List iconOthello:
Act 5, scene 2
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Act 5, scene 2



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 2
Enter Othello with a light, and Desdemona in her bed.

 It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.
 Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars.
 It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood,
 Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
5 And smooth as monumental alabaster.
 Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.
 Put out the light, and then put out the light.
 If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
 I can again thy former light restore
10 Should I repent me. But once put out thy light,
 Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature,
 I know not where is that Promethean heat
 That can thy light relume. When I have plucked the

ACT 5. SC. 2

15 I cannot give it vital growth again.
 It needs must wither. I’ll smell it on the tree.
 O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
 Justice to break her sword! He kisses her. One
 more, one more.
20 Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee
 And love thee after. One more, and this the last.
He kisses her.
 So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep,
 But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly:
 It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.
25 Who’s there? Othello?
OTHELLO  Ay, Desdemona.
DESDEMONA Will you come to bed, my lord?
 Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?
DESDEMONA Ay, my lord.
30 If you bethink yourself of any crime
 Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
 Solicit for it straight.
DESDEMONA  Alack, my lord,
 What may you mean by that?
35 Well, do it, and be brief. I will walk by.
 I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit.
 No, heaven forfend! I would not kill thy soul.
DESDEMONA Talk you of killing?
 Ay, I do.
DESDEMONA 40 Then heaven have mercy on me.
OTHELLO Amen, with all my heart.
 If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.

ACT 5. SC. 2

 And yet I fear you, for you’re fatal then
45 When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know
 Since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear.
 Think on thy sins.
DESDEMONA  They are loves I bear to you.
OTHELLO 50Ay, and for that thou diest.
 That death’s unnatural that kills for loving.
 Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
 Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
 These are portents, but yet I hope, I hope
55 They do not point on me.
OTHELLO  Peace, and be still.
 I will so. What’s the matter?
OTHELLO  That handkerchief
 Which I so loved, and gave thee, thou gav’st to
60 Cassio.
 No, by my life and soul! Send for the man
 And ask him.
 Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.
 Thou art on thy deathbed.
65 Ay, but not yet to die.
OTHELLO  Yes, presently.
 Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin.
 For to deny each article with oath
 Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
70 That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.
 Then Lord have mercy on me!

ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO  I say “Amen.”
 And have you mercy, too. I never did
 Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio
75 But with such general warranty of heaven
 As I might love. I never gave him token.
 By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ’s hand!
 O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart
 And mak’st me call what I intend to do
80 A murder, which I thought a sacrifice!
 I saw the handkerchief!
DESDEMONA  He found it, then.
 I never gave it him. Send for him hither.
 Let him confess a truth.
OTHELLO 85 He hath confessed.
DESDEMONA What, my lord?
 That he hath used thee.
DESDEMONA  How? Unlawfully?
90 He will not say so.
OTHELLO  No. His mouth is stopped.
 Honest Iago hath ta’en order for ’t.
 O, my fear interprets. What, is he dead?
 Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
95 Had stomach for them all.
 Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.She weeps.
 Out, strumpet! Weep’st thou for him to my face?
 O banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO Down, strumpet!
100 Kill me tomorrow, let me live tonight.
OTHELLO Nay, if you strive—
 But half an hour!
[OTHELLO  Being done, there is no pause.]
 But while I say one prayer!
OTHELLO 105 It is too late.
He smothers her.
EMILIA, within 
 My lord, my lord? What ho! My lord, my lord!
 What noise is this?—Not dead? Not yet quite dead?
 I that am cruel am yet merciful.
 I would not have thee linger in thy pain.
110 So, so.
EMILIA, within  What, ho! My lord, my lord!
EMILIA, within 
 O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you.
115 Yes. ’Tis Emilia.—By and by.—She’s dead.
 ’Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death.
 The noise was here. Ha, no more moving?
 Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were ’t good?
 I think she stirs again. No. What’s best to do?
120 If she come in, she’ll sure speak to my wife.
 My wife, my wife! What wife? I have no wife.
 O insupportable! O heavy hour!
 Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
 Of sun and moon, and that th’ affrighted globe
125 Should yawn at alteration.
EMILIA, within  I do beseech you
 That I may speak with you. O, good my lord—

ACT 5. SC. 2

 I had forgot thee. O, come in, Emilia.—
 Soft, by and by, let me the curtains draw.—
130 Where art thou?

Enter Emilia.

 What’s the matter with thee now?
 O, my good lord, yonder’s foul murders done.
OTHELLO What? Now?
EMILIA But now, my lord.
135 It is the very error of the moon.
 She comes more nearer Earth than she was wont
 And makes men mad.
EMILIA  Cassio, my lord, hath killed
 A young Venetian called Roderigo.
140 Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed?
EMILIA No, Cassio is not killed.
 Not Cassio killed? Then murder’s out of tune,
 And sweet revenge grows harsh.
DESDEMONA O falsely, falsely murdered.
145 O Lord, what cry is that?
OTHELLO  That? What?
 Out, and alas, that was my lady’s voice!
 Help! Help ho! Help! O lady, speak again!
 Sweet Desdemona, O sweet mistress, speak!
DESDEMONA 150A guiltless death I die.
EMILIA O, who hath done this deed?
DESDEMONA Nobody. I myself. Farewell.
 Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell.
She dies.

