Publicat deMadalina Marcu


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.




SCENE III A council-chamber.

[The DUKE and Senators sitting at a table; Officers


DUKE OF VENICE There is no composition in these news

That gives them credit.

First Senator Indeed, they are disproportion’d;

My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.

DUKE OF VENICE And mine, a hundred and forty.

Second Senator 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

A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.

DUKE OF VENICE 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] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!

First Officer A messenger from the galleys.

[Enter a Sailor]

DUKE OF VENICE Now, what’s the business?

Sailor The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;

So was I bid report here to the state

By Signior Angelo.

DUKE OF VENICE 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

The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,

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,

But altogether lacks the abilities

That Rhodes is dress’d in: if we make thought of this,

We must not think the Turk is so unskilful

To leave that latest which concerns him first,

Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,

To wake and wage a danger profitless.

DUKE OF VENICE Nay, in all confidence, he’s not for Rhodes.

First Officer Here is more news.

[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,

Steering with due course towards 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 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.

DUKE OF VENICE ‘Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.

Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?

First Senator He’s now in Florence.

DUKE OF VENICE Write from us to him; post-post-haste dispatch.

First Senator Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.


DUKE OF VENICE Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you

Against the general enemy Ottoman.


I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;

We lack’d 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

Take hold on me, for my particular grief

Is of so flood-gate and o’erbearing nature

That it engluts and swallows other sorrows

And it is still itself.

DUKE OF VENICE Why, what’s the matter?

BRABANTIO My daughter! O, my daughter!


Senator |

BRABANTIO Ay, to me;

She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted

By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;

For nature so preposterously to err,

Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,

Sans witchcraft could not.

DUKE OF VENICE Whoe’er he be that in this foul proceeding

Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself

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.

BRABANTIO Humbly I thank your grace.

Here is the man, this Moor, whom now, it seems,

Your special mandate for the state-affairs

Hath hither brought.


| We are very sorry for’t.

Senator |

DUKE OF VENICE [To OTHELLO] What, in your own part, can you say to this?

BRABANTIO Nothing, 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:

The very head and front of my offending

Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,

And little bless’d 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

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 patience,

I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver

Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,

What conjuration and what mighty magic,

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

Blush’d at herself; and she, in spite of nature,

Of years, of country, credit, every thing,

To fall in love with what she fear’d to look on!

It is a judgment maim’d and most imperfect

That will confess perfection so could err

Against all rules of nature, and must be driven

To find out practises 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 OF VENICE 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:

Did you by indirect and forced 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,

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

Even fall upon my life.

DUKE OF VENICE Fetch Desdemona hither.

OTHELLO Ancient, conduct them: you best know the place.

[Exeunt IAGO and Attendants]

And, till she come, as truly as to heaven

I do confess the vices of my blood,

So justly to your grave ears I’ll present

How I did thrive in this fair lady’s love,

And she in mine.

DUKE OF VENICE Say it, Othello.

OTHELLO Her father loved me; oft invited me;

Still question’d me the story of my life,

From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,

That I have passed.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days,

To the very moment that he bade me tell it;

Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,

Of moving accidents by flood and field

Of hair-breadth scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach,

Of being taken by the insolent foe

And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence

And portance in my travels’ history:

Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,

Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven

It was my hint to speak,–such was the process;

And of the Cannibals that each other eat,

The Anthropophagi and men whose heads

Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear

Would Desdemona seriously incline:

But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:

Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,

She’ld come again, and with a greedy ear

Devour up my discourse: which I observing,

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,

And often did beguile her of her tears,

When I did speak of some distressful stroke

That my youth suffer’d. My story being done,

She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:

She swore, in faith, twas strange, ’twas passing strange,

‘Twas pitiful, ’twas wondrous pitiful:

She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d

That heaven had made her such a man: she thank’d me,

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 pass’d,

And I loved her that she did pity them.

This only is the witchcraft I have used:

Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

[Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants]

DUKE OF VENICE I think this tale would win my daughter too.

Good Brabantio,

Take up this mangled matter at the best:

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

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:

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,

And so much duty as my mother show’d

To you, preferring you before her father,

So much I challenge that I may profess

Due to the Moor my lord.

BRABANTIO God be wi’ you! I have done.

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

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 OF VENICE Let me speak like yourself, and lay a sentence,

Which, as a grise or step, may help these lovers

Into your favour.

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

Is the next way to draw new mischief on.

What cannot be preserved when fortune takes

Patience her injury a mockery makes.

The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief;

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,

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

That the bruised heart was pierced through the ear.

I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of state.

DUKE OF VENICE The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes 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

slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this

more stubborn and boisterous 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 agnise

A natural and prompt alacrity

I find in hardness, and do undertake

These present wars against the Ottomites.

Most humbly therefore bending to your state,

I crave fit disposition for my wife.

Due reference of place and exhibition,

With such accommodation and besort

As levels with her breeding.

DUKE OF VENICE If you please,

Be’t at her father’s.

BRABANTIO I’ll not have it so.


DESDEMONA Nor I; I would not there reside,

To put my father in impatient thoughts

By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,

To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear;

And let me find a charter in your voice,

To assist my simpleness.

DUKE OF VENICE What would You, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA That I did love the Moor to live with him,

My downright violence and storm of fortunes

May trumpet to the world: my heart’s subdued

Even to the very quality of my lord:

I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,

And to his honour and his valiant parts

Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.

So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,

A moth of peace, and he go to the war,

The rites for which I love him are bereft me,

And I a heavy interim shall support

By his dear absence. Let me go with him.

OTHELLO Let her have your voices.

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.

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-wing’d toys

Of feather’d Cupid seal with wanton dullness

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 OF VENICE Be it as you shall privately determine,

Either for her stay or going: the affair cries haste,

And speed must answer it.

First Senator You must away to-night.

OTHELLO With all my heart.

DUKE OF VENICE At nine i’ the 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

As doth import you.

OTHELLO So please your grace, my ancient;

A man he is of honest and trust:

To his conveyance I assign my wife,

With what else needful your good grace shall think

To be sent after me.

DUKE OF VENICE Let it be so.

Good night to every one.


And, noble signior,

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.

[Exeunt DUKE OF VENICE, Senators, Officers, &c]

OTHELLO My life upon her faith! 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.

Come, Desdemona: I have but an hour

Of love, of worldly matters and direction,

To spend with thee: we must obey the time.



IAGO What say’st thou, noble heart?

RODERIGO What will I do, thinkest 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 It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and

then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

IAGO O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four

times seven years; and since I could distinguish

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 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, 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 another of sensuality, the

blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us

to most preposterous 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 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

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 favour with

an usurped beard; I say, put money in thy purse. It

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, and thou

shalt see an answerable sequestration:–put but

money in thy purse. These Moors are 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: she must

have change, she must: 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 not

too hard for my 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 Wilt 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 re-tell thee again and again, I

hate the Moor: my cause is hearted; thine hath no

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

of this to-morrow. Adieu.

RODERIGO Where shall we meet i’ the morning?

IAGO At my lodging.

RODERIGO I’ll be with thee betimes.

IAGO Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?

RODERIGO What say you?

IAGO No more of drowning, do you hear?

RODERIGO I am changed: I’ll go sell all my land.


IAGO Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:

For I mine own gain’d knowledge should profane,

If I would time expend with such a snipe.

But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:

And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets

He 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.

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.

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 the nose

As asses are.

