William Shakespeare, Othello the Moor of Venice (1604-05)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  


This is a part of a collection of works by William Shakespeare.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (London: Oxford University Press, 1916).

See the complete volume in HTML and facs. PDF.



Table of Contents







Duke of Venice.
Brabantio, a Senator. Other Senators.
Gratiano, Brother to Brabantio.
Lodovico, Kinsman to Brabantio.
Othello, a noble Moor; in the service of the Venetian State.
Cassio, his Lieutenant.
Iago, his Ancient.
Roderigo, a Venetian Gentleman.
Montano, Othello’s predecessor in the Government of Cyprus.
Clown, Servant to Othello.
Desdemona, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to Othello.
Emilia, Wife to Iago.
Bianca, Mistress to Cassio.
Sailor, Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Heralds, Attendants.



Scene.For the first Act, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, at a Sea-Port in Cyprus.


Scene I.— Venice. A Street.

Enter Roderigo and Iago.


Tush! Never tell me; I take it much unkindly

That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse

As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.


’Sblood, but you will not hear me:  4

If ever I did dream of such a matter,

Abhor me.


Thou told’st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.


Despise me if I do not. Three great ones of the city,  8

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,

Off-capp’d to him; and, by the faith of man.

I know my price, I am worth no worse a place;

But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,  12

Evades them, with a bombast circumstance

Horribly stuff’d with epithets of war;

And, in conclusion,

Nonsuits my mediators; for, ‘Certes,’ says he,  16

‘I have already chose my officer.’

And what was he?

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,  20

A fellow almost damn’d in a fair wife;

That never set a squadron in the field,

Nor the division of a battle knows

More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,

Wherein the toged consuls can propose  25

As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice,

Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election;

And I—of whom his eyes had seen the proof  28

At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds

Christian and heathen—must be be-lee’d and calm’d

By debitor and creditor; this counter caster,

He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,  32

And I—God bless the mark!—his Moorship’s ancient.


By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.


Why, there’s no remedy: ’tis the curse of the service,

Preferment goes by letter and affection,  36

Not by the old gradation, where each second

Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,

Whe’r I in any just term am affin’d

To love the Moor.


I would not follow him then.  40


O! sir, content you;

I follow him to serve my turn upon him;

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters

Cannot be truly follow’d. You shall mark  44

Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,

That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,

Wears out his time, much like his master’s ass,

For nought but provender, and when he’s old, cashier’d;  48

Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are

Who, trimm’d in forms and visages of duty,

Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,

And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,  52

Do well thrive by them, and when they have lin’d their coats

Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul;

And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,

It is as sure as you are Roderigo,  56

Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:

In following him, I follow but myself;

Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,

But seeming so, for my peculiar end:  60

For when my outward action doth demonstrate

The native act and figure of my heart

In compliment extern, ’tis not long after

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve  64

For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.


What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,

If he can carry ’t thus!


Call up her father;  67

Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight,

Proclaim him in the streets, incense her kinsmen,

And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,

Plague him with flies; though that his joy be joy,

Yet throw such changes of vexation on ’t  72

As it may lose some colour.


Here is her father’s house; I’ll call aloud.


Do; with like timorous accent and dire yell

As when, by night and negligence, the fire  76

Is spied in populous cities.


What, ho! Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!


Awake! what, ho! Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!

Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!  80

Thieves! thieves!

Enter Brabantio, above, at a window.


What is the reason of this terrible summons?

What is the matter there?


Signior, is all your family within?  84


Are your doors lock’d?


Why? wherefore ask you this?


’Zounds! sir, you’re robb’d; for shame, put on your gown;

Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;

Even now, now, very now, an old black ram  88

Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!

Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,

Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.

Arise, I say.


What! have you lost your wits?  92


Most reverend signior, do you know my voice?


Not I, what are you?


My name is Roderigo.


The worser welcome:

I have charg’d thee not to haunt about my doors:  96

In honest plainness thou hast heard me say

My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness,

Being full of supper and distempering draughts,

Upon malicious knavery dost thou come  100

To start my quiet.


Sir, sir, sir!


But thou must needs be sure

My spirit and my place have in them power

To make this bitter to thee.


Patience, good sir.  104


What tell’st thou me of robbing? this is Venice;

My house is not a grange.


Most grave Brabantio,

In simple and pure soul I come to you.  107


’Zounds! sir, you are one of those that will not serve God if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.  114


What profane wretch art thou?


I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.


Thou art a villain.


You are—a senator.


This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo.  120


Sir, I will answer any thing. But, I beseech you,

If ’t be your pleasure and most wise consent,—

As partly, I find, it is,—that your fair daughter,

At this odd-even and dull-watch o’ the night,  124

Transported with no worse nor better guard

But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,

To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,—  127

If this be known to you, and your allowance,

We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;

But if you know not this, my manners tell me

We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe,

That, from the sense of all civility,  132

I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:

Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,

I say again, hath made a gross revolt;

Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes  136

In an extravagant and wheeling stranger

Of here and every where. Straight satisfy yourself:

If she be in her chamber or your house,

Let loose on me the justice of the state  140

For thus deluding you.


Strike on the tinder, ho!

Give me a taper! call up all my people!

This accident is not unlike my dream;

Belief of it oppresses me already.  144

Light, I say! light!

[Exit, from above.


Farewell, for I must leave you:

It seems not meet nor wholesome to my place

To be produc’d, as, if I stay, I shall,

Against the Moor; for, I do know the state,  148

However this may gall him with some check,

Cannot with safety cast him; for he’s embark’d

With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,—

Which even now stand in act,—that, for their souls,  152

Another of his fathom they have none,

To lead their business; in which regard,

Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains,

Yet, for necessity of present life,  156

I must show out a flag and sign of love,

Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,

Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;

And there will I be with him. So, farewell.  160


Enter below, Brabantio, and Servants with torches.


It is too true an evil: gone she is,

And what’s to come of my despised time

Is nought but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,

Where didst thou see her? O, unhappy girl!

With the Moor, sayst thou? Who would be a father!  165

How didst thou know ’twas she? O, she deceives me

Past thought. What said she to you? Get more tapers!

Raise all my kindred! Are they married, think you?  168


Truly, I think they are.


O heaven! How got she out? O, treason of the blood:

Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds

By what you see them act. Are there not charms

By which the property of youth and maidhood

May be abus’d? Have you not read, Roderigo,

Of some such thing?


Yes, sir, I have indeed.


Call up my brother. O! that you had had her.  176

Some one way, some another! Do you know

Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?


I think I can discover him, if you please

To get good guard and go along with me.  180


Pray you, lead on. At every house I’ll call;

I may command at most. Get weapons, ho!

And raise some special officers of night.

On, good Roderigo; I’ll deserve your pains.  184


Scene II.— Another Street.

Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants, with torches.


Though in the trade of war I have slain men,

Yet do I hold it very stuff o’ the conscience

To do no contriv’d murder: I lack iniquity

Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times  4

I had thought to have yerk’d him here under the ribs.


’Tis better as it is.


Nay, but he prated,

And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms

Against your honour  8

That, with the little godliness I have,

I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray, sir,

Are you fast married? Be assur’d of this,

That the magnifico is much belov’d,  12

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—  16

Will give him cable.


Let him do his spite:

My services which I have done the signiory

Shall out-tongue his complaints. ’Tis yet to know,  19

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,  24

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?  28


Those are the raised father and his friends:

You were best go in.


Not I; I must be found:

My parts, my title, and my perfect soul

Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?  32


By Janus, I think no.

Enter Cassio and certain Officers, with torches.


The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant.

The goodness of the night upon you, friends!

What is the news?


The duke does greet you, general,  36

And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,

Even on the instant.


What is the matter, think you?


Something from Cyprus, as I may divine.

It is a business of some heat; the galleys  40

Have sent a dozen sequent messengers

This very night at one another’s heels,

And many of the consuls, rais’d and met,

Are at the duke’s already. You have been hotly call’d for;  44

When, being not at your lodging to be found,

The senate hath sent about three several quests

To search you out.


’Tis well I am found by you.

I will but spend a word here in the house,  48

And go with you.



Ancient, what makes he here?


Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carrack;

If it prove lawful prize, he’s made for ever.


I do not understand.


He’s married.


To who?  52

Re-enter Othello.


Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?


Have with you.


Here comes another troop to seek for you.


It is Brabantio. General, be advis’d;

He comes to bad intent.

Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, and Officers, with torches and weapons.


Holla! stand there!  56


Signior, it is the Moor.


Down with him, thief!

[They draw on both sides.


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


Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.

Good signior, you shall more command with years  60

Than with your weapons.


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,  64

If she in chains of magic were not bound,

Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,

So opposite to marriage that she shunn’d

The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,  68

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  72

That thou hast practis’d on her with foul charms,

Abus’d her delicate youth with drugs or minerals

That weaken motion: I’ll have ’t disputed on;

’Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.  76

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,  80

Subdue him at his peril.


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?


To prison; till fit time  85

Of law and course of direct session

Call thee to answer.


What if I do obey?

How may the duke be therewith satisfied,  88

Whose messengers are here about my side,

Upon some present business of the state

To bring me to him?


’Tis true, most worthy signior;

The duke’s in council, and your noble self,  92

I am sure, is sent for.


How! the duke in council!

In this time of the night! Bring him away.

Mine’s not an idle cause: the duke himself,

Or any of my brothers of the state,  96

Cannot but feel this wrong as ’twere their own;

For if such actions may have passage free,

Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.


Scene III.— A Council Chamber. The Duke and Senators sitting at a table. Officers attending.


There is no composition in these news

That gives them credit.

First Sen.

Indeed, they are disproportion’d;

My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.


And mine, a hundred and forty.

Sec. Sen.

And mine, two hundred:  4

But though they jump not on a just account,—

As in these cases, where the aim reports,

’Tis oft with difference,—yet do they all confirm

A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.  8


Nay, it is possible enough to judgment:

I do not so secure me in the error,

But the main article I do approve

In fearful sense.


[Within.] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!  12


A messenger from the galleys.

Enter a Sailor.


Now, what’s the business?


The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;

So was I bid report here to the state

By Signior Angelo.  16


How say you by this change?

First Sen.

