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Othello
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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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ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter Roderigo and Iago.

RODERIGO 
 Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly
 That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse
 As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.
IAGO ’Sblood, but you’ll not hear me!
5 If ever I did dream of such a matter,
 Abhor me.
RODERIGO 
 Thou toldst me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
IAGO Despise me
 If I do not. Three great ones of the city,
10 In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
 Off-capped to him; and, by the faith of man,
 I know my price, I am worth no worse a place.
 But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
 Evades them with a bombast circumstance,
15 Horribly stuffed with epithets of war,
 And in conclusion,
 Nonsuits my mediators. For “Certes,” says he,
 “I have already chose my officer.”
 And what was he?
20 Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
 One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
 A fellow almost damned in a fair wife,
7

9
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

 That never set a squadron in the field,
 Nor the division of a battle knows
25 More than a spinster—unless the bookish theoric,
 Wherein the togèd consuls can propose
 As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practice
 Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th’ election;
 And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
30 At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds
 Christened and heathen, must be beleed and
 calmed
 By debitor and creditor. This countercaster,
 He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
35 And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.
RODERIGO 
 By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
IAGO 
 Why, there’s no remedy. ’Tis the curse of service.
 Preferment goes by letter and affection,
 And not by old gradation, where each second
40 Stood heir to th’ first. Now, sir, be judge yourself
 Whether I in any just term am affined
 To love the Moor.
RODERIGO 
 I would not follow him, then.
IAGO  O, sir, content you.
45 I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
 We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
 Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark
 Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave
 That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
50 Wears out his time, much like his master’s ass,
 For naught but provender, and when he’s old,
 cashiered.
 Whip me such honest knaves! Others there are
 Who, trimmed in forms and visages of duty,
55 Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,

11
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

 And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
 Do well thrive by them; and when they have lined
 their coats,
 Do themselves homage. These fellows have some
60 soul,
 And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
 It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
 Were I the Moor I would not be Iago.
 In following him, I follow but myself.
65 Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
 But seeming so for my peculiar end.
 For when my outward action doth demonstrate
 The native act and figure of my heart
 In complement extern, ’tis not long after
70 But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
 For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.
RODERIGO 
 What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe
 If he can carry ’t thus!
IAGO  Call up her father.
75 Rouse him. Make after him, poison his delight,
 Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,
 And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,
 Plague him with flies. Though that his joy be joy,
 Yet throw such chances of vexation on ’t
80 As it may lose some color.
RODERIGO 
 Here is her father’s house. I’ll call aloud.
IAGO 
 Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell
 As when, by night and negligence, the fire
 Is spied in populous cities.
RODERIGO 
85 What ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!
IAGO 
 Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves!

13
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!
 Thieves, thieves!

Enter Brabantio, above.

BRABANTIO 
 What is the reason of this terrible summons?
90 What is the matter there?
RODERIGO 
 Signior, is all your family within?
IAGO 
 Are your doors locked?
BRABANTIO  Why, wherefore ask you this?
IAGO 
 Zounds, sir, you’re robbed. For shame, put on your
95 gown!
 Your heart is burst. You have lost half your soul.
 Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
 Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
 Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
100 Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
 Arise, I say!
BRABANTIO  What, have you lost your wits?
RODERIGO 
 Most reverend signior, do you know my voice?
BRABANTIO Not I. What are you?
RODERIGO 
105 My name is Roderigo.
BRABANTIO  The worser welcome.
 I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors.
 In honest plainness thou hast heard me say
 My daughter is not for thee. And now in madness,
110 Being full of supper and distemp’ring draughts,
 Upon malicious bravery dost thou come
 To start my quiet.
RODERIGO  Sir, sir, sir—
BRABANTIO But thou must needs be sure

15
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

115 My spirit and my place have in them power
 To make this bitter to thee.
RODERIGO 
 Patience, good sir.
BRABANTIO  What tell’st thou me of robbing?
 This is Venice. My house is not a grange.
RODERIGO 120Most grave Brabantio,
 In simple and pure soul I come to you—
IAGO Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not
 serve God if the devil bid you. Because we come to
 do you service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll
125 have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse,
 you’ll have your nephews neigh to you, you’ll have
 coursers for cousins and jennets for germans.
BRABANTIO What profane wretch art thou?
IAGO I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
130 and the Moor are now making the beast with
 two backs.
BRABANTIO Thou art a villain.
IAGO You are a senator.
BRABANTIO 
 This thou shalt answer. I know thee, Roderigo.
RODERIGO 
135 Sir, I will answer anything. But I beseech you,
 [If ’t be your pleasure and most wise consent—
 As partly I find it is—that your fair daughter,
 At this odd-even and dull watch o’ th’ night,
 Transported with no worse nor better guard
140 But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
 To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor:
 If this be known to you, and your allowance,
 We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs.
 But if you know not this, my manners tell me
145 We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
 That from the sense of all civility
 I thus would play and trifle with your Reverence.

17
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
 I say again, hath made a gross revolt,
150 Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
 In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
 Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself.]
 If she be in her chamber or your house,
 Let loose on me the justice of the state
155 For thus deluding you.
BRABANTIO Strike on the tinder, ho!
 Give me a taper. Call up all my people.
 This accident is not unlike my dream.
 Belief of it oppresses me already.
160 Light, I say, light!He exits.
IAGO, to Roderigo  Farewell, for I must leave you.
 It seems not meet nor wholesome to my place
 To be producted, as if I stay I shall,
 Against the Moor. For I do know the state,
165 However this may gall him with some check,
 Cannot with safety cast him, for he’s embarked
 With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
 Which even now stands in act, that, for their souls,
 Another of his fathom they have none
170 To lead their business. In which regard,
 Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
 Yet, for necessity of present life,
 I must show out a flag and sign of love—
 Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find
175 him,
 Lead to the Sagittary the raisèd search,
 And there will I be with him. So, farewell.He exits.

Enter Brabantio in his nightgown, with Servants and
Torches.


BRABANTIO 
 It is too true an evil. Gone she is,
 And what’s to come of my despisèd time

19
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 1

180 Is naught but bitterness.—Now, Roderigo,
 Where didst thou see her?—O, unhappy girl!—
 With the Moor, sayst thou?—Who would be a
 father?—
 How didst thou know ’twas she?—O, she deceives
185 me
 Past thought!—What said she to you?—Get more
 tapers.
 Raise all my kindred.—Are they married, think
 you?
RODERIGO 190Truly, I think they are.
BRABANTIO 
 O heaven! How got she out? O treason of the blood!
 Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds
 By what you see them act.—Is there not charms
 By which the property of youth and maidhood
195 May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,
 Of some such thing?
RODERIGO  Yes, sir, I have indeed.
BRABANTIO 
 Call up my brother.—O, would you had had her!—
 Some one way, some another.—Do you know
200 Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?
RODERIGO 
 I think I can discover him, if you please
 To get good guard and go along with me.
BRABANTIO 
 Pray you lead on. At every house I’ll call.
 I may command at most.—Get weapons, ho!
205 And raise some special officers of night.—
 On, good Roderigo. I will deserve your pains.
They exit.




21
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 2

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.




29
Othello
ACT 1. SC. 3

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
Othello
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.



ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter Montano and two Gentlemen.

MONTANO 
 What from the cape can you discern at sea?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 Nothing at all. It is a high-wrought flood.
 I cannot ’twixt the heaven and the main
 Descry a sail.
MONTANO 
5 Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land.
 A fuller blast ne’er shook our battlements.
 If it hath ruffianed so upon the sea,
 What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
 Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
10 A segregation of the Turkish fleet.
 For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
 The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds,
 The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous
 mane,
15 Seems to cast water on the burning Bear
 And quench the guards of th’ ever-fixèd pole.
 I never did like molestation view
 On the enchafèd flood.
MONTANO If that the Turkish fleet
20 Be not ensheltered and embayed, they are drowned.
 It is impossible to bear it out.
59

61
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

Enter a third Gentleman.

THIRD GENTLEMAN News, lads! Our wars are done.
 The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks
 That their designment halts. A noble ship of Venice
25 Hath seen a grievous wrack and sufferance
 On most part of their fleet.
MONTANO 
 How? Is this true?
THIRD GENTLEMAN  The ship is here put in,
 A Veronesa. Michael Cassio,
30 Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,
 Is come on shore; the Moor himself at sea,
 And is in full commission here for Cyprus.
MONTANO 
 I am glad on ’t. ’Tis a worthy governor.
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort
35 Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly
 And prays the Moor be safe, for they were parted
 With foul and violent tempest.
MONTANO  Pray heaven he be;
 For I have served him, and the man commands
40 Like a full soldier. Let’s to the seaside, ho!
 As well to see the vessel that’s come in
 As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,
 [Even till we make the main and th’ aerial blue
 An indistinct regard.]
THIRD GENTLEMAN 45 Come, let’s do so;
 For every minute is expectancy
 Of more arrivance.

Enter Cassio.

CASSIO 
 Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle,
 That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens

63
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

50 Give him defense against the elements,
 For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.
MONTANO Is he well shipped?
CASSIO 
 His bark is stoutly timbered, and his pilot
 Of very expert and approved allowance;
55 Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
 Stand in bold cure.
Voices cry within. “A sail, a sail, a sail!”

Enter a Messenger.

CASSIO What noise?
MESSENGER 
 The town is empty; on the brow o’ th’ sea
 Stand ranks of people, and they cry “A sail!”
CASSIO 
60 My hopes do shape him for the Governor.
A shot.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 They do discharge their shot of courtesy.
 Our friends, at least.
CASSIO  I pray you, sir, go forth,
 And give us truth who ’tis that is arrived.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 65I shall.He exits.
MONTANO 
 But, good lieutenant, is your general wived?
CASSIO 
 Most fortunately. He hath achieved a maid
 That paragons description and wild fame,
 One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
70 And in th’ essential vesture of creation
 Does tire the ingener.

Enter Second Gentleman.

 How now? Who has put in?

65
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 ’Tis one Iago, ancient to the General.
CASSIO 
 ’Has had most favorable and happy speed!
75 Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
 The guttered rocks and congregated sands
 (Traitors ensteeped to clog the guiltless keel),
 As having sense of beauty, do omit
 Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
80 The divine Desdemona.
MONTANO  What is she?
CASSIO 
 She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain,
 Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
 Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
85 A sennight’s speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
 And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath,
 That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
 Make love’s quick pants in Desdemona’s arms,
 Give renewed fire to our extincted spirits,
90 And bring all Cyprus comfort!

Enter Desdemona, Iago, Roderigo, and Emilia.

 O, behold,
 The riches of the ship is come on shore!
 You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.
He kneels.
 Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven,
95 Before, behind thee, and on every hand
 Enwheel thee round.He rises.
DESDEMONA  I thank you, valiant Cassio.
 What tidings can you tell of my lord?
CASSIO 
 He is not yet arrived, nor know I aught
100 But that he’s well and will be shortly here.
DESDEMONA 
 O, but I fear—How lost you company?

67
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

CASSIO 
 The great contention of sea and skies
 Parted our fellowship.
Within “A sail, a sail!” A shot.
 But hark, a sail!
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
105 They give their greeting to the citadel.
 This likewise is a friend.
CASSIO  See for the news.
Second Gentleman exits.
 Good ancient, you are welcome. Welcome, mistress.
He kisses Emilia.
 Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
110 That I extend my manners. ’Tis my breeding
 That gives me this bold show of courtesy.
IAGO 
 Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
 As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
 You would have enough.
DESDEMONA 
115 Alas, she has no speech!
IAGO  In faith, too much.
 I find it still when I have list to sleep.
 Marry, before your Ladyship, I grant,
 She puts her tongue a little in her heart
120 And chides with thinking.
EMILIA  You have little cause to say so.
IAGO Come on, come on! You are pictures out of door,
 bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens,
 saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players
125 in your huswifery, and huswives in your beds.
DESDEMONA Oh, fie upon thee, slanderer.
IAGO 
 Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk.
 You rise to play, and go to bed to work.
EMILIA 
 You shall not write my praise.

