Othello


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown


DESDEMONA

Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant

Cassio lies?


CLOWN

I dare not say he lies anywhere.


DESDEMONA

Why, man?


CLOWN

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 anything be made of this?


CLOWN

I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a

lodging, and say he lies here, or he lies there, were to lie

in mine own throat.


DESDEMONA

Can you inquire him out? And be edified by
edify (v.) 1 enlighten, instruct, inform

report?


CLOWN

I will catechize the world for him, that is, make
catechize (v.) 2 question systematically, cross-examine, interrogate

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
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

therefore I will attempt the doing of it.

Exit


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
crusado, cruzado (n.) Portuguese gold coin [bearing the figure of a cross] See Topics: Money

Is true of mind, and made of no such baseness
baseness (n.) 1 socially inferior trait, plebeian quality

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.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count


EMILIA

                         Look where he comes.

Enter Othello


DESDEMONA

I will not leave him now till Cassio

Be called to him. How is't with you, my lord?


OTHELLO

Well, my good lady. (Aside) O, hardness to dissemble!
dissemble (v.) 2 deceive, disguise the truth, pretend

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.
fruitfulness (n.) liberality, generosity, of a giving nature
liberal (adj.) 1 overgenerous, licentious

Hot, hot and moist. This hand of yours requires

A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
sequester (n.) sequestration, removal, withdrawal

Much castigation, exercise devout;
castigation (n.) self-discipline, self-correction, self-denial
exercise (n.) 4 religious practice, spiritual observance

For there's a young and sweating devil here

That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand,

A frank one.
frank (adj.) 1 generous, liberal, bounteous


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;
liberal (adj.) 1 overgenerous, licentious

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;
rheum (n.) 3 catarrh, headcold, coughing and spluttering
salt (adj.) 4 [of a cold] bitter, intense, heavy
sorry (adj.) 2 awful, wretched, vile
sullen (adj.) 1 gloomy, dismal, melancholy, mournful

Lend me thy handkerchief.


DESDEMONA

                         Here, my lord.


OTHELLO

That which I gave you.


DESDEMONA

                         I have it not about me.


OTHELLO

Not?


DESDEMONA

                         No, faith, my lord.


OTHELLO

                                                         That is a fault.

That handkerchief

Did an Egyptian to my mother give:

She was a charmer and could almost read
charmer (n.) enchanter/enchantress, worker of charms

The thoughts of people. She told her, while she kept it,

'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
amiable (adj.) 2 beloved, desirable, lovable

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
spirit (n.) 2 (plural) sentiments, faculties, traits of character

After new fancies. She, dying, gave it me,
fancy (n.) 2 sweetheart, love, lover

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 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 numbered in the world
sibyl (n.) prophetess, fortune-teller, wise woman See Topics: Roman history

The sun to course two hundred compasses,
compass (n.) 5 revolution, circuit of time

In her prophetic fury sewed the work:
fury (n.) 1 inspiration, frenzy, zeal

The worms were hallowed that did breed the silk,

And it was dyed in mummy, which the skilful
mummy (n.) 2 preparation made from mummies

Conserved of maidens' hearts.
conserve (v.) preserve in sugar, make into a confection


DESDEMONA

                         Indeed! Is't true?


OTHELLO

Most veritable; therefore look to't well.


DESDEMONA

Then would to God that I had never seen it!


OTHELLO

Ha! Wherefore?


DESDEMONA

Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
rash (adv.) hastily, impetuously, impulsively
startingly (adv.) in fits and starts, disjointedly


OTHELLO

Is't lost? Is't gone? Speak: is't out o'th' way?


DESDEMONA

Heaven bless us!


OTHELLO

                         Say you?


DESDEMONA

                                                         It is not lost.

But what an if it were?


OTHELLO

                         How!


DESDEMONA

I say it is not lost.


OTHELLO

                         Fetch't: let me see't.


DESDEMONA

Why, so I can, sir; but I will not now.

This is a trick to put me from my suit.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Pray you let Cassio be received again.


OTHELLO

Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives.
misgive (v.) 2 have misgivings, have a bad feeling


DESDEMONA

Come, come:

You'll never meet a more sufficient man.
sufficient (adj.) able, capable, competent


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

                         I'faith you are to blame.


OTHELLO

Zounds!