I have’t. It is engender’d. Hell and night

Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.




SCENE I A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.

[Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen]

MONTANO What from the cape can you discern at sea?

First Gentleman Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood;

I cannot, ‘twixt the heaven and the main,

Descry a sail.

MONTANO Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;

A fuller blast ne’er shook our battlements:

If it hath ruffian’d 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 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,

seems to cast water on the burning bear,

And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:

I never did like molestation view

On the enchafed flood.

MONTANO If that the Turkish fleet

Be not enshelter’d and embay’d, they are drown’d:

It is impossible they bear it out.

[Enter a third Gentleman]

Third Gentleman News, lads! our wars are done.

The desperate tempest hath so bang’d the Turks,

That their designment halts: a noble ship of Venice

Hath seen a grievous wreck 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,

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

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 heavens he be;

For I have served him, and the man commands

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 the aerial blue

An indistinct regard.

Third Gentleman 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

Give him defence against the elements,

For I have lost us him on a dangerous sea.

MONTANO Is he well shipp’d?

CASSIO His bark is stoutly timber’d, his pilot

Of very expert and approved allowance;

Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,

Stand in bold cure.

[A cry within ‘A sail, a sail, a sail!’]

[Enter a fourth Gentleman]

CASSIO What noise?

Fourth Gentleman The town is empty; on the brow o’ the sea

Stand ranks of people, and they cry ‘A sail!’

CASSIO My hopes do shape him for the governor.

[Guns heard]

Second Gentlemen 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 I shall.


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,

And in the essential vesture of creation

Does tire the ingener.

[Re-enter second Gentleman]

How now! who has put in?

Second Gentleman ‘Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.

CASSIO Has had most favourable and happy speed:

Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,

The gutter’d rocks and congregated sands–

Traitors ensteep’d to clog the guiltless keel,–

As having sense of beauty, do omit

Their mortal natures, letting go safely by

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

A se’nnight’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 renew’d fire to our extincted spirits

And bring all Cyprus comfort!



O, behold,

The riches of the ship is come on shore!

Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.

Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,

Before, behind thee, and on every hand,

Enwheel thee round!

DESDEMONA I thank you, valiant Cassio.

What tidings can you tell me of my lord?

CASSIO He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught

But that he’s well and will be shortly here.

DESDEMONA O, but I fear–How lost you company?

CASSIO The great contention of the sea and skies

Parted our fellowship–But, hark! a sail.

[Within ‘A sail, a sail!’ Guns heard]

Second Gentleman They give their greeting to the citadel;

This likewise is a friend.

CASSIO See for the news.

[Exit Gentleman]

Good ancient, you are welcome.


Welcome, mistress.

Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,

That I extend my manners; ’tis my breeding

That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

[Kissing her]

IAGO Sir, would she give you so much of her lips

As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,

You’ll have enough.

DESDEMONA 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,

And chides with thinking.

EMILIA You have little cause to say so.

IAGO Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,

Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens,

Saints m your injuries, devils being offended,

Players in your housewifery, and housewives’ in your beds.

DESDEMONA O, 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.

IAGO No, let me not.

DESDEMONA What wouldst thou 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 Come on assay. There’s one gone to the harbour?

IAGO Ay, madam.

DESDEMONA I am not merry; but I do beguile

The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.

Come, how wouldst thou praise me?

IAGO I am about it; but indeed my invention

Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize;

It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours,

And thus she is deliver’d.

If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,

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 fit.

DESDEMONA Worse and worse.

EMILIA How if fair and foolish?

IAGO She never yet was foolish that was fair;

For even her folly help’d her to an heir.

DESDEMONA These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i’

the alehouse. What miserable praise 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.

DESDEMONA O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best.

But what praise couldst thou bestow on 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,

Never lack’d gold and yet went never gay,

Fled from her wish and yet said ‘Now I may,’

She that being anger’d, her revenge being nigh,

Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,

She that in wisdom never was so frail

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 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


CASSIO He speaks home, madam: You may relish him more in

the soldier than in the scholar.

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 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 kissed! an excellent

courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers

to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake!

[Trumpet within]

The Moor! I know his trumpet.

CASSIO ‘Tis truly so.

DESDEMONA Let’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

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 waken’d death!

And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas

Olympus-high and duck again as low

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 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;

It stops me here; it is too much of joy:

And this, and this, the greatest discords be

[Kissing her]

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,

As honest as I am.

OTHELLO Come, let us to the castle.

News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks

are drown’d.

How does my old acquaintance of this isle?

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:

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.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

IAGO Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. 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 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 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 satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour,

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 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 this fortune as Cassio

does? a knave very voluble; no 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 of occasions, that has an 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 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

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 prologue

to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met

so near with their lips that their breaths embraced

together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these

mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes

the master and main exercise, the incorporate

conclusion, Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I

have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night;

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 speaking

too loud, or tainting his discipline; or from what

other course you please, which the time shall more

favourably minister.


IAGO Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and 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

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 I can bring it to any


IAGO I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel:

I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.



IAGO That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;

That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit:

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

I stand accountant for as great a sin,

But partly led to diet my revenge,

For that I do suspect the lusty Moor

Hath leap’d into my seat; the thought whereof

Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;

And nothing can or shall content my soul

Till I am even’d 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,

If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash

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 night-cap too–

Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me.

For making him egregiously an ass

And practising upon his peace and quiet

Even to madness. ‘Tis here, but yet confused:

Knavery’s plain face is never seen tin used.




SCENE II A street.

[Enter a Herald with a proclamation; People


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 dance,

some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and

revels his addiction 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

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!




SCENE III A hall in the castle.

[Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and Attendants]

OTHELLO Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night:

Let’s teach ourselves that honourable stop,

Not to outsport discretion.

CASSIO Iago hath direction what to do;

But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye

Will I look to’t.

OTHELLO Iago is most honest.

Michael, good night: to-morrow with your earliest

Let me have speech with you.


Come, my dear love,

The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;

That profit’s yet to come ‘tween me and you.

Good night.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

[Enter IAGO]

CASSIO Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.

IAGO Not this hour, lieutenant; ’tis not yet ten o’ the

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 She’s a most exquisite lady.

IAGO And, I’ll warrant her, fun of game.

CASSIO Indeed, she’s a most fresh and delicate creature.

IAGO What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley of


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 Well, 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 to-night, good Iago: I have very poor and

unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish

courtesy would invent some other custom of


IAGO O, they are our friends; but one cup: I’ll drink for


CASSIO I have drunk but one cup to-night, 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

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.


IAGO If I can fasten but one cup upon him,

With that which he hath drunk to-night already,

He’ll be as full of quarrel and offence

As my young mistress’ dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,

Whom love hath turn’d almost the wrong side out,

To Desdemona hath to-night caroused

Potations pottle-deep; and he’s to watch:

Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,

That hold their honours in a wary distance,

The very elements of this warlike isle,

Have I to-night fluster’d 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:

If consequence do but approve my dream,

My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.

[Re-enter CASSIO; with him MONTANO and Gentlemen;

servants following with wine]

CASSIO ‘Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.

MONTANO Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am

a soldier.

IAGO Some wine, ho!


And let me the canakin clink, clink;

And let me the canakin clink

A soldier’s a man;

A 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

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 expert in his drinking?

IAGO Why, 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 I am for it, lieutenant; and I’ll do you justice.

IAGO O sweet England!

King Stephen was a worthy peer,

His breeches cost him but a crown;

He held them sixpence all too dear,

With that he call’d the tailor lown.

