Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Roderigo and Iago


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.


'Sblood, but you will not hear me!

If ever I did dream of such a matter,

Abhor me.


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


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

In personal suit to make me his Lieutenant,
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Off-capped to him: and by the faith of man,
off-cap (v.) doff the cap, take off the hat [in respect]

I know my price, I am worth no worse a place.
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Evades them with a bombast circumstance
bombast, bumbast (adj.) bombastic, padded-out, waffly
circumstance (n.) 2 circumlocution, verbiage, unnecessary detail

Horribly stuffed with epithets of war,
epithet (n.) turn of phrase, expression

And in conclusion

Non-suits my mediators. For, ‘ Certes,’ says he,
certes (adv.) certainly, assuredly, without doubt
non-suit (v.) reject the suit of, refuse

‘ I have already chose my officer.’

And what was he?

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
arithmetician (n.) theoretician, academic
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine –

A fellow almost damned in a fair wife –

That never set a squadron in the field,
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
squadron (n.) army detachment, body of soldiers

Nor the division of a battle knows

More than a spinster – unless the bookish theoric,
bookish (adj.) of mere book-learning, obtained only from books, scholarly
theoric (n.) theory, academic speculation

Wherein the toged consuls can propose
propose (v.) 1 converse, discourse, hold forth
toged (adj.) toga-wearing, robed

As masterly as he. Mere prattle, without practice
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

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

And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof

At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds

Christian and heathen, must be leed and calmed
calm (v.) becalm, come to a halt, delay
lee (v.) cut off from the wind, make helpless

By debitor and creditor; this counter-caster,
counter-caster (n.) [contemptuous] one who works things out with the help of counters, arithmetician
debitor (n.) debtor [debt column in an account book]

He in good time must his Lieutenant be,

And I – God bless the mark! – his Moorship's Ancient.
ancient, aunchient (n.) 1 ensign, standard-bearer


By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.


Why, there's no remedy. 'Tis the curse of service:

Preferment goes by letter and affection,
affection (n.) 1 fancy, inclination, desire
letter (n.) 1 [letter of] influence, recommendation, introduction

And not by old gradation, where each second
gradation (n.) 2 seniority, relative rank, career advancement

Stood heir to th' first. Now sir, be judge yourself

Whether I in any just term am affined
affined (adj.) 2 constrained, bound, obliged

To love the Moor.


I would not follow him then.
content (v.) 2 calm [down], settle, relax


                         O, sir, content you:

I follow him to serve my turn upon him.

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters

Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
truly (adv.) 1 faithfully, loyally, constantly

Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave
knave (n.) 2 servant, menial, lackey
knee-crooking (adj.) bowing, kneeling, genuflecting

That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,

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

For naught but provender, and when he's old – cashiered!

Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are

Who, trimmed in forms and visages of duty,
visage (n.) 2 outward appearance, aspect, air

Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
attend (v.) 6 regard, consider

And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display

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:
peculiar (adj.) particular, private, personal

For when my outward action doth demonstrate

The native act and figure of my heart
figure (n.) 1 form, design, shape, conception
native (adj.) 2 innate, inborn, instinctive

In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
compliment, complement (n.) 3 show, display, exhibition
extern (adj.) external, outward, exterior

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve

For daws to peck at – I am not what I am.
daw (n.) 1 jackdaw [as noted for its stupidity]; dolt, fool


What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe
full (adj.) 2 ideal, perfect, complete
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

If he can carry't thus!
carry (v.) 10 carry off, get away with


                         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 chances of vexation on't,
chance (n.) 4 possibility, prospect, aspect
vexation (n.) 1 agitation, disturbance, turmoil

As it may lose some colour.


Here is her father's house; I'll call aloud.


Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
timorous (adj.) 2 causing fear, terrifying, dreadful

As when, by night and negligence, the fire

Is spied in populous cities.


What, ho, Brabantio! Signor Brabantio, ho!


Awake! What, ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves!

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

Thieves, thieves!

Enter Brabantio above, at a window


What is the reason of this terrible summons?

What is the matter there?
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue


Signor, is all your family within?


