Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and attendants


Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.

Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,

Not to outsport discretion.
outsport (v.) make merry beyond the bounds of, revel beyond the limits of


Iago hath direction what to do;

But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye

Will I look to't.


                         Iago is most honest.

Michael, good night. Tomorrow with your earliest

Let me have speech with you. (To Desdemona) 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


Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.


Not this hour, Lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o'th' clock.

Our General cast us thus early for the love of his
cast (v.) 5 dismiss, discharge, release

Desdemona; who let us not therefore blame. He hath

not yet made wanton the night with her; and she is
wanton (adj.) 5 sexually hot, passionate, sportive

sport for Jove.
sport (n.) 3 sexual recreation, intercourse, amorous dalliance


She is a most exquisite lady.


And, I'll warrant her, full of game.
game (n.) 3 game of love, amorous play
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.
delicate (adj.) 1 fine in quality, of exquisite nature, dainty


What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

provocation (n.) erotic stimulation, inciting lustful thoughts


An inviting eye, and yet methinks right modest.


And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 5 arousal, incitement, encouragement


She is indeed perfection.


Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, Lieutenant,

I have a stoup of wine; and here without are a brace of
stoup (n.) cup, flagon, jug, tankard

Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to the
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count
measure (n.) 5 [of drink] vessel-full, tot

health of black Othello.


Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and

unhappy brains for drinking. I could well wish courtesy

would invent some other custom of entertainment.


O, they are our friends! But one cup; I'll drink for



I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was

craftily qualified too; and behold what innovation it
innovation (n.) 1 revolution, disturbance, commotion
qualify (v.) 3 dilute, weaken, mix with water

makes here. I am unfortunate in the infirmity and dare

not task my weakness with any more.


What, man! 'Tis a night of revels; the gallants desire
gallant (n.) 1 fine gentleman, man of fashion See Topics: Address forms



Where are they?


Here, at the door: I pray you call them in.


I'll do't, but it dislikes me.
dislike (v.) 1 upset, displease, offend



If I can fasten but one cup upon him,

With that which he hath drunk tonight already,

He'll be as full of quarrel and offence

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

Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,

To Desdemona hath tonight caroused
carouse (v.) drink at length, imbibe long draughts

Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch.
potation (n.) draught, drinking-bout
pottle-deep (adj.) to the bottom of a two-quart vessel
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out

Three else of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits –
swelling (adj.) 2 swollen [with pride], arrogant

That hold their honours in a wary distance,

The very elements of this warlike isle –
element (n.) 6 essence, embodiment, heart and soul

Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups,

And they watch too. Now 'mongst this flock of drunkards,
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out

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,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate
consequence (n.) 1 course of events, subsequent happenings

My boat sails freely both with wind and stream.
stream (n.) current, flow, drift

Enter Cassio with Montano and Gentlemen, and

servants with wine


'Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.
rouse (n.) full draught (of wine), brimful cup, carousing


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

a soldier.


Some wine, ho!

(sings) And let me the canakin clink, clink;

And let me the canakin clink;

A soldier's a man

O, man's life's but a span;

Why, then, let a soldier drink.

Some wine, boys.


'Fore God, an excellent song.


I learned it in England, where indeed they are most

potent in potting. Your Dane, your German, and your
potent (adj.) 2 capable, accomplished, competent
potting (n.) drinking, tippling, imbibing

swag-bellied Hollander – drink, ho! – are nothing to
swag-bellied (adj.) pendulous-bellied, with a hanging paunch

your English.


Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?


Why, he drinks you with facility your Dane dead

drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almaine; he

gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle can be
pottle, pottle-pot (n.) drinking vessel containing two quarts



To the health of our General!


I am for it, Lieutenant; and I'll do you



O, sweet England!

(sings) King Stephen was and-a worthy peer,

His breeches cost him but a crown;

He held them sixpence all too dear;

With that he called the tailor lown.
lown, loon (n.) rogue, sluggard; worthless idiot

He was a wight of high renown,
wight (n.) [archaism] person, human being See Topics: Archaisms

And thou art but of low degree;
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing

'Tis pride that pulls the country down;

Then take thine auld cloak about thee.

Some wine, ho!


'Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the



Will you hear't again?


No, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

that does those things. Well, God's above all; and there

be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be



It's true, good Lieutenant.


