Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Othello, with a light, Desdemona in her bed
cause (n.) 1 reason, motive, ground


It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul:

Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!
chaste (adj.) 3 pure, stainless, undefiled

It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,

Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,

And smooth as monumental alabaster:

Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
betray (v.) 1 deceive, seduce, mislead

Put out the light, and then put out the light:

If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
minister (n.) messenger, agent, servant

I can again thy former light restore,

Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,

Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
cunning (adj.) 2 skilfully made, ingenious

I know not where is that Promethean heat

That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose,
relume (v.) relight, rekindle, burn afresh

I cannot give it vital growth again,

It must needs wither. I'll smell it on the tree.

He kisses her
balmy (adj.) 1 fragrant, delicious, sweet-smelling

O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade

Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.

Be thus when thou art dead and I will kill thee,

And love thee after. One more, and this the last.

So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep.

But they are cruel tears: this sorrow's heavenly –

It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.


Who's there? Othello?


                         Ay, Desdemona.


Will you come to bed, my lord?


                         Have you prayed tonight, Desdemona?


Ay, my lord.


If you bethink yourself of any crime

Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,

Solicit for it straight.
solicit (v.) 3 beg pardon, make intercession
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


Alas, my lord, what may you mean by that?


Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by:

I would not kill thy unprepared spirit;

No – heaven forfend! – I would not kill thy soul.


Talk you of killing?


                         Ay, I do.


                                                         Then heaven

Have mercy on me!


                         Amen, with all my heart!


If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.




And yet I fear you: for you're fatal then

When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not,

Since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear.


Think on thy sins.


                         They are loves I bear to you.


Ay, and for that thou diest.


That death's unnatural that kills for loving.

Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
nether (adj.) 1 lower, bottom

Some bloody passion shakes your very frame:

These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope

They do not point on me.
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet


                         Peace, and be still!


I will – so. What's the matter?
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue


That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee,

Thou gav'st to Cassio.


                         No, by my life and soul!

Send for the man and ask him.


                         Sweet soul, take heed,

Take heed of perjury: thou art on thy death-bed.


Ay, but not yet to die.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count


                         Yes, presently.

Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;

For to deny each article with oath

Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
conception (n.) 1 design, plan, notion

That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.


Then Lord have mercy on me!


                         I say, amen.


And have you mercy too! I never did

Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio
offend (v.) 2 wrong, sin against, abuse

But with such general warranty of heaven
warranty (n.) authorization, permission, sanction

As I might love. I never gave him token.


By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand!

O perjured woman! Thou dost stone my heart,
stone (v.) turn to stone, harden

And mak'st me call what I intend to do

A murder, which I thought a sacrifice.

I saw the handkerchief.


                         He found it then.

I never gave it him. Send for him hither.

Let him confess a truth.


                         He hath confessed.


What, my lord?


That he hath used thee.


                         How? Unlawfully?




He will not say so.


                         No, his mouth is stopped:

Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.
order, take make arrangements


O, my fear interprets! What, is he dead?


Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge

Had stomach for them all.


Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count


Out, strumpet! Weep'st thou for him to my face?


O banish me, my lord, but kill me not!


Down, strumpet!


Kill me tomorrow: let me live tonight!


Nay, if you strive –


But half an hour!


                         Being done, there is no pause.


But while I say one prayer!


                         It is too late.


O Lord, Lord, Lord!

He smothers her


(without) My lord, my lord! What, ho! My lord, my lord!


What noise is this? Not dead? Not yet quite dead?

I, that am cruel, am yet merciful:

I would not have thee linger in thy pain.

So, so.


                         (without) What, ho! My lord, my lord!


                                                         Who's there?


(without) O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you.


Yes, 'tis Emilia. – By and by. – She's dead.
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly

'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death:
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

The noise was high. Ha! No more moving?
high (adj.) 1 very great, extreme

Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were't good?

I think she stirs again. No. What's best to do?

If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife –

My wife! My wife! What wife? I have no wife.

O insupportable! O heavy hour!
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Of sun and moon, and that th' affrighted globe
affrighted (adj.) alarmed, frightened, terrified

Should yawn at alteration.
yawn (v.) open wide, gape


                         I do beseech you

That I may speak with you. O, good my lord!


I had forgot thee. O, come in, Emilia.

Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.

