Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

Speeches (Lines) for Othello
in "Othello"

Total: 274

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience
To do no contrived murder: I lack iniquity
Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times
I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.

Othello. 'Tis better as it is.



Iago. Nay, but he prated,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honour
That, with the little godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray you, sir,
Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
That the magnifico is much beloved,
And hath in his effect a voice potential
As double as the duke's: he will divorce you;
Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
The law, with all his might to enforce it on,
Will give him cable.

Othello. Let him do his spite:
My services which I have done the signiory
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,—
Which, when I know that boasting is an honour,
I shall promulgate—I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege, and my demerits
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?



Iago. Those are the raised father and his friends:
You were best go in.

Othello. Not I. I must be found:
My parts, my title and my perfect soul
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?



(stage directions). [Enter CASSIO, and certain Officers with torches]

Othello. The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant.
The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
What is the news?



Cassio. The duke does greet you, general,
And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
Even on the instant.

Othello. What is the matter, think you?



Cassio. Something from Cyprus as I may divine:
It is a business of some heat: the galleys
Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
This very night at one another's heels,
And many of the consuls, raised and met,
Are at the duke's already: you have been
hotly call'd for;
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
The senate hath sent about three several guests
To search you out.

Othello. 'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house,
And go with you.



Iago. Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?

Othello. Have with you.



(stage directions). [Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers with torches and weapons]

Othello. Holla! stand there!



Iago. You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.

Othello. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.
Good signior, you shall more command with years
Than with your weapons.



Brabantio. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter?
Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
So opposite to marriage that she shunned
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.
Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,
Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion: I'll have't disputed on;
'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.

Othello. Hold your hands,
Both you of my inclining, and the rest:
Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
To answer this your charge?



Brabantio. To prison, till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.

Othello. What if I do obey?
How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
Whose messengers are here about my side,
Upon some present business of the state
To bring me to him?



Brabantio. Nothing, but this is so.

Othello. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration and what mighty magic,
For such proceeding I am charged withal,
I won his daughter.



First Senator. But, Othello, speak:
Did you by indirect and forced courses
Subdue and poison this young maid's affections?
Or came it by request and such fair question
As soul to soul affordeth?

Othello. I do beseech you,
Send for the lady to the Sagittary,
And let her speak of me before her father:
If you do find me foul in her report,
The trust, the office I do hold of you,
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.



Duke of Venice. Fetch Desdemona hither.

Othello. Ancient, conduct them: you best know the place.
[Exeunt IAGO and Attendants]
And, till she come, as truly as to heaven
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.



Duke of Venice. Say it, Othello.

Othello. Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it;
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field
Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
And portance in my travels' history:
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven
It was my hint to speak,—such was the process;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'ld come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively: I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange,
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story.
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used:
Here comes the lady; let her witness it.



Duke of Venice. The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for
Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best
known to you; and though we have there a substitute
of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a
sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer
voice on you: you must therefore be content to
slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this
more stubborn and boisterous expedition.

Othello. The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnise
A natural and prompt alacrity
I find in hardness, and do undertake
These present wars against the Ottomites.
Most humbly therefore bending to your state,
I crave fit disposition for my wife.
Due reference of place and exhibition,
With such accommodation and besort
As levels with her breeding.



Brabantio. I'll not have it so.

Othello. Nor I.



Desdemona. That I did love the Moor to live with him,
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord:
I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
And to his honour and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for which I love him are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.

Othello. Let her have your voices.
Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not,
To please the palate of my appetite,
Nor to comply with heat—the young affects
In me defunct—and proper satisfaction.
But to be free and bounteous to her mind:
And heaven defend your good souls, that you think
I will your serious and great business scant
For she is with me: no, when light-wing'd toys
Of feather'd Cupid seal with wanton dullness
My speculative and officed instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation!



First Senator. You must away to-night.

Othello. With all my heart.



Duke of Venice. At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again.
Othello, leave some officer behind,
And he shall our commission bring to you;
With such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.

Othello. So please your grace, my ancient;
A man he is of honest and trust:
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
With what else needful your good grace shall think
To be sent after me.