69
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

IAGO 130 No, let me not.
DESDEMONA 
 What wouldst write of me if thou shouldst praise
 me?
IAGO 
 O, gentle lady, do not put me to ’t,
 For I am nothing if not critical.
DESDEMONA 
135 Come on, assay.—There’s one gone to the harbor?
IAGO Ay, madam.
DESDEMONA, aside 
 I am not merry, but I do beguile
 The thing I am by seeming otherwise.—
 Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
IAGO 140I am about it, but indeed my invention comes
 from my pate as birdlime does from frieze: it
 plucks out brains and all. But my muse labors, and
 thus she is delivered:
 If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,
145 The one’s for use, the other useth it.

DESDEMONA 
 Well praised! How if she be black and witty?
IAGO 
 If she be black, and thereto have a wit,
 She’ll find a white that shall her blackness hit.

DESDEMONA 
 Worse and worse.
EMILIA 150 How if fair and foolish?
IAGO 
 She never yet was foolish that was fair,
 For even her folly helped her to an heir.

DESDEMONA These are old fond paradoxes to make
 fools laugh i’ th’ alehouse. What miserable praise
155 hast thou for her that’s foul and foolish?
IAGO 
 There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,
 But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.


71
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

DESDEMONA O heavy ignorance! Thou praisest the
 worst best. But what praise couldst thou bestow on
160 a deserving woman indeed, one that in the authority
 of her merit did justly put on the vouch of very
 malice itself?
IAGO 
 She that was ever fair and never proud,
 Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,
165 Never lacked gold and yet went never gay,
 Fled from her wish, and yet said “Now I may,”
 She that being angered, her revenge being nigh,
 Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,
 She that in wisdom never was so frail
170 To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail,
 She that could think and ne’er disclose her mind,
 [See suitors following and not look behind,]
 She was a wight, if ever such wight were—

DESDEMONA To do what?
IAGO 
175 To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
DESDEMONA O, most lame and impotent conclusion!
 —Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy
 husband.—How say you, Cassio? Is he not a most
 profane and liberal counselor?
CASSIO 180He speaks home, madam. You may relish him
 more in the soldier than in the scholar.
Cassio takes Desdemona’s hand.
IAGO, aside He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said,
 whisper. With as little a web as this will I ensnare as
 great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do. I will
185 gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true, ’tis
 so indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of
 your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not
 kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again
 you are most apt to play the sir in. Very good; well
190 kissed; an excellent courtesy! ’Tis so, indeed. Yet

73
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

 again your fingers to your lips? Would they were
 clyster pipes for your sake!Trumpets within.
 The Moor. I know his trumpet.
CASSIO ’Tis truly so.
DESDEMONA 195Let’s meet him and receive him.
CASSIO Lo, where he comes!

Enter Othello and Attendants.

OTHELLO 
 O, my fair warrior!
DESDEMONA  My dear Othello!
OTHELLO 
 It gives me wonder great as my content
200 To see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!
 If after every tempest come such calms,
 May the winds blow till they have wakened death,
 And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas
 Olympus high, and duck again as low
205 As hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die,
 ’Twere now to be most happy, for I fear
 My soul hath her content so absolute
 That not another comfort like to this
 Succeeds in unknown fate.
DESDEMONA 210 The heavens forbid
 But that our loves and comforts should increase
 Even as our days do grow!
OTHELLO Amen to that, sweet powers!
 I cannot speak enough of this content.
215 It stops me here; it is too much of joy.They kiss.
 And this, and this, the greatest discords be
 That e’er our hearts shall make!
IAGO, aside O, you are well tuned now,
 But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,
220 As honest as I am.
OTHELLO Come. Let us to the castle.—
 News, friends! Our wars are done. The Turks are
 drowned.

75
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

 How does my old acquaintance of this isle?—
225 Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus.
 I have found great love amongst them. O, my sweet,
 I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
 In mine own comforts.—I prithee, good Iago,
 Go to the bay and disembark my coffers.
230 Bring thou the master to the citadel.
 He is a good one, and his worthiness
 Does challenge much respect.—Come, Desdemona.
 Once more, well met at Cyprus.
All but Iago and Roderigo exit.
IAGO, to a departing Attendant Do thou meet me presently
235 at the harbor. To Roderigo. Come hither. If
 thou be’st valiant—as they say base men being in
 love have then a nobility in their natures more than
 is native to them—list me. The Lieutenant tonight
 watches on the court of guard. First, I must tell thee
240 this: Desdemona is directly in love with him.
RODERIGO With him? Why, ’tis not possible.
IAGO Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed.
 Mark me with what violence she first loved the
 Moor but for bragging and telling her fantastical
245 lies. And will she love him still for prating? Let not
 thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed. And
 what delight shall she have to look on the devil?
 When the blood is made dull with the act of sport,
 there should be, again to inflame it and to give
250 satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy
 in years, manners, and beauties, all which the Moor
 is defective in. Now, for want of these required
 conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself
 abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and
255 abhor the Moor. Very nature will instruct her in it
 and compel her to some second choice. Now, sir,
 this granted—as it is a most pregnant and unforced
 position—who stands so eminent in the degree of

77
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

 this fortune as Cassio does? A knave very voluble, no
260 further conscionable than in putting on the mere
 form of civil and humane seeming for the better
 compassing of his salt and most hidden loose
 affection. Why, none, why, none! A slipper and
 subtle knave, a finder-out of occasions, that has an
265 eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though
 true advantage never present itself; a devilish knave!
 Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all
 those requisites in him that folly and green minds
 look after. A pestilent complete knave, and the
270 woman hath found him already.
RODERIGO I cannot believe that in her. She’s full of
 most blessed condition.
IAGO Blessed fig’s end! The wine she drinks is made of
 grapes. If she had been blessed, she would never
275 have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou
 not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? Didst
 not mark that?
RODERIGO Yes, that I did. But that was but courtesy.
IAGO Lechery, by this hand! An index and obscure
280 prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts.
 They met so near with their lips that their breaths
 embraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo!
 When these mutualities so marshal the way, hard
 at hand comes the master and main exercise, th’
285 incorporate conclusion. Pish! But, sir, be you ruled
 by me. I have brought you from Venice. Watch you
 tonight. For the command, I’ll lay ’t upon you.
 Cassio knows you not. I’ll not be far from you. Do
 you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by
290 speaking too loud, or tainting his discipline, or from
 what other course you please, which the time shall
 more favorably minister.
RODERIGO Well.
IAGO Sir, he’s rash and very sudden in choler, and

79
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 1

295 haply may strike at you. Provoke him that he may,
 for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to
 mutiny, whose qualification shall come into no
 true taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So
 shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by
300 the means I shall then have to prefer them, and the
 impediment most profitably removed, without the
 which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
RODERIGO I will do this, if you can bring it to any
 opportunity.
IAGO 305I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel. I
 must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.
RODERIGO Adieu.He exits.
IAGO 
 That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ’t.
 That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit.
310 The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
 Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,
 And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona
 A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too,
 Not out of absolute lust (though peradventure
315 I stand accountant for as great a sin)
 But partly led to diet my revenge
 For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
 Hath leaped into my seat—the thought whereof
 Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,
320 And nothing can or shall content my soul
 Till I am evened with him, wife for wife,
 Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor
 At least into a jealousy so strong
 That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
325 If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
 For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
 I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
 Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb
 (For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too),

81
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 2/3

330 Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
 For making him egregiously an ass
 And practicing upon his peace and quiet
 Even to madness. ’Tis here, but yet confused.
 Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used.
He exits.



Scene 2
Enter Othello’s Herald with a proclamation.

HERALD It is Othello’s pleasure, our noble and valiant
 general, that upon certain tidings now arrived,
 importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet,
 every man put himself into triumph: some to
5 dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what
 sport and revels his addition leads him. For besides
 these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his
 nuptial. So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed
 All offices are open, and there is full
10 liberty of feasting from this present hour of five till
 the bell have told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of
 Cyprus and our noble general, Othello!
He exits.



Scene 3
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.

OTHELLO 
 Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
 Let’s teach ourselves that honorable stop
 Not to outsport discretion.
CASSIO 
 Iago hath direction what to do,
5 But notwithstanding, with my personal eye
 Will I look to ’t.

83
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

OTHELLO  Iago is most honest.
 Michael, goodnight. Tomorrow with your earliest
 Let me have speech with you. To Desdemona. Come,
10 my dear love,
 The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
 That profit’s yet to come ’tween me and you.—
 Goodnight.
Othello and Desdemona exit, with Attendants.

Enter Iago.

CASSIO 
 Welcome, Iago. We must to the watch.
IAGO 15Not this hour, lieutenant. ’Tis not yet ten o’ th’
 clock. Our general cast us thus early for the love of
 his Desdemona—who let us not therefore blame;
 he hath not yet made wanton the night with her, and
 she is sport for Jove.
CASSIO 20She’s a most exquisite lady.
IAGO And, I’ll warrant her, full of game.
CASSIO Indeed, she’s a most fresh and delicate
 creature.
IAGO What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley
25 to provocation.
CASSIO An inviting eye, and yet methinks right
 modest.
IAGO And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
CASSIO She is indeed perfection.
IAGO 30Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant,
 I have a stoup of wine; and here without are a
 brace of Cyprus gallants that would fain have a
 measure to the health of black Othello.
CASSIO Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and
35 unhappy brains for drinking. I could well wish
 courtesy would invent some other custom of
 entertainment.
IAGO O, they are our friends! But one cup; I’ll drink
 for you.

85
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

CASSIO 40I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was
 craftily qualified too, and behold what innovation it
 makes here. I am unfortunate in the infirmity and
 dare not task my weakness with any more.
IAGO What, man! ’Tis a night of revels. The gallants
45 desire it.
CASSIO Where are they?
IAGO Here at the door. I pray you, call them in.
CASSIO I’ll do ’t, but it dislikes me.He exits.
IAGO 
 If I can fasten but one cup upon him
50 With that which he hath drunk tonight already,
 He’ll be as full of quarrel and offense
 As my young mistress’ dog. Now my sick fool
 Roderigo,
 Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,
55 To Desdemona hath tonight caroused
 Potations pottle-deep; and he’s to watch.
 Three else of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits
 That hold their honors in a wary distance,
 The very elements of this warlike isle,
60 Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups;
 And they watch too. Now, ’mongst this flock of
 drunkards
 Am I to put our Cassio in some action
 That may offend the isle. But here they come.
65 If consequence do but approve my dream,
 My boat sails freely both with wind and stream.

Enter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen, followed by
Servants with wine.


CASSIO ’Fore God, they have given me a rouse
 already.
MONTANO Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I
70 am a soldier.
IAGO Some wine, ho!

87
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

Sings. And let me the cannikin clink, clink,
 And let me the cannikin clink.
  A soldier’s a man,
75  O, man’s life’s but a span,
 Why, then, let a soldier drink.

 Some wine, boys!
CASSIO ’Fore God, an excellent song.
IAGO I learned it in England, where indeed they are
80 most potent in potting. Your Dane, your German,
 and your swag-bellied Hollander—drink, ho!—are
 nothing to your English.
CASSIO Is your Englishman so exquisite in his
 drinking?
IAGO 85Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane
 dead drunk. He sweats not to overthrow your Almain.
 He gives your Hollander a vomit ere the next
 pottle can be filled.
CASSIO To the health of our general!
MONTANO 90I am for it, lieutenant, and I’ll do you
 justice.
IAGO O sweet England!
Sings. King Stephen was and-a worthy peer,
  His breeches cost him but a crown;
95 He held them sixpence all too dear;
  With that he called the tailor lown.
 He was a wight of high renown,
  And thou art but of low degree;
 ’Tis pride that pulls the country down,
100  Then take thy auld cloak about thee.

 Some wine, ho!
CASSIO ’Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than
 the other!
IAGO Will you hear ’t again?
CASSIO 105No, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place
 that does those things. Well, God’s above all; and
 there be souls must be saved, [and there be souls
 must not be saved.]

