venetian be not too hard for my
400 wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her.
 Therefore make money. A pox of drowning thyself!
 It is clean out of the way. Seek thou rather to be
 hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned
 and go without her.
RODERIGO 405Wilt thou be fast to my hopes if I depend on
 the issue?
IAGO Thou art sure of me. Go, make money. I have
 told thee often, and I retell thee again and again, I
 hate the Moor. My cause is hearted; thine hath no
410 less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge
 against him. If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost
 thyself a pleasure, me a sport. There are many
 events in the womb of time which will be delivered.
 Traverse, go, provide thy money. We will have more
415 of this tomorrow. Adieu.
RODERIGO Where shall we meet i’ th’ morning?
IAGO At my lodging.
RODERIGO I’ll be with thee betimes.
IAGO Go to, farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?
RODERIGO 420What say you?
IAGO No more of drowning, do you hear?
RODERIGO I am changed.
IAGO Go to, farewell. Put money enough in your
 purse.

55
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

[RODERIGO 425I’ll sell all my land.]He exits.
IAGO 
 Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.
 For I mine own gained knowledge should profane
 If I would time expend with such a snipe
 But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,
430 And it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets
 ’Has done my office. I know not if ’t be true,
 But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
 Will do as if for surety. He holds me well.
 The better shall my purpose work on him.
435 Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now:
 To get his place and to plume up my will
 In double knavery—How? how?—Let’s see.
 After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear
 That he is too familiar with his wife.
440 He hath a person and a smooth dispose
 To be suspected, framed to make women false.
 The Moor is of a free and open nature
 That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
 And will as tenderly be led by th’ nose
445 As asses are.
 I have ’t. It is engendered. Hell and night
 Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.
He exits.