Exit


EMILIA

Is not this man jealous?


DESDEMONA

                         I ne'er saw this before.

Sure, there's some wonder in this handkerchief:
wonder (n.) 5 special power, miraculous quality

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;

They eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
hungerly (adv.) hungrily, greedily, avidly

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

Enter Iago and Cassio


IAGO

There is no other way: 'tis she must do't.

And lo, the happiness! Go, and importune her.
happiness (n.) 1 good luck, success, good fortune
importune (v.) 1 urge, press


DESDEMONA

How now, good Cassio! What's the news with you?


CASSIO

Madam, my former suit. I do beseech you
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

That by your virtuous means I may again
virtuous (adj.) 1 potent, powerful, efficacious

Exist and be a member of his love,

Whom I, with all the office of my heart,
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

Entirely honour. I would not be delayed.

If my offence be of such mortal kind
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

That nor my service past, nor present sorrow,

Nor purposed merit in futurity,
purposed (adj.) 1 proposed, intended, contemplated

Can ransom me into his love again,

But to know so must be my benefit:

So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
content (n.) 3 acceptance, acquiescence

And shut myself up in some other course
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

To Fortune's alms.


DESDEMONA

                         Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio!

My advocation is not now in tune:
advocation (n.) advocacy, pleading, entreating

My lord is not my lord; nor should I know him,

Were he in favour as in humour altered.
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

So help me every spirit sanctified
sanctified (adj.) 1 consecrated, holy

As I have spoken for you all my best,

And stood within the blank of his displeasure
blank (n.) 1 bull's-eye, target centre; or: line of sight

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

Puffed 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 unhatched practice
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue
unhatched (adj.) 1 evolving, still in course of development

Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,

Hath puddled his clear spirit; and in such cases
puddle (v.) make muddy, cloud, muddle

Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,

Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so.

For let our finger ache, and it indues
indue, endue (v.) 2 introduce, lead, bring

Our other healthful members even to that sense

Of pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods,

Nor of them look for such observancy
observancy (n.) proper attention, tender attentiveness

As fit the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,
beshrew, 'shrew (v.) 1 curse, devil take, evil befall See Topics: Frequency count
bridal (n.) wedding, marriage

I was – unhandsome warrior as I am –
unhandsome (adj.) 2 inadequate, inexpert, falling short

Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;

But now I find I had suborned the witness
suborn (v.) bribe, corrupt, persuade [someone] to commit perjury

And he's indicted falsely.


EMILIA

Pray heaven it be state matters, as you think,

And no conception nor no jealous toy
conception (n.) 2 imagining, supposition, fanciful idea
toy (n.) 2 fancy, fantastic thought

Concerning you.


DESDEMONA

Alas the day, I never gave him cause.


EMILIA

But jealous souls will not be answered so;

They are not ever jealous for the cause,

But jealous for they're jealous. It is a monster

Begot upon itself, born on itself.


DESDEMONA

Heaven keep that monster from Othello's mind.


EMILIA

Lady, amen!


DESDEMONA

I will go seek him. Cassio, walk here about.

If I do find him fit, I'll move your suit,
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

And seek to effect it to my uttermost.


CASSIO

I humbly thank your ladyship.

Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia

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!
dial (n.) watch, timepiece, pocket sundial

O weary reckoning!
weary (adj.) wearisome, tedious, long-drawn-out


CASSIO

                         Pardon me, Bianca.

I have this while with leaden thoughts been pressed:

But I shall in a more continuate time
continuate (adj.) 1 uninterrupted, undisturbed, unbroken
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate

Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,
strike off (v.) cancel [as by a pen-stroke], erase, remove

Take me this work out.
take out (v.) 1 copy, imitate, replicate
work (n.) 4 embroidery, needlework


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:
remembrance (n.) 4 love-token, keepsake, memento

No, by my faith, 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 –
demand (v.) 2 ask for, claim

As like enough it will – I'd have it copied.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

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


BIANCA

Leave you! Wherefore?


CASSIO

I do attend here on the General,
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

And think it no addition, nor my wish,
addition (n.) 6 advantage, credit, plus

To have him see me womaned.
woman (v.) 2 be in the company of a woman


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.
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


BIANCA

'Tis very good: I must be circumstanced.
circumstanced (adj.) governed by circumstances, subject to the situation

Exeunt

 
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