This cannot be,

By no assay of reason; ’tis a pageant

To keep us in false gaze. When we consider

The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,  20

And let ourselves again but understand,

That as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,

So may he with more facile question bear it,

For that it stands not in such war-like brace,  24

But altogether lacks the abilities

That Rhodes is dress’d in: if we make thought of this,

We must not think the Turk is so unskilful

To leave that latest which concerns him first,  28

Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,

To wake and wage a danger profitless.


Nay, in all confidence, he’s not for Rhodes.


Here is more news.  32

Enter a Messenger.


The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,

Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,

Have there injointed them with an after fleet.

First Sen.

Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?  36


Of thirty sail; and now they do re-stem

Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance

Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,

Your trusty and most valiant servitor,  40

With his free duty recommends you thus,

And prays you to believe him.


’Tis certain then, for Cyprus.

Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?  44

First Sen.

He’s now in Florence.


Write from us to him; post-post-haste dispatch.

First Sen.

Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.

Enter Brabantio, Othello, Iago, Roderigo, and Officers.


Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you  48

Against the general enemy Ottoman.

[To Brabantio.] I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;

We lack’d your counsel and your help to-night.


So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me;  52

Neither my place nor aught I heard of business

Hath rais’d me from my bed, nor doth the general care

Take hold of me, for my particular grief

Is of so flood-gate and o’erbearing nature  56

That it engluts and swallows other sorrows

And it is still itself.


Why, what’s the matter?


My daughter! O! my daughter.






Ay, to me;

She is abus’d, stol’n from me, and corrupted  60

By spells and medicines bought of mounte-banks;

For nature so preposterously to err,

Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,

Sans witchcraft could not.  64


Whoe’er he be that in this foul proceeding

Hath thus beguil’d your daughter of herself

And you of her, the bloody book of law

You shall yourself read in the bitter letter  68

After your own sense; yea, though our proper son

Stood in your action.


Humbly I thank your Grace.

Here is the man, this Moor; whom now, it seems,

Your special mandate for the state affairs,  72

Hath hither brought.


We are very sorry for it.


We are very sorry for it.


[To Othello.] What, in your own part, can you say to this?


Nothing, but this is so.


Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,  76

My very noble and approv’d 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  80

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 us’d

Their dearest action in the tented field;  85

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  88

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,  92

For such proceeding I am charg’d withal,

I won his daughter.


A maiden never bold;

Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion

Blush’d at herself; and she, in spite of nature,

Of years, of country, credit, every thing,  97

To fall in love with what she fear’d to look on!

It is a judgment maim’d and most imperfect

That will confess perfection so could err  100

Against all rules of nature, and must be driven

To find out practices of cunning hell,

Why this should be. I therefore vouch again

That with some mixtures powerful o’er the blood,  104

Or with some dram conjur’d to this effect,

He wrought upon her.


To vouch this, is no proof,

Without more certain and more overt test

Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods  108

Of modern seeming do prefer against him.

First Sen.

But, Othello, speak:

Did you by indirect and forced courses

Subdue and poison this young maid’s affections;  112

Or came it by request and such fair question

As soul to soul affordeth?


I do beseech you,

Send for the lady to the Sagittary,

And let her speak of me before her father:  116

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.


Fetch Desdemona hither.


Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place.  121

[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  124

How I did thrive in this fair lady’s love,

And she in mine.


Say it, Othello.


Her father lov’d me; oft invited me;

Still question’d me the story of my life  129

From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes

That I have pass’d.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days  132

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,  136

Of being taken by the insolent foe

And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence

And portance in my travel’s history;

Wherein of antres vast and desarts idle,  140

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  144

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’d come again, and with a greedy ear  149

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  152

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,  156

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;  160

’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 lov’d her,

I should but teach him how to tell my story,  165

And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:

She lov’d me for the dangers I had pass’d,

And I lov’d her that she did pity them.  168

This only is the witchcraft I have us’d:

Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

Enter Desdemona, Iago, and Attendants.


I think this tale would win my daughter too.

Good Brabantio,  172

Take up this mangled matter at the best;

Men do their broken weapons rather use

Than their bare hands.


I pray you, hear her speak:

If she confess that she was half the wooer,  176

Destruction on my head, if my bad blame

Light on the man! Come hither, gentle mistress:

Do you perceive in all this noble company

Where most you owe obedience?


My noble father,

I do perceive here a divided duty:  181

To you I am bound for life and education;

My life and education both do learn me

How to respect you; you are the lord of duty,

I am hitherto your daughter: but here’s my husband;  185

And so much duty as my mother show’d

To you, preferring you before her father,

So much I challenge that I may profess  188

Due to the Moor my lord.


God be with you! I have done.

Please it your Grace, on to the state affairs:

I had rather to adopt a child than get it.

Come hither, Moor:  192

I here do give thee that with all my heart

Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart

I would keep from thee. For your sake, jewel,

I am glad at soul I have no other child;  196

For thy escape would teach me tyranny,

To hang clogs on them. I have done, my lord.


Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence,

Which as a grize or step, may help these lovers

Into your favour.  201

When remedies are past, the griefs are ended

By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.

To mourn a mischief that is past and gone  204

Is the next way to draw new mischief on.

What cannot be preserv’d when Fortune takes,

Patience her injury a mockery makes.

The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief;  208

He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.


So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile;

We lose it not so long as we can smile.

He bears the sentence well that nothing bears

But the free comfort which from thence he hears;

But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow

That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.

These sentences, to sugar, or to gall,  216

Being strong on both sides, are equivocal:

But words are words; I never yet did hear

That the bruis’d heart was pierced through the ear.

I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of state.  220


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.  229


The tyrant custom, most grave senators,

Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war

My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnize  232

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,  237

Due reference of place and exhibition,

With such accommodation and besort

As levels with her breeding.


If you please,  240

Be ’t at her father’s.


I’ll not have it so.


Nor I.


Nor I; I would not there reside,

To put my father in impatient thoughts  244

By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,

To my unfolding lend your gracious ear;

And let me find a charter in your voice

To assist my simpleness.  248


What would you, 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 subdu’d

Even to the very quality of my lord;  253

I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,

And to his honours and his valiant parts

Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.  256

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  260

By his dear absence. Let me go with him.


Let her have your voices.

Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not

To please the palate of my appetite,  264

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  268

I will your serious and great business scant

For she is with me. No, when light-wing’d toys

Of feather’d Cupid seel with wanton dulness

My speculative and offic’d instruments,  272

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!  276


Be it as you shall privately determine,

Either for her stay or going. The affair cries haste,

And speed must answer it.

First Sen.

You must away to-night.


With all my heart.  280


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  284

As doth import you.


So please your Grace, my ancient;

A man he is of honesty and trust:

To his conveyance I assign my wife,

With what else needful your good grace shall think  288

To be sent after me.


Let it be so.

Good night to every one. [To Brabantio.] And, noble signior,

If virtue no delighted beauty lack,

Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.  292

First Sen.

Adieu, brave Moor! use Desdemona well.


Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:

She has deceiv’d her father, and may thee.

[Exeunt Duke, Senators, Officers, &c.


My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,

My Desdemona must I leave to thee:  297

I prithee, let thy wife attend on her;

And bring them after in the best advantage.

Come, Desdemona; I have but an hour  300

Of love, of worldly matters and direction,

To spend with thee: we must obey the time.

[Exeunt Othello and Desdemona.




What sayst thou, noble heart?  304


What will I do, think’st thou?


Why, go to bed, and sleep.


I will incontinently drown myself.


Well, if thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly gentleman!  309


It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.  312


O! villanous; I have looked upon the world for four times seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.  319


What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.  322


Virtue! a fig! ’tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and woed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions; but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.


It cannot be.  338


It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself! drown cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness; I could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse; follow these wars; defeat thy favour with a usurped beard; I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor,—put money in thy purse,—nor he his to her. It was a violent commencement in her, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration; put but money in thy purse. These Moors are changeable in their wills;—fill thy purse with money:—the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida. She must change for youth: when she is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice. She must have change, she must: therefore put money in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst. If sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her; therefore make money. A pox of drowning thyself! it is clean out of the way: seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go without her.


Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue?  370


Thou art sure of me: go, make money. I have told thee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I hate the Moor: my cause is hearted: thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him; if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered. Traverse; go: provide thy money. We will have more of this to-morrow. Adieu.  380


Where shall we meet i’ the morning?


At my lodging.


I’ll be with thee betimes.


Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?  384


What say you?


No more of drowning, do you hear?


I am changed. I’ll sell all my land.


Go to; farewell! put money enough in your purse.

[Exit Roderigo.

Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;  389

For I mine own gain’d knowledge should profane,

If I would time expend with such a snipe

But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,

And it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets

He has done my office: I know not if ’t be true,

But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,

Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;  396

The better shall my purpose work on him.

Cassio’s a proper man; let me see now:

To get his place; and to plume up my will

In double knavery; how, how? Let’s see:  400

After some time to abuse Othello’s ear

That he is too familiar with his wife:

He hath a person and a smooth dispose

To be suspected; framed to make women false.

The Moor is of a free and open nature,  405

That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,

And will as tenderly be led by the nose

As asses are.  408

I have ’t; it is engender’d: hell and night

Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.



Scene I.— A Sea-port Town in Cyprus. An open place near the Quay.

Enter Montano and two Gentlemen.


What from the cape can you discern at sea?

First Gent.

Nothing at all: it is a high-wrought flood;

I cannot ’twixt the heaven and the main

Descry a sail.  4


Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;

A fuller blast ne’er shook our battlements;

If it hath ruffian’d so upon the sea,

What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,

Can hold the mortise? what shall we hear of this?  9

Sec. Gent.

A segregation of the Turkish fleet;

For do but stand upon the foaming shore,

The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds;  12

The wind-shak’d surge, with high and monstrous mane,

Seems to cast water on the burning bear

And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:

I never did like molestation view  16

On the enchafed flood.


If that the Turkish fleet

Be not enshelter’d and embay’d, they are drown’d;

It is impossible they bear it out.

Enter a third Gentleman.

Third Gent.

News, lads! our wars are done.