ACT 5. SC. 2

 Why, how should she be murdered?
EMILIA 155 Alas, who
 You heard her say herself, it was not I.
 She said so. I must needs report the truth.
 She’s like a liar gone to burning hell!
160 ’Twas I that killed her.
 O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!
 She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
 Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil!
OTHELLO She was false as water.
EMILIA 165Thou art rash as fire to say
 That she was false. O, she was heavenly true!
 Cassio did top her. Ask thy husband else.
 O, I were damned beneath all depth in hell
 But that I did proceed upon just grounds
170 To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.
EMILIA My husband?
OTHELLO Thy husband.
EMILIA That she was false to wedlock?
 Ay, with Cassio. Had she been true,
175 If heaven would make me such another world
 Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
 I’d not have sold her for it.
EMILIA My husband?
 Ay, ’twas he that told me on her first.

ACT 5. SC. 2

180 An honest man he is, and hates the slime
 That sticks on filthy deeds.
EMILIA My husband?
 What needs this iterance, woman? I say, thy
185 O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love!—
 My husband say she was false?
OTHELLO  He, woman.
 I say thy husband. Dost understand the word?
 My friend, thy husband; honest, honest Iago.]
190 If he say so, may his pernicious soul
 Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th’ heart!
 She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
He draws his sword.
EMILIA Do thy worst!
195 This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
 Than thou wast worthy her.
OTHELLO  Peace, you were best!
 Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
 As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt,
200 As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed—
 I care not for thy sword. I’ll make thee known,
 Though I lost twenty lives. Help! Help, ho! Help!
 The Moor hath killed my mistress! Murder, murder!

Enter Montano, Gratiano, and Iago.

 What is the matter? How now, general?
205 O, are you come, Iago? You have done well,
 That men must lay their murders on your neck.

ACT 5. SC. 2

GRATIANO What is the matter?
EMILIA, to Iago 
 Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man.
 He says thou told’st him that his wife was false.
210 I know thou didst not. Thou ’rt not such a villain.
 Speak, for my heart is full.
 I told him what I thought, and told no more
 Than what he found himself was apt and true.
 But did you ever tell him she was false?
IAGO 215I did.
 You told a lie, an odious, damnèd lie!
 Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!
 She false with Cassio? Did you say with Cassio?
 With Cassio, mistress. Go to! Charm your tongue.
220 I will not charm my tongue. I am bound to speak.
 [My mistress here lies murdered in her bed.
ALL O heavens forfend!
EMILIA, to Iago 
 And your reports have set the murder on!
 Nay, stare not, masters; it is true indeed.
GRATIANO 225’Tis a strange truth.
 O monstrous act!
EMILIA  Villainy, villainy, villainy!
 I think upon ’t, I think! I smell ’t! O villainy!
 I thought so then. I’ll kill myself for grief!
230 O villainy! Villainy!]
 What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.

ACT 5. SC. 2

 Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.
 ’Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
 Perchance, Iago, I will ne’er go home.
235 O, O, O!Othello falls on the bed.
EMILIA  Nay, lay thee down, and roar!
 For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent
 That e’er did lift up eye.
OTHELLO, standing  O, she was foul!—
240 I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,
 Whose breath indeed these hands have newly
 I know this act shows horrible and grim.
 Poor Desdemon, I am glad thy father’s dead.
245 Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
 Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now,
 This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
 Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
 And fall to reprobance.
250 ’Tis pitiful. But yet Iago knows
 That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
 A thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it,
 And she did gratify his amorous works
 With that recognizance and pledge of love
255 Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand.
 It was a handkerchief, an antique token
 My father gave my mother.
EMILIA O God! O heavenly God!
 Zounds, hold your peace!
EMILIA 260 ’Twill out, ’twill out. I peace?
 No, I will speak as liberal as the north.
 Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
 All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
IAGO Be wise, and get you home.
He draws his sword.

ACT 5. SC. 2

265 I will not.
GRATIANO  Fie, your sword upon a woman!
 O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak’st
 I found by fortune, and did give my husband—
270 For often, with a solemn earnestness
 (More than indeed belonged to such a trifle),
 He begged of me to steal ’t.
IAGO  Villainous whore!
 She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it,
275 And I did give ’t my husband.
IAGO  Filth, thou liest!
 By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen!
 To Othello. O murd’rous coxcomb, what should
 such a fool
280 Do with so good a wife?
OTHELLO Are there no stones in heaven
 But what serves for the thunder?—Precious villain!
The Moor runs at Iago but is disarmed.
Iago kills his wife.
 The woman falls! Sure he hath killed his wife.
 Ay, ay! O, lay me by my mistress’ side.Iago exits.
GRATIANO 285He’s gone, but his wife’s killed.
 ’Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon
 Which I have here recovered from the Moor.
 Come, guard the door without. Let him not pass,
 But kill him rather. I’ll after that same villain,
290 For ’tis a damnèd slave.
Montano and Gratiano exit.
OTHELLO I am not valiant neither,

