List iconOthello:
Act 3, scene 4
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Act 3, scene 4



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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 4
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.

DESDEMONA Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant
 Cassio lies?
CLOWN I dare not say he lies anywhere.
CLOWN 5He’s a soldier, and for me to say a soldier lies,
 ’tis stabbing.

ACT 3. SC. 4

DESDEMONA Go to! Where lodges he?
[CLOWN To tell you where he lodges is to tell you
 where I lie.
DESDEMONA 10Can anything be made of this?]
CLOWN I know not where he lodges; and for me to
 devise a lodging and say he lies here, or he lies
 there, were to lie in mine own throat.
DESDEMONA Can you inquire him out, and be edified
15 by report?
CLOWN I will catechize the world for him—that is,
 make questions, and by them answer.
DESDEMONA Seek him, bid him come hither. Tell him I
 have moved my lord on his behalf and hope all will
20 be well.
CLOWN To do this is within the compass of man’s wit,
 and therefore I will attempt the doing it.
Clown exits.
 Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?
EMILIA I know not, madam.
25 Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse
 Full of crusadoes. And but my noble Moor
 Is true of mind and made of no such baseness
 As jealous creatures are, it were enough
 To put him to ill thinking.
EMILIA 30 Is he not jealous?
 Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
 Drew all such humors from him.
EMILIA  Look where he

Enter Othello.

35 I will not leave him now till Cassio
 Be called to him.—How is ’t with you, my lord?

ACT 3. SC. 4

 Well, my good lady. Aside. O, hardness to
 How do you, Desdemona?
DESDEMONA 40 Well, my good lord.
 Give me your hand. He takes her hand. This hand
 is moist, my lady.
 It yet has felt no age nor known no sorrow.
 This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart.
45 Hot, hot, and moist. This hand of yours requires
 A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
 Much castigation, exercise devout;
 For here’s a young and sweating devil here
 That commonly rebels. ’Tis a good hand,
50 A frank one.
DESDEMONA  You may indeed say so,
 For ’twas that hand that gave away my heart.
 A liberal hand! The hearts of old gave hands,
 But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
55 I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.
OTHELLO What promise, chuck?
 I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
 I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me.
 Lend me thy handkerchief.
DESDEMONA 60 Here, my lord.
 That which I gave you.
DESDEMONA  I have it not about me.

ACT 3. SC. 4

DESDEMONA No, faith, my lord.
OTHELLO 65That’s a fault. That handkerchief
 Did an Egyptian to my mother give.
 She was a charmer, and could almost read
 The thoughts of people. She told her, while she kept
70 ’Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
 Entirely to her love. But if she lost it,
 Or made a gift of it, my father’s eye
 Should hold her loathèd, and his spirits should hunt
 After new fancies. She, dying, gave it me,
75 And bid me, when my fate would have me wived,
 To give it her. I did so; and take heed on ’t,
 Make it a darling like your precious eye.
 To lose ’t or give ’t away were such perdition
 As nothing else could match.
DESDEMONA 80 Is ’t possible?
 ’Tis true. There’s magic in the web of it.
 A sybil that had numbered in the world
 The sun to course two hundred compasses,
 In her prophetic fury sewed the work.
85 The worms were hallowed that did breed the silk,
 And it was dyed in mummy, which the skillful
 Conserved of maidens’ hearts.
DESDEMONA  I’ faith, is ’t true?
 Most veritable. Therefore, look to ’t well.
90 Then would to God that I had never seen ’t!
OTHELLO Ha? Wherefore?
 Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
 Is ’t lost? Is ’t gone? Speak, is ’t out o’ th’ way?
DESDEMONA Heaven bless us!
OTHELLO 95Say you?

ACT 3. SC. 4

 It is not lost, but what an if it were?
DESDEMONA I say it is not lost.
OTHELLO Fetch ’t. Let me see ’t!
100 Why, so I can. But I will not now.
 This is a trick to put me from my suit.
 Pray you, let Cassio be received again.
 Fetch me the handkerchief! Aside. My mind
DESDEMONA 105Come, come.
 You’ll never meet a more sufficient man.
 The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA  I pray, talk me of Cassio.
OTHELLO The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA 110 A man that all his time
 Hath founded his good fortunes on your love;
 Shared dangers with you—
 The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA  I’ faith, you are to blame.
OTHELLO 115Zounds!Othello exits.
EMILIA Is not this man jealous?
DESDEMONA I ne’er saw this before.
 Sure, there’s some wonder in this handkerchief!
 I am most unhappy in the loss of it.
120 ’Tis not a year or two shows us a man.
 They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
 They eat us hungerly, and when they are full
 They belch us.

