Othello


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Othello and Emilia


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'th' way?


EMILIA

                         Never.


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,
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous

Lay down my soul at stake. If you think other,

Remove your thought: it doth abuse your bosom.
abuse (v.) 4 demean, do wrong to, dishonour
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person

If any wretch have put this in your head,

Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!
requite (v.), past forms requit, requited 2 avenge, pay back, take vengeance on

For if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous

There's no man happy. The purest of their wives

Is foul as slander.


OTHELLO

                         Bid her come hither: go!

Exit Emilia

She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count
simple (adj.) 2 foolish, silly, stupid

That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,

A closet lock and key of villainous secrets;
closet (n.) 1 private chamber, study, own room

And yet she'll kneel and pray – I have seen her do't.

Enter Desdemona and Emilia


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.
fancy (n.) 5 imagining, flight of fancy, fanciful thought


DESDEMONA

                         What horrible fancy's this?


OTHELLO

(to Emilia)
function (n.) 3 office, occupation, calling

Some of your function, mistress.

Leave procreants alone and shut the door.
procreant (n.) person engaged in procreation, copulator

Cough or cry ‘ hem ’ if anybody come.

Your mystery, your mystery! Nay, dispatch!
dispatch, despatch (v.) 4 hurry up, be quick
mystery (n.) 1 trade, office, occupation

Exit Emilia


DESDEMONA

Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
import (v.) 1 signify, mean, suggest

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-damned:

Swear thou art honest.
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous


DESDEMONA

                         Heaven doth truly know it.


OTHELLO

Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful


DESDEMONA

To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful


OTHELLO

Ah, Desdemon! Away, away, away!


DESDEMONA

Alas, the heavy day! Why do you weep?
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

Am I the motive of these tears my lord?
motive (n.) 1 cause, mover, instigator

If haply you my father do suspect
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

An instrument of this your calling back,

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

I have lost him too.


OTHELLO

                         Had it pleased heaven

To try me with affliction, had they rained

All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head,

Steeped 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 garnered up my heart,
garner (v.) store up, lay up, deposit

Where either I must live, or bear no life,

The fountain from the which my current runs,
fountain (n.) spring, source, well

Or else dries up – to be discarded thence

Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
cestern, cesterne (n.) variant spelling of ‘cistern’ [= water receptacle, vessel, reservoir]

To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there,
complexion (n.) 1 appearance, look, colouring
gender (v.) copulate, beget, engender
knot (v.) gather together, assemble, congregate

Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin,
cherubin (n.) 2 celestial being, heavenly beauty

Ay, there look grim as hell!


DESDEMONA

I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous


OTHELLO

O, ay! As summer flies are in the shambles,
shambles (n.) meat-market, slaughter-house

That quicken even with blowing, O, thou weed,
blow (v.) 2 deposit eggs [in], pollute, contaminate
quicken (v.) 2 receive life, be conceived

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!
commoner (n.) 2 whore, harlot, prostitute

I should make very forges of my cheeks,
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute

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;
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes

The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets,

Is hushed within the hollow mine of earth

And will not hear it. What committed?
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore

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
vessel (n.) body, frame

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. (Calling) You, mistress,

That have the office opposite to Saint Peter
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

And keep the gate of hell!

Enter Emilia

                         You, you, ay, you!

We have done our course: there's money for your pains.
course (n.) 3 bout, engagement, encounter

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

Exit


EMILIA

Alas, what does this gentleman conceive?
conceive (v.) 3 imagine, fancy

How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?


DESDEMONA

Faith, half asleep.


EMILIA

Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?


DESDEMONA

With who?


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
water (n.) 1 tears

Lay on my bed my wedding sheets, remember,

And call thy husband hither.


EMILIA

                         Here's a change indeed!

Exit


DESDEMONA

'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

How have I been behaved, that he might stick

The smallest opinion on my least misuse?
misuse (n.) misbehaviour, transgression, impropriety
opinion (n.) 3 gossip, suspicion, malicious rumour

Enter Emilia and 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:
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

He might have chid me so, for, in good faith,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

I am a child to chiding.
chiding (n.) 1 telling-off, scolding, rebuke


IAGO

                         What is the matter, lady?


EMILIA

Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her,
bewhore (v.) call a whore, make a whore of

Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her
despite (n.) 1 contempt, scorn, disdain
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty

As true heart cannot bear.


DESDEMONA

Am I that name, Iago?


IAGO

                         What name, fair lady?


DESDEMONA

Such as she said my lord did say I was.


EMILIA

He called her whore: a beggar in his drink

Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.
callet, callot (n.) 1 slut, drab, harlot


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, all her friends,

To be called whore? Would it not make one weep?


DESDEMONA

It is my wretched fortune.
beshrew, 'shrew (v.) 1 curse, devil take, evil befall See Topics: Frequency count


IAGO

                         Beshrew him for't!