(stage directions). [Exeunt DUKE OF VENICE, Senators, Officers, &c]

Othello. My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee:
I prithee, let thy wife attend on her:
And bring them after in the best advantage.
Come, Desdemona: I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matters and direction,
To spend with thee: we must obey the time.



(stage directions). [Enter OTHELLO and Attendants]

Othello. O my fair warrior!



Desdemona. My dear Othello!

Othello. It gives me wonder great as my content
To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus-high and duck again as low
As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear,
My soul hath her content so absolute
That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate.



Desdemona. The heavens forbid
But that our loves and comforts should increase,
Even as our days do grow!

Othello. Amen to that, sweet powers!
I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy:
And this, and this, the greatest discords be
[Kissing her]
That e'er our hearts shall make!



Iago. [Aside] O, you are well tuned now!
But I'll set down the pegs that make this music,
As honest as I am.

Othello. Come, let us to the castle.
News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks
are drown'd.
How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;
I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,
Go to the bay and disembark my coffers:
Bring thou the master to the citadel;
He is a good one, and his worthiness
Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,
Once more, well met at Cyprus.



(stage directions). [Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and Attendants]

Othello. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night:
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to outsport discretion.



Cassio. Iago hath direction what to do;
But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to't.

Othello. Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night: to-morrow with your earliest
Let me have speech with you.
Come, my dear love,
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
Good night.



(stage directions). [Re-enter OTHELLO and Attendants]

Othello. What is the matter here?



(stage directions). [Faints]

Othello. Hold, for your lives!



Iago. Hold, ho! Lieutenant,—sir—Montano,—gentlemen,—
Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for shame!

Othello. Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?
Are we turn'd Turks, and to ourselves do that
Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:
He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.
Silence that dreadful bell: it frights the isle
From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
Honest Iago, that look'st dead with grieving,
Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee.



Iago. I do not know: friends all but now, even now,
In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom
Devesting them for bed; and then, but now—
As if some planet had unwitted men—
Swords out, and tilting one at other's breast,
In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
Any beginning to this peevish odds;
And would in action glorious I had lost
Those legs that brought me to a part of it!

Othello. How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?



Cassio. I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak.

Othello. Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil;
The gravity and stillness of your youth
The world hath noted, and your name is great
In mouths of wisest censure: what's the matter,
That you unlace your reputation thus
And spend your rich opinion for the name
Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.



Montano. Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger:
Your officer, Iago, can inform you,—
While I spare speech, which something now
offends me,—
Of all that I do know: nor know I aught
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.

Othello. Now, by heaven,
My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
Assays to lead the way: if I once stir,
Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
How this foul rout began, who set it on;
And he that is approved in this offence,
Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
Shall lose me. What! in a town of war,
Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
To manage private and domestic quarrel,
In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't?



Iago. 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. Thus it is, general.
Montano and myself being in speech,
There comes a fellow crying out for help:
And Cassio following him with determined sword,
To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
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 return'd the rather
For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
And Cassio high in oath; which till to-night
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 cannot I 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.

Othello. I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee
But never more be officer of mine.
[Re-enter DESDEMONA, attended]
Look, if my gentle love be not raised up!
I'll make thee an example.



Desdemona. What's the matter?

Othello. All's well now, sweeting; come away to bed.
Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon:
Lead him off.
[To MONTANO, who is led off]
Iago, look with care about the town,
And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
Come, Desdemona: 'tis the soldiers' life
To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.



(stage directions). [Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Gentlemen]

Othello. These letters give, Iago, to the pilot;
And by him do my duties to the senate:
That done, I will be walking on the works;
Repair there to me.



Iago. Well, my good lord, I'll do't.

Othello. This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see't?



Iago. Ha! I like not that.

Othello. What dost thou say?



Iago. Nothing, my lord: or if—I know not what.

Othello. Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?



Iago. Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.

Othello. I do believe 'twas he.



Desdemona. How now, my lord!
I have been talking with a suitor here,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.

Othello. Who is't you mean?



Desdemona. Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
If I have any grace or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
I have no judgment in an honest face:
I prithee, call him back.

Othello. Went he hence now?



Desdemona. Ay, sooth; so humbled
That he hath left part of his grief with me,
To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.