The desperate tempest hath so bang’d the Turks

That their designment halts; a noble ship of Venice

Hath seen a grievous wrack and sufferance

On most part of their fleet.  24


How! is this true?

Third Gent.

The ship is here put in,

A Veronesa; Michael Cassio,

Lieutenant to the war-like Moor Othello,

Is come on shore: the Moor himself’s at sea,  28

And is in full commission here for Cyprus.


I am glad on ’t; ’tis a worthy governor.

Third Gent.

But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort

Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly  32

And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted

With foul and violent tempest.


Pray heaven he be;

For I have serv’d him, and the man commands

Like a full soldier. Let’s to the sea-side, ho!  36

As well to see the vessel that’s come in

As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,

Even till we make the main and the aerial blue

An indistinct regard.

Third Gent.

Come, let’s do so;  40

For every minute is expectancy

Of more arrivance.

Enter Cassio.


Thanks, you the valiant of this war-like isle,

That so approve the Moor. O! let the heavens

Give him defence against the elements,  45

For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.


Is he well shipp’d?


His bark is stoutly timber’d, and his pilot  48

Of very expert and approv’d allowance;

Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,

Stand in bold cure.

[Within, ‘A sail!—a sail!—a sail!’

Enter a Messenger.


What noise?  52


The town is empty; on the brow o’ the sea

Stand ranks of people, and they cry, ‘A sail!’


My hopes do shape him for the governor.

[Guns heard.

Sec. Gent.

They do discharge their shot of courtesy;  56

Our friends at least.


I pray you, sir, go forth,

And give us truth who ’tis that is arriv’d.

Sec. Gent.

I shall.



But, good lieutenant, is your general wiv’d?  60


Most fortunately: he hath achiev’d a maid

That paragons description and wild fame;

One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,

And in th’ essential vesture of creation  64

Does tire the ingener.

Re-enter second Gentleman.

How now! who has put in?

Sec. Gent.

’Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.


He has had most favourable and happy speed:

Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,  68

The gutter’d rocks, and congregated sands,

Traitors ensteep’d to clog the guiltless keel,

As having sense of beauty, do omit

Their mortal natures, letting go safely by  72

The divine Desdemona.


What is she?


She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain,

Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,

Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts  76

A se’nnight’s speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,

And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath,

That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,

Make love’s quick pants in Desdemona’s arms,

Give renew’d fire to our extinc’ed spirits,  81

And bring all Cyprus comfort!

Enter Desdemona, Emilia, Iago, Roderigo, and Attendants.

O! behold,

The riches of the ship is come on shore.

Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.  84

Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,

Before, behind thee, and on every hand,

Enwheel thee round!


I thank you, valiant Cassio.

What tidings can you tell me of my lord?  88


He is not yet arriv’d; nor know I aught

But that he’s well, and will be shortly here.


O! but I fear—How lost you company?


The great contention of the sea and skies  92

Parted our fellowship. But hark! a sail.

[Cry within, ‘A sail!—a sail!’ Guns heard.

Sec. Gent.

They give their greeting to the citadel:

This likewise is a friend.


See for the news!

[Exit Gentleman.

Good ancient, you are welcome:—[To Emilia.] welcome, mistress.  96

Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,

That I extend my manners; ’tis my breeding

That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

[Kissing her.


Sir, would she give you so much of her lips  100

As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,

You’d have enough.


Alas! she has no speech.


In faith, too much;

I find it still when I have list to sleep:  104

Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,

She puts her tongue a little in her heart,

And chides with thinking.


You have little cause to say so.  108


Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,

Bells in your parlours, wild cats in your kitchens,

Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,

Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.  112


O! fie upon thee, slanderer.


Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk:

You rise to play and go to bed to work.


You shall not write my praise.


No, let me not.  116


What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?


O gentle lady, do not put me to ’t,

For I am nothing if not critical.


Come on; assay. There’s one gone to the harbour?  120


Ay, madam.


I am not merry, but I do beguile

The thing I am by seeming otherwise.

Come, how wouldst thou praise me?  124


I am about it; but indeed my invention

Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize;

It plucks out brains and all: but my muse labours,

And thus she is deliver’d.  128

If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,

The one’s for use, the other useth it.


Well prais’d! How if she be black and witty?


If she be black, and thereto have a wit,  132

She’ll find a white that shall her blackness fit.


Worse and worse.


How if fair and foolish?


She never yet was foolish that was fair,

For even her folly help’d her to an heir.  137


These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i’ the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that’s foul and foolish?


There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto  141

But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.


O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best. But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed, one that, in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?


She that was ever fair and never proud,

Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,  149

Never lack’d gold and yet went never gay,

Fled from her wish and yet said ‘Now I may,’

She that being anger’d, her revenge being nigh,

Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,  153

She that in wisdom never was so frail

To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail,

She that could think and ne’er disclose her mind,

See suitors following and not look behind,  157

She was a wight, if ever such wight were,—


To do what?


To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.


O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor?  164


He speaks home, madam; you may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.  167


[Aside.] He takes her by the palm; ay, well said, whisper; with as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true, ’tis so, indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in. Very good; well kissed! an excellent courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake! [A trumpet heard.] The Moor! I know his trumpet.  181


’Tis truly so.


Let’s meet him and receive him.


Lo! where he comes.  184

Enter Othello and Attendants.


O my fair warrior!


My dear 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,  188

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,  192

’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.


The heavens forbid  196

But that our loves and comforts should increase

Even as our days do grow!


Amen to that, sweet powers!

I cannot speak enough of this content;

It stops me here; it is too much of joy:  200

And this, and this, the greatest discords be,

[Kissing her.

That e’er our hearts shall make!


[Aside.] O! you are well tun’d now,

But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,

As honest as I am.


Come, let us to the castle.  204

News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks are drown’d.

How does my old acquaintance of this isle?

Honey, you shall be well desir’d in Cyprus;

I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,  208

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;  212

He is a good one, and his worthiness

Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,

Once more well met at Cyprus.

[Exeunt all except Iago and Roderigo.


Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come hither. If thou be’st valiant, as they say base men being in love have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them, list me. The lieutenant to-night watches on the court of guard: first, I must tell thee this, Desdemona is directly in love with him.


With him! why, ’tis not possible.  223


Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies; and will she love him still for prating? let not thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed; and what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be, again to inflame it, and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour, sympathy in years, manners, and beauties; all which the Moor is defective in. Now, for want of these required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will instruct her in it, and compel her to some second choice. Now, sir, this granted, as it is a most pregnant and unforced position, who stands so eminently in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does? a knave very voluble, no further conscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why, none; why, none: a slipper and subtle knave, a finder-out of occasions, that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself; a devilish knave! Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after; a pestilent complete knave! and the woman hath found him already.  255


I cannot believe that in her; she is full of most blessed condition.


Blessed fig’s end! the wine she drinks is made of grapes; if she had been blessed she would never have loved the Moor; blessed pudding! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? didst not mark that?


Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.  264


Lechery, by this hand! an index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met so near with their lips, that their breaths embraced together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclusion. Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night; for the command, I’ll lay ’t upon you: Cassio knows you not. I’ll not be far from you: do you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or tainting his discipline; or from what other course you please, which the time shall more favourably minister.


Well.  280


Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and haply may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny, whose qualification shall come into no true taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.  291


I will do this, if I can bring it to any opportunity.


I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel: I must fetch his necessaries ashore.

Farewell.  296





That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;

That she loves him, ’tis apt, and of great credit:

The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,  300

Is of a constant, loving, noble nature;

And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona

A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;

Not out of absolute lust,—though peradventure

I stand accountant for as great a sin,—  305

But partly led to diet my revenge,

For that I do suspect the lusty Moor

Hath leap’d into my seat; the thought whereof

Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards;  309

And nothing can or shall content my soul

Till I am even’d with him, wife for wife;

Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor  312

At least into a jealousy so strong

That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,

If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash

For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,

I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip;  317

Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb,

For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too,

Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me  320

For making him egregiously an ass

And practising upon his peace and quiet

Even to madness. ’Tis here, but yet confus’d:

Knavery’s plain face is never seen till us’d.  324


Scene II.— A Street.

Enter a Herald with a proclamation; People following.


It is Othello’s pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph; some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addiction leads him; for, besides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptial. So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open, and there is full liberty of feasting from this present hour of five till the bell have told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus and our noble general Othello!


Scene III.— A Hall in the Castle.

Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.


Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night:

Let’s teach ourselves that honourable stop,

Not to outsport discretion.


Iago hath direction what to do;  4

But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye

Will I look to ’t.


Iago is most honest.

Michael, good night; to-morrow with your earliest

Let me have speech with you. [To Desdemona.] Come, my dear love,  8

The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;

That profit’s yet to come ’twixt me and you.

Good night.

[Exeunt Othello, Desdemona, and Attendants.

Enter Iago.


Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.


Not this hour, lieutenant; ’tis not yet ten o’ the clock. Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona, who let us not therefore blame; he hath not yet made wanton the night with her, and she is sport for Jove.  17


She’s a most exquisite lady.


And, I’ll warrant her, full of game.


Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.  21


What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley of provocation.


An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.  25


And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?


She is indeed perfection.  28


Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine, and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to the health of black Othello.  33


Not to-night, good Iago: I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment.  37


O! they are our friends; but one cup: I’ll drink for you.


I have drunk but one cup to-night, and that was craftily qualified too, and, behold, what innovation it makes here: I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with any more.  44


What, man! ’tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.


Where are they?


Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.  49


I’ll do ’t; but it dislikes me.



If I can fasten but one cup upon him,

With that which he hath drunk to-night already,

He’ll be as full of quarrel and offence  53

As my young mistress’ dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,

Whom love has turn’d almost the wrong side out,

To Desdemona hath to-night carous’d  56

Potations pottle deep; and he’s to watch.

Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,

That hold their honours in a wary distance,

The very elements of this war-like isle,  60

Have I to-night fluster’d with flowing cups,

And they watch too. Now, ’mongst this flock of drunkards,

Am I to put our Cassio in some action

That may offend the isle. But here they come.

If consequence do but approve my dream,  65

My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.

Re-enter Cassio, with him Montano, and Gentlemen. Servant following with wine.


’Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.  68


Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a soldier.