For mine own part – no offence to the General,

nor any man of quality – I hope to be saved.
quality (n.) 3 rank, standing, position


And so do I too, Lieutenant.


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. God forgive us our

sins. Gentlemen, let's look to our business. Do not

think, gentlemen, I am drunk: this is my Ancient, this

is my right hand, and this is my left. I am not drunk

now: I can stand well enough and I speak well enough.


Excellent well.


Why, very well; you must not think then that I

am drunk.



To th' platform, masters; come, let's set the
platform (n.) 2 gun-platform, battery emplacement



You see this fellow that's 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,
equinox (n.) counterbalance, having one as long as the other

The one as long as th' other. 'Tis pity of him.

I fear the trust Othello puts in him,

On some odd time of his infirmity,
odd (adj.) 4 casual, chance, or other

Will shake this island.


                         But is he often thus?


'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep:

He'll watch the horologe a double set,
horologe (n.) clock, dial, timepiece
set (n.) 1 setting, cycle, revolution

If drink rock not his cradle.


                         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?

Enter Roderigo


(aside) How now, Roderigo!

I pray you after the Lieutenant go!

Exit Roderigo


And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor

Should hazard such a place as his own second
hazard (v.) 1 expose to danger, put at risk
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

With one of an ingraft infirmity.
ingraft, engraffed (adj.) 1 ingrafted, ingrained, deep-rooted

It were an honest action to say

So to the Moor.


                         Not I, for this fair island!

I do love Cassio well and would do much

To cure him of this evil.

(Cry within) ‘ Help! Help!’

                         But hark, what noise?

Enter Cassio, pursuing Roderigo


Zounds, you rogue, you rascal!


What's the matter, Lieutenant?


A knave teach me my duty? I'll beat the knave into
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

a twiggen bottle.
twiggen-bottle (n.) bottle cased in wickerwork


Beat me?


Dost thou prate, rogue?
prate (v.) prattle, chatter, blather See Topics: Frequency count

He strikes Roderigo


Nay, good Lieutenant; I pray you, sir, hold

your hand.


Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.
mazzard (n.) [jocular] skull, head, bowl


Come, come, you're drunk.




(to Roderigo)
mutiny (n.) 1 riot, civil disturbance, state of discord

Away, I say; go out and cry a mutiny.

Exit Roderigo

Nay, good Lieutenant. God's will, gentleman!

Help, ho! Lieutenant! Sir! Montano! Sir!

Help, masters. Here's a goodly watch indeed.
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine

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!

Enter Othello and attendants


What is the matter here?


                         Zounds, I bleed still.

I am hurt to th' death.


                         Hold for your lives!


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

Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Hold! The General speaks to you: hold, for shame!


Why, how now, ho! From whence ariseth this?

Are we turned Turks and to ourselves do that

Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?

For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl.
put by (v.) 2 give up, desist from

He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
carve (v.) 3 choose, select [as of a slice of meat]

Holds his soul light: he dies upon his motion.
light (adj.) 5 [of counterfeit coins] of less weight, worthless, cheap
motion (n.) 7 act of moving, movement, stirring

Silence that dreadful bell: it frights the isle
dreadful (adj.) 1 inspiring dread, causing fear, daunting
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count

From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
propriety (n.) 1 natural state, normal condition

Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,
dead (adj.) 5 death-like, lifeless, spiritless

Speak, who began this? On thy love I charge thee.


I do not know. Friends all but now, even now,

In quarter and in terms like bride and groom
quarter (n.) 2 relationships, relations, mutual conduct

Devesting them for bed; and then but now –
devest, divest (v.) undress, unclothe, disrobe

As if some planet had unwitted men –
unwit (v.) deprive of wits, make crazy

Swords out, and tilting one at others' breasts
tilt (v.) joust, fight [with lances], thrust

In opposition bloody. I cannot speak

Any beginning to this peevish odds;
odds (n. plural) 4 quarrel, disagreement, strife
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

And would in action glorious I had lost
action (n.) 2 engagement, combat, fighting

Those legs that brought me to a part of it.


How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
forget (v.) 2 behave inappropriately, lose sight of one's position


I pray you, pardon me: I cannot speak.