Where art thou? (He unlocks door.) What's the matter with thee now?

Enter Emilia


O, my good lord, yonder's foul murder done.


What! Now?


But now, my lord.


It is the very error of the moon;
error (n.) 1 wandering, roaming, straying [from a course]

She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

And makes men mad.


Cassio, my lord, hath killed a young Venetian

Called Roderigo.


                         Roderigo killed?

And Cassio killed?


                         No, Cassio is not killed.


Not Cassio killed! Then murder's out of tune,

And sweet revenge grows harsh.


O, falsely, falsely murdered!


                         O Lord! What cry is that?


That? What?


Out and alas, that was my lady's voice!

She draws back the curtains

Help, help, ho, help! O, lady, speak again!

Sweet Desdemona, O sweet mistress, speak!


A guiltless death I die.


O, who hath done this deed?


Nobody – I myself – farewell.

Commend me to my kind lord – O, farewell!
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

She dies


Why, how should she be murdered?


                         Alas, who knows?


You heard her say herself it was not I.


She said so: I must needs report the truth.


She's like a liar gone to burning hell:

'Twas I that killed her.


                         O, the more angel she,

And you the blacker devil!


She turned to folly; and she was a whore.
folly (n.) wantonness, lewdness


Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
belie (v.) 1 slander, tell lies about


She was false as water.
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful


                         Thou art rash as fire to say

That she was false. O, she was heavenly true!


Cassio did top her: ask thy husband else.
top (v.) 4 screw, copulate with

O, I were damned beneath all depth in hell

But that I did proceed upon just grounds

To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.


My husband!


                         Thy husband.


                                                         That she was false to wedlock?


Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been true,

If heaven would make me such another world

Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
chrysolite (n.) type of semi-precious stone

I'd not have sold her for it.


                         My husband!


Ay, 'twas he that told me on her first.

An honest man he is, and hates the slime

That sticks on filthy deeds.


                         My husband!


What needs this iterance, woman? I say thy husband.
iterance (n.) repetition, reiteration


O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love!
mock (n.) 1 act of mockery, mocking remark, derisive action, scornful irony

My husband say that she was false?


                         He, woman;

I say thy husband; dost understand the word?

My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.


If he say so, may his pernicious soul

Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th' heart.

She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate




Do thy worst:

This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven

Than thou wast worthy her.
best, thou wert / you were you are best advised


                         Peace, you were best.


Thou hast not half that power to do me harm

As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt!
gull (n.) 1 dupe, fool, simpleton

As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed –

I care not for thy sword – I'll make thee known,

Though I lost twenty lives. Help! Help, ho! Help!

The Moor hath killed my mistress! Murder! Murder!

Enter Montano, Gratiano, and Iago


What is the matter? How now, General!


O, are you come, Iago? You have done well,

That men must lay their murders on your neck.


What is the matter?


Disprove this villain, if thou be'st a man:
disprove (v.) refute, rebut, prove wrong

He says thou told'st him that his wife was false.
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

I know thou didst not: thou'rt not such a villain.

Speak, for my heart is full.


I told him what I thought, and told no more

Than what he found himself was apt and true.
apt (adj.) 3 natural, predictable, plausible, to be expected


But did you ever tell him she was false?


I did.


You told a lie, an odious damned lie:

Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!

She false with Cassio! Did you say with Cassio?


With Cassio, mistress! Go to, charm your tongue.
charm (v.) 4 overcome, subdue, take over [as if by a charm]


I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak:

My mistress here lies murdered in her bed.


O heavens forfend!


And your reports have set the murder on.


Nay, stare not masters: it is true indeed.


'Tis a strange truth.


O monstrous act!


                         Villainy, villainy, villainy!

I think upon't, I think – I smell't – O villainy!

I thought so then; I'll kill myself for grief.

O villainy, villainy!


What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.


Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.

'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.

Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count


(falling on bed) O! O! O!


                         Nay, lay thee down and roar,

For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent

That e'er did lift up eye.



                         O, she was foul!

I scarce did know you, uncle; there lies your niece,
scarce (adv.) 1 scarcely, hardly, barely, only just

Whose breath indeed these hands have newly stopped.

I know this act shows horrible and grim.


