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<Inapoi la Cuprins

 William Shakespeare






BRABANTIO a senator.

Other Senators.


(First Senator:)

(Second Senator:)

GRATIANO brother to Brabantio.

LODOVICO kinsman to Brabantio.

OTHELLO a noble Moor in the service of the Venetian state.

CASSIO his lieutenant.

IAGO his ancient.

RODERIGO a Venetian gentleman.

MONTANO Othello's predecessor in the government of Cyprus.

Clown, servant to Othello. (Clown:)

DESDEMONA daughter to Brabantio and wife to Othello.

EMILIA wife to Iago.

BIANCA mistress to Cassio.

Sailor, Messenger, Herald, Officers, Gentlemen,

Musicians, and Attendants.


(First Officer:)



(First Gentleman:)

(Second Gentleman:)

(Third Gentleman:)

(First Musician:)

SCENE Venice: a Sea-port in Cyprus.



SCENE I Venice. A street.


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 will not hear me:

If ever I did dream of such a matter, Abhor me.

RODERIGO Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.

IAGO Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,

Off-capp'd 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

Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;

And, in conclusion,

Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he,

'I have already chose my officer.'

And what was he?

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;

That never set a squadron in the field,

Nor the division of a battle knows

More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,

Wherein the toged consuls can propose

As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practise,

Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election:

And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof

At Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds

Christian and heathen, must be be-lee'd and calm'd

By debitor and creditor: this counter-caster,

He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

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

Stood heir to the 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;

I follow him to serve my turn upon him:

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters

Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark

Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,

That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,

Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,

For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd:

Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are

Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,

Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,

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 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;

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 compliment extern, 'tis not long after

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 thicklips owe

If he can carry't thus!

IAGO Call up her father,

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 changes of vexation on't,

As it may lose some colour.

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 What, ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!

IAGO Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!

Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!

Thieves! thieves!

[BRABANTIO appears above, at a window]

BRABANTIO What is the reason of this terrible summons?

What is the matter there?

RODERIGO Signior, is all your family within?

IAGO Are your doors lock'd?

BRABANTIO Why, wherefore ask you this?

IAGO 'Zounds, sir, you're robb'd; for shame, put on

your gown;

Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;

Even now, now, very now, an old black ram

Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise;

Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,

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 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,

Being full of supper and distempering draughts,

Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come

To start my quiet.

RODERIGO Sir, sir, sir,--

BRABANTIO But thou must needs be sure

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 Most 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

have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;

you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have

coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.

BRABANTIO What profane wretch art thou?

IAGO I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter

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 Sir, I will answer any thing. 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' the night,

Transported, with no worse nor better guard

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

We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe

That, from the sense of all civility,

I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:

Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,

I say again, hath made a gross revolt;

Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes

In an extravagant and wheeling stranger

Of here and every where. Straight satisfy yourself:

If she be in her chamber or your house,

Let loose on me the justice of the state

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.

Light, I say! light!

[Exit above]

IAGO Farewell; for I must leave you:

It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,

To be produced--as, if I stay, I shall--

Against the Moor: for, I do know, the state,

However this may gall him with some cheque,

Cannot with safety cast him, for he's embark'd

With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,

Which even now stand in act, that, for their souls,

Another of his fathom they have none,

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 him,

Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;

And there will I be with him. So, farewell.


[Enter, below, BRABANTIO, and Servants with torches]

BRABANTIO It is too true an evil: gone she is;

And what's to come of my despised time

Is nought but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,

Where didst thou see her? O unhappy girl!

With the Moor, say'st thou? Who would be a father!

How didst thou know 'twas she? O she deceives me

Past thought! What said she to you? Get more tapers:

Raise all my kindred. Are they married, think you?

RODERIGO Truly, 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

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

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!

And raise some special officers of night.

On, good Roderigo: I'll deserve your pains.




SCENE II Another street.

[Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Attendants with torches]

IAGO Though in the trade of war I have slain men,

Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience

To do no contrived murder: I lack iniquity

Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times

I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.

OTHELLO 'Tis better as it is.

IAGO Nay, but he prated,

And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms

Against your honour

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,

And hath in his effect a voice potential

As double as the duke's: he will divorce you;

Or put upon you what restraint and grievance

The law, with all his might to enforce it on,

Will give him cable.

OTHELLO 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 honour,

I shall promulgate--I fetch my life and being

From men of royal siege, and my demerits

May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune

As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago,

But that I love the gentle Desdemona,

I would not my unhoused free condition

Put into circumscription and confine

For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?

IAGO Those are the raised father and his friends:

You were best go in.

OTHELLO 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, and certain Officers with torches]

OTHELLO The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant.

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 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,

And many of the consuls, raised and met,

Are at the duke's already: you have been

hotly call'd for;

When, being not at your lodging to be found,

The senate hath sent about three several guests

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.


CASSIO Ancient, what makes he here?

IAGO 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carack:

If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.

CASSIO I do not understand.

IAGO He's married.

CASSIO To who?

[Re-enter OTHELLO]

IAGO Marry, to--Come, captain, will you go?

OTHELLO Have with you.

CASSIO Here comes another troop to seek for you.

IAGO It is Brabantio. General, be advised;

He comes to bad intent.

[Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers with

torches and weapons]

OTHELLO Holla! stand there!

RODERIGO Signior, it is the Moor.

BRABANTIO Down with him, thief!

[They draw on both sides]

IAGO 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 O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter?

Damn'd 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,

Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,

So opposite to marriage that she shunned

The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,

Would ever have, to incur a general mock,

Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom

Of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.

Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense

That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,

Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals

That weaken motion: I'll have't disputed on;

'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.

I therefore apprehend and do attach thee

For an abuser of the world, a practiser

Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.

Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,

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. Where will you that I go

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?

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?

First Officer 'Tis true, most worthy signior;

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,

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,

Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.


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