He was a wight of high renown,

And thou art but of low degree:

‘Tis pride that pulls the country down;

Then take thine auld cloak about thee.

Some wine, ho!

CASSIO Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.

IAGO Will you hear’t again?

CASSIO No; 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.

IAGO It’s true, good lieutenant.

CASSIO For mine own part,–no offence 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

have no more of this; let’s to our affairs.–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, and

speak well enough.

All Excellent well.

CASSIO Why, very well then; you must not think then that I am drunk.


MONTANO To the platform, masters; come, let’s set the watch.

IAGO You see this fellow that is gone before;

He is 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 the other: ’tis pity of him.

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:

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

Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,

And looks not on his evils: is not this true?


IAGO [Aside to him] How now, Roderigo!

I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.


MONTANO And ’tis great pity that the noble Moor

Should hazard such a place as his own second

With one of an ingraft infirmity:

It were an honest action to say

So to the Moor.

IAGO Not I, for this fair island:

I do love Cassio well; and would do much

To cure him of this evil–But, hark! what noise?

[Cry within: ‘Help! help!’]

[Re-enter CASSIO, driving in RODERIGO]

CASSIO You rogue! you rascal!

MONTANO What’s the matter, lieutenant?

CASSIO A knave teach me my duty!

I’ll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.


CASSIO Dost thou prate, rogue?

[Striking RODERIGO]

MONTANO Nay, good lieutenant;

[Staying him]

I pray you, sir, hold your hand.

CASSIO Let me go, sir,

Or I’ll knock you o’er the mazzard.

MONTANO Come, come,

you’re drunk.


[They fight]

IAGO [Aside to RODERIGO] Away, I say; go out, and cry a mutiny.


Nay, good lieutenant,–alas, gentlemen;–

Help, ho!–Lieutenant,–sir,–Montano,–sir;

Help, masters!–Here’s a goodly watch indeed!

[Bell rings]

Who’s that which rings the bell?–Diablo, ho!

The town will rise: God’s will, lieutenant, hold!

You will be shamed for ever.

[Re-enter OTHELLO and Attendants]

OTHELLO What is the matter here?

MONTANO ‘Zounds, I bleed still; I am hurt to the death.


OTHELLO Hold, for your lives!

IAGO Hold, ho! Lieutenant,–sir–Montano,–gentlemen,–

Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?

Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for shame!

OTHELLO Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?

Are we turn’d Turks, and to ourselves do that

Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?

For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:

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 look’st dead with grieving,

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

Devesting them for bed; and then, but now–

As if some planet had unwitted men–

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!

OTHELLO 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

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:

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;

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;

And passion, having my best judgment collied,

Assays to lead the way: if I once 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;

And he that is approved in this offence,

Though he had twinn’d 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,

In night, and on the court and guard of safety!

‘Tis monstrous. Iago, who began’t?

MONTANO If partially affined, or leagued in office,

Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,

Thou art no soldier.

IAGO Touch me not so near:

I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth

Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;

Yet, I persuade myself, to speak the truth

Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is, general.

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

Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause:

Myself the crying fellow did pursue,

Lest by his clamour–as it so fell out–

The town might fall in fright: he, swift of foot,

Outran my purpose; and I return’d the rather

For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,

And Cassio high in oath; which till to-night

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.

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

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

But never more be officer of mine.

[Re-enter DESDEMONA, attended]

Look, if my gentle love be not raised up!

I’ll make thee an example.

DESDEMONA What’s the matter?

OTHELLO All’s well now, sweeting; come away to bed.

Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon:

Lead him off.

[To MONTANO, who is led off]

Iago, look with care about the town,

And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.

Come, Desdemona: ’tis the soldiers’ life

To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.

[Exeunt all but IAGO and CASSIO]

IAGO What, are you hurt, lieutenant?

CASSIO Ay, past all surgery.

IAGO Marry, heaven 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 As 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 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

offenceless dog to affright an imperious 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, and so

indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot?

and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse

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 I 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 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


CASSIO It 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, I could heartily wish this had not 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 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.

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 wife

is now the general: may say so in this 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 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 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 will

beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me:

I am desperate of my fortunes if they cheque me here.

IAGO You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I

must to the watch.

CASSIO: Good night, honest Iago.


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

The 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 redeemed sin,

His soul is so enfetter’d 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

To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,

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 fortunes

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.

So will I turn her virtue into pitch,

And out of her own goodness make the net

That shall enmesh them all.

[Re-enter RODERIGO]

How now, Roderigo!

RODERIGO I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that

hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is

almost spent; I have been to-night exceedingly well

cudgelled; 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 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.

Does’t not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee.

And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashier’d Cassio:

Though other things grow fair against the sun,

Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe:

Content thyself awhile. By the mass, ’tis morning;

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:

Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter:

Nay, get thee gone.


Two things are to be done:

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

Dull not device by coldness and delay.



SCENE I Before the castle.

[Enter CASSIO and some Musicians]

CASSIO Masters, play here; I will content your pains;

Something that’s brief; and bid ‘Good morrow, general.’


[Enter Clown]

Clown Why masters, have your instruments been in Naples,

that they speak i’ the nose thus?

First Musician How, sir, how!

Clown Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?

First Musician Ay, marry, are they, sir.

Clown O, thereby hangs a tail.

First Musician Whereby 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.

First Musician Well, 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.

First Musician We have none such, sir.

Clown Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away:

go; vanish into air; away!

[Exeunt Musicians]

CASSIO Dost thou hear, my honest friend?

Clown No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.

CASSIO Prithee, keep up thy quillets. 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 favour of speech:

wilt thou do this?

Clown She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I

shall seem to notify unto her.

CASSIO Do, good my friend.

[Exit Clown]

[Enter IAGO]

In happy time, Iago.

IAGO You have not been a-bed, then?

CASSIO Why, no; the day had broke

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;

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.

[Exit IAGO]

I never knew

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,

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

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

With Desdemona 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.




SCENE II A room in the castle.

[Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Gentlemen]

OTHELLO These letters give, Iago, to the pilot;

And by him do my duties to the senate:

That done, I will be walking on the works;

Repair there to me.

IAGO Well, my good lord, I’ll do’t.

OTHELLO This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see’t?

Gentleman We’ll wait upon your lordship.




SCENE III The garden of the castle.


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 case were his.

DESDEMONA 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,

He’s never any thing 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 further off

Than in a polite distance.

CASSIO 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,

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;

I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience;

His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;

I’ll intermingle every thing he does

With Cassio’s suit: therefore be merry, Cassio;

For thy solicitor shall rather die

Than give thy cause away.

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,

Unfit for mine own purposes.

DESDEMONA Well, do your discretion.


[Enter OTHELLO and IAGO]

IAGO Ha! I like not that.

OTHELLO What dost thou say?

IAGO Nothing, my lord: or if–I know not what.

OTHELLO Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?

IAGO Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,

That he would steal away so guilty-like,

Seeing you coming.

OTHELLO I do believe ’twas he.

DESDEMONA How 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,

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:

I prithee, call him back.

OTHELLO Went he hence now?

DESDEMONA Ay, sooth; so humbled

That he hath left part of his grief with me,

To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.

OTHELLO Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.

DESDEMONA But shall’t be shortly?

OTHELLO The sooner, sweet, for you.

DESDEMONA Shall’t be to-night at supper?

OTHELLO No, not to-night.