89
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

IAGO It’s true, good lieutenant.
CASSIO 110For mine own part—no offense to the General,
 nor any man of quality—I hope to be saved.
IAGO And so do I too, lieutenant.
CASSIO Ay, but, by your leave, not before me. The
 Lieutenant is to be saved before the Ancient. Let’s
115 have no more of this. Let’s to our affairs. God
 forgive us our sins! Gentlemen, let’s look to our
 business. Do not think, gentlemen, I am drunk. This
 is my ancient, this is my right hand, and this is my
 left. I am not drunk now. I can stand well enough,
120 and I speak well enough.
GENTLEMEN Excellent well.
CASSIO Why, very well then. You must not think then
 that I am drunk.He exits.
MONTANO 
 To th’ platform, masters. Come, let’s set the watch.
Gentlemen exit.
IAGO, to Montano 
125 You see this fellow that is gone before?
 He’s a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
 And give direction; and do but see his vice.
 ’Tis to his virtue a just equinox,
 The one as long as th’ other. ’Tis pity of him.
130 I fear the trust Othello puts him in,
 On some odd time of his infirmity,
 Will shake this island.
MONTANO  But is he often thus?
IAGO 
 ’Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep.
135 He’ll watch the horologe a double set
 If drink rock not his cradle.
MONTANO  It were well
 The General were put in mind of it.
 Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
140 Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio
 And looks not on his evils. Is not this true?

91
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

Enter Roderigo.

IAGO, aside to Roderigo How now, Roderigo?
 I pray you, after the Lieutenant, go.
Roderigo exits.
MONTANO 
 And ’tis great pity that the noble Moor
145 Should hazard such a place as his own second
 With one of an engraffed infirmity.
 It were an honest action to say so
 To the Moor.
IAGO  Not I, for this fair island.
150 I do love Cassio well and would do much
 To cure him of this evil—“Help, help!” within.
 But hark! What noise?

Enter Cassio, pursuing Roderigo.

CASSIO Zounds, you rogue, you rascal!
MONTANO What’s the matter, lieutenant?
CASSIO 155A knave teach me my duty? I’ll beat the knave
 into a twiggen bottle.
RODERIGO Beat me?
CASSIO Dost thou prate, rogue?He hits Roderigo.
MONTANO Nay, good lieutenant. I pray you, sir, hold
160 your hand.
CASSIO Let me go, sir, or I’ll knock you o’er the
 mazard.
MONTANO Come, come, you’re drunk.
CASSIO Drunk?
They fight.
IAGO, aside to Roderigo 
165 Away, I say! Go out and cry a mutiny.
Roderigo exits.
 Nay, good lieutenant.—God’s will, gentlemen!—
 Help, ho! Lieutenant—sir—Montano—sir
 Help, masters!—Here’s a goodly watch indeed!
A bell is rung.

93
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Who’s that which rings the bell? Diablo, ho!
170 The town will rise. God’s will, lieutenant, hold!
 You will be shamed forever.

Enter Othello and Attendants.

OTHELLO 
 What is the matter here?
MONTANO  Zounds, I bleed
 still.
175 I am hurt to th’ death. He dies!He attacks Cassio.
OTHELLO  Hold, for your lives!
IAGO 
 Hold, ho! Lieutenant—sir—Montano—
 gentlemen—
 Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
180 Hold! The General speaks to you. Hold, for shame!
OTHELLO 
 Why, how now, ho! From whence ariseth this?
 Are we turned Turks, and to ourselves do that
 Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
 For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl!
185 He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
 Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.
 Silence that dreadful bell. It frights the isle
 From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
 Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,
190 Speak. Who began this? On thy love, I charge thee.
IAGO 
 I do not know. Friends all but now, even now,
 In quarter and in terms like bride and groom
 Divesting them for bed; and then but now,
 As if some planet had unwitted men,
195 Swords out, and tilting one at other’s breast,
 In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
 Any beginning to this peevish odds,
 And would in action glorious I had lost
 Those legs that brought me to a part of it!

95
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

OTHELLO 
200 How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
CASSIO 
 I pray you pardon me; I cannot speak.
OTHELLO 
 Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil.
 The gravity and stillness of your youth
 The world hath noted. And your name is great
205 In mouths of wisest censure. What’s the matter
 That you unlace your reputation thus,
 And spend your rich opinion for the name
 Of a night-brawler? Give me answer to it.
MONTANO 
 Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
210 Your officer Iago can inform you,
 While I spare speech, which something now offends
 me,
 Of all that I do know; nor know I aught
 By me that’s said or done amiss this night,
215 Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
 And to defend ourselves it be a sin
 When violence assails us.
OTHELLO  Now, by heaven,
 My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
220 And passion, having my best judgment collied,
 Assays to lead the way. Zounds, if I stir,
 Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
 Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
 How this foul rout began, who set it on;
225 And he that is approved in this offense,
 Though he had twinned with me, both at a birth,
 Shall lose me. What, in a town of war
 Yet wild, the people’s hearts brimful of fear,
 To manage private and domestic quarrel,
230 In night, and on the court and guard of safety?
 ’Tis monstrous. Iago, who began ’t?

97
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

MONTANO 
 If partially affined, or leagued in office,
 Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
 Thou art no soldier.
IAGO 235 Touch me not so near.
 I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth
 Than it should do offense to Michael Cassio.
 Yet I persuade myself, to speak the truth
 Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is, general:
240 Montano and myself being in speech,
 There comes a fellow crying out for help,
 And Cassio following him with determined sword
 To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
Pointing to Montano.
 Steps in to Cassio and entreats his pause.
245 Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
 Lest by his clamor—as it so fell out—
 The town might fall in fright. He, swift of foot,
 Outran my purpose, and I returned the rather
 For that I heard the clink and fall of swords
250 And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
 I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
 For this was brief—I found them close together
 At blow and thrust, even as again they were
 When you yourself did part them.
255 More of this matter cannot I report.
 But men are men; the best sometimes forget.
 Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
 As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
 Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
260 From him that fled some strange indignity
 Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO  I know, Iago,
 Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
 Making it light to Cassio.—Cassio, I love thee,
265 But nevermore be officer of mine.

99
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

Enter Desdemona attended.

 Look if my gentle love be not raised up!
 I’ll make thee an example.
DESDEMONA 
 What is the matter, dear?
OTHELLO  All’s well now,
270 sweeting.
 Come away to bed. To Montano. Sir, for your hurts,
 Myself will be your surgeon.—Lead him off.
Montano is led off.
 Iago, look with care about the town
 And silence those whom this vile brawl
275 distracted.—
 Come, Desdemona. ’Tis the soldier’s life
 To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
All but Iago and Cassio exit.
IAGO What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
CASSIO Ay, past all surgery.
IAGO 280Marry, God forbid!
CASSIO Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have
 lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
 myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
 Iago, my reputation!
IAGO 285As I am an honest man, I thought you had
 received some bodily wound. There is more sense
 in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and
 most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost
 without deserving. You have lost no reputation at
290 all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What,
 man, there are ways to recover the General again!
 You are but now cast in his mood—a punishment
 more in policy than in malice, even so as one would
 beat his offenseless dog to affright an imperious
295 lion. Sue to him again and he’s yours.
CASSIO I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive
 so good a commander with so slight, so drunken,

101
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

 and so indiscreet an officer. [Drunk? And speak
 parrot? And squabble? Swagger? Swear? And discourse
300 fustian with one’s own shadow?] O thou
 invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be
 known by, let us call thee devil!
IAGO What was he that you followed with your sword?
 What had he done to you?
CASSIO 305I know not.
IAGO Is ’t possible?
CASSIO I remember a mass of things, but nothing
 distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O
 God, that men should put an enemy in their
310 mouths to steal away their brains! That we should
 with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause transform
 ourselves into beasts!
IAGO Why, but you are now well enough. How came
 you thus recovered?
CASSIO 315It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give
 place to the devil wrath. One unperfectness shows
 me another, to make me frankly despise myself.
IAGO Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time,
 the place, and the condition of this country stands,
320 I could heartily wish this had not so befallen. But
 since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.
CASSIO I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell
 me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as
 Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be
325 now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently
 a beast! O, strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed,
 and the ingredient is a devil.
IAGO Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature,
 if it be well used. Exclaim no more against it.
330 And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.
CASSIO I have well approved it, sir.—I drunk!
IAGO You or any man living may be drunk at a time,
 man. I’ll tell you what you shall do. Our general’s

103
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

 wife is now the general: I may say so in this
335 respect, for that he hath devoted and given up
 himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement
 of her parts and graces. Confess yourself
 freely to her. Importune her help to put you in your
 place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so
340 blessed a disposition she holds it a vice in her
 goodness not to do more than she is requested. This
 broken joint between you and her husband entreat
 her to splinter, and, my fortunes against any lay
 worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow
345 stronger than it was before.
CASSIO You advise me well.
IAGO I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest
 kindness.
CASSIO I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I
350 will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake
 for me. I am desperate of my fortunes if they check
 me here.
IAGO You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant. I
 must to the watch.
CASSIO 355Good night, honest Iago.Cassio exits.
IAGO 
 And what’s he, then, that says I play the villain,
 When this advice is free I give and honest,
 Probal to thinking, and indeed the course
 To win the Moor again? For ’tis most easy
360 Th’ inclining Desdemona to subdue
 In any honest suit. She’s framed as fruitful
 As the free elements. And then for her
 To win the Moor—were ’t to renounce his baptism,
 All seals and symbols of redeemèd sin—
365 His soul is so enfettered to her love
 That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
 Even as her appetite shall play the god
 With his weak function. How am I then a villain

105
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

 To counsel Cassio to this parallel course
370 Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
 When devils will the blackest sins put on,
 They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
 As I do now. For whiles this honest fool
 Plies Desdemona to repair his fortune,
375 And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
 I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear:
 That she repeals him for her body’s lust;
 And by how much she strives to do him good,
 She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
380 So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
 And out of her own goodness make the net
 That shall enmesh them all.

Enter Roderigo.

 How now, Roderigo?
RODERIGO I do follow here in the chase, not like a
385 hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My
 money is almost spent, I have been tonight exceedingly
 well cudgeled, and I think the issue will be I
 shall have so much experience for my pains, and so,
 with no money at all and a little more wit, return
390 again to Venice.
IAGO 
 How poor are they that have not patience!
 What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
 Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,
 And wit depends on dilatory time.
395 Does ’t not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
 And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashiered Cassio.
 Though other things grow fair against the sun,
 Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
 Content thyself awhile. By th’ Mass, ’tis morning!
400 Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
 Retire thee; go where thou art billeted.

107
Othello
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Away, I say! Thou shalt know more hereafter.
 Nay, get thee gone.Roderigo exits.
 Two things are to be done.
405 My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress.
 I’ll set her on.
 Myself the while to draw the Moor apart
 And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
 Soliciting his wife. Ay, that’s the way.
410 Dull not device by coldness and delay.
He exits.



ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Cassio with Musicians.

CASSIO 
 Masters, play here (I will content your pains)
 Something that’s brief; and bid “Good morrow,
 general.”They play.

Enter the Clown.

CLOWN Why masters, have your instruments been in
5 Naples, that they speak i’ th’ nose thus?
MUSICIAN How, sir, how?
CLOWN Are these, I pray you, wind instruments?
MUSICIAN Ay, marry, are they, sir.
CLOWN O, thereby hangs a tail.
MUSICIAN 10Whereby hangs a tale, sir?
CLOWN Marry, sir, by many a wind instrument that I
 know. But, masters, here’s money for you; and the
 General so likes your music that he desires you, for
 love’s sake, to make no more noise with it.
MUSICIAN 15Well, sir, we will not.
CLOWN If you have any music that may not be heard, to
 ’t again. But, as they say, to hear music the General
 does not greatly care.
MUSICIAN We have none such, sir.
CLOWN 20Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll
 away. Go, vanish into air, away!
111

113
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 1

Musicians exit.
CASSIO Dost thou hear, mine honest friend?
CLOWN No, I hear not your honest friend. I hear you.
CASSIO Prithee, keep up thy quillets.Giving money.
25 There’s a poor piece of gold for thee. If the gentlewoman
 that attends the General’s wife be stirring,
 tell her there’s one Cassio entreats her a little favor
 of speech. Wilt thou do this?
CLOWN She is stirring, sir. If she will stir hither, I shall
30 seem to notify unto her.
CASSIO 
 Do, good my friend.Clown exits.