Worthy Montano, you were wont to be civil:
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

The gravity and stillness of your youth
stillness (n.) restraint, sobriety, quietness of behaviour

The world hath noted; and your name is great

In mouths of wisest censure. What's the matter
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism

That you unlace your reputation thus

And spend your rich opinion for the name
opinion (n.) 2 reputation, character, honour
rich (adj.) 1 high, noble, great

Of a night-brawler? Give me answer to it.


Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.

Your officer, Iago, can inform you,

While I spare speech, which something now offends me,
offend (v.) 1 harm, hurt, pain
something (adv.) 2 a little, to some extent
spare (v.) 1 omit, avoid, refrain [from]

Of all that I do know; nor know I aught
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

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.


                         Now, by heaven,

My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
blood (n.) 2 anger, temper, passion

And passion, having my best judgement collied,
collied (adj.) 1 clouded, blackened, muddied
passion (n.) 4 fit of anger, feeling of rage

Assays to lead the way. Zounds, if I stir,
assay (v.) 1 attempt, try, venture

Or do but lift this arm, the best of you

Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
sink (v.) 2 be ruined, give up, perish

How this foul rout began, who set it on;
rout (n.) 3 brawl, disturbance, riot

And he that is approved in this offence,
approve (v.) 5 prove guilty, convict

Though he had twinned with me, both at a birth,

Shall lose me. What! In a town of war
war, town of (n.) garrison town, fortified town

Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,

To manage private and domestic quarrel
manage (v.) 2 conduct, carry on

In night, and on the court and guard of safety,
court (n.) 2 care, custody, minding

'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't?


If partially affined or leagued in office,
affine (v.) bind by ties, obligate, make beholden
league (v.) 1 bind together, ally, confederate
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function
partially (adv.) with partiality, in a biased way

Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe

Thou art no soldier.
near (adv.) 1 closely, intimately, seriously
touch (v.) 8 wound, hurt, injure


                         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. This it is, General.

Montano and myself being in speech,

There comes a fellow, crying out for help,

And Cassio following with determined sword

To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
execute (v.) 2 implement, activate, bring into operation

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 returned the rather
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

For that I heard the clink and fall of swords

And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight

I ne'er might say before. When I came back –

For this was brief – I found them close together

At blow and thrust, even as again they were

When you yourself did part them.

More of this matter can I not 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.
pass (v.) 16 pass over, ignore, disregard


                         I know, Iago,

Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
mince (v.) 1 play down, soften, make little of

Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,

But nevermore be officer of mine.

Enter Desdemona, attended
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

Look, if my gentle love be not raised up.

I'll make thee an example.


                         What is the matter, dear?


All's well now, sweeting: come away to bed.
sweeting (n.) 1 sweetheart, darling, dearest See Topics: Address forms

Sir, for your hurts myself will be your surgeon.
surgeon (n.) doctor, physician

Montano is led off

Iago, look with care about the town

And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
distract (v.) 3 [unclear meaning] perplex, bewilder

Come, Desdemona, 'tis the soldiers' life

To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
balmy (adj.) 2 soothing, healing, restorative

Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio


What, are you hurt, Lieutenant?


Ay, past all surgery.


Marry, God forbid!


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



As I am an honest man I thought you had received

some bodily wound: there is more sense in that
offence (n.) 1 damage, injury, harm

than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false
false (adj.) 5 defective, weak, inadequate

imposition; oft got without merit and lost without
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

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
cast (v.) 4 cast off, discard, dismiss, reject

in his mood – a punishment more in policy than in
policy (n.) 1 statecraft, statesmanship, diplomacy

malice – even so as one would beat his offenceless dog to
malice (n.) hostility, hatred, ill-will, enmity
offenceless (adj.) incapable of causing offence, harmless

affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he's
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare



I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so

good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so
light (adj.) 5 [of counterfeit coins] of less weight, worthless, cheap
slight (adj.) 1 worthless, insignificant, good-for-nothing

indiscreet an officer. Drunk! And speak parrot! And
parrot (n.) nonsense, rubbish, without understanding

squabble! Swagger! Swear! And discourse fustian with
discourse (v.) 1 talk, chat, converse
fustian (n.) 2 bombast, nonsense, gibberish
swagger (v.) 1 force by blustering language, bully

one's own shadow! O, thou invisible spirit of wine, if

thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.


What was he that you followed with your sword?

What had he done to you?


I know not.


Is't possible?