Enter Iago and Cassio.

 Look you—Cassio and my husband.

ACT 3. SC. 4

IAGO, to Cassio 
125 There is no other way; ’tis she must do ’t,
 And, lo, the happiness! Go and importune her.
 How now, good Cassio, what’s the news with you?
 Madam, my former suit. I do beseech you
 That by your virtuous means I may again
130 Exist, and be a member of his love
 Whom I with all the office of my heart
 Entirely honor. I would not be delayed.
 If my offense be of such mortal kind
 That nor my service past nor present sorrows
135 Nor purposed merit in futurity
 Can ransom me into his love again,
 But to know so must be my benefit.
 So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
 And shut myself up in some other course
140 To fortune’s alms.
DESDEMONA  Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio,
 My advocation is not now in tune.
 My lord is not my lord; nor should I know him
 Were he in favor as in humor altered.
145 So help me every spirit sanctified
 As I have spoken for you all my best,
 And stood within the blank of his displeasure
 For my free speech! You must awhile be patient.
 What I can do I will; and more I will
150 Than for myself I dare. Let that suffice you.
 Is my lord angry?
EMILIA  He went hence but now,
 And certainly in strange unquietness.
 Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon

ACT 3. SC. 4

155 When it hath blown his ranks into the air
 And, like the devil, from his very arm
 Puffed his own brother—and is he angry?
 Something of moment then. I will go meet him.
 There’s matter in ’t indeed if he be angry.
160 I prithee do so.He exits.
 Something, sure, of state,
 Either from Venice, or some unhatched practice
 Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,
 Hath puddled his clear spirit; and in such cases
165 Men’s natures wrangle with inferior things,
 Though great ones are their object. ’Tis even so.
 For let our finger ache, and it endues
 Our other healthful members even to a sense
 Of pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods,
170 Nor of them look for such observancy
 As fits the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,
 I was—unhandsome warrior as I am!—
 Arraigning his unkindness with my soul.
 But now I find I had suborned the witness,
175 And he’s indicted falsely.
EMILIA  Pray heaven it be
 State matters, as you think, and no conception
 Nor no jealous toy concerning you.
 Alas the day, I never gave him cause!
180 But jealous souls will not be answered so.
 They are not ever jealous for the cause,
 But jealous for they’re jealous. It is a monster
 Begot upon itself, born on itself.
 Heaven keep that monster from Othello’s mind!
EMILIA 185Lady, amen.

ACT 3. SC. 4

 I will go seek him.—Cassio, walk hereabout.
 If I do find him fit, I’ll move your suit
 And seek to effect it to my uttermost.
CASSIO I humbly thank your Ladyship.
Desdemona and Emilia exit.

Enter Bianca.

190 ’Save you, friend Cassio!
CASSIO  What make you from
 How is ’t with you, my most fair Bianca?
 I’ faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
195 And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.
 What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights,
 Eightscore eight hours, and lovers’ absent hours
 More tedious than the dial eightscore times?
 O weary reck’ning!
CASSIO 200 Pardon me, Bianca.
 I have this while with leaden thoughts been pressed,
 But I shall in a more continuate time
 Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,
Giving her Desdemona’s handkerchief.
 Take me this work out.
BIANCA 205 O, Cassio, whence came this?
 This is some token from a newer friend.
 To the felt absence now I feel a cause.
 Is ’t come to this? Well, well.
CASSIO  Go to, woman!
210 Throw your vile guesses in the devil’s teeth,
 From whence you have them. You are jealous now
 That this is from some mistress, some
 No, by my faith, Bianca.

ACT 3. SC. 4

BIANCA 215 Why, whose is it?
 I know not neither. I found it in my chamber.
 I like the work well. Ere it be demanded,
 As like enough it will, I would have it copied.
 Take it, and do ’t, and leave me for this time.
BIANCA 220Leave you? Wherefore?
 I do attend here on the General,
 And think it no addition, nor my wish,
 To have him see me womaned.
[BIANCA Why, I pray you?
CASSIO 225Not that I love you not.]
BIANCA But that you do not love me!
 I pray you bring me on the way a little,
 And say if I shall see you soon at night.
 ’Tis but a little way that I can bring you,
230 For I attend here. But I’ll see you soon.
 ’Tis very good. I must be circumstanced.
They exit.