Othello


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
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.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

But for the handkerchief –


OTHELLO

By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it!

Thou said'st – O, it comes o'er my memory
come over (v.) 1 overshadow, overwhelm, exercise influence over

As doth the raven o'er the infected house,

Boding to all! – he had my handkerchief.
boding (adj.) ominous, full of foreboding


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,
abroad (adv.) 1 in the outside world, freely at large, elsewhere, everywhere
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

Who having by their own importunate suit
importunate (adj.) persistent, pressing, insistent
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Or voluntary dotage of some mistress
dotage (n.) 1 doting, infatuation, excessive affection
voluntary (adj.) willing, ready, enthusiastic

Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
convince (v.) 1 defeat, overcome, overpower
supply (v.) 5 satisfy, fulfil, gratify [sexually]

But they must blab –


OTHELLO

                         Hath he said anything?


IAGO

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

No more than he'll unswear.
unswear (v.) abjure, retract, repudiate


OTHELLO

                         What hath he said?


IAGO

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


OTHELLO

What? What?


IAGO

Lie –


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! Zounds, that's fulsome!
fulsome (adj.) 1 distasteful, nauseating, repulsive

Handkerchief – confession – handkerchief! To

confess and be hanged for his labour. First to be hanged

and then to confess! I tremble at it. Nature would not
nature (n.) 3 human nature

invest herself in such shadowing passion without some
shadowing (adj.) foreshadowing, ill-boding, darkening

instruction. It is not words that shake me thus! Pish!
instruction (n.) 4 basis in fact, knowledge, information

Noses, ears, and lips! Is't possible? – Confess?

Handkerchief! O devil!

He falls


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!
reproach (n.) 1 blame, disgrace, shame

My lord, I say! Othello!

Enter Cassio

                         How now, Cassio!


CASSIO

What's the matter?


IAGO

My lord is fallen into an epilepsy.

This is his second fit: he had one yesterday.


CASSIO

Rub him about the temples.
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count


IAGO

                         No, forbear.

The lethargy must have his quiet course.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
lethargy (n.) 2 coma, state of unconsciousness

If not, he foams at mouth; and by and by
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly

Breaks out to savage madness. Look, he stirs.

Do you withdraw yourself a little while:

He will recover straight. When he is gone,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

I would on great occasion speak with you.
occasion (n.) 2 ground, reason, cause, matter

Exit Cassio

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.
civil (adj.) 1 civilized, cultured, refined


OTHELLO

Did he confess it?


IAGO

                         Good sir, be a man.

Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
yoked (adj.) joined in marriage, wedded

May draw with you. There's millions now alive
draw (v.) 17 carry a burden, drag a load

That nightly lie in those unproper beds
unproper (adj.) not solely one's one, shared with another

Which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better.
peculiar (adj.) particular, private, personal

O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
arch-mock (n.) chief mockery, main jibe
spite (n.) 1 annoyance, vexation, irritation

To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
lip (v.) kiss
secure (adj.) 1 carefree, free from anxiety, unguarded
wanton (n.) 2 mistress, paramour, lover

And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;

And knowing what I am, I know what shall be.


OTHELLO

O, thou art wise, 'tis certain.


IAGO

                         Stand you awhile apart;

Confine yourself but in a patient list.
list (n.) 3 boundary, limit, confines

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;
ecstasy (n.) 1 fit, bout of madness, frenzied behaviour
scuse (n.) excuse

Bade him anon return and here speak with me,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
encave (v.) hide away, conceal

And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns
fleer (n.) sneer, mockery, jeering
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
notable (adj.) 2 observable, noticeable, perceptible
scorn (n.) 1 mockery, taunt, insult, act of derision

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
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

He hath, and is again, to cope your wife.
cope, cope with (v.) 1 encounter, face, have to do [with], come into contact [with]

I say, but mark his gestures. Marry, patience!
but (adv.) 1 merely, only
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen
spleen (n.) 1 temper, spirit, passion [part of the body seen as the source of both gloomy and mirthful emotions]

And nothing of a man.