Enter Iago.

 In happy time, Iago.
IAGO You have not been abed, then?
CASSIO Why, no. The day had broke
35 Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
 To send in to your wife. My suit to her
 Is that she will to virtuous Desdemona
 Procure me some access.
IAGO I’ll send her to you presently,
40 And I’ll devise a mean to draw the Moor
 Out of the way, that your converse and business
 May be more free.
CASSIO 
 I humbly thank you for ’t. Iago exits. I never
 knew
45 A Florentine more kind and honest.

Enter Emilia.

EMILIA 
 Good morrow, good lieutenant. I am sorry
 For your displeasure, but all will sure be well.
 The General and his wife are talking of it,
 And she speaks for you stoutly. The Moor replies

115
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 2

50 That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus
 And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
 He might not but refuse you. But he protests he
 loves you
 And needs no other suitor but his likings
55 To take the safest occasion by the front
 To bring you in again.
CASSIO  Yet I beseech you,
 If you think fit, or that it may be done,
 Give me advantage of some brief discourse
60 With Desdemon alone.
EMILIA  Pray you come in.
 I will bestow you where you shall have time
 To speak your bosom freely.
[CASSIO  I am much bound to you.]
They exit.



Scene 2
Enter Othello, Iago, and Gentlemen.

OTHELLO 
 These letters give, Iago, to the pilot
 And by him do my duties to the Senate.
He gives Iago some papers.
 That done, I will be walking on the works.
 Repair there to me.
IAGO 5 Well, my good lord, I’ll do ’t.
OTHELLO 
 This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see ’t?
GENTLEMEN 
 We wait upon your Lordship.
They exit.




117
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

Scene 3
Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia.

DESDEMONA 
 Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
 All my abilities in thy behalf.
EMILIA 
 Good madam, do. I warrant it grieves my husband
 As if the cause were his.
DESDEMONA 
5 O, that’s an honest fellow! Do not doubt, Cassio,
 But I will have my lord and you again
 As friendly as you were.
CASSIO  Bounteous madam,
 Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
10 He’s never anything but your true servant.
DESDEMONA 
 I know ’t. I thank you. You do love my lord;
 You have known him long; and be you well assured
 He shall in strangeness stand no farther off
 Than in a politic distance.
CASSIO 15 Ay, but, lady,
 That policy may either last so long,
 Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
 Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
 That, I being absent and my place supplied,
20 My general will forget my love and service.
DESDEMONA 
 Do not doubt that. Before Emilia here,
 I give thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,
 If I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform it
 To the last article. My lord shall never rest:
25 I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience;
 His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
 I’ll intermingle everything he does
 With Cassio’s suit. Therefore be merry, Cassio,

119
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 For thy solicitor shall rather die
30 Than give thy cause away.

Enter Othello and Iago.

EMILIA Madam, here comes my lord.
CASSIO Madam, I’ll take my leave.
DESDEMONA Why, stay, and hear me speak.
CASSIO 
 Madam, not now. I am very ill at ease,
35 Unfit for mine own purposes.
DESDEMONA Well, do your discretion.Cassio exits.
IAGO 
 Ha, I like not that.
OTHELLO  What dost thou say?
IAGO 
 Nothing, my lord; or if—I know not what.
OTHELLO 
40 Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
IAGO 
 Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it
 That he would steal away so guiltylike,
 Seeing your coming.
OTHELLO I do believe ’twas he.
DESDEMONA 45How now, my lord?
 I have been talking with a suitor here,
 A man that languishes in your displeasure.
OTHELLO Who is ’t you mean?
DESDEMONA 
 Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
50 If I have any grace or power to move you,
 His present reconciliation take;
 For if he be not one that truly loves you,
 That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
 I have no judgment in an honest face.
55 I prithee call him back.
OTHELLO  Went he hence now?

121
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

DESDEMONA Yes, faith, so humbled
 That he hath left part of his grief with me
 To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
OTHELLO 
60 Not now, sweet Desdemon. Some other time.
DESDEMONA 
 But shall ’t be shortly?
OTHELLO  The sooner, sweet, for you.
DESDEMONA 
 Shall ’t be tonight at supper?
OTHELLO  No, not tonight.
DESDEMONA 65Tomorrow dinner, then?
OTHELLO I shall not dine at home;
 I meet the captains at the citadel.
DESDEMONA 
 Why then tomorrow night, or Tuesday morn,
 On Tuesday noon or night; on Wednesday morn.
70 I prithee name the time, but let it not
 Exceed three days. In faith, he’s penitent;
 And yet his trespass, in our common reason—
 Save that, they say, the wars must make example
 Out of her best—is not almost a fault
75 T’ incur a private check. When shall he come?
 Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul
 What you would ask me that I should deny,
 Or stand so mamm’ring on? What? Michael Cassio,
 That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
80 When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
 Hath ta’en your part—to have so much to do
 To bring him in! By ’r Lady, I could do much—
OTHELLO 
 Prithee, no more. Let him come when he will;
 I will deny thee nothing.
DESDEMONA 85Why, this is not a boon!
 ’Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
 Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,

123
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
 To your own person. Nay, when I have a suit
90 Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
 It shall be full of poise and difficult weight,
 And fearful to be granted.
OTHELLO I will deny thee nothing!
 Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
95 To leave me but a little to myself.
DESDEMONA 
 Shall I deny you? No. Farewell, my lord.
OTHELLO 
 Farewell, my Desdemona. I’ll come to thee straight.
DESDEMONA 
 Emilia, come.—Be as your fancies teach you.
 Whate’er you be, I am obedient.
Desdemona and Emilia exit.
OTHELLO 
100 Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul
 But I do love thee! And when I love thee not,
 Chaos is come again.
IAGO  My noble lord—
OTHELLO 
 What dost thou say, Iago?
IAGO 105 Did Michael Cassio,
 When you wooed my lady, know of your love?
OTHELLO 
 He did, from first to last. Why dost thou ask?
IAGO 
 But for a satisfaction of my thought,
 No further harm.
OTHELLO 110 Why of thy thought, Iago?
IAGO 
 I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
OTHELLO 
 O yes, and went between us very oft.
IAGO Indeed?

125
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO 
 Indeed? Ay, indeed! Discern’st thou aught in that?
115 Is he not honest?
IAGO Honest, my lord?
OTHELLO Honest—ay, honest.
IAGO 
 My lord, for aught I know.
OTHELLO  What dost thou think?
IAGO 120Think, my lord?
OTHELLO 
 “Think, my lord?” By heaven, thou echo’st me
 As if there were some monster in thy thought
 Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean
 something.
125 I heard thee say even now, thou lik’st not that,
 When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?
 And when I told thee he was of my counsel
 In my whole course of wooing, thou cried’st
 “Indeed?”
130 And didst contract and purse thy brow together
 As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
 Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
 Show me thy thought.
IAGO My lord, you know I love you.
OTHELLO 135I think thou dost;
 And for I know thou ’rt full of love and honesty
 And weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them
 breath,
 Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.
140 For such things in a false, disloyal knave
 Are tricks of custom; but in a man that’s just,
 They’re close dilations working from the heart
 That passion cannot rule.
IAGO  For Michael Cassio,
145 I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.
OTHELLO 
 I think so too.

127
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

IAGO  Men should be what they seem;
 Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
OTHELLO Certain, men should be what they seem.
IAGO 
150 Why then, I think Cassio’s an honest man.
OTHELLO Nay, yet there’s more in this.
 I prithee speak to me as to thy thinkings,
 As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of
 thoughts
155 The worst of words.
IAGO  Good my lord, pardon me.
 Though I am bound to every act of duty,
 I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
 Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and
160 false—
 As where’s that palace whereinto foul things
 Sometimes intrude not? Who has that breast so
 pure
 But some uncleanly apprehensions
165 Keep leets and law days and in sessions sit
 With meditations lawful?
OTHELLO 
 Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
 If thou but think’st him wronged and mak’st his ear
 A stranger to thy thoughts.
IAGO 170 I do beseech you,
 Though I perchance am vicious in my guess—
 As, I confess, it is my nature’s plague
 To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
 Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom
175 From one that so imperfectly conceits
 Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
 Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
 It were not for your quiet nor your good,
 Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom,
180 To let you know my thoughts.

129
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO  What dost thou mean?
IAGO 
 Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
 Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
 Who steals my purse steals trash. ’Tis something,
185 nothing;
 ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to
 thousands.
 But he that filches from me my good name
 Robs me of that which not enriches him
190 And makes me poor indeed.
OTHELLO By heaven, I’ll know thy thoughts.
IAGO 
 You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
 Nor shall not, whilst ’tis in my custody.
OTHELLO 
 Ha?
IAGO 195 O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
 It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
 The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
 Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
 But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er
200 Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!
OTHELLO O misery!
IAGO 
 Poor and content is rich, and rich enough;
 But riches fineless is as poor as winter
 To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
205 Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend
 From jealousy!
OTHELLO Why, why is this?
 Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,
 To follow still the changes of the moon
210 With fresh suspicions? No. To be once in doubt
 Is once to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat
 When I shall turn the business of my soul

131
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
 Matching thy inference. ’Tis not to make me jealous
215 To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
 Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well.
 Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.
 Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
 The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,
220 For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago,
 I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
 And on the proof, there is no more but this:
 Away at once with love or jealousy.
IAGO 
 I am glad of this, for now I shall have reason
225 To show the love and duty that I bear you
 With franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,
 Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
 Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
 Wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure.
230 I would not have your free and noble nature,
 Out of self-bounty, be abused. Look to ’t.
 I know our country disposition well.
 In Venice they do let God see the pranks
 They dare not show their husbands. Their best
235 conscience
 Is not to leave ’t undone, but keep ’t unknown.
OTHELLO Dost thou say so?
IAGO 
 She did deceive her father, marrying you,
 And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,
240 She loved them most.
OTHELLO And so she did.
IAGO Why, go to, then!
 She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
 To seel her father’s eyes up close as oak,
245 He thought ’twas witchcraft! But I am much to
 blame.

133
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
 For too much loving you.
OTHELLO I am bound to thee forever.
IAGO 
250 I see this hath a little dashed your spirits.
OTHELLO 
 Not a jot, not a jot.
IAGO  I’ faith, I fear it has.
 I hope you will consider what is spoke
 Comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved.
255 I am to pray you not to strain my speech
 To grosser issues nor to larger reach
 Than to suspicion.
OTHELLO I will not.
IAGO Should you do so, my lord,
260 My speech should fall into such vile success
 As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio’s my worthy
 friend.
 My lord, I see you’re moved.
OTHELLO  No, not much moved.
265 I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.
IAGO 
 Long live she so! And long live you to think so!
OTHELLO 
 And yet, how nature erring from itself—
IAGO 
 Ay, there’s the point. As, to be bold with you,
 Not to affect many proposèd matches
270 Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
 Whereto we see in all things nature tends—
 Foh! One may smell in such a will most rank,
 Foul disproportion, thoughts unnatural—
 But pardon me—I do not in position
275 Distinctly speak of her, though I may fear
 Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
 May fall to match you with her country forms
 And happily repent.

135
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO  Farewell, farewell!
280 If more thou dost perceive, let me know more.
 Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.
IAGO, beginning to exit My lord, I take my leave.
OTHELLO 
 Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
 Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
IAGO, returning 
285 My lord, I would I might entreat your Honor
 To scan this thing no farther. Leave it to time.
 Although ’tis fit that Cassio have his place—
 For sure he fills it up with great ability—
 Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
290 You shall by that perceive him and his means.
 Note if your lady strain his entertainment
 With any strong or vehement importunity.
 Much will be seen in that. In the meantime,
 Let me be thought too busy in my fears—
295 As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
 And hold her free, I do beseech your Honor.
OTHELLO Fear not my government.
IAGO I once more take my leave.He exits.
OTHELLO 
 This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,
300 And knows all qualities with a learnèd spirit
 Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
 Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
 I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind
 To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black
305 And have not those soft parts of conversation
 That chamberers have, or for I am declined
 Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much—
 She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief
 Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
310 That we can call these delicate creatures ours
 And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad

137
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 And live upon the vapor of a dungeon
 Than keep a corner in the thing I love
 For others’ uses. Yet ’tis the plague of great ones;
315 Prerogatived are they less than the base.
 ’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.
 Even then this forkèd plague is fated to us
 When we do quicken. Look where she comes.