Othello. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.



Desdemona. But shall't be shortly?

Othello. The sooner, sweet, for you.



Desdemona. Shall't be to-night at supper?

Othello. No, not to-night.



Desdemona. To-morrow dinner, then?

Othello. I shall not dine at home;
I meet the captains at the citadel.



Desdemona. Why, then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn;
On Tuesday noon, or night; on Wednesday morn:
I prithee, name the time, but let it not
Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent;
And yet his trespass, in our common reason—
Save that, they say, the wars must make examples
Out of their best—is not almost a fault
To incur a private cheque. When shall he come?
Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,
What you would ask me, that I should deny,
Or stand so mammering on. What! Michael Cassio,
That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
Hath ta'en your part; to have so much to do
To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,—

Othello. Prithee, no more: let him come when he will;
I will deny thee nothing.



Desdemona. Why, this is not a boon;
'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,
Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
To your own person: nay, when I have a suit
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poise and difficult weight
And fearful to be granted.

Othello. I will deny thee nothing:
Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
To leave me but a little to myself.



Desdemona. Shall I deny you? no: farewell, my lord.

Othello. Farewell, my Desdemona: I'll come to thee straight.



(stage directions). [Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA]

Othello. Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.



Iago. My noble lord—

Othello. What dost thou say, Iago?



Iago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady,
Know of your love?

Othello. He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask?



Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought;
No further harm.

Othello. Why of thy thought, Iago?



Iago. I did not think he had been acquainted with her.

Othello. O, yes; and went between us very oft.



Iago. Indeed!

Othello. Indeed! ay, indeed: discern'st thou aught in that?
Is he not honest?



Iago. Honest, my lord!

Othello. Honest! ay, honest.



Iago. My lord, for aught I know.

Othello. What dost thou think?



Iago. Think, my lord!

Othello. Think, my lord!
By heaven, he echoes me,
As if there were some monster in his thought
Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something:
I heard thee say even now, thou likedst not that,
When Cassio left my wife: what didst not like?
And when I told thee he was of my counsel
In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst 'Indeed!'
And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit: if thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.



Iago. My lord, you know I love you.

Othello. I think thou dost;
And, for I know thou'rt full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou givest them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more:
For such things in a false disloyal knave
Are tricks of custom, but in a man that's just
They are close delations, working from the heart
That passion cannot rule.



Iago. For Michael Cassio,
I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.

Othello. I think so too.



Iago. Men should be what they seem;
Or those that be not, would they might seem none!

Othello. Certain, men should be what they seem.



Iago. Why, then, I think Cassio's an honest man.

Othello. Nay, yet there's more in this:
I prithee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.



Iago. Good my lord, pardon me:
Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false;
As where's that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law-days and in session sit
With meditations lawful?

Othello. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
If thou but think'st him wrong'd and makest his ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.



Iago. I do beseech you—
Though I perchance am vicious in my guess,
As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom yet,
From one that so imperfectly conceits,
Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
It were not for your quiet nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Othello. What dost thou mean?



Iago. Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

Othello. By heaven, I'll know thy thoughts.



Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;
Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.

Othello. Ha!



Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

Othello. O misery!



Iago. Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

Othello. Why, why is this?
Think'st thou I'ld make a lie of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt
Is once to be resolved: exchange me for a goat,
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays and dances well;
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous:
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt;
For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago;
I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this,—
Away at once with love or jealousy!



Iago. I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason
To show the love and duty that I bear you
With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:
I would not have your free and noble nature,
Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.

Othello. Dost thou say so?



Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,
She loved them most.

Othello. And so she did.



Iago. Why, go to then;
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seal her father's eyes up close as oak-
He thought 'twas witchcraft—but I am much to blame;
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
For too much loving you.

Othello. I am bound to thee for ever.



Iago. I see this hath a little dash'd your spirits.

Othello. Not a jot, not a jot.



Iago. I' faith, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love. But I do see you're moved:
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion.

Othello. I will not.



Iago. Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend—
My lord, I see you're moved.

Othello. No, not much moved:
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.



Iago. Long live she so! and long live you to think so!