ACT 5. SC. 2

 But every puny whipster gets my sword.
 But why should honor outlive honesty?
 Let it go all.
[EMILIA 295 What did thy song bode, lady?
 Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan
 And die in music.
She sings. Willow, willow, willow.]
 Moor, she was chaste. She loved thee, cruel Moor.
300 So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true.
 So speaking as I think, alas, I die. She dies.
 I have another weapon in this chamber.
 It is a sword of Spain, the ice brook’s temper.
 O, here it is.—Uncle, I must come forth.
GRATIANO, within 
305 If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear;
 Thou hast no weapon and perforce must suffer.
 Look in upon me, then, and speak with me,
 Or naked as I am I will assault thee.

Enter Gratiano.

 What is the matter?
OTHELLO 310 Behold, I have a weapon.
 A better never did itself sustain
 Upon a soldier’s thigh. I have seen the day
 That with this little arm and this good sword
 I have made my way through more impediments
315 Than twenty times your stop. But—O vain boast!—
 Who can control his fate? ’Tis not so now.
 [Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed.
 Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt
 And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
320 Do you go back dismayed? ’Tis a lost fear.
 Man but a rush against Othello’s breast,

ACT 5. SC. 2

 And he retires. Where should Othello go?
He looks toward the bed.
 Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench,]
 Pale as thy smock, when we shall meet at compt,
325 This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
 And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl?
 Even like thy chastity.—O cursèd, cursèd slave!—
 Whip me, you devils,
 From the possession of this heavenly sight!
330 Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulfur,
 Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
 O Desdemon! Dead, Desdemon! Dead! O, O!

 Enter Lodovico, Cassio in a chair, Montano, and Iago,
with Officers.

 Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?
 That’s he that was Othello. Here I am.
335 Where is that viper? Bring the villain forth.
Iago is brought forward.
 I look down towards his feet; but that’s a fable.—
 If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
He stabs Iago.
 Wrench his sword from him.
Othello is disarmed.
IAGO  I bleed, sir, but not killed.
340 I am not sorry neither. I’d have thee live,
 For in my sense ’tis happiness to die.
 O thou Othello, that wert once so good,
 Fall’n in the practice of a damnèd slave,
 What shall be said to thee?

ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO 345 Why, anything.
 An honorable murderer, if you will,
 For naught I did in hate, but all in honor.
 This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.
 Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?
 Dear general, I never gave you cause.
 I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
 Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
 Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?
355 Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.
 From this time forth I never will speak word.
LODOVICO What? Not to pray?
GRATIANO Torments will ope your lips.
OTHELLO Well, thou dost best.
 You shall understand what hath befall’n,
 Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter
 Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo,
 And here another. He shows papers. The one of
365 them imports
 The death of Cassio, to be undertook
 By Roderigo.
 O villain!
CASSIO  Most heathenish and most gross.
370 Now here’s another discontented paper
 Found in his pocket, too; and this it seems
 Roderigo meant t’ have sent this damnèd villain,
 But that, belike, Iago in the interim
 Came in and satisfied him.
OTHELLO 375O, thou pernicious caitiff!—

ACT 5. SC. 2

 How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
 That was my wife’s?
CASSIO  I found it in my chamber.
 And he himself confessed it but even now,
380 That there he dropped it for a special purpose
 Which wrought to his desire.
OTHELLO  O fool, fool, fool!
 There is besides, in Roderigo’s letter,
 How he upbraids Iago, that he made him
385 Brave me upon the watch, whereon it came
 That I was cast. And even but now he spake,
 After long seeming dead: Iago hurt him,
 Iago set him on.
LODOVICO, to Othello 
 You must forsake this room and go with us.
390 Your power and your command is taken off,
 And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
 If there be any cunning cruelty
 That can torment him much and hold him long,
 It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest,
395 Till that the nature of your fault be known
 To the Venetian state.—Come, bring away.
 Soft you. A word or two before you go.
 I have done the state some service, and they
 know ’t.
400 No more of that. I pray you in your letters,
 When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
 Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
 Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
 Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;
405 Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
 Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
 Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away
 Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued

ACT 5. SC. 2

410 Albeit unused to the melting mood,
 Drops tears as fast as the Arabian trees
 Their medicinable gum. Set you down this.
 And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
 Where a malignant and a turbanned Turk
415 Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
 I took by th’ throat the circumcisèd dog,
 And smote him, thus.He stabs himself.
LODOVICO O bloody period!
GRATIANO All that is spoke is marred.
OTHELLO, to Desdemona 
420 I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this,
 Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.He dies.
 This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,
 For he was great of heart.
LODOVICO, to Iago  O Spartan dog,
425 More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
 Look on the tragic loading of this bed.
 This is thy work.—The object poisons sight.
 Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the house,
 And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
430 For they succeed on you. To Cassio. To you, lord
 Remains the censure of this hellish villain.
 The time, the place, the torture, O, enforce it.
 Myself will straight aboard, and to the state
435 This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
They exit.