DESDEMONA To-morrow dinner, then?

OTHELLO I shall not dine at home;

I meet the captains at the citadel.

DESDEMONA Why, then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn;

On Tuesday noon, or night; on Wednesday morn:

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 examples

Out of their best–is not almost a fault

To incur a private cheque. When shall he come?

Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,

What you would ask me, that I should deny,

Or stand so mammering on. What! Michael Cassio,

That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,

When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,

Hath ta’en your part; to have so much to do

To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,–

OTHELLO Prithee, no more: let him come when he will;

I will deny thee nothing.

DESDEMONA Why, this is not a boon;

‘Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,

Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,

Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit

To your own person: nay, when I have a suit

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,

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.


OTHELLO 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 Did Michael Cassio, when you woo’d 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 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!

OTHELLO Indeed! ay, indeed: discern’st thou aught in that?

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 Think, my lord!

OTHELLO Think, my lord!

By heaven, he echoes me,

As if there were some monster in his thought

Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something:

I heard thee say even now, thou likedst 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 criedst ‘Indeed!’

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 I think thou dost;

And, for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,

And weigh’st thy words before thou givest them breath,

Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more:

For such things in a false disloyal knave

Are tricks of custom, but in a man that’s just

They are close delations, working from the heart

That passion cannot rule.

IAGO For Michael Cassio,

I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.

OTHELLO I think so too.

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 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

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 false;

As where’s that palace whereinto foul things

Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,

But some uncleanly apprehensions

Keep leets and law-days and in session sit

With meditations lawful?

OTHELLO Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,

If thou but think’st him wrong’d and makest his ear

A stranger to thy thoughts.

IAGO 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 yet,

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, or wisdom,

To let you know my thoughts.

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, 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

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.


IAGO 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 damned minutes tells he o’er

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.

Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend

From jealousy!

OTHELLO Why, why is this?

Think’st thou I’ld make a lie of jealousy,

To follow still the changes of the moon

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

To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,

Matching thy inference. ‘Tis not to make me jealous

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;

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 it; for now I shall have reason

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 eye thus, not jealous nor secure:

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 heaven see the pranks

They dare not show their husbands; their best 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 seem’d to shake and fear your looks,

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 seal her father’s eyes up close as oak-

He thought ’twas witchcraft–but I am much to blame;

I humbly do beseech you of your pardon

For too much loving you.

OTHELLO I am bound to thee for ever.

IAGO I see this hath a little dash’d 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:

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,

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:

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 proposed matches

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

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.

OTHELLO Farewell, farewell:

If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;

Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:

IAGO [Going] 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] My lord, I would I might entreat

your honour

To scan this thing no further; leave it to time:

Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,

For sure, he fills it up with great ability,

Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,

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 mean time,

Let me be thought too busy in my fears–

As worthy cause I have to fear I am–

And hold her free, I do beseech your honour.

OTHELLO Fear not my government.

IAGO I once more take my leave.


OTHELLO This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,

And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,

Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,

Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,

I’ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,

To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black

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,

That we can call these delicate creatures ours,

And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,

And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,

Than keep a corner in the thing I love

For others’ uses. Yet, ’tis the plague of great ones;

Prerogatived are they less than the base;

‘Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:

Even then this forked plague is fated to us

When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:


If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!

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 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 Your napkin is too little:

[He puts the handkerchief from him; and it drops]

Let it alone. Come, I’ll go in with you.

DESDEMONA I am very sorry that you are not well.


EMILIA I am glad I have found this napkin:

This was her first remembrance from the Moor:

My wayward husband hath a hundred times

Woo’d 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

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.

[Re-enter Iago]

IAGO How now! what do you here alone?

EMILIA Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.

IAGO A thing for me? it is a common thing–


IAGO To have a foolish wife.

EMILIA O, is that all? What will you give me now

For the 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 Hast stol’n it from her?

EMILIA No, ‘faith; she let it drop by negligence.

And, to the advantage, I, being here, took’t up.

Look, here it is.

IAGO A good wench; give it me.

EMILIA What will you do with ‘t, that you have been

so earnest

To have me filch it?

IAGO [Snatching it] Why, what’s that to you?

EMILIA If it be not for some purpose of import,

Give’t me again: poor lady, she’ll run mad

When she shall lack it.

IAGO Be not acknown on ‘t; I have use for it.

Go, leave me.


I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin,

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.

Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,

But with a little act upon the blood.

Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:

Look, where he comes!

[Re-enter OTHELLO]

Not poppy, nor mandragora,

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 Avaunt! be gone! 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?

I saw’t not, thought it not, it harm’d not me:

I slept the next night well, was free and merry;

I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips:

He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stol’n,

Let him not know’t, and he’s not robb’d at all.

IAGO I am sorry to hear this.

OTHELLO I had been happy, if the general camp,

Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,

So I had nothing known. O, now, for ever

Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!

Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,

That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!

Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,

The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,

The royal banner, and all quality,

Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!

And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats

The immortal Jove’s dead clamours counterfeit,

Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone!

IAGO Is’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 man’s eternal soul,

Thou hadst been better have been born a dog

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 My 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;

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?

God be wi’ you; take mine office. O wretched fool.

That livest 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 offence.

OTHELLO Nay, 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;

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,

I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!

IAGO I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion:

I do repent me that I put it to you.

You would be satisfied?

OTHELLO Would! nay, I will.

IAGO And may: but, how? how satisfied, my lord?

Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on–

Behold her topp’d?

OTHELLO Death and damnation! O!

IAGO It were a tedious difficulty, I think,

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,

Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,

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,

Will give you satisfaction, you may have’t.

OTHELLO Give me a living reason she’s disloyal.

IAGO I do not like the office:

But, sith I am enter’d in this cause so far,

Prick’d to’t by foolish honesty and love,

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:

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!’ and then kiss me hard,

As if he pluck’d up kisses by the roots

That grew upon my lips: then laid his leg

Over my thigh, and sigh’d, and kiss’d; and then

Cried ‘Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!’

OTHELLO O monstrous! monstrous!

IAGO Nay, this was but his 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 I’ll tear her all to pieces.

IAGO Nay, but be wise: yet we see nothing done;

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 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 to-day

See Cassio wipe his beard with.

OTHELLO If it be that–

IAGO 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;

All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.

‘Tis gone.

Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!

Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne

To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,

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,

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,

Till that a capable and wide revenge

Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,


In the due reverence of a sacred vow

I here engage my words.

IAGO Do not rise yet.


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,

To wrong’d 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 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; ’tis done at your request:

But let her live.

OTHELLO Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!

Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,

To furnish me with some swift means of death

For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.

IAGO I am your own for ever.



SCENE IV Before the castle.

[Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and Clown]

DESDEMONA Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?

Clown I dare not say he lies any where.


Clown He’s a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies,

is stabbing.

DESDEMONA Go to: where lodges he?

Clown To tell you where he lodges, is to tell you where I lie.

DESDEMONA Can any thing 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 by report?

Clown I will catechise 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 be well.

Clown To do this is within the compass of man’s wit: and

therefore I will attempt the doing it.


DESDEMONA Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?

EMILIA I know not, madam.

DESDEMONA 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 Is he not jealous?

DESDEMONA Who, he? I think the sun where he was born

Drew all such humours from him.

EMILIA Look, where he comes.

DESDEMONA I will not leave him now till Cassio

Be call’d to him.


How is’t with you, my lord

OTHELLO Well, my good lady.