OTHELLO

                         Dost thou hear, Iago?

I will be found most cunning in my patience,
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever

But – dost thou hear? – most bloody.


IAGO

                         That's not amiss,

But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
time, keep be restrained, keep control

Othello retires

Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,

A housewife, that by selling her desires
desire (n.) 2 charm, desirability
housewife, huswife (n.) [pron: 'husif] hussy, wanton, minx

Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature

That dotes on Cassio – as 'tis the strumpet's plague
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore

To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
beguile (v.) 3 charm, captivate, bewitch

He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain

From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.

Enter Cassio

As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;

And his unbookish jealousy must construe
conster (v.) 2 construe, interpret, read
construe (v.) 1 interpret, take, understand
unbookish (adj.) ignorant, ill-educated, unlearned

Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures, and light behaviour

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


CASSIO

The worser that you give me the addition
addition (n.) 1 title, name

Whose want even kills me.


IAGO

Ply Desdemona well and you are sure on't.

Now if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

How quickly should you speed!
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness


CASSIO

                         Alas, poor caitiff!


OTHELLO

(aside) 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

(aside) Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.


IAGO

Do you hear, Cassio?


OTHELLO

(aside) Now he importunes him to tell it o'er.

Go to, well said, well said!
said, well well done


IAGO

She gives it out that you shall marry her.

Do you intend it?


CASSIO

Ha, ha, ha!


OTHELLO

(aside) Do you triumph, Roman? Do you triumph?


CASSIO

I marry her! What! A customer! Prithee bear some
customer (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore

charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome. Ha,
unwholesome (adj.) 3 impaired, defective, flawed
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

ha, ha!


OTHELLO

(aside) So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.


IAGO

Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.
cry (n.) 4 rumour, gossip, common report


CASSIO

Prithee, say true.


IAGO

I am a very villain else.


OTHELLO

(aside) Have you scored me? Well.


CASSIO

This is the monkey's own giving out. She is
giving out (n.) suggestion, intimation, utterance

persuaded I will marry her out of her own love and

flattery, not out of my promise.
flattery (n.) pleasing plausibility, gratifying deception, self-delusion


OTHELLO

(aside) Iago beckons me. Now he begins the
beckon (v.) make a significant gesture to, signal

story.


CASSIO

She was here even now. She haunts me in every

place. I was the other day talking on the sea-bank with
sea-bank (n.) seashore

certain Venetians, and thither comes the bauble and, by
bauble (n.) 1 toy, plaything

this hand, she falls me thus about my neck.


OTHELLO

(aside) Crying ‘ O dear Cassio!’ as it were. His

gesture imports it.


CASSIO

So hangs and lolls and weeps upon me, so hales
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul

and pulls me. Ha, ha, ha!


OTHELLO

(aside) 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!
fitchew, fichew, ficho (n.) polecat, skunk; also: prostitute

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
take out (v.) 1 copy, imitate, replicate

work! A likely piece of work, that you should find it in
work (n.) 4 embroidery, needlework

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
hobby-horse (n.) 1 harlot, whore, prostitute

it. I'll take out no work on't.


CASSIO

How now, my sweet Bianca! How now, how now!


OTHELLO

(aside) By heaven, that should be my

handkerchief!


BIANCA

If you'll come to supper tonight, you may. If you

will not, come when you are next prepared for.

Exit


IAGO

After her, after her!


CASSIO

Faith I must: she'll rail in the street else.
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count


IAGO

Will you sup there?
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count


CASSIO

Faith, I intend to.


IAGO

Well, I may chance to see you: for I would very fain
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

speak with you.


CASSIO

Prithee come, will you?


IAGO

Go to! Say no more.

Exit Cassio


OTHELLO

(coming forward)

How shall I murder him, Iago?


IAGO

Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?


OTHELLO

O, Iago!


IAGO

And did you see the handkerchief?


OTHELLO

Was that mine?