Poor Desdemon, I am glad thy father's dead:

Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now,

This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
turn (n.) 2 act, action, deed

Yea, curse his better angel from his side,

And fall to reprobance.
reprobance (n.) damnation, perdition


'Tis pitiful: but yet Iago knows

That she with Cassio hath the act of shame

A thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it,

And she did gratify his amorous works
gratify (v.) 1 reward, repay, show gratitude for

With that recognizance and pledge of love
recognizance (n.) 1 token, sign, symbol

Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand:

It was a handkerchief, an antique token

My father gave my mother.
power (n.) 9 (usually plural) gods, deities, divinities


                         O God! O heavenly Powers!


Zounds, hold your peace!


                         'Twill out, 'twill out. I peace?

No, I will speak as liberal as the north;
liberal (adv.) freely, unrestrainedly
north (n.) north wind

Let heaven, and men, and devils, let them all,

All, all cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.


Be wise, and get you home.


                         I will not.

Iago draws his sword



Your sword upon a woman!


O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak'st of

I found by fortune and did give my husband,

For often, with a solemn earnestness –

More than indeed belonged to such a trifle –

He begged of me to steal it.


                         Villainous whore!


She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it

And I did give't my husband.


                         Filth, thou liest!


By heaven I do not, I do not, gentlemen.

O murderous coxcomb, what should such a fool
coxcomb (n.) 2 fool's head, fool, simpleton

Do with so good a wife?
stone (n.) 3 thunderbolt


                         Are there no stones in heaven

But what serve for the thunder? Precious villain!

He runs at Iago; Montano disarms him;

Iago stabs Emilia from behind and exit


The woman falls: sure he hath killed his wife.


Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress' side.


He's gone, but his wife's killed.


'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,
notorious (adj.) notable, out-and-out, evident

Which I have here recovered from the Moor.

Come guard the door without: let him not pass,

But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain,

For 'tis a damned slave.

Exeunt Montano and Gratiano


                         I am not valiant neither,

But ever puny whipster gets my sword.
whipster (n.) wretch, degenerate, good-for-nothing

But why should honour outlive honesty?
honesty (n.) 2 honour, integrity, uprightness
honour (n.) 1 fame, renown, glory

Let it go all.
bode (v.) 1 forebode, portend, predict, augur


                         What did thy song bode, lady?

Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.

And die in music. (Singing) Willow, willow, willow.

Moor, she was chaste; she loved thee, cruel Moor,

So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;

So speaking as I think, I die, I die.

She dies


I have another weapon in this chamber:

It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper.

O, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.


(within) If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear;

Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count


Look in upon me then, and speak with me,

Or naked as I am I will assault thee.
naked (adj.) 1 defenceless, undefended, unarmed

Enter Gratiano


What is the matter?


                         Behold, I have a weapon:

A better never did itself sustain
sustain (v.) 3 take up a position, have a place

Upon a soldier's thigh. I have seen the day

That with this little arm and this good sword,

I have made my way through more impediments

Than twenty times your stop. but, O vain boast! –
stop (n.) 1 obstruction, obstacle, hindrance

Who can control his fate? –'Tis not so now.

Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed;

Here is my journey's end, here is my butt
butt (n.) 1 goal, aim, target [as in archery]

And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
sea-mark (n.) prominent landmark used as a guide for sailors, beacon

Do you go back dismayed? 'Tis a lost fear:
lost (adj.) 3 groundless, idle, unwarranted

Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
man (v.) 1 employ, exert, send out
rush (n.) 3 charge, onslaught, attack

And he retires. Where should Othello go?

He goes to the bed
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench,

Pale as thy smock! When we shall meet at compt
compt (n.) reckoning, day of judgement
count (n.) 1 account, reckoning
smock (n.) woman's undergarment, shift, slip, chemise

This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven

And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl,

Even like thy chastity.

O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils,

From the possession of this heavenly sight!

Blow me about in winds! Roast me in sulphur!

Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
steep-down (adj.) precipitous, sheer

O Desdemona! Dead Desdemon! Dead! O! O!

Enter Lodovico, Cassio in a chair, Montano and Iago

with officers


Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?


That's he that was Othello: here I am.


Where is that viper? Bring the villain forth.


I look down towards his feet; but that's a fable.

If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.

He wounds Iago


Wrench his sword from him.


                         I bleed, sir, but not killed.