Othello. And yet, how nature erring from itself,—



Iago. Ay, there's the point: as—to be bold with you—
Not to affect many proposed matches
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
Whereto we see in all things nature tends—
Foh! one may smell in such a will most rank,
Foul disproportion thoughts unnatural.
But pardon me; I do not in position
Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country forms
And happily repent.

Othello. Farewell, farewell:
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:



Iago. [Going] My lord, I take my leave.

Othello. Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.



Iago. [Returning] My lord, I would I might entreat
your honour
To scan this thing no further; leave it to time:
Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,
For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
You shall by that perceive him and his means:
Note, if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears—
As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
And hold her free, I do beseech your honour.

Othello. Fear not my government.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Othello. This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years,—yet that's not much—
She's gone. I am abused; and my relief
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base;
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
Even then this forked plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:
If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!
I'll not believe't.



Desdemona. How now, my dear Othello!
Your dinner, and the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.

Othello. I am to blame.



Desdemona. Why do you speak so faintly?
Are you not well?

Othello. I have a pain upon my forehead here.



Desdemona. 'Faith, that's with watching; 'twill away again:
Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
It will be well.

Othello. Your napkin is too little:
[He puts the handkerchief from him; and it drops]
Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you.



Iago. Be not acknown on 't; I have use for it.
Go, leave me.
I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.
The Moor already changes with my poison:
Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood.
Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:
Look, where he comes!
[Re-enter OTHELLO]
Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.

Othello. Ha! ha! false to me?



Iago. Why, how now, general! no more of that.

Othello. Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the rack:
I swear 'tis better to be much abused
Than but to know't a little.



Iago. How now, my lord!

Othello. What sense had I of her stol'n hours of lust?
I saw't not, thought it not, it harm'd not me:
I slept the next night well, was free and merry;
I found not Cassio's kisses on her lips:
He that is robb'd, not wanting what is stol'n,
Let him not know't, and he's not robb'd at all.



Iago. I am sorry to hear this.

Othello. I had been happy, if the general camp,
Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known. O, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dead clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!



Iago. Is't possible, my lord?

Othello. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,
Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof:
Or by the worth of man's eternal soul,
Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
Than answer my waked wrath!



Iago. Is't come to this?

Othello. Make me to see't; or, at the least, so prove it,
That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
To hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life!



Iago. My noble lord,—

Othello. If thou dost slander her and torture me,
Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
On horror's head horrors accumulate;
Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
For nothing canst thou to damnation add
Greater than that.



Iago. O grace! O heaven forgive me!
Are you a man? have you a soul or sense?
God be wi' you; take mine office. O wretched fool.
That livest to make thine honesty a vice!
O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.
I thank you for this profit; and from hence
I'll love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.

Othello. Nay, stay: thou shouldst be honest.



Iago. I should be wise, for honesty's a fool
And loses that it works for.

Othello. By the world,
I think my wife be honest and think she is not;
I think that thou art just and think thou art not.
I'll have some proof. Her name, that was as fresh
As Dian's visage, is now begrimed and black
As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
I'll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!



Iago. I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion:
I do repent me that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied?

Othello. Would! nay, I will.



Iago. And may: but, how? how satisfied, my lord?
Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on—
Behold her topp'd?

Othello. Death and damnation! O!



Iago. It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
To bring them to that prospect: damn them then,
If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
More than their own! What then? how then?
What shall I say? Where's satisfaction?
It is impossible you should see this,
Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,
As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,
If imputation and strong circumstances,
Which lead directly to the door of truth,
Will give you satisfaction, you may have't.

Othello. Give me a living reason she's disloyal.



Iago. I do not like the office:
But, sith I am enter'd in this cause so far,
Prick'd to't by foolish honesty and love,
I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately;
And, being troubled with a raging tooth,
I could not sleep.
There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs:
One of this kind is Cassio:
In sleep I heard him say 'Sweet Desdemona,
Let us be wary, let us hide our loves;'
And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
Cry 'O sweet creature!' and then kiss me hard,
As if he pluck'd up kisses by the roots
That grew upon my lips: then laid his leg
Over my thigh, and sigh'd, and kiss'd; and then
Cried 'Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!'