Some wine, ho!

And let me the canakin clink, clink;  72

And let me the canakin clink:

A soldier’s a man;

A life’s but a span;

Why then let a soldier drink.  76

Some wine, boys!


’Fore God, an excellent song.


I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent in potting; your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, —drink, ho!—are nothing to your English.


Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?  84


Why, he drinks you with facility your Dane dead drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he gives your Hollander a vomit ere the next pottle can be filled.  88


To the health of our general!


I am for it, lieutenant; and I’ll do you justice.


O sweet England!  92

King Stephen was a worthy peer,

His breeches cost him but a crown;

He held them sixpence all too dear,

With that he call’d the tailor lown.  96

He was a wight of high renown,

And thou art but of low degree:

’Tis pride that pulls the country down,

Then take thine auld cloak about thee.  100

Some wine, ho!


Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.


Will you hear ’t again?  104


No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that does those things. Well, God’s above all; and there be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.  108


It’s true, good lieutenant.


For mine own part,—no offence to the general, nor any man of quality,—I hope to be saved.  112


And so do I too, lieutenant.


Ay; but, by your leave, not before me; the lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. Let’s have no more of this; let’s to our affairs. God forgive us our sins! Gentlemen, let’s look to our business. Do not think, gentlemen, I am drunk: this is my ancient; this is my right hand, and this is my left hand. I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and speak well enough.  122


Excellent well.


Why, very well, then; you must not think then that I am drunk.



To the platform, masters; come, let’s set the watch.


You see this fellow that is gone before;

He is a soldier fit to stand by Cæsar  128

And give direction; and do but see his vice;

’Tis to his virtue a just equinox,

The one as long as the other; ’tis pity of him.

I fear the trust Othello puts him in,  132

On some odd time of his infirmity,

Will shake this island.


But is he often thus?


’Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep:

He’ll watch the horologe a double set,  136

If drink rock not his cradle.


It were well

The general were put in mind of it.

Perhaps he sees it not; or his good nature

Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,  140

And looks not on his evils. Is not this true?

Enter Roderigo.


[Aside to him.] How now, Roderigo!

I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.

[Exit Roderigo.


And ’tis great pity that the noble Moor

Should hazard such a place as his own second

With one of an ingraft infirmity;

It were an honest action to say

So to the Moor.


Not I, for this fair island:  148

I do love Cassio well, and would do much

To cure him of this evil. But hark! what noise?

[Cry within, ‘Help! Help!’

Re-enter Cassio, driving in Roderigo.


You rogue! you rascal!


What’s the matter, lieutenant?


A knave teach me my duty!  152

I’ll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.


Beat me!


Dost thou prate, rogue?

[Striking Roderigo.


[Staying him.] Nay, good lieutenant;

I pray you, sir, hold your hand.


Let me go, sir,  156

Or I’ll knock you o’er the mazzard.


Come, come; you’re drunk.



[They fight.


[Aside to Roderigo.] Away, I say! go out, and cry a mutiny.

[Exit Roderigo.

Nay, good lieutenant! God’s will, gentlemen!

Help, ho! Lieutenant! sir! Montano! sir!

Help, masters! Here’s a goodly watch indeed!

[Bell rings.

Who’s that that rings the bell? Diablo, ho!

The town will rise: God’s will! lieutenant, hold!

You will be sham’d for ever.

Re-enter Othello and Attendants.


What is the matter here?  165


’Zounds! I bleed still; I am hurt to the death.


Hold, for your lives!


Hold, ho, lieutenant! Sir! Montano! gentlemen!  168

Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?

Hold! the general speaks to you; hold for shame!


Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?

Are we turn’d Turks, and to ourselves do that

Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?  173

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  177

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.  180


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,—  184

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  188

Those legs that brought me to a part of it!


How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?


I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak.


Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil;  192

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  196

And spend your rich opinion for the name

Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.


Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger;

Your officer, Iago, can inform you,  200

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,  204

And to defend ourselves it be a sin

When violence assails us.


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,  209

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;  212

And he that is approv’d 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,  216

To manage private and domestic quarrel,

In night, and on the court and guard of safety!

’Tis monstrous. Iago, who began ’t?


If partially affin’d, or leagu’d in office,

Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,  221

Thou art no soldier.


Touch me not so near;

I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth

Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;  224

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 he’p,  228

And Cassio following with determin’d sword

To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman

Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause;

Myself the crying fellow did pursue,  232

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  237

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  240

When you yourself did part them.

More of this matter can I not report:

But men are men; the best sometimes forget:

Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,  244

As men in rage strike those that wish them best,

Yet, surely Cassio, I believe, receiv’d

From him that fled some strange indignity,

Which patience could not pass.


I know, Iago,  248

Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,

Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee;

But never more be officer of mine.

Enter Desdemona, attended.

Look! if my gentle love be not rais’d up;  252

[To Cassio.] I’ll make thee an example.


What’s the matter?


All’s well now, sweeting; come away to bed.

Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon.

Lead him off.

[Montano is led off.

Iago, look with care about the town,  257

And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.

Come, Desdemona; ’tis the soldiers’ life,

To have their balmy slumbers wak’d with strife.

[Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio.


What! are you hurt, lieutenant?  261


Ay; past all surgery.


Marry, heaven forbid!


Reputation, reputation, reputation! O! I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!


As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more offence in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving: you have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What! man; there are ways to recover the general again; you are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice; even so as one would beat his offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he is yours.  279


I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk! and speak parrot! and squabble, swagger, swear, and discourse fustian with one’s own shadow! O thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!


What was he that you followed with your sword? What had he done to you?  288


I know not.


Is ’t possible?


I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God! that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains; that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts.  296


Why, but you are now well enough; how came you thus recovered?


It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.  302


Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen, but since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.  307


I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.  314


Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.  318


I have well approved it, sir. I drunk!


You or any man living may be drunk at some time, man. I’ll tell you what you shall do. Our general’s wife is now the general: I may say so in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces: confess yourself freely to her; importune her; she’ll help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.  334


You advise me well.


I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.  337


I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me. I am desperate of my fortunes if they check me here.  341


You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch.


Good night, honest Iago!



And what’s he then that says I play the villain?  345

When this advice is free I give and honest,

Probal to thinking and indeed the course

To win the Moor again? For ’tis most easy  348

The inclining Desdemona to subdue

In any honest suit; she’s fram’d as fruitful

As the free elements. And then for her

To win the Moor, were ’t to renounce his baptism,  352

All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,

His soul is so enfetter’d to her love,

That she may make, unmake, do what she list,

Even as her appetite shall play the god  356

With his weak function. How am I then a villain

To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,

Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!

When devils will the blackest sins put on,  360

They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,

As I do now; for while this honest fool

Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,

And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,  364

I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear

That she repeals him for her body’s lust;

And, by how much she strives to do him good,

She shall undo her credit with the Moor.  368

So will I turn her virtue into pitch,

And out of her own goodness make the net

That shall enmesh them all.

Re-enter Roderigo.

How now, Roderigo!


I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is almost spent; I have been to-night exceedingly well cudgelled; and I think the issue will be, I shall have so much experience for my pains; and so, with no money at all and a little more wit, return again to Venice.


How poor are they that have not patience!

What wound did ever heal but by degrees?  380

Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,

And wit depends on dilatory time.

Does ’t not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,

And thou by that small hurt hast cashiered Cassio.  384

Though other things grow fair against the sun,

Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe:

Content thyself awhile. By the mass, ’tis morning;

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:  389

Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter:

Nay, get thee gone. [Exit Roderigo.] Two things are to be done,

My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;

I’ll set her on;  393

Myself the while to draw the Moor apart,

And bring him jump when he may Cassio find

Soliciting his wife: ay, that’s the way:  396

Dull not device by coldness and delay.



Scene I.— Cyprus. Before the Castle.

Enter Cassio, and some Musicians.


Masters, play here, I will content your pains;

Something that’s brief; and bid ‘Good morrow, general.’


Enter Clown.


Why, masters, have your instruments been in Naples, that they speak i’ the nose thus?

First Mus.

How, sir, how?  5


Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?

First Mus.

Ay, marry, are they, sir.


O! thereby hangs a tail.  8

First Mus.

Whereby hangs a tale, sir?


Marry, sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know. But, masters, here’s money for you; and the general so likes your music, that he desires you, for love’s sake, to make no more noise with it.  14

First Mus.

Well, sir, we will not.


If you have any music that may not be heard, to ’t again; but, as they say, to hear music the general does not greatly care.  18

First Mus.

We have none such, sir.


Then put up your pipes in your bag, for

I’ll away. Go; vanish into air; away!  21

[Exeunt Musicians.


Dost thou hear, mine honest friend?


No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.  24


Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There’s a poor piece of gold for thee. If the gentlewoman that attends the general’s wife be stirring, tell her there’s one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech: wilt thou do this?  29


She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither,

I shall seem to notify unto her.


Do, good my friend.

[Exit Clown.

Enter Iago.

In happy time, Iago.  32


You have not been a-bed, then?


Why, no; the day had broke

Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,

To send in to your wife; my suit to her  36

Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona

Procure me some access.


I’ll send her to you presently;

And I’ll devise a mean to draw the Moor

Out of the way, that your converse and business

May be more free.  41


I humbly thank you for ’t.

[Exit Iago.

I never knew

A Florentine more kind and honest.

Enter Emilia.


Good morrow, good lieutenant: I am sorry  44

For your displeasure; but all will soon be well.

The general and his wife are talking of it,

And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies

That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus  48

And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom

He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you,

And needs no other suitor but his likings

To take the saf’st occasion by the front  52

To bring you in again.


Yet, I beseech you,

If you think fit, or that it may be done,

Give me advantage of some brief discourse

With Desdemona alone.


Pray you, come in:  56

I will bestow you where you shall have time

To speak your bosom freely.


I am much bound to you.


Scene II.— A Room in the Castle.

Enter Othello, Iago, and Gentlemen.


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.


Well, my good lord, I’ll do t.  4


This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see ’t?


We’ll wait upon your lordship.


Scene III.— Before the Castle.

Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia.


Be thou assur’d, good Cassio, I will do

All my abilities in thy behalf.