I am not sorry neither; I'd have thee live,

For, in my sense 'tis happiness to die.
sense (n.) 7 opinion, view, judgement


O, thou Othello, that wast once so good,

Fallen in the practice of a damned slave,
practice (n.) 2 trickery, treachery
slave (n.) 1 fellow, rascal, rogue, villain

What shall be said to thee?


                         Why, anything:

An honourable murderer, if you will:

For naught did I in hate, but all in honour.


This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.

Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
consent (v.) agree, concur, acquiesce




Dear General, I never gave you cause.


I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.

Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
demand (v.) 1 request to tell, question, ask [about]
demi-devil (n.) half-devil

Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?


Demand me nothing; what you know, you know:

From this time forth I never will speak word.


What! Not to pray?


Torments will ope your lips.
ope (v.) open See Topics: Frequency count


                         Well, thou dost best.


Sir, you shall understand what hath befallen,
befall (v.), past forms befallen, befell 1 happen, occur, take place, turn out See Topics: Frequency count

Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter

Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo,

And here another: the one of them imports

The death of Cassio, to be undertook

By Roderigo.
gross (adj.) 8 vile, abhorrent, wicked


                         O villain!


                                                         Most heathenish and most gross!


Now here's another discontented paper
discontented (adj.) full of discontent, expressing frustration

Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems

Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain,

But that, belike, Iago, in the nick,
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count
nick (n.) 1 nick of time, critical moment

Came in and satisfied him.
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature


                         O the pernicious caitiff!

How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief

That was my wife's?


                         I found it in my chamber;

And he himself confessed but even now

That there he dropped it for a special purpose
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Which wrought to his desire.
work to (v.) bring about, arrange, effect


                         O fool, fool, fool!


There is besides, in Roderigo's letter,

How he upbraids Iago, that he made him

Brave me upon the watch, whereon it came
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke

That I was cast; and even but now he spake
cast (v.) 4 cast off, discard, dismiss, reject

After long seeming dead – Iago hurt him,

Iago set him on.


You must forsake this room and go with us.

Your power and your command is taken off
power (n.) 3 authority, government

And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
slave (n.) 1 fellow, rascal, rogue, villain

If there be any cunning cruelty
cunning (adj.) 2 skilfully made, ingenious

That can torment him much, and hold him long,
hold (v.) 2 keep, preserve, conserve

It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest,
close (adj.) 3 enclosed, confined, incarcerated

Till that the nature of your fault be known

To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.


Soft you; a word or two before you go.
soft (adv.) 1 [used as a command] not so fast, wait a moment See Topics: Attention signals

I have done the state some service and they know't:

No more of that. I pray you in your letters

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate
unlucky (adj.) unfortunate, lamentable, disastrous

Speak of me as I am: nothing extenuate,
extenuate (v.) mitigate, lessen, tone down

Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;

Of one, not easily jealous but, being wrought,

Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand
perplexed (adj.) 2 bewildered, distracted, disoriented

Like the base Indian threw a pearl away
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count

Richer than all his tribe; of one whose sùbdued eyes,
subdued (adj.) overcome, overwhelmed, subjugated

Albeit unused to the melting mood,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their med'cinable gum. Set you down this:
medicinable (adj.) 1 medicinal, healing, curative, restorative

And say, besides, that in Aleppo once

Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk

Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
traduce (v.) defame, slander, calumniate, dishonour

I took by th' throat the circumcised dog

And smote him thus.

He stabs himself
period (n.) 1 full stop, end, ending, conclusion


O bloody period!


                         All that's spoke is marred!


I kissed thee, ere I killed thee: no way but this,

Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

He falls on the bed and dies


This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,

For he was great of heart.


                         O, Spartan dog,

More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage

Look on the tragic loading of this bed:

This is thy work. The object poisons sight:

Let it be hid.

The curtains are drawn

                         Gratiano, keep the house

And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
fortune (n.) 2 wealth, possessions, substance
seize, seize upon (v.) [legal] take possession of, take hold of

For they succeed on you. To you, Lord Governor,
succeed (v.) 3 pass through inheritance, devolve

Remains the censure of this hellish villain:
censure (n.) 3 judgement, sentencing

The time, the place, the torture, O, enforce it!

Myself will straight aboard, and to the state
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
act (n.) 4 event, deed, happening
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


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