Othello. O monstrous! monstrous!



Iago. Nay, this was but his dream.

Othello. But this denoted a foregone conclusion:
'Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.



Iago. And this may help to thicken other proofs
That do demonstrate thinly.

Othello. I'll tear her all to pieces.



Iago. Nay, but be wise: yet we see nothing done;
She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,
Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand?

Othello. I gave her such a one; 'twas my first gift.



Iago. I know not that; but such a handkerchief—
I am sure it was your wife's—did I to-day
See Cassio wipe his beard with.

Othello. If it be that—



Iago. If it be that, or any that was hers,
It speaks against her with the other proofs.

Othello. O, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago;
All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.
'Tis gone.
Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!
Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
For 'tis of aspics' tongues!



Iago. Yet be content.

Othello. O, blood, blood, blood!



Iago. Patience, I say; your mind perhaps may change.

Othello. Never, Iago: Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,
In the due reverence of a sacred vow
I here engage my words.



(stage directions). [They rise]

Othello. I greet thy love,
Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,
And will upon the instant put thee to't:
Within these three days let me hear thee say
That Cassio's not alive.



Iago. My friend is dead; 'tis done at your request:
But let her live.

Othello. Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!
Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,
To furnish me with some swift means of death
For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.



Desdemona. I will not leave him now till Cassio
Be call'd to him.
How is't with you, my lord

Othello. Well, my good lady.
O, hardness to dissemble!—
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:
Hot, hot, and moist: this hand of yours requires
A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
Much castigation, exercise devout;
For here's a young and sweating devil here,
That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand,
A frank one.



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;
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;
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, indeed, my lord.

Othello. That is a fault.
That handkerchief
Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
She was a charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people: she told her, while
she kept it,
'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
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
After new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;
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't 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 number'd in the world
The sun to course two hundred compasses,
In her prophetic fury sew'd the work;
The worms were hallow'd that did breed the silk;
And it was dyed in mummy which the skilful
Conserved of maidens' hearts.



Desdemona. Indeed! is't true?

Othello. Most veritable; therefore look to't well.



Desdemona. Then would to God that I had never seen't!

Othello. Ha! wherefore?



Desdemona. Why do you speak so startingly and rash?

Othello. Is't lost? is't gone? speak, is it out
o' the 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:
Pray you, let Cassio be received again.

Othello. Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives.



Desdemona. Come, come;
You'll never meet a more sufficient man.

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. In sooth, you are to blame.

Othello. Away!



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:
But, for the handkerchief,—

Othello. By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.
Thou said'st, it comes o'er my memory,
As doth the raven o'er the infected house,
Boding to all—he had my handkerchief.



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,
Who having, by their own importunate suit,
Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,
Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
But they must blab—

Othello. Hath he said any thing?



Iago. He hath, my lord; but be you well assured,
No more than he'll unswear.

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! that's fulsome.
confess, and be hanged for his labour;—first, to be
hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it.
Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
passion without some instruction. It is not words
that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
—Is't possible?—Confess—handkerchief!—O devil!—



Iago. No, forbear;
The lethargy must have his quiet course:
If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
Breaks out to savage madness. Look he stirs:
Do you withdraw yourself a little while,
He will recover straight: when he is gone,
I would on great occasion speak with you.
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.

Othello. Did he confess it?



Iago. Good sir, be a man;
Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
May draw with you: there's millions now alive
That nightly lie in those unproper beds
Which they dare swear peculiar: your case is better.
O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.

Othello. O, thou art wise; 'tis certain.



Iago. Stand you awhile apart;
Confine yourself but in a patient list.
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,
Bade him anon return and here speak with me;
The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
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
He hath, and is again to cope your wife:
I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,
And nothing of a man.

Othello. Dost thou hear, Iago?
I will be found most cunning in my patience;
But—dost thou hear?—most bloody.



Cassio. Alas, poor caitiff!

Othello. Look, how he laughs already!



Cassio. Alas, poor rogue! I think, i' faith, she loves me.

Othello. Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.



Iago. Do you hear, Cassio?

Othello. Now he importunes him
To tell it o'er: go to; well said, well said.



Cassio. Ha, ha, ha!