Good madam, do: I warrant it grieves my husband,

As if the case were his.  4


O! that’s an honest fellow. Do not doubt, Cassio,

But I will have my lord and you again

As friendly as you were.


Bounteous madam,

Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,  8

He’s never anything but your true servant.


I know ’t; I thank you. You do love my lord;

You have known him long; and be you well assur’d

He shall in strangeness stand no further off  12

Than in a politic distance.


Ay, but, lady,

That policy may either last so long,

Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,

Or breed itself so out of circumstance,  16

That, I being absent and my place supplied,

My general will forget my love and service.


Do not doubt that; before Emilia here

I give thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,  20

If I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform it

To the last article; my lord shall never rest;

I’ll watch him tame, and talk him out of patience;

His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;  24

I’ll intermingle every thing he does

With Cassio’s suit. Therefore be merry, Cassio;

For thy solicitor shall rather die

Than give thy cause away.  28

Enter Othello, and Iago at a distance.


Madam, here comes my lord.


Madam, I’ll take my leave.


Why, stay, and hear me speak.


Madam, not now; I am very ill at ease,

Unfit for mine own purposes.  33


Well, do your discretion.

[Exit Cassio.


Ha! I like not that.


What dost thou say?


Nothing, my lord: or if—I know not what.  36


Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?


Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it

That he would steal away so guilty-like,

Seeing you coming.


I do believe ’twas he.  40


How now, my lord!

I have been talking with a suitor here,

A man that languishes in your displeasure.


Who is ’t you mean?  44


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,  48

That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,

I have no judgment in an honest face.

I prithee call him back.


Went he hence now?


Ay, sooth; so humbled,  52

That he hath left part of his grief with me,

To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.


Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.


But shall ’t be shortly?


The sooner, sweet, for you.  56


Shall ’t be to-night at supper?


No, not to-night.


To-morrow dinner then?


I shall not dine at home;

I meet the captains at the citadel.


Why then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn;  60

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  65

Out of their best,—is not almost a fault

To incur a private check. When shall he come?

Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,  68

What you could 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,  72

Hath ta’en your part; to have so much to do

To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much.—


Prithee, no more; let him come when he will;

I will deny thee nothing.


Why, this is not a boon;  76

’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  80

Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,

It shall be full of poise and difficult weight,

And fearful to be granted.


I will deny thee nothing:

Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,  84

To leave me but a little to myself.


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


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


Emilia, come. Be as your fancies teach you;  88

Whate’er you be, I am obedient.

[Exit, with Emilia.


Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul

But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.  92


My noble lord,—


What dost thou say, Iago?


Did Michael Cassio, when you woo’d my lady,

Know of your love?


He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask?  96


But for a satisfaction of my thought;

No further harm.


Why of thy thought, Iago?


I did not think he had been acquainted with her.


O! yes; and went between us very oft.


Indeed!  101


Indeed! ay, indeed; discern’st thou aught in that?

Is he not honest?


Honest, my lord?


Honest! ay, honest.


My lord, for aught I know.  104


What dost thou think?


Think, my lord!


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:  108

I heard thee say but now, thou lik’dst 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!’  112

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.  116


My lord, you know I love you.


I think thou dost;

And, for I know thou art full of love and honesty,

And weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them breath,

Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more;  120

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.


For Michael Cassio,  124

I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.


I think so too.


Men should be what they seem;

Or those that be not, would they might seem none!


Certain, men should be what they seem.


Why then, I think Cassio ’s an honest man.  129


Nay, yet there’s more in this.

I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,

As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts  132

The worst of words.


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;  136

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  140

With meditations lawful?


Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,

If thou but think’st him wrong’d, and mak’st his ear

A stranger to thy thoughts.


I do beseech you,  144

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,  148

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,  152

Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,

To let you know my thoughts.


What dost thou mean?


Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,

Is the immediate jewel of their souls:  156

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,  160

And makes me poor indeed.


By heaven, I’ll know thy thoughts.


You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;

Nor shall not, whilst ’tis in my custody.  164




O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;

It is the green-ey’d 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  169

Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet soundly loves!


O misery!


Poor and content is rich, and rich enough,  172

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!


Why, why is this?  176

Think’st thou I’d make a life 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  181

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,  184

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;  188

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!  192


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.  196

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 abus’d; look to ’t:  200

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.


Dost thou say so?  205


She did deceive her father, marrying you:

And when she seem’d to shake and fear your looks,

She lov’d them most.


And so she did.


Why, go to, then;  208

She that so young could give out such a seeming,

To seel 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  212

For too much loving you.


I am bound to thee for ever.


I see, this hath a little dash’d your spirits.


Not a jot, not a jot.


I’ faith, I fear it has.

I hope you will consider what is spoke  216

Comes from my love. But, I do see you’re mov’d;

I am to pray you not to strain my speech

To grosser issues nor to larger reach

Than to suspicion.  220


I will not.


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 mov’d.


No, not much mov’d:  224

I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.


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


And, yet, how nature erring from itself,—


Ay, there’s the point: as, to be bold with you,  228

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.  233

But pardon me; I do not in position

Distinctly speak of her, though I may fear

Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,  236

May fail to match you with her country forms

And happily repent.


Farewell, farewell:

If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;

Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.  240


My lord, I take my leave.



Why did I marry? This honest creature, doubtless,

Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.


[Returning.] My lord, I would I might entreat your honour  244

To scan this thing no further; leave it to time.

Although ’tis fit that Cassio have his place,

For, sure he fills it up with great ability,

Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,  248

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,  252

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.


Fear not my government.  256


I once more take my leave.



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,  261

I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind,

To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black,

And have not those soft parts of conversation

That chamberers have, or, for I am declin’d  265

Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much—

She’s gone, I am abus’d; and my relief

Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage!  268

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  272

For others’ uses. Yet, ’tis the plague of great ones;

Prerogativ’d are they less than the base;

’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:

Even then this forked plague is fated to us  276

When we do quicken.

Look! where she comes.

If she be false, O! then heaven mocks itself.

I’ll not believe it.

Re-enter Desdemona and Emilia.


How now, my dear Othello!

Your dinner and the generous islanders  280

By you invited, do attend your presence.


I am to blame.


Why do you speak so faintly?

Are you not well?


I have a pain upon my forehead here.  284


Faith, that’s with watching; ’twill away again:

Let me but bind it hard, within this hour

It will be well.


Your napkin is too little:

[She drops her handkerchief.

Let it alone. Come, I’ll go in with you.  288


I am very sorry that you are not well.

[Exeunt Othello and Desdemona.


I am glad I have found this napkin;

This was her first remembrance from the Moor;

My wayward husband hath a hundred times  292

Woo’d me to steal it, but she so loves the token,

For he conjur’d her she should ever keep it,

That she reserves it evermore about her

To kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work ta’en out,

And give ’t Iago:  297

What he will do with it heaven knows, not I;

I nothing but to please his fantasy.

Enter Iago.


How now! what do you here alone?  300


Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.


A thing for me? It is a common thing—




To have a foolish wife.  304


O! is that all? What will you give me now

For that same handkerchief?


What handkerchief?


What handkerchief!

Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona:

That which so often you did bid me steal.  309


Hast stol’n it from her?


No, faith; she let it drop by negligence,

And, to the advantage, I, being there, took’t up.

Look, here it is.


A good wench; give it me.  313


What will you do with ’t, that you have been so earnest

To have me filch it?


Why, what’s that to you?

[Snatches it.


If it be not for some purpose of import  317

Give ’t me again; poor lady! she’ll run mad

When she shall lack it.


Be not acknown on ’t; I have use for it.  320

Go, leave me.

[Exit Emilia.

I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin,

And let him find it; trifles light as air

Are to the jealous confirmations strong  324

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,  329

Burn like the mines of sulphur. I did say so:

Look! where he comes!

Enter Othello.

Not poppy, nor mandragora,

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,  332

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep

Which thou ow’dst yesterday.


Ha! ha! false to me?


Why, how now, generall no more of that.


Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the rack;  336

I swear ’tis better to be much abus’d

Than but to know ’t a little.


How now, my lord!


What sense had I of her stol’n hours of lust?  339

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.


I am sorry to hear this.  345


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  348

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,  352

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 dread clamours counterfeit,  357

Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone!


Is it possible, my lord?


Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,  360

Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof;

Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,

Thou hadst been better have been born a dog

Than answer my wak’d wrath.


Is ’t come to this?


Make me to see ’t; or, at the least, so prove it,  365

That the probation bear no hinge nor loop

To hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life!


My noble lord,—  368


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 amaz’d;  372

For nothing canst thou to damnation add

Greater than that.


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!  376

That liv’st 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  380

I’ll love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.


Nay, stay; thou shouldst be honest.


I should be wise; for honesty’s a fool,

And loses that it works for.


By the world,  384

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 begrim’d and black  388

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!


I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion.  392

I do repent me that I put it to you.

You would be satisfied?


Would! nay, I will.


And may; but how? how satisfied, my lord?

Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on;  396

Behold her tupp’d?


Death and damnation! O!


It were a tedious difficulty, I think,

To bring them to that prospect; damn them then,

If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster  400

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  405

As ignorance made drunk; but yet, I say,

If imputation, and strong circumstances,

Which lead directly to the door of truth,  408

Will give you satisfaction, you may have it.


Give me a living reason she’s disloyal.


I do not like the office;

But, sith I am enter’d in this cause so far,  412

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.  416

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,  420

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,  424

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!’


O monstrous! monstrous!


Nay, this was but his dream.


But this denoted a foregone conclusion:

’Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.


And this may help to thicken other proofs

That do demonstrate thinly.


I’ll tear her all to pieces.  432


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?


I gave her such a one; ’twas my first gift.  437


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.


If it be that,—  440


If it be that, or any that was hers,

It speaks against her with the other proofs.


O! that the slave had forty thousand lives;

One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.  444

Now do I see ’tis true. Look here, Iago;

All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven:

’Tis gone.  447

Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!

Yield up, O love! thy crown and hearted throne

To tyrannous hate. Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,

For ’tis of aspics’ tongues!


Yet be content.


O! blood, blood, blood!  452


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


Never, Iago. Like to the Pontick sea,

Whose icy current and compulsive course

Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on  456

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  460

Swallow them up.