O, hardness to dissemble!–

How do you, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA Well, my good lord.

OTHELLO Give me your hand: this hand is moist, my lady.

DESDEMONA It yet hath felt no age nor known no sorrow.

OTHELLO This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart:

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,

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 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 Here, my lord.

OTHELLO That which I gave you.

DESDEMONA I have it not about me.


DESDEMONA No, indeed, my lord.

OTHELLO That is 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,

‘Twould make her amiable and subdue my father

Entirely to her love, but if she lost it

Or made gift of it, my father’s eye

Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt

After new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;

And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,

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 Is’t possible?

OTHELLO ‘Tis true: there’s magic in the web of it:

A sibyl, that had number’d in the world

The sun to course two hundred compasses,

In her prophetic fury sew’d the work;

The worms were hallow’d that did breed the silk;

And it was dyed in mummy which the skilful

Conserved of maidens’ hearts.

DESDEMONA Indeed! is’t true?

OTHELLO Most veritable; therefore look to’t well.

DESDEMONA 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 it out

o’ the way?

DESDEMONA Heaven bless us!

OTHELLO Say you?

DESDEMONA It is not lost; but what an if it were?


DESDEMONA I say, it is not lost.

OTHELLO Fetch’t, let me see’t.

DESDEMONA Why, so I can, sir, 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: my mind misgives.

DESDEMONA Come, come;

You’ll never meet a more sufficient man.

OTHELLO The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA I pray, talk me of Cassio.

OTHELLO The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA A man that all his time

Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,

Shared dangers with you,–

OTHELLO The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA In sooth, you are to blame.



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 ‘Tis not a year or two shows us a man:

They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;

To eat us hungerly, and when they are full,

They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!

[Enter CASSIO and IAGO]

IAGO 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

Exist, and be a member of his love

Whom I with all the office of my heart

Entirely honour: I would not be delay’d.

If my offence be of such mortal kind

That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,

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,

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 favour as in humour alter’d.

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

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,

When it hath blown his ranks into the air,

And, like the devil, from his very arm

Puff’d his own brother:–and can he be angry?

Something of moment then: I will go meet him:

There’s matter in’t indeed, if he be angry.

DESDEMONA I prithee, do so.

[Exit IAGO]

Something, sure, of state,

Either from Venice, or some unhatch’d practise

Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,

Hath puddled his clear spirit: and in such cases

Men’s natures wrangle with inferior things,

Though great ones are their object. ‘Tis even so;

For let our finger ache, and it indues

Our other healthful members even to that sense

Of pain: nay, we must think men are not gods,

Nor of them look for such observances

As fit 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 suborn’d the witness,

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 But jealous souls will not be answer’d so;

They are not ever jealous for the cause,

But jealous for they are jealous: ’tis a monster

Begot upon itself, born on itself.

DESDEMONA Heaven keep that monster from Othello’s mind!

EMILIA Lady, amen.

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.


[Enter BIANCA]

BIANCA Save you, friend Cassio!

CASSIO What make you from home?

How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?

I’ faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.

BIANCA And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.

What, keep a week away? seven days and nights?

Eight score eight hours? and lovers’ absent hours,

More tedious than the dial eight score times?

O weary reckoning!

CASSIO Pardon me, Bianca:

I have this while with leaden thoughts been press’d:

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 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!

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, in good troth, Bianca.

BIANCA Why, whose is it?

CASSIO I know not, sweet: I found it in my chamber.

I like the work well: ere it be demanded–

As like enough it will–I’ld have it copied:

Take it, and do’t; and leave me for this time.

BIANCA Leave you! wherefore?

CASSIO I do attend here on the general;

And think it no addition, nor my wish,

To have him see me woman’d.

BIANCA Why, I pray you?

CASSIO Not 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;

For I attend here: but I’ll see you soon.

BIANCA ‘Tis very good; I must be circumstanced.




SCENE I Cyprus. Before the castle.

[Enter OTHELLO and IAGO]

IAGO Will you think so?

OTHELLO Think so, Iago!

IAGO What,

To kiss in private?

OTHELLO 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:

They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,

The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.

IAGO So they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip:

But if I give my wife a handkerchief,–

OTHELLO What 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 honour too:

May she give that?

IAGO Her honour 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 said’st, it comes o’er my memory,

As doth the raven o’er the infected house,

Boding to all–he had my handkerchief.

IAGO Ay, what of that?

OTHELLO That’s not so good now.

IAGO What,

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,

Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose

But they must blab–

OTHELLO Hath he said any thing?

IAGO He hath, my lord; but be you well assured,

No more than he’ll unswear.

OTHELLO What hath he said?

IAGO ‘Faith, that he did–I know not what he did.

OTHELLO What? what?


OTHELLO With her?

IAGO With her, on her; what you will.

OTHELLO Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when

they belie her. Lie with her! that’s fulsome.


confess, and be hanged for his labour;–first, to be

hanged, and then to confess.–I tremble at it.

Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing

passion without some instruction. It is not words

that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.

–Is’t possible?–Confess–handkerchief!–O devil!–

[Falls in a trance]

IAGO Work 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!

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 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:

Do you withdraw yourself a little while,

He will recover straight: when he is gone,

I would on great occasion speak with you.


How is it, general? have you not hurt your head?

OTHELLO Dost thou mock me?

IAGO I mock you! no, by heaven.

Would you would bear your fortune like a man!

OTHELLO A horned man’s a monster and a beast.

IAGO There’s many a beast then in a populous city,

And many a civil monster.

OTHELLO 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

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 O, thou art wise; ’tis certain.

IAGO Stand you awhile apart;

Confine yourself but in a patient list.

Whilst you were here o’erwhelmed with your grief–

A passion most unsuiting such a man–

Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,

And laid good ‘scuse 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,

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;

Or I shall say you are 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 That’s not amiss;

But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?

[OTHELLO retires]

Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,

A housewife that by selling her desires

Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature

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 refrain

From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:

[Re-enter CASSIO]

As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;

And his unbookish jealousy must construe

Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures and light behavior,

Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?

CASSIO The worser that you give me the addition

Whose want even kills me.

IAGO Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on’t.

[Speaking lower]

Now, if this suit lay in Bianco’s power,

How quickly should you speed!

CASSIO Alas, poor caitiff!

OTHELLO Look, how he laughs already!

IAGO I 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

To tell it o’er: go to; well said, well said.

IAGO She gives it out that you shall marry hey:

Do you intend it?

CASSIO Ha, ha, ha!

OTHELLO Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?

CASSIO I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, bear some

charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.

Ha, ha, ha!

OTHELLO So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.

IAGO ‘Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.

CASSIO Prithee, 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

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 the bauble,

and, by this hand, she falls me 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 hales,

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 Before me! look, where she comes.

CASSIO ‘Tis such another fitchew! marry a perfumed one.

[Enter BIANCA]

What do you mean by this haunting of me?

BIANCA Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did 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 not know who left it there!

This is some minx’s token, and I must take out the

work? There; give it your hobby-horse: 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 An you’ll come to supper to-night, you may; an you

will not, come when you are next prepared for.


IAGO After her, after her.

CASSIO ‘Faith, I must; she’ll rail in the street else.

IAGO Will you sup there?

CASSIO ‘Faith, 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.


OTHELLO [Advancing] How shall I murder him, Iago?

IAGO Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?


IAGO And did you see the handkerchief?

OTHELLO Was 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 given it his whore.

OTHELLO I would have him nine years a-killing.

