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Othello
Act 4, scene 3

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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…

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Scene 3
Enter Othello, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, and
Attendants.


LODOVICO 
 I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.
OTHELLO 
 O, pardon me, ’twill do me good to walk.
LODOVICO 
 Madam, good night. I humbly thank your Ladyship.
DESDEMONA Your Honor is most welcome.
OTHELLO 
5 Will you walk, sir?—O, Desdemona—
DESDEMONA  My lord?
OTHELLO Get you to bed on th’ instant. I will be
 returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there.
 Look ’t be done.
DESDEMONA 10I will, my lord.
All but Desdemona and Emilia exit.
EMILIA 
 How goes it now? He looks gentler than he did.
DESDEMONA 
 He says he will return incontinent,
 And hath commanded me to go to bed,
 And bade me to dismiss you.
EMILIA 15 Dismiss me?
DESDEMONA 
 It was his bidding. Therefore, good Emilia,

213
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu.
 We must not now displease him.
EMILIA I would you had never seen him.
DESDEMONA 
20 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.
EMILIA 
 I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.
DESDEMONA 
 All’s one. Good faith, how foolish are our minds!
25 If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me
 In one of those same sheets.
EMILIA  Come, come, you talk!
DESDEMONA 
 My mother had a maid called Barbary.
 She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
30 And did forsake her. She had a song of willow,
 An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortune,
 And she died singing it. That song tonight
 Will not go from my mind. [I have much to do
 But to go hang my head all at one side
35 And sing it like poor Barbary. Prithee, dispatch.
EMILIA Shall I go fetch your nightgown?
DESDEMONA No, unpin me here.
 This Lodovico is a proper man.
EMILIA A very handsome man.
DESDEMONA 40He speaks well.
EMILIA I know a lady in Venice would have walked
 barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.
DESDEMONA, singing 
 The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
  Sing all a green willow.
45 Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
  Sing willow, willow, willow.

215
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 3

 The fresh streams ran by her and murmured her
  moans,
  Sing willow, willow, willow;
50 Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the
  stones—

 Lay by these.
  Sing willow, willow, willow.
 Prithee hie thee! He’ll come anon.
55 Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
 Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve.

 Nay, that’s not next.] Hark, who is ’t that knocks?
EMILIA It’s the wind.
DESDEMONA 
 [I called my love false love, but what said he then?
60  Sing willow, willow, willow.
 If I court more women, you’ll couch with more
  men.]

 So, get thee gone. Good night. Mine eyes do itch;
 Doth that bode weeping?
EMILIA 65 ’Tis neither here nor there.
[DESDEMONA 
 I have heard it said so. O these men, these men!
 Dost thou in conscience think—tell me, Emilia—
 That there be women do abuse their husbands
 In such gross kind?
EMILIA 70 There be some such, no
 question.]
DESDEMONA 
 Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
EMILIA 
 Why, would not you?
DESDEMONA  No, by this heavenly light!
EMILIA 
75 Nor I neither, by this heavenly light.
 I might do ’t as well i’ th’ dark.
DESDEMONA 
 Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?

217
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 3

EMILIA The world’s a huge thing. It is a great price
 for a small vice.
DESDEMONA 80In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
EMILIA In troth, I think I should, and undo ’t when I
 had done it. Marry, I would not do such a thing for
 a joint ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for
 gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition.
85 But for the whole world—’Uds pity! Who
 would not make her husband a cuckold to make
 him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for ’t.
DESDEMONA Beshrew me if I would do such a wrong
 for the whole world!
EMILIA 90Why, the wrong is but a wrong i’ th’ world;
 and, having the world for your labor, ’tis a wrong in
 your own world, and you might quickly make it
 right.
DESDEMONA I do not think there is any such woman.
EMILIA 95Yes, a dozen; and as many to th’ vantage as
 would store the world they played for.
 [But I do think it is their husbands’ faults
 If wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties,
 And pour our treasures into foreign laps;
100 Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
 Throwing restraint upon us. Or say they strike us,
 Or scant our former having in despite.
 Why, we have galls, and though we have some grace,
 Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
105 Their wives have sense like them. They see, and
 smell,
 And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
 As husbands have. What is it that they do
 When they change us for others? Is it sport?
110 I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
 I think it doth. Is ’t frailty that thus errs?
 It is so too. And have not we affections,
 Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?

219
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Then let them use us well. Else let them know,
115 The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.]
DESDEMONA 
 Good night, good night. God me such uses send,
 Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend.
They exit.