Now, by yond marble heaven,

In the due reverence of a sacred vow

I here engage my words.


Do not rise yet.


Witness, you ever-burning lights above!  464

You elements that clip us round about!

Witness, that here Iago doth give up

The execution of his wit, hands, heart,

To wrong’d Othello’s service! Let him command,  468

And to obey shall be in me remorse,

What bloody business ever.


I greet thy love,

Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,

And will upon the instant put thee to ’t:  472

Within these three days let me hear thee say

That Cassio’s not alive.


My friend is dead; ’tis done at your request:

But let her live.


Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!

Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw  477

To furnish me with some swift means of death

For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.


I am your own for ever.


Scene IV.— Before the Castle.

Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.


Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?


I dare not say he lies any where.


Why, man?  4


He is a soldier; and for one to say a soldier lies, is stabbing.


Go to; where lodges he?


To tell you where he lodges is to tell you where I lie.  9


Can anything be made of this?


I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a lodging, and say he lies here or he lies there, were to lie in mine own throat.  13


Can you inquire him out, and be edified by report?


I will catechize the world for him; that is, make questions, and by them answer.  17


Seek him, bid him come hither; tell him I have moved my lord in his behalf, and hope all will be well.  20


To do this is within the compass of man’s wit, and therefore I will attempt the doing it.



Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?  24


I know not, madam.


Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse

Full of cruzadoes; and, but my noble Moor

Is true of mind, and made of no such baseness  28

As jealous creatures are, it were enough

To put him to ill thinking.


Is he not jealous?


Who! he? I think the sun where he was born

Drew all such humours from him.


Look! where he comes.


I will not leave him now till Cassio  33

Be call’d to him.

Enter Othello.

How is ’t with you, my lord?


Well, my good lady. [Aside.] O! hardness to dissemble.

How do you, Desdemona?


Well, my good lord.


Give me your hand. This hand is moist, my lady.  37


It yet has felt no age nor known no sorrow.


This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart;

Hot, hot, and moist; this hand of yours requires  40

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,  44

A frank one.


You may, indeed, say so;

For ’twas that hand that gave away my heart.


A liberal hand; the hearts of old gave hands,

But our new heraldry is hands not hearts.  48


I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.


What promise, chuck?


I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.


I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me.  52

Lend me thy handkerchief.


Here, my lord.


That which I gave you.


I have it not about me.




No, indeed, my lord.


That is a fault.

That handkerchief  56

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  60

Entirely to her love, but if she lost it

Or made a gift of it, my father’s eye

Should hold her loathed, and his spirits should hunt

After new fancies. She dying gave it me;  64

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  68

As nothing else could match.


Is ’t possible?


’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,  72

In her prophetic fury sew’d the work;

The worms were hallow’d that did breed the silk,

And it was dy’d in mummy which the skilful

Conserv’d of maidens’ hearts.


Indeed! is ’t true?  76


Most veritable; therefore look to ’t well.


Then would to heaven that I had never seen it!


Ha! wherefore?


Why do you speak so startingly and rash?  80


Is ’t lost? is ’t gone? speak, is it out o’ the way?


Heaven bless us!


Say you?


It is not lost: but what an if it were?


How!  84


I say, it is not lost.


Fetch ’t, let me see ’t.


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 receiv’d again.  88


Fetch me the handkerchief; my mind misgives.


Come, come;

You’ll never meet a more sufficient man.


The handkerchief!


I pray, talk me of Cassio.  92


The handkerchief!


A man that all his time

Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,

Shar’d dangers with you,—


The handkerchief!


In sooth you are to blame.  96





Is not this man jealous?


I ne’er saw this before.

Sure, there’s some wonder in this handkerchief;  100

I am most unhappy in the loss of it.


’Tis not a year or two shows us a man;

They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;

They eat us hungerly, and when they are full

They belch us. Look you! Cassio and my husband.  105

Enter Iago and Cassio.


There is no other way; ’tis she must do ’t:

And, lo! the happiness: go and importune her.


How now, good Cassio! what’s the news with you?  108


Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you

That by your virtuous means I may again

Exist, and be a member of his love

Whom I with all the office of my heart  112

Entirely honour; I would not be delay’d.

If my offence be of such mortal kind

That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,

Nor purpos’d merit in futurity,  116

Can ransom me into his love again,

But to know so must be my benefit;

So shall I clothe me in a forc’d content,

And shut myself up in some other course  120

To fortune’s alms.


Alas! thrice-gentle Cassio!

My advocation is not now in tune;

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

Were he in favour as in humour alter’d.  124

So help me every spirit sanctified,

As I have spoken for you all my best

And stood within the blank of his displeasure

For my free speech. You must awhile be patient;  128

What I can do I will, and more I will

Than for myself I dare: let that suffice you.


Is my lord angry?


He went hence but now,

And, certainly in strange unquietness.  132


Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon,

When it hath blown his ranks into the air,

And, like the devil, from his very arm  135

Puff’d his own brother; and can he be angry?

Something of moment then; I will go meet him;

There’s matter in ’t indeed, if he be angry.


I prithee, do so. [Exit Iago.] Something, sure, of state,

Either from Venice, or some unhatch’d practice

Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,  141

Hath puddled his clear spirit; and, in such cases

Men’s natures wrangle with inferior things,

Though great ones are their object. ’Tis even so;

For let our finger ache, and it indues  145

Our other healthful members ev’n to that sense

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

Nor of them look for such observancy  148

As fits the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,

I was—unhandsome warrior as I am—

Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;

But now I find I had suborn’d the witness,  152

And he’s indicted falsely.


Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you think,

And no conception, nor no jealous toy

Concerning you.  156


Alas the day! I never gave him cause.


But jealous souls will not be answer’d so;

They are not ever jealous for the cause,

But jealous for they are jealous; ’tis a monster

Begot upon itself, born on itself.  161


Heaven keep that monster from Othello’s mind!


Lady, amen.


I will go seek him. Cassio, walk hereabout;  164

If I do find him fit, I’ll move your suit

And seek to effect it to my uttermost.


I humbly thank your ladyship.

[Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia.

Enter Bianca.


Save you, friend Cassio!


What make you from home?

How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?  169

I’ faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.


And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.

What! keep a week away? seven days and nights?  172

Eight score eight hours? and lovers’ absent hours,

More tedious than the dial eight score times?

O weary reckoning!


Pardon me, Bianca,

I have this while with leaden thoughts been press’d,  176

But I shall, in a more continuate time,

Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca.

[Giving her Desdemona’s handkerchief.

Take me this work out.


O Cassio! whence came this?

This is some token from a newer friend;  180

To the felt absence now I feel a cause;

Is ’t come to this? Well, well.


Go to, woman!

Throw your vile guesses in the devil’s teeth,

From whence you have them. You are jealous now  184

That this is from some mistress, some remembrance:

No, in good troth, Bianca.


Why, whose is it?


I know not, sweet; I found it in my chamber.

I like the work well; ere it be demanded,—  188

As like enough it will,—I’d have it copied;

Take it and do ’t; and leave me for this time.


Leave you! wherefore?


I do attend here on the general,  192

And think it no addition nor my wish

To have him see me woman’d.


Why, I pray you?


Not that I love you not.


But that you do not love me.

I pray you, bring me on the way a little  196

And say if I shall see you soon at night.


’Tis but a little way that I can bring you,

For I attend here; but I’ll see you soon.


’Tis very good; I must be circumstanc’d.



Scene I.— Cyprus. Before the Castle.

Enter Othello and Iago.


Will you think so?


Think so, Iago!



To kiss in private?


An unauthoriz’d kiss.


Or to be naked with her friend a-bed

An hour or more, not meaning any harm?  4


Naked a-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.  8


If they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip;

But if I give my wife a handkerchief,—


What then?


Why, then, ’tis hers, my lord; and, being hers,  12

She may, I think, bestow ’t on any man.


She is protectress of her honour too;

May she give that?


Her honour is an essence that’s not seen;  16

They have it very oft that have it not:

But for the handkerchief,—


By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it:—

Thou said’st,—O! it comes o’er my memory,  20

As doth the raven o’er the infected house,

Boding to all,—he had my handkerchief.


Ay, what of that?


That’s not so good now.



If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?  24

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  28

But they must blab.


Hath he said any thing?


He hath, my lord; but be you well assur’d,

No more than he’ll unswear.


What hath he said?


Faith, that he did—I know not what he did.  32


What? what?




With her?


With her, on her; what you will.


Lie with her! lie on her! We say, lie on her, when they belie her. Lie with her! that’s fulsome. Handkerchief,—confessions,—handkerchief! To 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 it possible?—Confess!—Handkerchief!—O devil!

[Falls in a trance.


Work on,  45

My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught;

And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,

All guitless, meet reproach. What, ho! my lord!  48

My lord, I say! Othello!

Enter Cassio.

How now, Cassio!


What’s the matter?


My lord is fallen into an epilepsy;

This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.  52


Rub him about the temples.


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,  57

He will recover straight; when he is gone,

I would on great occasion speak with you.

[Exit Cassio.

How is it, general? have you not hurt your head?  60


Dost thou mock me?


I mock you! no, by heaven.

Would you would bear your fortune like a man!


A horned man’s a monster and a beast.


There’s many a beast then, in a populous city,  64

And many a civil monster.


Did he confess it?


Good sir, be a man;

Think every bearded fellow that’s but yok’d

May draw with you; there’s millions now alive  68

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,  72

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

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


O! thou art wise; ’tis certain.


Stand you awhile apart;

Confine yourself but in a patient list.  76

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;  80

Bade him anon return and here speak with me;

The which he promis’d. Do but encave yourself,

And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,

That dwell in every region of his face;  84

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,  89

And nothing of a man.


Dost thou hear, Iago?

I will be found most cunning in my patience;

But—dost thou hear?—most bloody.


That’s not amiss;  92

But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?

[Othello goes apart.

Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,

A housewife that by selling her desires

Buys herself bread and clothes; it is a creature

That dotes on Cassio; as ’tis the strumpet’s plague  97

To beguile many and be beguil’d by one.

He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain

From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:

Re-enter Cassio.