A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!

IAGO Nay, you must forget that.

OTHELLO Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night;

for she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to

stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the

world hath not a sweeter creature: she might lie by

an emperor’s side and command him tasks.

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: 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 thousand times: and then, of so

gentle a condition!

IAGO Ay, 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

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 Get 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 Good, 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 within]

What trumpet is that same?

IAGO Something from Venice, sure. ‘Tis Lodovico

Come from the duke: and, see, your wife is with him.

[Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

LODOVICO Save you, worthy general!

OTHELLO With all my heart, sir.

LODOVICO The duke and senators of Venice greet you.

[Gives him a letter]

OTHELLO I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.

[Opens the letter, and reads]

DESDEMONA And what’s the news, good cousin Lodovico?

IAGO I am very glad to see you, signior

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 Are you sure of that?


OTHELLO [Reads] ‘This fail you not to do, as you will–‘

LODOVICO He did not call; he’s busy in the paper.

Is there division ‘twixt my lord and Cassio?

DESDEMONA A most unhappy one: I would do much

To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.

OTHELLO Fire and brimstone!


OTHELLO Are 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 Trust me, I am glad on’t.



OTHELLO I am glad to see you mad.

DESDEMONA Why, sweet Othello,–

OTHELLO [Striking her] Devil!

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 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.


LODOVICO Truly, an obedient lady:

I do beseech your lordship, call her back.

OTHELLO Mistress!


OTHELLO What would you with her, sir?

LODOVICO Who, 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,

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!


Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,

I do entreat that we may sup together:

You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.–Goats and monkeys!


LODOVICO Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate

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 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 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,

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,

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.



SCENE II A room in the castle.


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

Each syllable that breath made up between them.

OTHELLO What, did they never whisper?

EMILIA Never, my lord.

OTHELLO Nor send you out o’ the way?


OTHELLO 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,

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

Is foul as slander.

OTHELLO Bid her come hither: go.


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 villanous secrets

And yet she’ll kneel and pray; I have seen her do’t.


DESDEMONA My lord, what is your will?

OTHELLO Pray, chuck, come hither.

DESDEMONA What is your pleasure?

OTHELLO 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;

Cough, or cry ‘hem,’ if any body come:

Your mystery, your mystery: nay, dispatch.


DESDEMONA Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?

I understand a fury in your words.

But not the words.

OTHELLO Why, 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 damn’d:

Swear thou art honest.

DESDEMONA Heaven doth truly know it.

OTHELLO Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.

DESDEMONA To whom, my lord? with whom? how am I false?

OTHELLO O Desdemona! away! away! away!

DESDEMONA Alas the heavy day! Why do you weep?

Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?

If haply you my father do suspect

An instrument of this your calling back,

Lay not your blame on me: If you have lost him,

Why, I have lost him too.

OTHELLO Had it pleased heaven

To try me with affliction; had they rain’d

All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head.

Steep’d 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 fixed figure for the time of scorn

To point his slow unmoving finger at!

Yet could I bear that too; well, very well:

But there, where I have garner’d up my heart,

Where either I must live, or bear no life;

The fountain from the which my current runs,

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-lipp’d cherubin,–

Ay, there, look grim as hell!

DESDEMONA 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

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!

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

Is hush’d within the hollow mine of earth,

And will not hear it. What committed!

Impudent strumpet!

DESDEMONA By heaven, you do me wrong.

OTHELLO Are you not a strumpet?

DESDEMONA No, 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 No, 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

That married with Othello.

[Raising his voice]

You, mistress,

That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,

And keep the gate of hell!

[Re-enter EMILIA]

You, you, ay, you!

We have done our course; there’s money for your pains:

I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.


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?


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;

I cannot weep; nor answer 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!


DESDEMONA ‘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?

[Re-enter EMILIA with IAGO]

IAGO What is your pleasure, madam?

How is’t with you?

DESDEMONA I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes

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’s the matter, lady?

EMILIA Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her.

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 Such as she says my lord did say I was.

EMILIA He call’d her whore: a beggar in his drink

Could not have laid such terms upon his callat.

IAGO Why did he so?

DESDEMONA I do not know; I am sure I am none such.

IAGO 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 call’d whore? would it not make one weep?

DESDEMONA It is my wretched fortune.

IAGO Beshrew him for’t!

How comes this trick upon him?

DESDEMONA Nay, heaven doth know.

EMILIA I will be hang’d, if some eternal villain,

Some busy and insinuating rogue,

Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,

Have not devised this slander; I’ll be hang’d 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!

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 villanous knave,

Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.

O heaven, that such companions thou’ldst unfold,

And put in every honest hand a whip

To lash the rascals naked through the world

Even from the east to the west!

IAGO Speak within door.

EMILIA O, fie upon them! Some such squire he was

That turn’d your wit the seamy side without,

And made you to suspect me with the Moor.

IAGO You are a fool; go to.

DESDEMONA O good 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. Here I kneel:

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.

And ever will–though he do shake me off

To beggarly divorcement–love him dearly,

Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much;

And his unkindness may defeat my life,

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 humour:

The business of the state does him offence,

And he does chide with you.

DESDEMONA If ’twere no other–

IAGO ‘Tis but so, I warrant.

[Trumpets within]

Hark, how these instruments summon to supper!

The messengers of Venice stay the meat;

Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.



How now, Roderigo!

RODERIGO I do not find that thou dealest justly with me.

IAGO What in the contrary?

RODERIGO Every day thou daffest me with some device, Iago;

and rather, as it seems to me now, keepest from me

all conveniency than suppliest me with the least

advantage of hope. I will indeed no 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, for your words and

performances are no kin together.

IAGO You charge me most unjustly.

RODERIGO With nought 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

votarist: you have told me she hath 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; nor ’tis

not very well: nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin

to find myself fobbed 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 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 intendment of doing.

IAGO Why, now I see there’s mettle in thee, and even from

this instant to build on thee a better opinion than

ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo: thou hast

taken against me a most just exception; 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,

Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed, which I

have greater reason to believe now than ever, I mean

purpose, courage and valour, this night show it: if

thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona,

take me from this world with treachery and 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 Is 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 can be

so determinate as the removing of Cassio.

RODERIGO How do you mean, removing of 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 Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right.

He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I

go to him: he knows not yet of his horrorable

fortune. If you will watch his going thence, which

I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one,

you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near

to second your attempt, and he shall fall between

us. Come, 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 suppertime, and the night grows

to waste: about it.

RODERIGO I will hear further reason for this.

IAGO And you shall be satisfied.



SCENE III Another room In the castle.



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 honour is most welcome.

OTHELLO Will you walk, sir?



OTHELLO Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned

forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look it be done.

DESDEMONA I will, my lord.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, LODOVICO, and Attendants]

EMILIA How goes it now? he looks gentler than he did.

DESDEMONA He says he will return incontinent:

He hath commanded me to go to bed,

And bade me to dismiss you.

EMILIA Dismiss me!

DESDEMONA It was his bidding: therefore, good Emilia,.

Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:

We must not now displease him.

EMILIA I would you had never seen him!

DESDEMONA So would not I my love doth so approve him,

That even his stubbornness, his cheques, his frowns–

Prithee, unpin me,–have grace and favour 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!

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 call’d Barbara:

She was in love, and he she loved proved mad

And did forsake her: she had a song of ‘willow;’

An old thing ’twas, but it express’d her fortune,

And she died singing it: that song to-night

Will not go from my mind; I have much to do,

But to go hang my head all at one side,

And sing it like poor Barbara. Prithee, dispatch.