How comes this trick upon him?
trick (n.) 7 misconception, delusion, fancy


DESDEMONA

                         Nay, heaven doth know.


EMILIA

I will be hanged if some eternal villain,

Some busy and insinuating rogue,
busy (adj.) 2 interfering, meddlesome, busy-bodying
insinuating (adj.) ingratiating, fawning, obsequious

Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,
cogging (adj.) deceiving, cheating, double-crossing
cozening (adj.) cheating, deceiving, fraudulent
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

Have not devised this slander; I'll be hanged 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!
halter (n.) 1 rope with a noose [for hanging]

Why should he call her whore? Who keeps her company?

What place, what time, what form, what likelihood?
form (n.) 1 image, likeness, shape

The Moor's abused by some most villainous knave,
abuse (v.) 1 deceive, mislead, fool, cheat
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
scurvy (adj.) 1 contemptible, despicable, wretched

O heaven, that such companions thou'dst unfold,
companion (n.) 1 rogue, rascal, fellow
unfold (v.) 2 identify, disclose, reveal

And put in every honest hand a whip

To lash the rascals naked through the world,

Even from the east to th' west!
door, within so as not to be heard outside, not so loudly


IAGO

                         Speak within door.


EMILIA

O fie upon them! Some such squire he was
squire (n.) 5 [contemptuous] fellow

That turned your wit the seamy side without
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

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;
actual (adj.) active, involving specific activity
discourse (n.) 3 course, process, manner

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,
beggarly (adj.) 1 destitute, impoverished, poverty-stricken
divorcement (n.) divorce, separation

Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much,
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

And his unkindness may defeat my life,
defeat (v.) 5 destroy, ruin, wreck

But never taint my love. I cannot say ‘ whore ’:

It does abhor me now I speak the word;
abhor (v.) 2 disgust, horrify, revolt

To do the act that might the addition earn
addition (n.) 1 title, name

Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.


IAGO

I pray you, be content: 'tis but his humour;
content (adj.) 3 satisfied, calm, easy in mind
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

The business of the state does him offence,

And he does chide with you.
chide (v.), past form chid 3 quarrel, wrangle, fight


DESDEMONA

If 'twere no other –
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


IAGO

                         It is so, I warrant.

Hark how these instruments summon to supper!

The messengers of Venice stay the meat.

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

Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia

Enter Roderigo

How now, Roderigo?


RODERIGO

I do not find that thou deal'st justly with

me.


IAGO

What in the contrary?


RODERIGO

Every day thou daff'st me with some device,
daff (v.), past form daft 2 put off, deflect, sidetrack
device (n.) 7 excuse, evasion, subterfuge

Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep'st from me

all conveniency, than suppliest me with the least advantage
conveniency (n.) convenience, opportunity, 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
votarist (n.) vow-taker, religious, nun / monk

and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect
respect (n.) 3 regard, admiration, favour, opinion
sudden (adj.) 3 immediate, early, prompt

and acquaintance, but I find none.
acquittance (n.) 1 satisfaction, settlement, discharge


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
scurvy (adj.) 1 contemptible, despicable, wretched

find myself fopped in it.
fopped (adj.) duped, cheated, hoodwinked


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.
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

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.
intendment (n.) intent, intention, purpose


IAGO

Why, now I see there's mettle in thee; and even from

this instant do 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.
directly (adv.) 2 straightforwardly, rightly, without evasion


RODERIGO

It hath not appeared.


IAGO

I grant indeed it hath not appeared; and your suspicion

is not without wit and judgement. But, Roderigo,
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

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

next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from

this world with treachery, and devise engines for my life.
engine (n.) 1 plot, device, means, instrument


RODERIGO

Well, what is it? Is it within reason and

compass?
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope


IAGO

Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice

to depute Cassio in Othello's place.
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count


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
abode (n.) 2 staying, remaining, lingering
linger (v.) 2 prolong, draw out, extend

here by some accident: wherein none can be so determinate
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening
determinate (adj.) 2 conclusive, definitive, decisive

as the removing of Cassio.


RODERIGO

How do you mean ‘ removing ’ of him?


IAGO

Why, by making him uncapable of Othello's place –
uncapable (adj.) incapable, unable [to do something]

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 tonight with a harlotry; and thither will I go to
harlotry (n.) 1 harlot, whore
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count

him. He knows not yet of his honourable fortune. If

you will watch his going thence – which I will fashion to
fashion (v.) 3 arrange, contrive, manage

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
amazed (adj.) dumbfounded, stunned, thunderstruck, overwhelmed

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 supper-time and
high (adv.) fully, altogether

the night grows to waste. About it!


RODERIGO

I will hear further reason for this.


IAGO

And you shall be satisfied.

Exeunt

 
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