Are your doors locked?


                         Why, wherefore ask you this?


'Zounds, sir, you're robbed; for shame, put on your gown;

Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul.
burst (adj.) broken, shattered, rent in two

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

Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise,
tup (v.) copulate with, screw

Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,

Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.

Arise, I say!
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)


                         What, have you lost your wits?


Most reverend signor, do you know my voice?


Not I: what are you?


                         My name is Roderigo.


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,
distempering (adj.) intoxicating, disturbing, disorienting

Upon malicious bravery dost thou come
bravery (n.) 4 bravado, show of daring, swaggering display

To start my quiet.
start (v.) 2 startle, alarm, disturb


Sir, sir, sir –


                         But thou must needs be sure

My spirit and my place have in them power
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

To make this bitter to thee.


                         Patience, good sir.


What tell'st thou me of robbing? This is Venice:

My house is not a grange.
grange (n.) country house, farmhouse


                         Most grave Brabantio,

In simple and pure soul I come to you...
simple (adj.) 5 sincere, honest, open, innocent


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,
nephew (n.) 2 grandson See Topics: Family

and jennets for germans.
german, germane (n.) near relative, blood relation
jennet, gennet (n.) small Spanish horse


What profane wretch art thou?
profane (adj.) 1 blasphemous, irreverent, foul-mouthed


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

and the Moor are now making the beast with two



Thou art a villain.


                         You are a Senator.


This thou shalt answer. I know thee, Roderigo.
answer (v.) 14 account for, justify, defend


Sir, I will answer anything. But I beseech you

If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
wise (adj.) 2 informed, well-aware, knowledgeable

As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,
partly (adv.) slightly, in some measure, a little

At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,
dull (adj.) 1 dead, lifeless, sluggish, inactive
odd-even (adj.) between 12 and 1, around midnight
watch (n.) 4 time interval, period of time

Transported with no worse nor better guard

But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
knave (n.) 2 servant, menial, lackey

To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor –

If this be known to you, and your allowance,
allowance (n.) 2 permission, approval, sanction

We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant

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
civility (n.) civilized conduct, courteous behaviour, good manners

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,
gross (adj.) 8 vile, abhorrent, wicked
revolt (n.) 2 rebellion, act of disobedience

Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
extravagant (adj.) vagrant, straying, roaming
stranger (n.) foreigner, alien, outsider
wheeling (adj.) roving, wandering, drifting

Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself:
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

If she be in her chamber or your house,

Let loose on me the justice of the state

For thus deluding you.


                         Strike on the tinder, ho!

Give me a taper; call up all my people!
taper (n.) candle

This accident is not unlike my dream:
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening

Belief of it oppresses me already.

Light, I say, light!

Exit above


                         Farewell, for I must leave you.

It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count
wholesome (adj.) 1 good, beneficial, advantageous

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 check,
check (n.) 1 reprimand, reproof, rebuke
gall (v.) 1 vex, annoy, irritate

Cannot with safety cast him; for he's embarked
cast (v.) 4 cast off, discard, dismiss, reject
embark (v.) engage in an enterprise, involve in an undertaking

With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
loud (adj.) 3 clamorous, loudly supported; or: pressing, urgent

Which even now stand in act, that for their souls
act (n.) 3 progress, operation, action

Another of his fathom they have none
fathom (n.) calibre, ability, depth

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,
sign (n.) 3 mere semblance, token symbol, show

Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
search (n.) search-party

And there will I be with him. So farewell.


Enter Brabantio in his night-gown with servants and



It is too true an evil. Gone she is,

And what's to come of my despised time

Is naught 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.
taper (n.) candle

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


Truly I think they are.


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
charm (n.) 1 magic spell, enchantment

By which the property of youth and maidhood
maidhood (n.) maidenhood
property (n.) 1 quality, character, nature

May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,

Of some such thing?


                         Yes, sir, I have indeed.


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?


I think I can discover him, if you please,
discover (v.) 4 find, uncover, come upon

To get good guard and go along with me.


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.
deserve (v.) 3 requite, recompense, pay back


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