IAGO

Yours, by this hand! And to see how he prizes the
prize (v.) 1 esteem, value, hold

foolish woman your wife: she gave it him, and he hath

giv'n 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

tonight, 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
delicate (adj.) 4 cunning, ingenious, skilful

with her needle, an admirable musician! O, she will sing

the savageness out of a bear! Of so high and plenteous

wit and invention!
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty
wit (n.) 4 cunning plan, ingenious design


IAGO

She's the worse for all this.


OTHELLO

O, a thousand, thousand times! – And then of

so gentle a condition!
condition (n.) 4 position, social rank, station
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind


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
fond (adj.) 2 foolish, trifling, frivolous
patent (n.) 2 carte blanche, formal permission

to offend, for if it touch not you, it comes near
touch (v.) 8 wound, hurt, injure

nobody.


OTHELLO

I will chop her into messes! Cuckold me!
cuckold (v.) [mocking name] dishonour a man by making his wife unfaithful
mess (n.) 4 serving of food, dish


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
expostulate (v.) 2 remonstrate, plead, argue at length
unprovide (v.) make unready, unequip, unresolve

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
undertaker (n.) 1 person who takes on a task

hear more by midnight.


OTHELLO

Excellent good!

Trumpet sounds

                         What trumpet is that same?


IAGO

I warrant, something from Venice.

Enter Lodovico, Desdemona, and attendants
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

                         'Tis Lodovico,

Come from the Duke; and see your wife is with him.


LODOVICO

God save you, worthy General!


OTHELLO

                         With all my heart, sir.


LODOVICO

The Duke and Senators of Venice greet you.

He gives him a letter


OTHELLO

I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.

He reads the letter


DESDEMONA

And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico?


IAGO

I am very glad to see you, signor:

Welcome to Cyprus.


LODOVICO

I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?


IAGO

Lives, sir.


DESDEMONA

Cousin, there's fallen between him and my lord

An unkind breach; but you shall make all well.


OTHELLO

Are you sure of that?


DESDEMONA

My lord?


OTHELLO

‘ 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

T' atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
atone (v.) 1 unite, join, reconcile


OTHELLO

Fire and brimstone!


DESDEMONA

My lord?


OTHELLO

Are you wise?


DESDEMONA

What, is he angry?


LODOVICO

                         Maybe the letter moved him.

For, as I think, they do command him home,

Deputing Cassio in his government.


DESDEMONA

By my troth, I am glad on't.


OTHELLO

                         Indeed!


DESDEMONA

                                                         My lord?


OTHELLO

I am glad to see you mad.


DESDEMONA

                         Why, sweet Othello!


OTHELLO

Devil!

He strikes her


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,
teem (v.) 2 be made pregnant, conceive

Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
fall (v.) 1 drop, descend, let fall

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!


DESDEMONA

My lord?


OTHELLO

What would you with her, sir?


LODOVICO

Who? I, my lord?


OTHELLO

Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn.
turn (v.) 5 return, come back

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! –
passion (n.) 3 suffering, torment, deep grief

I am commanded home – get you away!

I'll send for you anon. – Sir, I obey the mandate,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

And will return to Venice. – Hence, avaunt!
avaunt (int.) begone, go away, be off See Topics: Frequency count

Exit Desdemona

Cassio shall have my place. And sir, tonight
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

I do entreat that we may sup together.
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count

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

Exit


LODOVICO

Is this the noble Moor, whom our full senate

Call all-in-all sufficient? Is this the nature
sufficient (adj.) able, capable, competent

Whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue

The shot of accident nor dart of chance
accident (n.) 2 chance, fortune, fate
dart (n.) arrow; or: light spear

Could neither graze nor pierce?


IAGO

                         He is much changed.


LODOVICO

Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)


IAGO

He's that he is: I may not breathe my censure
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism

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!
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom


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,
course (n.) 2 habit, custom, practise, normal procedure
denote (v.) 1 portray, depict, represent

That I may save my speech. Do but go after,

And mark how he continues.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


LODOVICO

I am sorry that I am deceived in him.

 
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