Enter Desdemona and Emilia.

 If she be false, heaven mocks itself!
320 I’ll not believe ’t.
DESDEMONA  How now, my dear Othello?
 Your dinner, and the generous islanders
 By you invited, do attend your presence.
OTHELLO I am to blame.
DESDEMONA 
325 Why do you speak so faintly? Are you not well?
OTHELLO 
 I have a pain upon my forehead, here.
DESDEMONA 
 Faith, that’s with watching. ’Twill away again.
 Let me but bind it hard; within this hour
 It will be well.
OTHELLO 330 Your napkin is too little.
 Let it alone.The handkerchief falls, unnoticed.
 Come, I’ll go in with you.
DESDEMONA 
 I am very sorry that you are not well.
Othello and Desdemona exit.
EMILIA, picking up the handkerchief 
 I am glad I have found this napkin.
335 This was her first remembrance from the Moor.
 My wayward husband hath a hundred times
 Wooed me to steal it. But she so loves the token
 (For he conjured her she should ever keep it)
 That she reserves it evermore about her

139
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

340 To kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work ta’en out
 And give ’t Iago. What he will do with it
 Heaven knows, not I.
 I nothing but to please his fantasy.

Enter Iago.

IAGO How now? What do you here alone?
EMILIA 
345 Do not you chide. I have a thing for you.
IAGO 
 You have a thing for me? It is a common thing—
EMILIA Ha?
IAGO To have a foolish wife.
EMILIA 
 O, is that all? What will you give me now
350 For that same handkerchief?
IAGO  What handkerchief?
EMILIA What handkerchief?
 Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona,
 That which so often you did bid me steal.
IAGO 355Hast stol’n it from her?
EMILIA 
 No, faith, she let it drop by negligence,
 And to th’ advantage I, being here, took ’t up.
 Look, here ’tis.
IAGO  A good wench! Give it me.
EMILIA 
360 What will you do with ’t, that you have been so
 earnest
 To have me filch it?
IAGO, snatching it  Why, what is that to you?
EMILIA 
 If it be not for some purpose of import,
365 Give ’t me again. Poor lady, she’ll run mad
 When she shall lack it.

141
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

IAGO  Be not acknown on ’t.
 I have use for it. Go, leave me.Emilia exits.
 I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin
370 And let him find it. Trifles light as air
 Are to the jealous confirmations strong
 As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.
 [The Moor already changes with my poison;]
 Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,
375 Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
 But with a little act upon the blood
 Burn like the mines of sulfur.

Enter Othello.

 I did say so.
 Look where he comes. Not poppy nor mandragora
380 Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
 Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
 Which thou owedst yesterday.
OTHELLO  Ha, ha, false to me?
IAGO 
 Why, how now, general? No more of that!
OTHELLO 
385 Avaunt! Begone! Thou hast set me on the rack.
 I swear ’tis better to be much abused
 Than but to know ’t a little.
IAGO  How now, my lord?
OTHELLO 
 What sense had I of her stol’n hours of lust?
390 I saw ’t not, thought it not; it harmed not me.
 I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and
 merry.
 I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.
 He that is robbed, not wanting what is stol’n,
395 Let him not know ’t, and he’s not robbed at all.
IAGO I am sorry to hear this.

143
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO 
 I had been happy if the general camp,
 Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
 So I had nothing known. O, now, forever
400 Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!
 Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
 That makes ambition virtue! O, farewell!
 Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
 The spirit-stirring drum, th’ ear-piercing fife,
405 The royal banner, and all quality,
 Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
 And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
 Th’ immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit,
 Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone!
IAGO 410Is ’t possible, my lord?
OTHELLO 
 Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore!
 Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof,
 Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,
 Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
415 Than answer my waked wrath.
IAGO  Is ’t come to this?
OTHELLO 
 Make me to see ’t, or at the least so prove it
 That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
 To hang a doubt on, or woe upon thy life!
IAGO 420My noble lord—
OTHELLO 
 If thou dost slander her and torture me,
 Never pray more. Abandon all remorse;
 On horror’s head horrors accumulate;
 Do deeds to make heaven weep, all Earth amazed;
425 For nothing canst thou to damnation add
 Greater than that.
IAGO  O grace! O heaven forgive me!
 Are you a man? Have you a soul or sense?

145
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 God b’ wi’ you. Take mine office.—O wretched fool,
430 That liv’st to make thine honesty a vice!—
 O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world:
 To be direct and honest is not safe.—
 I thank you for this profit, and from hence
 I’ll love no friend, sith love breeds such offense.
OTHELLO 435Nay, stay. Thou shouldst be honest.
IAGO 
 I should be wise; for honesty’s a fool
 And loses that it works for.
[OTHELLO  By the world,
 I think my wife be honest and think she is not.
440 I think that thou art just and think thou art not.
 I’ll have some proof! Her name, that was as fresh
 As Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black
 As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
 Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
445 I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!]
IAGO 
 I see you are eaten up with passion.
 I do repent me that I put it to you.
 You would be satisfied?
OTHELLO  Would? Nay, and I will.
IAGO 
450 And may; but how? How satisfied, my lord?
 Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on,
 Behold her topped?
OTHELLO  Death and damnation! O!
IAGO 
 It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
455 To bring them to that prospect. Damn them then
 If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
 More than their own! What then? How then?
 What shall I say? Where’s satisfaction?
 It is impossible you should see this,
460 Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,

147
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
 As ignorance made drunk. But yet I say,
 If imputation and strong circumstances
 Which lead directly to the door of truth
465 Will give you satisfaction, you might have ’t.
OTHELLO 
 Give me a living reason she’s disloyal.
IAGO I do not like the office,
 But sith I am entered in this cause so far,
 Pricked to ’t by foolish honesty and love,
470 I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately,
 And being troubled with a raging tooth
 I could not sleep. There are a kind of men
 So loose of soul that in their sleeps will mutter
 Their affairs. One of this kind is Cassio.
475 In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona,
 Let us be wary, let us hide our loves.”
 And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
 Cry “O sweet creature!” then kiss me hard,
 As if he plucked up kisses by the roots
480 That grew upon my lips; then laid his leg
 O’er my thigh, and sighed, and kissed, and then
 Cried “Cursèd fate that gave thee to the Moor!”
OTHELLO 
 O monstrous! Monstrous!
IAGO  Nay, this was but his
485 dream.
OTHELLO 
 But this denoted a foregone conclusion.
 ’Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
IAGO 
 And this may help to thicken other proofs
 That do demonstrate thinly.
OTHELLO 490I’ll tear her all to pieces.
IAGO 
 Nay, but be wise. Yet we see nothing done.

149
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 3

 She may be honest yet. Tell me but this:
 Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
 Spotted with strawberries in your wife’s hand?
OTHELLO 
495 I gave her such a one. ’Twas my first gift.
IAGO 
 I know not that; but such a handkerchief—
 I am sure it was your wife’s—did I today
 See Cassio wipe his beard with.
OTHELLO  If it be that—
IAGO 
500 If it be that, or any that was hers,
 It speaks against her with the other proofs.
OTHELLO 
 O, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
 One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
 Now do I see ’tis true. Look here, Iago,
505 All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.
 ’Tis gone.
 Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!
 Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
 To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
510 For ’tis of aspics’ tongues!
IAGO Yet be content.
OTHELLO O, blood, blood, blood!
IAGO 
 Patience, I say. Your mind perhaps may change.
OTHELLO 
 Never, [Iago. Like to the Pontic Sea,
515 Whose icy current and compulsive course
 Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
 To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
 Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace
 Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love,
520 Till that a capable and wide revenge
 Swallow them up. He kneels. Now by yond marble
 heaven,]

151
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 4

 In the due reverence of a sacred vow,
 I here engage my words.
IAGO 525 Do not rise yet.Iago kneels.
 Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
 You elements that clip us round about,
 Witness that here Iago doth give up
 The execution of his wit, hands, heart
530 To wronged Othello’s service! Let him command,
 And to obey shall be in me remorse,
 What bloody business ever.They rise.
OTHELLO  I greet thy love
 Not with vain thanks but with acceptance
535 bounteous,
 And will upon the instant put thee to ’t.
 Within these three days let me hear thee say
 That Cassio’s not alive.
IAGO  My friend is dead.
540 ’Tis done at your request. But let her live.
OTHELLO Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn
 her!
 Come, go with me apart. I will withdraw
 To furnish me with some swift means of death
545 For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.
IAGO I am your own forever.
They exit.



Scene 4
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.

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

153
Othello
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.
DESDEMONA 
 Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?
EMILIA I know not, madam.
DESDEMONA 
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?
DESDEMONA 
 Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
 Drew all such humors from him.
EMILIA  Look where he
 comes.

Enter Othello.

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

155
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 4

OTHELLO 
 Well, my good lady. Aside. O, hardness to
 dissemble!—
 How do you, Desdemona?
DESDEMONA 40 Well, my good lord.
OTHELLO 
 Give me your hand. He takes her hand. This hand
 is moist, my lady.
DESDEMONA 
 It yet has felt no age nor known no sorrow.
OTHELLO 
 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.
OTHELLO 
 A liberal hand! The hearts of old gave hands,
 But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
DESDEMONA 
55 I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.
OTHELLO What promise, chuck?
DESDEMONA 
 I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
OTHELLO 
 I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me.
 Lend me thy handkerchief.
DESDEMONA 60 Here, my lord.
OTHELLO 
 That which I gave you.
DESDEMONA  I have it not about me.
OTHELLO Not?

157
Othello
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
 it,
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?
OTHELLO 
 ’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?
OTHELLO 
 Most veritable. Therefore, look to ’t well.
DESDEMONA 
90 Then would to God that I had never seen ’t!
OTHELLO Ha? Wherefore?
DESDEMONA 
 Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
OTHELLO 
 Is ’t lost? Is ’t gone? Speak, is ’t out o’ th’ way?
DESDEMONA Heaven bless us!
OTHELLO 95Say you?

159
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 4

DESDEMONA 
 It is not lost, but what an if it were?
OTHELLO How?
DESDEMONA I say it is not lost.
OTHELLO Fetch ’t. Let me see ’t!
DESDEMONA 
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.
OTHELLO 
 Fetch me the handkerchief! Aside. My mind
 misgives.
DESDEMONA 105Come, come.
 You’ll never meet a more sufficient man.
OTHELLO 
 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—
OTHELLO 
 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.
EMILIA 
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.

161
Othello
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.
DESDEMONA 
 How now, good Cassio, what’s the news with you?
CASSIO 
 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.
IAGO 
 Is my lord angry?
EMILIA  He went hence but now,
 And certainly in strange unquietness.
IAGO 
 Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon

163
Othello
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.
DESDEMONA 
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.
DESDEMONA 
 Alas the day, I never gave him cause!
EMILIA 
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.
DESDEMONA 
 Heaven keep that monster from Othello’s mind!
EMILIA 185Lady, amen.

165
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 4

DESDEMONA 
 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.

BIANCA 
190 ’Save you, friend Cassio!
CASSIO  What make you from
 home?
 How is ’t with you, my most fair Bianca?
 I’ faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
BIANCA 
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
 remembrance.
 No, by my faith, Bianca.

167
Othello
ACT 3. SC. 4

BIANCA 215 Why, whose is it?
CASSIO 
 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?
CASSIO 
 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.
CASSIO 
 ’Tis but a little way that I can bring you,
230 For I attend here. But I’ll see you soon.
BIANCA 
 ’Tis very good. I must be circumstanced.
They exit.



ACT 4
Scene 1
Enter Othello and Iago.