Othello. Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?



Cassio. I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, bear some
charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.
Ha, ha, ha!

Othello. So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.



Iago. I am a very villain else.

Othello. Have you scored me? Well.



Cassio. This is the monkey's own giving out: she is
persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and
flattery, not out of my promise.

Othello. Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.



Cassio. She was here even now; she haunts me in every place.
I was the other day talking on the sea-bank with
certain Venetians; and thither comes the bauble,
and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck—

Othello. Crying 'O dear Cassio!' as it were: his gesture
imports it.



Cassio. So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales,
and pulls me: ha, ha, ha!

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

Othello. By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!



(stage directions). [Exit CASSIO]

Othello. [Advancing] 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
foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he
hath given 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 to-night;
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
with her needle: an admirable musician: O! she
will sing the savageness out of a bear: of so high
and plenteous wit and invention:—



Iago. She's the worse for all this.

Othello. O, a thousand thousand times: and then, of so
gentle a condition!



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 to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes
near nobody.

Othello. I will chop her into messes: cuckold me!



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 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 hear more by midnight.

Othello. Excellent good.
[A trumpet within]
What trumpet is that same?



Lodovico. Save you, worthy general!

Othello. With all my heart, sir.



(stage directions). [Gives him a letter]

Othello. I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.



Desdemona. Cousin, there's fall'n between him and my lord
An unkind breach: but you shall make all well.

Othello. Are you sure of that?



Desdemona. My lord?

Othello. [Reads] 'This fail you not to do, as you will—'



Desdemona. A most unhappy one: I would do much
To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.

Othello. Fire and brimstone!



Desdemona. My lord?

Othello. Are you wise?



Desdemona. Trust me, I am glad on't.

Othello. Indeed!



Desdemona. My lord?

Othello. I am glad to see you mad.



Desdemona. Why, sweet Othello,—

Othello. [Striking her] Devil!



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,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
Out of my sight!



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:
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!—
I am commanded home. Get you away;
I'll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate,
And will return to Venice. Hence, avaunt!
Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
I do entreat that we may sup together:
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.—Goats and monkeys!



(stage directions). [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' the 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,
Lay down my soul at stake: if you think other,
Remove your thought; it doth abuse your bosom.
If any wretch have put this in your head,
Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!
For, if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
There's no man happy; the purest of their wives
Is foul as slander.

Othello. Bid her come hither: go.
She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,
A closet lock and key of villanous secrets
And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her do't.



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.



Desdemona. What horrible fancy's this?

Othello. [To EMILIA] Some of your function, mistress;
Leave procreants alone and shut the door;
Cough, or cry 'hem,' if any body come:
Your mystery, your mystery: nay, dispatch.



Desdemona. Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
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 damn'd:
Swear thou art honest.



Desdemona. Heaven doth truly know it.

Othello. Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.



Desdemona. To whom, my lord? with whom? how am I false?

Othello. O Desdemona! away! away! away!



Desdemona. Alas the heavy day! Why do you weep?
Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?
If haply you my father do suspect
An instrument of this your calling back,
Lay not your blame on me: If you have lost him,
Why, I have lost him too.

Othello. Had it pleased heaven
To try me with affliction; had they rain'd
All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head.
Steep'd 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 garner'd up my heart,
Where either I must live, or bear no life;
The fountain from the which my current runs,
Or else dries up; to be discarded thence!
Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there,
Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin,—
Ay, there, look grim as hell!



Desdemona. I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.

Othello. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles,
That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed,
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!
I should make very forges of my cheeks,
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,
The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets
Is hush'd within the hollow mine of earth,
And will not hear it. What committed!
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
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.
[Raising his voice]
You, mistress,
That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,
And keep the gate of hell!
[Re-enter EMILIA]
You, you, ay, you!
We have done our course; there's money for your pains:
I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.



Lodovico. I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.

Othello. O, pardon me: 'twill do me good to walk.



Desdemona. Your honour is most welcome.

Othello. Will you walk, sir?



Desdemona. My lord?

Othello. Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned
forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look it be done.



(stage directions). [Enter OTHELLO]

Othello. The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.



Roderigo. O, villain that I am!