EMILIA Shall I go fetch your night-gown?

DESDEMONA No, unpin me here.

This Lodovico is a proper man.

EMILIA A very handsome man.

DESDEMONA He 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:

Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow:

The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur’d her moans;

Sing willow, willow, willow;

Her salt tears fell from her, and soften’d the stones;

Lay by these:–


Sing willow, willow, willow;

Prithee, hie thee; he’ll come anon:–


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 [Singing] I call’d my love false love; but what

said he then?

Sing willow, willow, willow:

If I court moe women, you’ll couch with moe men!

So, get thee gone; good night Ate eyes do itch;

Doth that bode weeping?

EMILIA ‘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 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 Nor I neither by this heavenly light;

I might do’t as well i’ the dark.

DESDEMONA Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?

EMILIA The world’s a huge thing: it is a great price.

For a small vice.

DESDEMONA In troth, I think thou wouldst not.

EMILIA In troth, I think I should; and undo’t when I had

done. 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; but for the whole world,–why, 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 Why the wrong is but a wrong i’ the world: and

having the world for your labour, 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 Yes, a dozen; and as many to the 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,

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

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?

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?

Then let them use us well: else let them know,

The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.

DESDEMONA Good night, good night: heaven me such uses send,

Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!




SCENE I Cyprus. A street.


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:

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.


RODERIGO I have no great devotion to the deed;

And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons:

‘Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.

IAGO I have rubb’d 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,

Every way makes my gain: live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobb’d from him,

As gifts to Desdemona;

It must not be: if Cassio do remain,

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. But so: I hear him coming.

[Enter CASSIO]

RODERIGO I know his gait, ’tis he.–Villain, thou diest!

[Makes a pass at CASSIO]

CASSIO That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,

But that my coat is better than thou know’st

I will make proof of thine.

[Draws, and wounds RODERIGO]

RODERIGO O, I am slain!

[IAGO from behind wounds CASSIO in the leg, and exit]

CASSIO I am maim’d for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!



OTHELLO The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.

RODERIGO O, villain that I am!

OTHELLO It is even so.

CASSIO O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!

OTHELLO ‘Tis he:–O brave Iago, honest and just,

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;

Thy bed, lust-stain’d, shall with lust’s blood be spotted.



CASSIO What, ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder!

GRATIANO ‘Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.

CASSIO O, help!


RODERIGO O wretched villain!

LODOVICO Two or three groan: it is a heavy night:

These may be counterfeits: let’s think’t unsafe

To come in to the cry without more help.

RODERIGO Nobody come? then shall I bleed to death.


[Re-enter IAGO, with a light]

GRATIANO Here’s one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.

IAGO Who’s there? whose noise is this that ones on 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 This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.

LODOVICO The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.

IAGO What are you here that cry so grievously?

CASSIO Iago? O, I am spoil’d, undone by villains!

Give me some help.

IAGO 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!

What are you there? come in, and give some help.


RODERIGO O, help me here!

CASSIO That’s one of them.

IAGO O murderous slave! O villain!


RODERIGO O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!

IAGO Kill men i’ the 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 Signior Lodovico?


IAGO I cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.


IAGO How is’t, brother!

CASSIO My leg is cut in two.

IAGO Marry, heaven forbid!

Light, gentlemen; I’ll bind it with my shirt.

[Enter BIANCA]

BIANCA What is the matter, ho? who is’t that cried?

IAGO Who is’t that cried!

BIANCA 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 many led you?


GRATIANO I am 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

To be a party in this injury.

Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come;

Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?

Alas my friend and my dear countryman

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 you gentle pardon;

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!

GRATIANO Roderigo!

IAGO He, he ’tis he.

[A chair brought in]

O, that’s well said; the chair!

GRATIANO Some good man bear him carefully from hence;

I’ll fetch the general’s surgeon.


For you, mistress,

Save you your labour. He that lies slain

here, 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’ the air.

[CASSIO and RODERIGO are borne off]

Stay you, good 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,

Though tongues were out of use.

[Enter EMILIA]

EMILIA ‘Las, what’s the matter? what’s the matter, husband?

IAGO Cassio hath here been set on in the dark

By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:

He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.

EMILIA Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio!

IAGO This is the fruit of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,

Go know of Cassio where he supp’d to-night.


What, do you shake at that?

BIANCA He supp’d at my house; but I therefore shake not.

IAGO O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.

EMILIA Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!

BIANCA I am no strumpet; but of life as honest

As you that thus abuse me.

EMILIA As I! foh! fie upon thee!

IAGO Kind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dress’d.

Come, mistress, you must tell’s another tale.

Emilia run you to the citadel,

And tell my lord and lady what hath happ’d.

Will you go on? I pray.


This is the night

That either makes me or fordoes me quite.



SCENE II A bedchamber in the castle: DESDEMONA in bed asleep;

a light burning.


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,

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,

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 pluck’d the rose,

I cannot give it vital growth again.

It must needs wither: I’ll smell it on the tree.

[Kissing her]

Ah balmy breath, that dost almost persuade

Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.

Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,

And love thee after. One more, and this the last:

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 Who’s there? Othello?

OTHELLO Ay. Desdemona.

DESDEMONA Will you come to bed, my lord?

OTHELLO Have you pray’d to-night, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA Ay, my lord.

OTHELLO If you bethink yourself of any crime

Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,

Solicit for it straight.

DESDEMONA Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

OTHELLO Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by:

I would not kill thy unprepared spirit;

No; heaven forfend! I would not kill thy soul.

DESDEMONA Talk you of killing?


DESDEMONA Then heaven

Have mercy on me!

OTHELLO Amen, with all my heart!

DESDEMONA If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.


DESDEMONA And yet I fear you; for you are fatal then

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 Ay, 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,

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 gavest to 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 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

That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.

DESDEMONA Then Lord have mercy on me!

OTHELLO I say, amen.

DESDEMONA And have you mercy too! I never did

Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio

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 makest me call what I intend to do

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 He hath confess’d.

DESDEMONA What, my lord?

OTHELLO That he hath used thee.

DESDEMONA How? unlawfully?


DESDEMONA He will not say so.

OTHELLO No, his mouth is stopp’d;

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

Had stomach for them all.

DESDEMONA Alas! he is betray’d and I undone.

OTHELLO Out, strumpet! weep’st thou for him to my face?

DESDEMONA O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

OTHELLO Down, strumpet!

DESDEMONA Kill me to-morrow: let me live to-night!

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 It is too late.

[He stifles 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: 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 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?

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 the affrighted globe

Should yawn at alteration.

EMILIA [Within] I do beseech you

That I may speak with you, O, good my lord!

OTHELLO I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia;

Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.

Where art thou?

[Unlocks the door]

[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 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 kill’d a young Venetian

Call’d Roderigo.

OTHELLO Roderigo kill’d!

And Cassio kill’d!

EMILIA No, Cassio is not kill’d.

OTHELLO Not Cassio kill’d! then murder’s out of tune,

And sweet revenge grows harsh.

DESDEMONA O, falsely, falsely murder’d!

EMILIA Alas, 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 A guiltless death I die.

EMILIA O, who hath done this deed?

DESDEMONA Nobody; I myself. Farewell

Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!


OTHELLO Why, how should she be murder’d?

EMILIA 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:

‘Twas I that kill’d her.