IAGO 
 Will you think so?
OTHELLO  Think so, Iago?
IAGO  What,
 To kiss in private?
OTHELLO 5 An unauthorized kiss!
IAGO 
 Or to be naked with her friend in bed
 An hour or more, not meaning any harm?
OTHELLO 
 Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm?
 It is hypocrisy against the devil!
10 They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
 The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt
 heaven.
IAGO 
 If they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip.
 But if I give my wife a handkerchief—
OTHELLO 15What then?
IAGO 
 Why then, ’tis hers, my lord, and being hers,
 She may, I think, bestow ’t on any man.
OTHELLO 
 She is protectress of her honor, too.
 May she give that?
171

173
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

IAGO 
20 Her honor is an essence that’s not seen;
 They have it very oft that have it not.
 But for the handkerchief—
OTHELLO 
 By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.
 Thou saidst—O, it comes o’er my memory
25 As doth the raven o’er the infectious house,
 Boding to all—he had my handkerchief.
IAGO 
 Ay, what of that?
OTHELLO  That’s not so good now.
IAGO  What
30 If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
 Or heard him say (as knaves be such abroad,
 Who having, by their own importunate suit
 Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,
 Convincèd or supplied them, cannot choose
35 But they must blab)—
OTHELLO  Hath he said anything?
IAGO 
 He hath, my lord, but be you well assured,
 No more than he’ll unswear.
OTHELLO  What hath he said?
IAGO 
40 Faith, that he did—I know not what he did.
OTHELLO What? What?
IAGO 
 Lie—
OTHELLO  With her?
IAGO  With her—on her—what you will.
OTHELLO 45Lie with her? Lie on her? We say “lie on her”
 when they belie her. Lie with her—Zounds, that’s
 fulsome! Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief.
 [To confess and be hanged for his labor.
 First to be hanged and then to confess—I tremble
50 at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
 passion without some instruction. It is not

175
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

 words that shakes me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and
 lips—is ’t possible? Confess—handkerchief—O,
 devil!]He falls in a trance.
IAGO 55Work on,
 My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are
 caught,
 And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
 All guiltless, meet reproach.—What ho! My lord!
60 My lord, I say. Othello!

Enter Cassio.

 How now, Cassio?
CASSIO What’s the matter?
IAGO 
 My lord is fall’n into an epilepsy.
 This is his second fit. He had one yesterday.
CASSIO 
65 Rub him about the temples.
IAGO  No, forbear.
 The lethargy must have his quiet course.
 If not, he foams at mouth, and by and by
 Breaks out to savage madness. Look, he stirs.
70 Do you withdraw yourself a little while.
 He will recover straight. When he is gone,
 I would on great occasion speak with you.
Cassio exits.
 How is it, general? Have you not hurt your head?
OTHELLO 
 Dost thou mock me?
IAGO 75 I mock you not, by heaven!
 Would you would bear your fortune like a man!
OTHELLO 
 A hornèd man’s a monster and a beast.
IAGO 
 There’s many a beast, then, in a populous city,
 And many a civil monster.

177
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

OTHELLO 
80 Did he confess it?
IAGO  Good sir, be a man!
 Think every bearded fellow that’s but yoked
 May draw with you. There’s millions now alive
 That nightly lie in those unproper beds
85 Which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better.
 O, ’tis the spite of hell, the fiend’s arch-mock,
 To lip a wanton in a secure couch
 And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know,
 And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
OTHELLO 90O, thou art wise, ’tis certain.
IAGO Stand you awhile apart.
 Confine yourself but in a patient list.
 Whilst you were here, o’erwhelmèd with your grief—
 A passion most unsuiting such a man—
95 Cassio came hither. I shifted him away
 And laid good ’scuses upon your ecstasy,
 Bade him anon return and here speak with me,
 The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
 And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns
100 That dwell in every region of his face.
 For I will make him tell the tale anew—
 Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
 He hath and is again to cope your wife.
 I say but mark his gesture. Marry, patience,
105 Or I shall say you’re all in all in spleen,
 And nothing of a man.
OTHELLO  Dost thou hear, Iago,
 I will be found most cunning in my patience,
 But (dost thou hear?) most bloody.
IAGO 110 That’s not amiss.
 But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
Othello withdraws.
 Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
 A huswife that by selling her desires
 Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature

179
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

115 That dotes on Cassio—as ’tis the strumpet’s plague
 To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
 He, when he hears of her, cannot restrain
 From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.

Enter Cassio.

 As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad,
120 And his unbookish jealousy must construe
 Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviors
 Quite in the wrong.—How do you, lieutenant?
CASSIO 
 The worser that you give me the addition
 Whose want even kills me.
IAGO 
125 Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on ’t.
 Now, if this suit lay in Bianca’s power,
 How quickly should you speed!
CASSIO, laughing  Alas, poor caitiff!
OTHELLO Look how he laughs already!
IAGO 130I never knew woman love man so.
CASSIO 
 Alas, poor rogue, I think i’ faith she loves me.
OTHELLO 
 Now he denies it faintly and laughs it out.
IAGO 
 Do you hear, Cassio?
OTHELLO  Now he importunes him
135 To tell it o’er. Go to, well said, well said.
IAGO 
 She gives it out that you shall marry her.
 Do you intend it?
CASSIO  Ha, ha, ha!
OTHELLO 
 Do you triumph, Roman? Do you triumph?
CASSIO 140I marry her? What, a customer? Prithee bear
 some charity to my wit! Do not think it so unwholesome.
 Ha, ha, ha!

181
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

OTHELLO So, so, so, so. They laugh that wins.
IAGO 
 Faith, the cry goes that you marry her.
CASSIO 145Prithee say true!
IAGO I am a very villain else.
OTHELLO Have you scored me? Well.
CASSIO This is the monkey’s own giving out. She is
 persuaded I will marry her out of her own love and
150 flattery, not out of my promise.
OTHELLO 
 Iago beckons me. Now he begins the story.
CASSIO She was here even now. She haunts me in
 every place. I was the other day talking on the
 sea-bank with certain Venetians, and thither comes
155 the bauble. By this hand, she falls thus about my
 neck!
OTHELLO Crying, “O dear Cassio,” as it were; his
 gesture imports it.
CASSIO So hangs and lolls and weeps upon me, so
160 shakes and pulls me. Ha, ha, ha!
OTHELLO Now he tells how she plucked him to my
 chamber.—O, I see that nose of yours, but not that
 dog I shall throw it to.
CASSIO Well, I must leave her company.
IAGO 165Before me, look where she comes.

Enter Bianca.

CASSIO ’Tis such another fitchew—marry, a perfumed
 one!—What do you mean by this haunting
 of me?
BIANCA Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did
170 you mean by that same handkerchief you gave me
 even now? I was a fine fool to take it! I must take
 out the work? A likely piece of work, that you
 should find it in your chamber and know not who

183
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

 left it there! This is some minx’s token, and I must
175 take out the work! There, give it your hobbyhorse.
 Wheresoever you had it, I’ll take out no work on ’t.
CASSIO 
 How now, my sweet Bianca? How now? How now?
OTHELLO 
 By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!
BIANCA If you’ll come to supper tonight you may. If
180 you will not, come when you are next prepared
 for.She exits.
IAGO After her, after her!
CASSIO Faith, I must. She’ll rail in the streets else.
IAGO Will you sup there?
CASSIO 185Faith, I intend so.
IAGO Well, I may chance to see you, for I would very
 fain speak with you.
CASSIO Prithee come. Will you?
IAGO Go to; say no more.Cassio exits.
OTHELLO, coming forward 190How shall I murder him,
 Iago?
IAGO Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?
OTHELLO O Iago!
IAGO And did you see the handkerchief?
OTHELLO 195Was that mine?
[IAGO Yours, by this hand! And to see how he prizes
 the foolish woman your wife! She gave it him, and
 he hath giv’n it his whore.]
OTHELLO I would have him nine years a-killing! A fine
200 woman, a fair woman, a sweet woman!
IAGO Nay, you must forget that.
OTHELLO Ay, let her rot and perish and be damned
 tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned
 to stone. I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
205 world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by
 an emperor’s side and command him tasks.

185
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

IAGO Nay, that’s not your way.
OTHELLO Hang her, I do but say what she is! So
 delicate with her needle, an admirable musician—
210 O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear!
 Of so high and plenteous wit and invention!
IAGO She’s the worse for all this.
OTHELLO O, a thousand, a thousand times!—And then
 of so gentle a condition!
IAGO 215Ay, too gentle.
OTHELLO Nay, that’s certain. But yet the pity of it,
 Iago! O, Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
IAGO If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her
 patent to offend, for if it touch not you, it comes
220 near nobody.
OTHELLO I will chop her into messes! Cuckold me?
IAGO O, ’tis foul in her.
OTHELLO With mine officer!
IAGO That’s fouler.
OTHELLO 225Get me some poison, Iago, this night. I’ll not
 expostulate with her lest her body and beauty
 unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago.
IAGO Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed,
 even the bed she hath contaminated.
OTHELLO 230Good, good. The justice of it pleases. Very
 good.
IAGO And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You
 shall hear more by midnight.
OTHELLO 
 Excellent good.A trumpet sounds.
235 What trumpet is that same?
IAGO I warrant something from Venice.

Enter Lodovico, Desdemona, and Attendants.

 ’Tis Lodovico. This comes from the Duke.
 See, your wife’s with him.
LODOVICO God save you, worthy general.

187
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

OTHELLO 240With all my heart, sir.
LODOVICO 
 The Duke and the Senators of Venice greet you.
He hands Othello a paper.
OTHELLO 
 I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.
DESDEMONA 
 And what’s the news, good cousin Lodovico?
IAGO 
 I am very glad to see you, signior.
245 Welcome to Cyprus.
LODOVICO 
 I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?
IAGO Lives, sir.
DESDEMONA 
 Cousin, there’s fall’n between him and my lord
 An unkind breach, but you shall make all well.
OTHELLO 250Are you sure of that?
DESDEMONA My lord?
OTHELLO, reading “This fail you not to do, as you
 will”—
LODOVICO 
 He did not call; he’s busy in the paper.
255 Is there division ’twixt my lord and Cassio?
DESDEMONA 
 A most unhappy one. I would do much
 T’ atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
OTHELLO Fire and brimstone!
DESDEMONA My lord?
OTHELLO 260Are you wise?
DESDEMONA 
 What, is he angry?
LODOVICO  May be the letter moved him.
 For, as I think, they do command him home,
 Deputing Cassio in his government.
DESDEMONA 265By my troth, I am glad on ’t.

189
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

OTHELLO Indeed?
DESDEMONA My lord?
OTHELLO I am glad to see you mad.
DESDEMONA Why, sweet Othello!
OTHELLO, striking her 270Devil!
DESDEMONA I have not deserved this.
LODOVICO 
 My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
 Though I should swear I saw ’t. ’Tis very much.
 Make her amends. She weeps.
OTHELLO 275 O, devil, devil!
 If that the Earth could teem with woman’s tears,
 Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
 Out of my sight!
DESDEMONA  I will not stay to offend you.
She begins to leave.
LODOVICO 280Truly an obedient lady.
 I do beseech your Lordship call her back.
OTHELLO Mistress.
DESDEMONA, turning back My lord?
OTHELLO What would you with her, sir?
LODOVICO 285Who, I, my lord?
OTHELLO 
 Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn.
 Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
 And turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep.
 And she’s obedient, as you say, obedient.
290 Very obedient.—Proceed you in your tears.—
 Concerning this, sir—O, well-painted passion!—
 I am commanded home.—Get you away.
 I’ll send for you anon.—Sir, I obey the mandate
 And will return to Venice.—Hence, avaunt!
Desdemona exits.
295 Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight
 I do entreat that we may sup together.

191
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 1

 You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats and
 monkeys!He exits.
LODOVICO 
 Is this the noble Moor, whom our full senate
300 Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
 Whom passion could not shake, whose solid virtue
 The shot of accident nor dart of chance
 Could neither graze nor pierce?
IAGO  He is much
305 changed.
LODOVICO 
 Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
IAGO 
 He’s that he is. I may not breathe my censure
 What he might be. If what he might he is not,
 I would to heaven he were.
LODOVICO 310 What? Strike his wife?
IAGO 
 ’Faith, that was not so well. Yet would I knew
 That stroke would prove the worst.
LODOVICO  Is it his use?
 Or did the letters work upon his blood
315 And new-create this fault?
IAGO  Alas, alas!
 It is not honesty in me to speak
 What I have seen and known. You shall observe
 him,
320 And his own courses will denote him so
 That I may save my speech. Do but go after
 And mark how he continues.
LODOVICO 
 I am sorry that I am deceived in him.
They exit.