Othello. It is even so.



Cassio. O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!

Othello. 'Tis he:—O brave Iago, honest and just,
That hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong!
Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,
And your unblest fate hies: strumpet, I come.
Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted;
Thy bed, lust-stain'd, shall with lust's blood be spotted.



(stage directions). [Enter OTHELLO]

Othello. It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,—
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!—
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.
Put out the light, and then put out the light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me: but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again.
It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree.
[Kissing her]
Ah 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.



Desdemona. Who's there? Othello?

Othello. Ay. Desdemona.



Desdemona. Will you come to bed, my lord?

Othello. Have you pray'd to-night, Desdemona?



Desdemona. Ay, my lord.

Othello. If you bethink yourself of any crime
Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
Solicit for it straight.



Desdemona. Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

Othello. 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.



Desdemona. Talk you of killing?

Othello. Ay, I do.



Desdemona. Then heaven
Have mercy on me!

Othello. Amen, with all my heart!



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

Othello. Hum!



Desdemona. And yet I fear you; for you are 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.

Othello. Think on thy sins.



Desdemona. They are loves I bear to you.

Othello. Ay, and for that thou diest.



Desdemona. That death's unnatural that kills for loving.
Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
Some bloody passion shakes your very frame:
These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope,
They do not point on me.

Othello. Peace, and be still!



Desdemona. I will so. What's the matter?

Othello. That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee
Thou gavest to Cassio.



Desdemona. No, by my life and soul!
Send for the man, and ask him.

Othello. Sweet soul, take heed,
Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy deathbed.



Desdemona. Ay, but not yet to die.

Othello. Yes, presently:
Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
For to deny each article with oath
Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.



Desdemona. Then Lord have mercy on me!

Othello. I say, amen.



Desdemona. And have you mercy too! I never did
Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio
But with such general warranty of heaven
As I might love: I never gave him token.

Othello. By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand.
O perjured woman! thou dost stone my heart,
And makest me call what I intend to do
A murder, which I thought a sacrifice:
I saw the handkerchief.



Desdemona. He found it then;
I never gave it him: send for him hither;
Let him confess a truth.

Othello. He hath confess'd.



Desdemona. What, my lord?

Othello. That he hath used thee.



Desdemona. How? unlawfully?

Othello. Ay.



Desdemona. He will not say so.

Othello. No, his mouth is stopp'd;
Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.



Desdemona. O! my fear interprets: what, is he dead?

Othello. Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all.



Desdemona. Alas! he is betray'd and I undone.

Othello. Out, strumpet! weep'st thou for him to my face?



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

Othello. Down, strumpet!



Desdemona. Kill me to-morrow: let me live to-night!

Othello. Nay, if you strive—



Desdemona. But half an hour!

Othello. Being done, there is no pause.



Desdemona. But while I say one prayer!

Othello. It is too late.



Emilia. [Within] My lord, my lord! what, ho! my lord, my lord!

Othello. 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.



Emilia. [Within] What, ho! my lord, my lord!

Othello. Who's there?



Emilia. [Within] O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you!

Othello. Yes: 'tis Emilia. By and by. She's dead.
'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.—
The noise was here. Ha! no more moving?
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!
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe
Should yawn at alteration.



Emilia. [Within] I do beseech you
That I may speak with you, O, good my lord!

Othello. I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia;
Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.
Where art thou?
[Unlocks the door]
[Enter EMILIA]
What's the matter with thee now?



Emilia. O, my good lord, yonder's foul murders done!

Othello. What, now?



Emilia. But now, my lord.

Othello. It is the very error of the moon;
She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad.



Emilia. Cassio, my lord, hath kill'd a young Venetian
Call'd Roderigo.

Othello. Roderigo kill'd!
And Cassio kill'd!



Emilia. No, Cassio is not kill'd.

Othello. Not Cassio kill'd! then murder's out of tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh.



Emilia. Alas, what cry is that?

Othello. That! what?



(stage directions). [Dies]

Othello. Why, how should she be murder'd?



Emilia. Alas, who knows?

Othello. You heard her say herself, it was not I.



Emilia. She said so: I must needs report the truth.