EMILIA O, the more angel she,

And you the blacker devil!

OTHELLO She turn’d to folly, and she was a whore.

EMILIA Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.

OTHELLO She was false as water.

EMILIA Thou 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 damn’d beneath all depth in hell,

But that I did proceed upon just grounds

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. Nay, had she been true,

If heaven would make me such another world

Of one entire and Perfect chrysolite,

I’ld not have sold her for it.

EMILIA My husband!

OTHELLO Ay, ’twas he that told me first:

An honest man he is, and hates the slime

That sticks on filthy deeds.

EMILIA My husband!

OTHELLO What needs this iteration, woman? I say thy husband.

EMILIA O mistress, villany hath made mocks with love,

My husband say that she was false!

OTHELLO He, woman;

I say thy husband: dost understand the word?

My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.

EMILIA If he say so, may his pernicious soul

Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart:

She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.


EMILIA Do thy worst:

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!

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 kill’d my mistress! Murder! murder!

[Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, IAGO, and others]

MONTANO What is the matter? How now, general!

EMILIA O, are you come, Iago? you have done well,

That men must lay their murders on your neck.

GRATIANO What is the matter?

EMILIA Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man:

He says thou told’st him that his wife was false:

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 I did.

EMILIA You told a lie, an odious, damned 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 I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak:

My mistress here lies murder’d in her bed,–

All O heavens forfend!

EMILIA And your reports have set the murder on.

OTHELLO Nay, stare not, masters: it is true, indeed.

GRATIANO ‘Tis a strange truth.

MONTANO O monstrous act!

EMILIA Villany, villany, villany!

I think upon’t, I think: I smell’t: O villany!–

I thought so then:–I’ll kill myself for grief:–

O villany, villany!

IAGO What, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.

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.


[He falls on the bed]

EMILIA Nay, lay thee down and roar;

For thou hast kill’d the sweetest innocent

That e’er did lift up eye.

OTHELLO [Rising] O, she was foul!

I scarce did know you, uncle: there lies your niece,

Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp’d:

I know this act shows horrible and grim.

GRATIANO Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father’s dead:

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 reprobation.

OTHELLO ‘Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows

That she with Cassio hath the act of shame

A thousand times committed; Cassio confess’d it:

And she did gratify his amorous works

With that recognizance and pledge of love

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 heaven! O heavenly powers!

IAGO Come, hold your peace.

EMILIA ‘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.

EMILIA I will not.

[IAGO offers to stab EMILIA]


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;

For often, with a solemn earnestness,

More than indeed belong’d to such a trifle,

He begg’d of me to steal it.

IAGO Villanous whore!

EMILIA She give it Cassio! no, alas! I found it,

And I did give’t my husband.

IAGO Filth, thou liest!

EMILIA By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.

O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool

Do with so good a woman?

OTHELLO Are there no stones in heaven

But what serve for the thunder?–Precious villain!

[He runs at IAGO IAGO, from behind, stabs EMILIA, and exit]

GRATIANO The woman falls; sure, he hath kill’d his wife.

EMILIA Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress’ side.

GRATIANO He’s gone, but his wife’s kill’d.

MONTANO ‘Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,

Which I have here recover’d from the Moor:

Come, guard the door without; let him not pass,

But kill him rather. I’ll after that same villain,

For ’tis a damned slave.


OTHELLO I am not valiant neither,

But ever puny whipster gets my sword:

But why should honour outlive honesty?

Let it go all.

EMILIA What did thy song bode, lady?

Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.

And die in music.


Willow, willow, willow,–

Moor, she was chaste; she loved thee, cruel Moor;

So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;

So speaking as I think, I die, I die.


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] 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.

[Re-enter GRATIANO]

GRATIANO What is the matter?

OTHELLO 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

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 weapon’d;

Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt,

And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.

Do you go back dismay’d? ’tis a lost fear;

Man but a rush against Othello’s breast,

And he retires. Where should Othello go?

Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr’d wench!

Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,

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 cursed slave!

Whip me, ye devils,

From the possession of this heavenly sight!

Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!

Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!

O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!

Oh! Oh! Oh!

[Enter LODOVICO. MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair,

and Officers with IAGO, prisoner]

LODOVICO Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

OTHELLO That’s he that was Othello: here I am.

LODOVICO Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.

OTHELLO I look down towards his feet; but that’s a fable.

If that thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee.

[Wounds IAGO]

LODOVICO Wrench his sword from him.

IAGO I bleed, sir; but not kill’d.

OTHELLO I am not sorry neither: I’ld have thee live;

For, in my sense, ’tis happiness to die.

LODOVICO O thou Othello, thou wert once so good,

Fall’n in the practise of a damned slave,

What shall be said to thee?

OTHELLO Why, any thing:

An honourable murderer, if you will;

For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.

LODOVICO This wretch hath part confess’d his villany:

Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?


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 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 Sir, 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: the one of them imports

The death of Cassio to be undertook

By Roderigo.

OTHELLO O villain!

CASSIO Most heathenish and most gross!

LODOVICO Now here’s another discontented paper,

Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,

Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain;

But that belike Iago in the interim

Came in and satisfied him.

OTHELLO O the pernicious caitiff!

How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief

That was my wife’s?

CASSIO I found it in my chamber:

And he himself confess’d but even now

That there he dropp’d 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

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 You must forsake this room, and go with us:

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,

Till that the nature of your fault be known

To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.

OTHELLO Soft you; a word or two before you go.

I have done the state some service, and they know’t.

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;

Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought

Perplex’d in the extreme; of one whose hand,

Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,

Albeit unused to the melting mood,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;

And say besides, that in Aleppo once,

Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk

Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,

I took by the throat the circumcised dog,

And smote him, thus.

[Stabs himself]

LODOVICO O bloody period!

GRATIANO All that’s spoke is marr’d.

OTHELLO I kiss’d thee ere I kill’d thee: no way but this;

Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

[Falls on the bed, and dies]

CASSIO This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon;

For he was great of heart.

LODOVICO [To IAGO] O Spartan dog,

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,

For they succeed on you. 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

This heavy act with heavy heart relate.



 MATEMATICA: Olivian Simionescu-Panait - Matematica  FIZICA: Conf. dr. Sabina ªtefan - FIZICA MOLECULARà - Lucrãri practice -Prof. dr. Ion Munteanu - FIZICA SOLIDULUI (PDF)I. Munteanu, L. Ion, N. Tomozeiu - FIZICA...


IEL HOMBRE DE CARNE Y HUESO Homo sum: nihil humani a me alienum puto, dijo el cómico latino. Y yo diría más bien, nullum hominem a me alienum puto; soy hombre, a ningún otro hombre estimo extraño. Porque el adjetivo humanus me es tan sospechoso como su sustantivo...

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S-ar putea sa iti placa…



 MATEMATICA: Olivian Simionescu-Panait - Matematica  FIZICA: Conf. dr. Sabina ªtefan - FIZICA MOLECULARà - Lucrãri practice -Prof. dr. Ion Munteanu - FIZICA SOLIDULUI (PDF)I. Munteanu, L. Ion, N. Tomozeiu - FIZICA...



IEL HOMBRE DE CARNE Y HUESO Homo sum: nihil humani a me alienum puto, dijo el cómico latino. Y yo diría más bien, nullum hominem a me alienum puto; soy hombre, a ningún otro hombre estimo extraño. Porque el adjetivo humanus me es tan sospechoso como su sustantivo...