193
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Othello and Emilia.

OTHELLO You have seen nothing then?
EMILIA 
 Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.
OTHELLO 
 Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.
EMILIA 
 But then I saw no harm, and then I heard
5 Each syllable that breath made up between them.
OTHELLO 
 What, did they never whisper?
EMILIA  Never, my lord.
OTHELLO Nor send you out o’ th’ way?
EMILIA Never.
OTHELLO 
10 To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?
EMILIA Never, my lord.
OTHELLO That’s strange.
EMILIA 
 I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,
 Lay down my soul at stake. If you think other,
15 Remove your thought. It doth abuse your bosom.
 If any wretch have put this in your head,
 Let heaven requite it with the serpent’s curse,
 For if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
 There’s no man happy. The purest of their wives
20 Is foul as slander.
OTHELLO  Bid her come hither. Go.
Emilia exits.
 She says enough. Yet she’s a simple bawd
 That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,
 A closet lock and key of villainous secrets.
25 And yet she’ll kneel and pray. I have seen her do ’t.

195
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

Enter Desdemona and Emilia.

DESDEMONA My lord, what is your will?
OTHELLO 
 Pray you, chuck, come hither.
DESDEMONA  What is your
 pleasure?
OTHELLO 
30 Let me see your eyes. Look in my face.
DESDEMONA What horrible fancy’s this?
OTHELLO, to Emilia Some of your function,
 mistress.
 Leave procreants alone, and shut the door.
35 Cough, or cry “hem,” if anybody come.
 Your mystery, your mystery! Nay, dispatch.
Emilia exits.
DESDEMONA, kneeling 
 Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
 I understand a fury in your words,
 But not the words.
OTHELLO 40Why? What art thou?
DESDEMONA 
 Your wife, my lord, your true and loyal wife.
OTHELLO Come, swear it. Damn thyself,
 Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
 Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double
45 damned.
 Swear thou art honest.
DESDEMONA  Heaven doth truly know it.
OTHELLO 
 Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
DESDEMONA, standing 
 To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?
OTHELLO 
50 Ah, Desdemon, away, away, away!
DESDEMONA 
 Alas the heavy day, why do you weep?

197
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

 Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?
 If haply you my father do suspect
 An instrument of this your calling back,
55 Lay not your blame on me. If you have lost him,
 I have lost him too.
OTHELLO  Had it pleased heaven
 To try me with affliction, had they rained
 All kind of sores and shames on my bare head,
60 Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,
 Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,
 I should have found in some place of my soul
 A drop of patience. But alas, to make me
 A fixèd figure for the time of scorn
65 To point his slow unmoving finger at—
 Yet could I bear that too, well, very well.
 But there where I have garnered up my heart,
 Where either I must live or bear no life,
 The fountain from the which my current runs
70 Or else dries up—to be discarded thence,
 Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
 To knot and gender in—turn thy complexion there,
 Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin,
 Ay, there look grim as hell.
DESDEMONA 
75 I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
OTHELLO 
 O, ay, as summer flies are in the shambles,
 That quicken even with blowing! O thou weed,
 Who art so lovely fair, and smell’st so sweet
 That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst
80 ne’er been born!
DESDEMONA 
 Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?
OTHELLO 
 Was this fair paper, this most goodly book,
 Made to write “whore” upon? What committed?
 [Committed? O thou public commoner,

199
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

85 I should make very forges of my cheeks
 That would to cinders burn up modesty,
 Did I but speak thy deeds. What committed?]
 Heaven stops the nose at it, and the moon winks;
 The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets
90 Is hushed within the hollow mine of earth
 And will not hear ’t. What committed?
 Impudent strumpet!
DESDEMONA By heaven, you do me wrong!
OTHELLO Are not you a strumpet?
DESDEMONA 95No, as I am a Christian!
 If to preserve this vessel for my lord
 From any other foul unlawful touch
 Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.
OTHELLO What, not a whore?
DESDEMONA 100No, as I shall be saved.
OTHELLO Is ’t possible?
DESDEMONA 
 O, heaven forgive us!
OTHELLO  I cry you mercy, then.
 I took you for that cunning whore of Venice
105 That married with Othello.—You, mistress,

Enter Emilia.

 That have the office opposite to Saint Peter
 And keeps the gate of hell—you, you, ay, you!
 We have done our course. There’s money for your
 pains.He gives her money.
110 I pray you turn the key and keep our counsel.
He exits.
EMILIA 
 Alas, what does this gentleman conceive?
 How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?
DESDEMONA Faith, half asleep.
EMILIA 
 Good madam, what’s the matter with my lord?

201
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

DESDEMONA 115With who?
EMILIA Why, with my lord, madam.
[DESDEMONA 
 Who is thy lord?
EMILIA  He that is yours, sweet lady.]
DESDEMONA 
 I have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia.
120 I cannot weep, nor answers have I none
 But what should go by water. Prithee, tonight
 Lay on my bed my wedding sheets. Remember.
 And call thy husband hither.
EMILIA Here’s a change indeed.She exits.
DESDEMONA 
125 ’Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
 How have I been behaved that he might stick
 The small’st opinion on my least misuse?

Enter Iago and Emilia.

IAGO 
 What is your pleasure, madam? How is ’t with you?
DESDEMONA 
 I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes
130 Do it with gentle means and easy tasks.
 He might have chid me so, for, in good faith,
 I am a child to chiding.
IAGO What is the matter, lady?
EMILIA 
 Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her,
135 Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her
 As true hearts cannot bear.
DESDEMONA 
 Am I that name, Iago?
IAGO  What name, fair
 lady?
DESDEMONA 
140 Such as she said my lord did say I was.
EMILIA 
 He called her “whore.” A beggar in his drink
 Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.

203
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

IAGO Why did he so?
DESDEMONA 
 I do not know. I am sure I am none such.
IAGO 
145 Do not weep, do not weep! Alas the day!
EMILIA 
 Hath she forsook so many noble matches,
 Her father and her country and her friends,
 To be called “whore”? Would it not make one
 weep?
DESDEMONA 150It is my wretched fortune.
IAGO 
 Beshrew him for ’t! How comes this trick upon him?
DESDEMONA Nay, heaven doth know.
EMILIA 
 I will be hanged if some eternal villain,
 Some busy and insinuating rogue,
155 Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,
 Have not devised this slander. I will be hanged else.
IAGO 
 Fie, there is no such man. It is impossible.
DESDEMONA 
 If any such there be, heaven pardon him.
EMILIA 
 A halter pardon him, and hell gnaw his bones!
160 Why should he call her “whore”? Who keeps her
 company?
 What place? What time? What form? What
 likelihood?
 The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave,
165 Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
 O heaven, that such companions thou ’dst unfold,
 And put in every honest hand a whip
 To lash the rascals naked through the world,
 Even from the east to th’ west!
IAGO 170 Speak within door.

205
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

EMILIA 
 O, fie upon them! Some such squire he was
 That turned your wit the seamy side without
 And made you to suspect me with the Moor.
IAGO 
 You are a fool. Go to!
DESDEMONA 175 Alas, Iago,
 What shall I do to win my lord again?
 Good friend, go to him. For by this light of heaven,
 I know not how I lost him. She kneels. [Here I
 kneel.
180 If e’er my will did trespass ’gainst his love,
 Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,
 Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense
 Delighted them in any other form,
 Or that I do not yet, and ever did,
185 And ever will—though he do shake me off
 To beggarly divorcement—love him dearly,
 Comfort forswear me! She stands. Unkindness may
 do much,
 And his unkindness may defeat my life,
190 But never taint my love. I cannot say “whore”—
 It does abhor me now I speak the word.
 To do the act that might the addition earn,
 Not the world’s mass of vanity could make me.]
IAGO 
 I pray you be content. ’Tis but his humor.
195 The business of the state does him offense,
 And he does chide with you.
DESDEMONA 
 If ’twere no other—
IAGO  It is but so, I warrant.
Trumpets sound.
 Hark how these instruments summon to supper.
200 The messengers of Venice stays the meat.
 Go in and weep not. All things shall be well.
Desdemona and Emilia exit.

207
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

Enter Roderigo.

 How now, Roderigo?
RODERIGO  I do not find
 That thou deal’st justly with me.
IAGO 205What in the contrary?
RODERIGO Every day thou daff’st me with some device,
 Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now,
 keep’st from me all conveniency than suppliest me
 with the least advantage of hope. I will indeed no
210 longer endure it. Nor am I yet persuaded to put up
 in peace what already I have foolishly suffered.
IAGO Will you hear me, Roderigo?
RODERIGO Faith, I have heard too much, and your
 words and performances are no kin together.
IAGO 215You charge me most unjustly.
RODERIGO With naught but truth. I have wasted myself
 out of my means. The jewels you have had
 from me to deliver to Desdemona would half have
 corrupted a votaress. You have told me she hath
220 received them, and returned me expectations and
 comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I
 find none.
IAGO Well, go to! Very well.
RODERIGO “Very well.” “Go to!” I cannot go to, man,
225 nor ’tis not very well! By this hand, I say ’tis very
 scurvy, and begin to find myself fopped in it.
IAGO Very well.
RODERIGO I tell you ’tis not very well! I will make
 myself known to Desdemona. If she will return me
230 my jewels, I will give over my suit and repent my
 unlawful solicitation. If not, assure yourself I will
 seek satisfaction of you.
IAGO You have said now.
RODERIGO Ay, and said nothing but what I protest
235 intendment of doing.

209
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 2

IAGO Why, now I see there’s mettle in thee, and even
 from this instant do build on thee a better opinion
 than ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo.
 Thou hast taken against me a most just exception,
240 but yet I protest I have dealt most directly in thy
 affair.
RODERIGO It hath not appeared.
IAGO I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your
 suspicion is not without wit and judgment. But,
245 Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed which I
 have greater reason to believe now than ever—I
 mean purpose, courage, and valor—this night show
 it. If thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona,
 take me from this world with treachery and
250 devise engines for my life.
RODERIGO Well, what is it? Is it within reason and
 compass?
IAGO Sir, there is especial commission come from
 Venice to depute Cassio in Othello’s place.
RODERIGO 255Is that true? Why, then, Othello and Desdemona
 return again to Venice.
IAGO O, no. He goes into Mauritania and takes away
 with him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be
 lingered here by some accident—wherein none
260 can be so determinate as the removing of Cassio.
RODERIGO How do you mean, removing him?
IAGO Why, by making him uncapable of Othello’s
 place: knocking out his brains.
RODERIGO And that you would have me to do?
IAGO 265Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right. He
 sups tonight with a harlotry, and thither will I go to
 him. He knows not yet of his honorable fortune. If
 you will watch his going thence (which I will
 fashion to fall out between twelve and one), you may
270 take him at your pleasure. I will be near to second
 your attempt, and he shall fall between us. Come,

211
Othello
ACT 4. SC. 3

 stand not amazed at it, but go along with me. I will
 show you such a necessity in his death that you shall
 think yourself bound to put it on him. It is now high
275 supper time, and the night grows to waste. About it!
RODERIGO I will hear further reason for this.
IAGO And you shall be satisfied.
They exit.



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.



ACT 5
Scene 1
Enter Iago and Roderigo.

IAGO 
 Here, stand behind this bulk. Straight will he
 come.
 Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.
 Quick, quick! Fear nothing. I’ll be at thy elbow.
5 It makes us or it mars us—think on that,
 And fix most firm thy resolution.
RODERIGO 
 Be near at hand. I may miscarry in ’t.
IAGO 
 Here, at thy hand. Be bold and take thy stand.
He moves aside.
RODERIGO 
 I have no great devotion to the deed,
10 And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons.
 ’Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword! He dies.
He draws his sword.
IAGO, aside 
 I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,
 And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,
 Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
15 Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,
 He calls me to a restitution large
 Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him
223

225
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 1

 As gifts to Desdemona.
 It must not be. If Cassio do remain,
20 He hath a daily beauty in his life
 That makes me ugly. And besides, the Moor
 May unfold me to him. There stand I in much peril.
 No, he must die. Be ’t so. I hear him coming.