Othello. She's, like a liar, gone to burning hell:
'Twas I that kill'd her.



Emilia. O, the more angel she,
And you the blacker devil!

Othello. She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.



Emilia. Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.

Othello. She was false as water.



Emilia. Thou art rash as fire, to say
That she was false: O, she was heavenly true!

Othello. Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else.
O, I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed upon just grounds
To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.



Emilia. My husband!

Othello. Thy husband.



Emilia. That she was false to wedlock?

Othello. Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been true,
If heaven would make me such another world
Of one entire and Perfect chrysolite,
I'ld not have sold her for it.



Emilia. My husband!

Othello. Ay, 'twas he that told me first:
An honest man he is, and hates the slime
That sticks on filthy deeds.



Emilia. My husband!

Othello. What needs this iteration, woman? I say thy husband.



Emilia. O mistress, villany hath made mocks with love,
My husband say that she was false!

Othello. He, woman;
I say thy husband: dost understand the word?
My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.



Emilia. If he say so, may his pernicious soul
Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart:
She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

Othello. Ha!



Emilia. Do thy worst:
This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
Than thou wast worthy her.

Othello. Peace, you were best.



Emilia. And your reports have set the murder on.

Othello. Nay, stare not, masters: it is true, indeed.



Emilia. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak:
'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.

Othello. O! O! O!



Emilia. Nay, lay thee down and roar;
For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent
That e'er did lift up eye.

Othello. [Rising] O, she was foul!
I scarce did know you, uncle: there lies your niece,
Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp'd:
I know this act shows horrible and grim.



Gratiano. Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father's dead:
Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
Shore his old thread in twain: did he live now,
This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
And fall to reprobation.

Othello. 'Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows
That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
A thousand times committed; Cassio confess'd it:
And she did gratify his amorous works
With that recognizance and pledge of love
Which I first gave her; I saw it in his hand:
It was a handkerchief, an antique token
My father gave my mother.



Emilia. By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.
O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool
Do with so good a woman?

Othello. Are there no stones in heaven
But what serve for the thunder?—Precious villain!



(stage directions). [Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO]

Othello. I am not valiant neither,
But ever puny whipster gets my sword:
But why should honour outlive honesty?
Let it go all.



(stage directions). [Dies]

Othello. 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.



Gratiano. [Within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear:
Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.

Othello. Look in upon me then and speak with me,
Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.



Gratiano. What is the matter?

Othello. Behold, I have a weapon;
A better never did itself sustain
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!
Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.
Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear;
Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
And he retires. Where should Othello go?
Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd wench!
Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
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 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!
O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!
Oh! Oh! Oh!
[Enter LODOVICO. MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair,]
and Officers with IAGO, prisoner]



Lodovico. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

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



Lodovico. Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.

Othello. I look down towards his feet; but that's a fable.
If that thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee.



Iago. I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.

Othello. I am not sorry neither: I'ld have thee live;
For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.



Lodovico. O thou Othello, thou wert once so good,
Fall'n in the practise of a damned slave,
What shall be said to thee?

Othello. Why, any thing:
An honourable murderer, if you will;
For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.



Lodovico. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany:
Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?

Othello. Ay.



Cassio. Dear general, I never gave you cause.

Othello. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?



Gratiano. Torments will ope your lips.

Othello. Well, thou dost best.



Lodovico. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n,
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.

Othello. O villain!



Lodovico. Now here's another discontented paper,
Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,
Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain;
But that belike Iago in the interim
Came in and satisfied him.

Othello. O the pernicious caitiff!
How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
That was my wife's?



Cassio. I found it in my chamber:
And he himself confess'd but even now
That there he dropp'd it for a special purpose
Which wrought to his desire.

Othello. O fool! fool! fool!



Lodovico. You must forsake this room, and go with us:
Your power and your command is taken off,
And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
If there be any cunning cruelty
That can torment him much and hold him long,
It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest,
Till that the nature of your fault be known
To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.

Othello. Soft you; a word or two before you go.
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,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus.



Gratiano. All that's spoke is marr'd.

Othello. I kiss'd thee ere I kill'd thee: no way but this;
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

Return to the "Othello" menu