I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly;
distinctly (adv.) 2 clearly, without confusion

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
pleasance (n.) pleasure, delight, gratification

and applause transform ourselves into beasts!


Why, but you are now well enough! How came you

thus recovered?


It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place

to the devil wrath: one unperfectness shows me another,
unperfectness (n.) imperfection, defect, flaw

to make me frankly despise myself.


Come, you are too severe a moraller. As the time,
moraller (n.) moralizer, self-critic

the place and the condition of this country stands, I

could heartily wish this had not so befallen: but since
befall (v.), past forms befallen, befell 1 happen, occur, take place, turn out See Topics: Frequency count

it is as it is, mend it for your own good.


I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

I am a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such

an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible
sensible (adj.) 3 endowed with good sense, perceptive, responsible

man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O, strange!
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Every inordinate cup is unblessed and the ingredience
ingredience (n.) composition, ingredients, contents
inordinate (adj.) immoderate, intemperate, excessive
unordinate (adj.) inordinate, excessive, intemperate

is a devil.


Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature if
creature (n.) 4 material comfort, drink, liquor
familiar (adj.) 1 friendly, congenial, welcoming

it be well used: exclaim no more against it. And, good
exclaim against / on (v.) decry, cry out against, rail at

Lieutenant, I think you think I love you.


I have well approved it, sir. I drunk!
approve (v.) 3 put to the proof, test, try


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. I 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.
denotement (n.) 2 account, description, making known
devotement (n.) worship, reverence
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Confess yourself freely to her; importune her help to
importune (v.) 2 beg [for], ask persistently [for]

put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so
free (adj.) 3 noble, honourable, worthy

apt, so blessed a disposition, that 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
lay (n.) 2 wager, stake, bet
splinter (v.) put in a splint, secure, bind up

naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than
crack (n.) 1 flaw, defect, deficiency

it was before.


You advise me well.


I protest in the sincerity of love and honest



I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will
betimes (adv.) 1 early in the morning, at an early hour

beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me.

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


You are in the right. Good night, Lieutenant, I must

to the watch.


Good night, honest 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
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
probal (adj.) reasonable, sure to be approved by

To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy

Th' inclining Desdemona to subdue
inclining (adj.) compliant, sympathetic, submissive
subdue (v.) 3 persuade, convince, prevail over

In any honest suit. She's framed as fruitful
fruitful (adj.) 3 generous, bountiful, liberal
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

As the free elements; and then for her
element (n.) 1 (plural) substances from which all material things are made [believed to be earth, water, air, fire]

To win the Moor, were't to renounce his baptism,

All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
seal (n.) 2 pledge, promise, token, sign

His soul is so enfettered to her love,
enfettered (adj.) placed in fetters, enchained, enslaved

That she may make, unmake, do what she list,

Even as her appetite shall play the god
appetite (n.) 1 desire, longing, inclination, fancy

With his weak function. How am I then a villain
function (n.) 2 ability to exercise the faculties, natural powers

To counsel Cassio to this parallel course
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
directly (adv.) 3 plainly, clearly, evidently
divinity (n.) 1 theology

When devils will the blackest sins put on,
put on (v.) 1 instigate, provoke, incite

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,
repeal (v.) recall, call back [from exile]

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,
pitch (n.) 3 black tar-like substance [used to waterproof planks, etc; often, a symbol of defilement]

And out of her own goodness make the net

That shall enmesh them all.

Enter Roderigo

                         How now, Roderigo?


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

that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is
cry (n.) 1 company, pack [as of hounds]

almost spent; I have been tonight exceedingly well

cudgelled; and I think the issue will be, I shall have so

much experience for my pains; and so, with no money
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

at all, and a little more wit, return again to Venice.


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,
wit (n.) 4 cunning plan, ingenious design

And wit depends on dilatory time.

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

And thou by that small hurt hath cashiered Cassio.

Though other things grow fair against the sun,

Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.

Content thyself awhile. By th' mass, 'tis morning:

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

Retire thee; go where thou art billeted.
retire (v.) 1 withdraw, take oneself away

Away, I say, thou shalt know more hereafter:

Nay, get thee gone.

Exit Roderigo

                         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
jump (adv.) exactly, precisely

Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way.

Dull not device by coldness and delay.
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick
dull (v.) 5 blunt, reduce the activity of


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