As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;  101

And his unbookish jealousy must construe

Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviour

Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?  104


The worser that you give me the addition

Whose want even kills me.


Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on ’t.

[Speaking lower.] Now, if this suit lay in Bianca’s power,  108

How quickly should you speed!


Alas! poor caitiff!


Look! how he laughs already!


I never knew woman love man so.


Alas! poor rogue, I think, i’ faith, she loves me.  112


Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.


Do you hear, Cassio?


Now he importunes him

To tell it o’er: go to; well said, well said.


She gives it out that you shall marry her;  116

Do you intend it?


Ha, ha, ha!


Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?  119


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


So, so, so, so. They laugh that win.


Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.  125


Prithee, say true.


I am a very villain else.


Have you scored me? Well.  128


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.


Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.  133


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 come this bauble, and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck;—


Crying, ‘O dear Cassio!’ as it were; his gesture imports it.  140


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


Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. O! I see that nose of yours, but not the dog I shall throw it to.  145


Well, I must leave her company.


Before me! look, where she comes.


’Tis such another fitchew! marry, a perfumed one.  149

Enter Bianca.

What do you mean by this haunting of me?


Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the work! A likely piece of work, that you should find it in your chamber, and not know who left it there! This is some minx’s token, and I must take out the work! There, give it your hobby-horse; wheresoever you had it I’ll take out no work on ’t.


How now, my sweet Bianca! how now, how now!  161


By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!


An you’ll come to supper to-night, you may; an you will not, come when you are next prepared for.



After her, after her.


Faith, I must; she’ll rail in the street else.  169


Will you sup there?


Faith, I intend so.


Well, I may chance to see you, for I would very fain speak with you.  173


Prithee, come; will you?


Go to; say no more.

[Exit Cassio.


[Advancing.] How shall I murder him, Iago?  177


Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?


O! Iago!  180


And did you see the handkerchief?


Was that mine?


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.  185


I would have him nine years a-killing.

A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!


Nay, you must forget that.  188


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.


Nay, that’s not your way.  195


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!  200


She’s the worse for all this.


O! a thousand, a thousand times. And then, of so gentle a condition!


Ay, too gentle.  204


Nay, that’s certain;—but yet the pity of it, Iago! O! Iago, the pity of it, Iago!


If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes near nobody.  209


I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!


O! ’tis foul in her.  212


With mine officer!


That’s fouler.


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.  218


Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.


Good, good; the justice of it pleases; very good.


And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker; you shall hear more by midnight.  224


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


Something from Venice, sure. ’Tis Lodovico,

Come from the duke; and see, your wife is with him.  228

Enter Lodovico, Desdemona, and Attendants.


God save you, worthy general!


With all my heart, sir.


The duke and senators of Venice greet you.

[Gives him a packet.


I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.

[Opens the packet, and reads.


And what’s the news, good cousin Lodovico?  232


I am very glad to see you, signior;

Welcome to Cyprus.


I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?


Lives, sir.  236


Cousin, there’s fall’n between him and my lord

An unkind breach; but you shall make all well.


Are you sure of that?


My lord?  240


This fail you not to do, as you will


He did not call; he’s busy in the paper.

Is there division ’twixt my lord and Cassio?


A most unhappy one; I would do much

To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.  245


Fire and brimstone!


My lord?


Are you wise?


What! is he angry?


May be the letter mov’d him;

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

Deputing Cassio in his government.  249


Trust me, I am glad on ’t.




My lord?


I am glad to see you mad.


Why, sweet Othello?



[Strikes her.


I have not deserved this.  252


My lord, this would not be believ’d in Venice,

Though I should swear I saw ’t: ’tis very much;

Make her amends, she weeps.


O devil, devil!

If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,

Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.  257

Out of my sight!


I will not stay to offend you.



Truly, an obedient lady;

I do beseech your lordship, call her back.  260




My lord?


What would you with her, sir?


Who, I, my lord?


Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:

Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,  264

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;  269

I’ll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate,

And will return to Venice. Hence! avaunt!

[Exit Desdemona.

Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, to-night,

I do entreat that we may sup together;  273

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



Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate

Call all-in-all sufficient? is this the noble nature

Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue  277

The shot of accident nor dart of chance

Could neither graze nor pierce?


He is much chang’d.


Are his wits safe? is he not light of brain?  280


He’s that he is; I may not breathe my censure.

What he might be, if, what he might, he is not,

I would to heaven he were!


What! strike his wife!


Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew  284

That stroke would prove the worst!


Is it his use?

Or did the letters work upon his blood,

And new-create this fault?


Alas, alas!

It is not honesty in me to speak  288

What I have seen and known. You shall observe him,

And his own courses will denote him so

That I may save my speech. Do but go after

And mark how he continues.  292


I am sorry that I am deceiv’d in him.


Scene II.— A Room in the Castle.

Enter Othello and Emilia.


You have seen nothing, then?


Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.


Yes, you have seen Cassio and her together.


But then I saw no harm, and then I heard  4

Each syllable that breath made up between them.


What! did they never whisper?


Never, my lord.


Nor send you out o’ the way?




To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?  8


Never, my lord.


That’s strange.


I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,  11

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,  16

There’s no man happy; the purest of their wives

Is foul as slander.


Bid her come hither; go.

[Exit Emilia.

She says enough; yet she’s a simple bawd

That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,  20

A closet lock and key of villanous secrets;

And yet she’ll kneel and pray; I have seen her do ’t.

Re-enter Emilia with Desdemona.


My lord, what is your will?


Pray, chuck, come hither.


What is your pleasure?


Let me see your eyes;  24

Look in my face.


What horrible fancy’s this?


[To Emilia.] Some of your function, mistress;

Leave procreants alone and shut the door;

Cough or cry ‘hem’ if any body come;  28

Your mystery, your mystery; nay, dispatch.

[Exit Emilia.


Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?

I understand a fury in your words,

But not the words.  32


Why, what art thou?


Your wife, my lord; your true

And loyal wife.


Come, swear it, damn thyself;

Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves

Should fear to seize thee; therefore be double-damn’d;  36

Swear thou art honest.


Heaven doth truly know it.


Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.


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


Ah! Desdemona; away, away, away!  40


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,  44

Lay not your blame on me; if you have lost him,

Why, I have lost him too.


Had it pleas’d heaven

To try me with affliction, had he rain’d

All kinds of sores, and shames, on my bare head,  48

Steep’d me in poverty to the very lips,

Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,

I should have found in some part of my soul

A drop of patience; but, alas! to make me  52

The fixed figure for the time of scorn

To point his slow and moving 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,  57

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  60

To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there,

Patience, thou young and rose-lipp’d cherubin;

Ay, there, look grim as hell!


I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.  64


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.  68


Alas! what ignorant sin have I committed?


Was this fair paper, this most goodly book,

Made to write ‘whore’ upon? What committed!

Committed! O thou public commoner!  72

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  77

Is hush’d within the hollow mine of earth,

And will not hear it. What committed!

Impudent strumpet!


By heaven, you do me wrong.  80


Are not you a strumpet?


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.  84


What! not a whore?


No, as I shall be sav’d.


Is it possible?


O! heaven forgive us.


I cry you mercy, then;

I took you for that cunning whore of Venice  88

That married with Othello. 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.  92

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



Alas! what does this gentleman conceive?

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


Faith, half asleep.  96


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


With who?


Why, with my lord, madam.


Who is thy lord?


He that is yours, sweet lady.  100


I have none; do not talk to me, Emilia;

I cannot weep, nor answer have I none,

But what should go by water. Prithee, to-night

Lay on my bed my wedding sheets: remember:

And call thy husband hither.


Here is a change indeed!  105



’Tis meet I should be us’d so, very meet.

How have I been behav’d, that he might stick

The small’st opinion on my least misuse?  108

Re-enter Emilia, with Iago.


What is your pleasure, madam? How is it with you?


I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes

Do it with gentle means and easy tasks;  112

He might have chid me so; for, in good faith,

I am a child to chiding.


What’s the matter, lady?


Alas! Iago, my lord hath so bewhor’d her,

Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her,

As true hearts cannot bear.  117


Am I that name, Iago?


What name, fair lady?


Such as she says my lord did say I was.


He call’d her whore; a beggar in his drink  120

Could not have laid such terms upon his callat.


Why did he so?


I do not know; I am sure I am none such.


Do not weep, do not weep. Alas the day!  124


Has she forsook so many noble matches,

Her father and her country and her friends,

To be call’d whore? would it not make one weep?


It is my wretched fortune.


Beshrew him for it!  128

How comes this trick upon him?


Nay, heaven doth know.


I will be hang’d, if some eternal villain,

Some busy and insinuating rogue,

Some cogging cozening slave, to get some office,  132

Have not devis’d this slander; I’ll be hang’d else.


Fie! there is no such man; it is impossible.


If any such there be, heaven pardon him!


A halter pardon him, and hell gnaw his bones!  136

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

What place? what time? what form? what likelihood?

The Moor’s abus’d by some most villanous knave,

Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.

O heaven! that such companions thou’dst unfold,  141

And put in every honest hand a whip

To lash the rascals naked through the world,

Even from the east to the west!


Speak within door.  144


O! fie upon them. Some such squire he was

That turn’d your wit the seamy side without,

And made you to suspect me with the Moor.


You are a fool; go to.


O good Iago,  148

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,  152

Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,

Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,

Delighted them in any other form;

Or that I do not yet, and ever did,  156

And ever will, though he do shake me off

To beggarly divorcement, love him dearly,

Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much;

And his unkindness may defeat my life,  160

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

It does abhor me now I speak the word;

To do the act that might the addition earn

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


I pray you be content, ’tis but his humour;  165

The business of the state does him offence,

And he does chide with you.


If ’twere no other,—


’Tis but so, I warrant.


Hark! how these instruments summon to supper;  169

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!  172


I do not find that thou dealest justly with me.


What in the contrary?


Every day thou daffest me with some device, Iago; and rather, as it seems to me now, keepest from me all conveniency, than suppliest me with the least 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.  182


Will you hear me, Roderigo?


Faith, I have heard too much, for your words and performances are no kin together.


You charge me most unjustly.  186


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 has received them, and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.  193


Well; go to; very well.