Enter Cassio.

RODERIGO 
 I know his gait. ’Tis he!—Villain, thou diest!
He thrusts at Cassio.
CASSIO 
25 That thrust had been mine enemy indeed
 But that my coat is better than thou know’st.
 I will make proof of thine.
He draws, and stabs Roderigo.
RODERIGO  O, I am slain!
Roderigo falls.
Iago stabs Cassio in the leg, and exits.
CASSIO 
 I am maimed forever! Help, ho! Murder, murder!

Enter Othello.

OTHELLO 
30 The voice of Cassio! Iago keeps his word.
RODERIGO O, villain that I am!
OTHELLO, aside It is even so.
CASSIO O, help ho! Light! A surgeon!
OTHELLO, aside 
 ’Tis he! O brave Iago, honest and just,
35 That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong!
 Thou teachest me.—Minion, your dear lies dead,
 And your unblest fate hies. Strumpet, I come.
 Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are
 blotted.

227
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 1

40 Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust’s blood be
 spotted.Othello exits.

Enter Lodovico and Gratiano.

CASSIO 
 What ho! No watch? No passage? Murder, murder!
GRATIANO 
 ’Tis some mischance. The voice is very direful.
CASSIO O, help!
LODOVICO 45Hark!
RODERIGO O wretched villain!
LODOVICO 
 Two or three groan. ’Tis heavy night.
 These may be counterfeits. Let’s think ’t unsafe
 To come in to the cry without more help.
RODERIGO 
50 Nobody come? Then shall I bleed to death.

Enter Iago with a light.

LODOVICO Hark!
GRATIANO 
 Here’s one comes in his shirt, with light and
 weapons.
IAGO 
 Who’s there? Whose noise is this that cries on
55 murder?
LODOVICO 
 We do not know.
IAGO  Did not you hear a cry?
CASSIO 
 Here, here! For heaven’s sake, help me!
IAGO  What’s the matter?
GRATIANO, to Lodovico 
60 This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.
LODOVICO 
 The same indeed, a very valiant fellow.
IAGO, to Cassio 
 What are you here that cry so grievously?

229
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 1

CASSIO 
 Iago? O, I am spoiled, undone by villains.
 Give me some help!
IAGO 
65 O me, lieutenant! What villains have done this?
CASSIO 
 I think that one of them is hereabout
 And cannot make away.
IAGO  O treacherous villains!
 To Lodovico and Gratiano. What are you there?
70 Come in, and give some help.
RODERIGO O, help me here!
CASSIO 
 That’s one of them.
IAGO, to Roderigo  O murd’rous slave! O villain!
He stabs Roderigo.
RODERIGO 
 O damned Iago! O inhuman dog!
IAGO 
75 Kill men i’ th’ dark?—Where be these bloody
 thieves?
 How silent is this town! Ho, murder, murder!—
 What may you be? Are you of good or evil?
LODOVICO 
 As you shall prove us, praise us.
IAGO 80 Signior Lodovico?
LODOVICO He, sir.
IAGO 
 I cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.
GRATIANO Cassio?
IAGO 
 How is ’t, brother?
CASSIO 85 My leg is cut in two.
IAGO Marry, heaven forbid!
 Light, gentlemen. I’ll bind it with my shirt.

231
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 1

Enter Bianca.

BIANCA 
 What is the matter, ho? Who is ’t that cried?
IAGO 
 Who is ’t that cried?
BIANCA 90 O, my dear Cassio,
 My sweet Cassio! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
IAGO 
 O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect
 Who they should be that have thus mangled you?
CASSIO No.
GRATIANO 
95 I am sorry to find you thus; I have been to seek you.
[IAGO 
 Lend me a garter. So.—O for a chair
 To bear him easily hence!]
BIANCA 
 Alas, he faints. O, Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
IAGO 
 Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
100 To be a party in this injury.—
 Patience awhile, good Cassio.—Come, come;
 Lend me a light. Peering at Roderigo. Know we this
 face or no?
 Alas, my friend and my dear countryman
105 Roderigo? No! Yes, sure. O heaven, Roderigo!
GRATIANO What, of Venice?
IAGO Even he, sir. Did you know him?
GRATIANO Know him? Ay.
IAGO 
 Signior Gratiano? I cry your gentle pardon.
110 These bloody accidents must excuse my manners
 That so neglected you.
GRATIANO  I am glad to see you.
IAGO 
 How do you, Cassio?—O, a chair, a chair!

233
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 1

GRATIANO Roderigo?
IAGO 
115 He, he, ’tis he! A chair is brought in. O, that’s well
 said; the chair.—
 Some good man bear him carefully from hence.
 I’ll fetch the General’s surgeon.— For you, mistress,
 Save you your labor.—He that lies slain here,
120 Cassio,
 Was my dear friend. What malice was between you?
CASSIO 
 None in the world. Nor do I know the man.
IAGO, to Bianca 
 What, look you pale?—O, bear him out o’ th’ air.
Cassio, in the chair, and Roderigo are carried off.
 To Gratiano and Lodovico. Stay you, good
125 gentlemen.—Look you pale, mistress?—
 Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?—
 Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.—
 Behold her well. I pray you, look upon her.
 Do you see, gentlemen? Nay, guiltiness will speak
130 Though tongues were out of use.

Enter Emilia.

EMILIA 
 Alas, what is the matter? What is the matter,
 husband?
IAGO 
 Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
 By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped.
135 He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.
EMILIA 
 Alas, good gentleman! Alas, good Cassio!
IAGO 
 This is the fruits of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
 Go know of Cassio where he supped tonight.
 To Bianca. What, do you shake at that?

235
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

BIANCA 
140 He supped at my house, but I therefore shake not.
IAGO 
 O, did he so? I charge you go with me.
EMILIA O fie upon thee, strumpet!
BIANCA 
 I am no strumpet, but of life as honest
 As you that thus abuse me.
EMILIA 145As I? Faugh! Fie upon thee!
IAGO 
 Kind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dressed.—
 Come, mistress, you must tell ’s another tale.—
 Emilia, run you to the citadel
 And tell my lord and lady what hath happed.—
150 Will you go on afore? Aside. This is the night
 That either makes me or fordoes me quite.
They exit in different directions.



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

OTHELLO 
 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
 rose,

237
Othello
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.
DESDEMONA 
25 Who’s there? Othello?
OTHELLO  Ay, Desdemona.
DESDEMONA Will you come to bed, my lord?
OTHELLO 
 Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?
DESDEMONA Ay, my lord.
OTHELLO 
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?
OTHELLO 
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?
OTHELLO 
 Ay, I do.
DESDEMONA 40 Then heaven have mercy on me.
OTHELLO Amen, with all my heart.
DESDEMONA 
 If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.
OTHELLO Humh.

239
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

DESDEMONA 
 And yet I fear you, for you’re fatal then
45 When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know
 not,
 Since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear.
OTHELLO 
 Think on thy sins.
DESDEMONA  They are loves I bear to you.
OTHELLO 50Ay, and for that thou diest.
DESDEMONA 
 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.
DESDEMONA 
 I will so. What’s the matter?
OTHELLO  That handkerchief
 Which I so loved, and gave thee, thou gav’st to
60 Cassio.
DESDEMONA 
 No, by my life and soul! Send for the man
 And ask him.
OTHELLO 
 Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.
 Thou art on thy deathbed.
DESDEMONA 
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.
DESDEMONA 
 Then Lord have mercy on me!

241
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO  I say “Amen.”
DESDEMONA 
 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.
OTHELLO 
 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?
OTHELLO 
 That he hath used thee.
DESDEMONA  How? Unlawfully?
OTHELLO Ay.
DESDEMONA 
90 He will not say so.
OTHELLO  No. His mouth is stopped.
 Honest Iago hath ta’en order for ’t.
DESDEMONA 
 O, my fear interprets. What, is he dead?
OTHELLO 
 Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
95 Had stomach for them all.
DESDEMONA 
 Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.She weeps.
OTHELLO 
 Out, strumpet! Weep’st thou for him to my face?
DESDEMONA 
 O banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

243
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO Down, strumpet!
DESDEMONA 
100 Kill me tomorrow, let me live tonight.
OTHELLO Nay, if you strive—
DESDEMONA 
 But half an hour!
[OTHELLO  Being done, there is no pause.]
DESDEMONA 
 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!
OTHELLO 
 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!
OTHELLO  Who’s
 there?
EMILIA, within 
 O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you.
OTHELLO 
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—

245
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO 
 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?
EMILIA 
 O, my good lord, yonder’s foul murders done.
OTHELLO What? Now?
EMILIA But now, my lord.
OTHELLO 
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.
OTHELLO 
140 Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed?
EMILIA No, Cassio is not killed.
OTHELLO 
 Not Cassio killed? Then murder’s out of tune,
 And sweet revenge grows harsh.
DESDEMONA O falsely, falsely murdered.
EMILIA 
145 O Lord, what cry is that?
OTHELLO  That? What?
EMILIA 
 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.

247
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO 
 Why, how should she be murdered?
EMILIA 155 Alas, who
 knows?
OTHELLO 
 You heard her say herself, it was not I.
EMILIA 
 She said so. I must needs report the truth.
OTHELLO 
 She’s like a liar gone to burning hell!
160 ’Twas I that killed her.
EMILIA 
 O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!
OTHELLO 
 She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
EMILIA 
 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!
OTHELLO 
 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?
OTHELLO 
 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?
OTHELLO 
 Ay, ’twas he that told me on her first.

249
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

180 An honest man he is, and hates the slime
 That sticks on filthy deeds.
EMILIA My husband?
OTHELLO 
 What needs this iterance, woman? I say, thy
 husband.
[EMILIA 
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.]
EMILIA 
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.
OTHELLO Hah?
EMILIA Do thy worst!
195 This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
 Than thou wast worthy her.
OTHELLO  Peace, you were best!
EMILIA 
 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.

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

251
Othello
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.
IAGO 
 I told him what I thought, and told no more
 Than what he found himself was apt and true.
EMILIA 
 But did you ever tell him she was false?
IAGO 215I did.
EMILIA 
 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?
IAGO 
 With Cassio, mistress. Go to! Charm your tongue.
EMILIA 
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!
OTHELLO 
 Nay, stare not, masters; it is true indeed.
GRATIANO 225’Tis a strange truth.
MONTANO 
 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!]
IAGO 
 What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.

253
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

EMILIA 
 Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.
 ’Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
 Perchance, Iago, I will ne’er go home.
OTHELLO 
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
 stopped.
 I know this act shows horrible and grim.
GRATIANO 
 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.
OTHELLO 
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!
IAGO 
 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.

255
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

EMILIA 
265 I will not.
GRATIANO  Fie, your sword upon a woman!
EMILIA 
 O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak’st
 of
 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!
EMILIA 
 She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it,
275 And I did give ’t my husband.
IAGO  Filth, thou liest!
EMILIA 
 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.
GRATIANO 
 The woman falls! Sure he hath killed his wife.
EMILIA 
 Ay, ay! O, lay me by my mistress’ side.Iago exits.
GRATIANO 285He’s gone, but his wife’s killed.
MONTANO 
 ’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,

257
Othello
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.
OTHELLO 
 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.
OTHELLO 
 Look in upon me, then, and speak with me,
 Or naked as I am I will assault thee.

Enter Gratiano.

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,

259
Othello
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.


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

261
Othello
ACT 5. SC. 2

OTHELLO 345 Why, anything.
 An honorable murderer, if you will,
 For naught I did in hate, but all in honor.
LODOVICO 
 This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.
 Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?
OTHELLO 350Ay.
CASSIO 
 Dear general, I never gave you cause.
OTHELLO 
 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?
IAGO 
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.
LODOVICO 360Sir,
 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.
OTHELLO 
 O villain!
CASSIO  Most heathenish and most gross.
LODOVICO 
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!—

263
Othello
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!
CASSIO 
 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.
OTHELLO 
 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
 eyes,

265
Othello
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.
CASSIO 
 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
 governor,
 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.