Very well! go to! I cannot go to, man; nor ’tis not very well: by this hand, I say, it is very scurvy, and begin to find myself fobbed in it.


Very well.  198


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; if not, assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you.


You have said now.  204


Ay, and said nothing, but what I protest intendment of doing.


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.  212


It hath not appeared.


I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your suspicion is not without wit and judgment. But, Roderigo, 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 next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from this world with treachery and devise engines for my life.


Well, what is it? is it within reason and compass?  224


Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice to depute Cassio in Othello’s place.


Is that true? why, then Othello and Desdemona return again to Venice.  228


O, no! he goes into Mauritania, and takes away with him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be lingered here by some accident; wherein none can be so determinate as the removing of Cassio.  233


How do you mean, removing of him?


Why, by making him uncapable of Othello’s place; knocking out his brains.


And that you would have me do?  237


Ay; if you dare do yourself a profit and a right. He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I go to him; he knows not yet of his honourable fortune. If you will watch his going thence,—which I will fashion to 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 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 the night grows to waste; about it.  250


I will hear further reason for this.


And you shall be satisfied.


Scene III.— Another Room in the Castle.

Enter Othello, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, and Attendants.


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


O! pardon me; ’twill do me good to walk.


Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.


Your honour is most welcome.


Will you walk, sir?

O! Desdemona,—  5


My lord?


Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned forthwith; dismiss your attendant there; look it be done.  9


I will, my lord.

[Exeunt Othello, Lodovico, and Attendants.


How goes it now? he looks gentler than he did.


He says he will return incontinent;  12

He hath commanded me to go to bed,

And bade me to dismiss you.


Dismiss me!


It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia,

Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:  16

We must not now displease him.


I would you had never seen him.


So would not I; my love doth so approve him,

That even his stubbornness, his checks and frowns,—  20

Prithee, unpin me,—have grace and favour in them.


I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.


All’s one. Good faith! how foolish are our minds!

If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me  24

In one of those same sheets.


Come, come, you talk.


My mother had a maid call’d Barbara;

She was in love, and he she lov’d prov’d mad

And did forsake her; she had a song of ‘willow;’  28

An old thing ’twas, but it express’d her fortune,

And she died singing it; that song to-night

Will not go from my mind; I have much to do

But to go hang my head all at one side,  32

And sing it like poor Barbara. Prithee, dispatch.


Shall I go fetch your night-gown?


No, unpin me here.

This Lodovico is a proper man.


A very handsome man.  36


He speaks well.


I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.  40


The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,

Sing all a green willow;

Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow:  44

The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur’d her moans;

Sing willow, willow, willow:

Her salt tears fell from her, and soften’d the stones;—

Lay by these:—  48

Sing willow, willow, willow:

Prithee, hie thee; he’ll come anon.—

Sing all a green willow must be my garland.

Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve,—

Nay, that’s not next. Hark! who is it that knocks?


It is the wind.


I call’d my love false love; but what said he then?  56

Sing willow, willow, willow:

If I court moe women, you’ll couch with moe men.

So, get thee gone; good night. Mine eyes do itch;

Doth that bode weeping?


’Tis neither here nor there.


I have heard it said so. O! these men, these men!  61

Dost thou in conscience think, tell me, Emilia,

That there be women do abuse their husbands

In such gross kind?


There be some such, no question.


Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?  65


Why, would not you?


No, by this heavenly light!


Nor I neither by this heavenly light; might do ’t as well i’ the dark.  68


Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?


The world is a huge thing; ’tis a great price

For a small vice.


In troth, I think thou wouldst not.


In troth, I think I should, and undo ’t when I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring, nor measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition; but for the whole world, who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for ’t.


Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong

For the whole world.  80


Why, the wrong is but a wrong i’ the world; and having the world for your labour, ’tis a wrong in your own world, and you might quickly make it right.  84


I do not think there is any such woman.


Yes, a dozen; and as many to the vantage, as would store the world they played for.  88

But I do think it is their husbands’ faults

If wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties,

And pour our treasures into foreign laps,

Or else break out in peevish jealousies,  92

Throwing restraint upon us; or, say they strike us,

Or scant our former having in despite;

Why, we have galls, and though we have some grace,

Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know

Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell,  97

And have their palates both for sweet and sour,

As husbands have. What is it that they do

When they change us for others? Is it sport?

I think it is; and doth affection breed it?  101

I think it doth: is ’t frailty that thus errs?

It is so too; and have not we affections,

Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?  104

Then, let them use us well; else let them know,

The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.


Good night, good night; heaven me such usage send,

Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!  108



Scene I.— Cyprus. A Street.

Enter Iago and Roderigo.


Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will he come:

Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.

Quick, quick; fear nothing; I’ll be at thy elbow.

It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,  4

And fix most firm thy resolution.


Be near at hand; I may miscarry in ’t.


Here, at thy hand: be bold, and take thy stand.



I have no great devotion to the deed;  8

And yet he has given me satisfying reasons:

’Tis but a man gone: forth, my sword; he dies.


I have rubb’d this young quat almost to the sense,

And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,  12

Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Every way makes my gain: live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobb’d from him,  16

As gifts to Desdemona;

It must not be: if Cassio do remain,

He hath a daily beauty in his life

That makes me ugly; and, besides, the Moor  20

May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril.

No, he must die. But so; I hear him coming.

Enter Cassio.


I know his gait; ’tis he. Villain, thou diest!

[Makes a pass at Cassio.


That thrust had been mine enemy indeed  24

But that my coat is better than thou know’st;

I will make proof of thine.

[Draws, and wounds Roderigo.


O! I am slain.

[Iago from behind wounds Cassio in the leg, and exit.


I am maim’d for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!


Enter Othello, at a distance.


The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.


O! villain that I am!


It is e’en so.  29


O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!


’Tis he: O brave Iago, honest and just!

That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong;  32

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.


Enter Lodovico and Gratiano, at a distance.


What ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder!  37


’Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.


O, help!


Hark!  40


O wretched villain!


Two or three groan: it is a heavy night;

These may be counterfeits; let’s think ’t unsafe

To come in to the cry without more help.  44


Nobody come? then shall I bleed to death.



Re-enter Iago, with a light.


Here’s one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.


Who’s there? whose noise is this that cries on murder?  48


We do not know.


Did not you hear a cry?


Here, here! for heaven’s sake, help me.


What’s the matter?


This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.


The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.


What are you here that cry so grievously?  53


Iago? O! I am spoil’d, undone by villains!

Give me some help.


O me, lieutenant! what villains have done this?  56


I think that one of them is hereabout,

And cannot make away.


O treacherous villains!

[To Lodovico and Gratiano.] What are you there? come in, and give some help.


O! help me here.  60


That’s one of them.


O murderous slave! O villain!

[Stabs Roderigo.


O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!


Kill men i’ the dark! Where be these bloody thieves?

How silent is this town! Ho! murder! murder!

What may you be? are you of good or evil?  65


As you shall prove us, praise us.


Signior Lodovico?


He, sir.  68


I cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.




How is it, brother?


My leg is cut in two.


Marry, heaven forbid,  72

Light, gentlemen; I’ll bind it with my shirt.

Enter Bianca.


What is the matter, ho? who is ’t that cried?


Who is ’t that cried!


O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio!  76

O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!


O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect

Who they should be that have thus mangled you?


No.  80


I am sorry to find you thus; I have been to seek you.


Lend me a garter. So. O! for a chair,

To bear him easily hence!


Alas! he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!  84


Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash

To be a party in this injury.

Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come.

Lend me a light. Know we this face, or no?  88

Alas! my friend and my dear countryman,

Roderigo? no: yes, sure, O heaven! Roderigo.


What! of Venice?


Even he, sir: did you know him?


Know him! ay.  92


Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon;

These bloody accidents must excuse my manners,

That so neglected you.


I am glad to see you.


How do you, Cassio? O! a chair, a chair!  96



[A chair brought in.


He, he, ’tis he.—O! that’s well said; the chair:

Some good men bear him carefully from hence;

I’ll fetch the general’s surgeon. [To Bianca.] For you, mistress,  100

Save you your labour. He that lies slain here, Cassio,

Was my dear friend. What malice was between you?


None in the world; nor do I know the man.


[To Bianca.] What! look you pale? O! bear him out o’ the air—  104

[Cassio and Roderigo are borne off.

Stay you, good gentlemen. Look you pale, mistress?—

Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?

Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.

Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her:  108

Do you see, gentlemen? nay, guiltiness will speak

Though tongues were out of use.

Enter Emilia.


’Las! what’s the matter? what’s the matter, husband?


Cassio hath here been set on in the dark  112

By Roderigo and fellows that are ’scap’d:

He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.


Alas! good gentleman; alas! good Cassio!


This is the fruit of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,  116

Go know of Cassio where he supp’d to-night.

What! do you shake at that?


He supp’d at my house; but I therefore shake not.


O! did he so? I charge you, go with me.


Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!  121


I am no strumpet, but of life as honest

As you that thus abuse me.


As I! foh! fie upon thee!


Kind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dress’d.  124

Come, mistress, you must tell ’s another tale.

Emilia, run you to the citadel,

And tell my lord and lady what hath happ’d.

Will you go on afore? [Aside.] This is the night

That either makes me or fordoes me quite.  129


Scene II.— A Bedchamber in the Castle. Desdemona in bed asleep. A light burning.

Enter 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,  4

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,  8

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  12

That can thy light relume. When I have pluck’d the rose,

I cannot give it vital growth again,

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

[Kisses her.

O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade  16

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,  20

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?  24


Have you pray’d to-night, Desdemona?


Ay, my lord.


If you bethink yourself of any crime

Unreconcil’d as yet to heaven and grace,

Solicit for it straight.  28


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  33

Have mercy on me!


Amen! with all my heart.


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


Hum!  36


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.


Think on thy sins.


They are loves I bear to you.  40


Ay, and for that thou diest.


That death’s unnatural that kills for loving.

Alas! why gnaw you so your nether lip?

Some bloody passion shakes your very frame;  44

These are portents, but yet, I hope, I hope

They do not point on me.


Peace, and be still!


I will so. What’s the matter?


That handkerchief which I so lov’d and gave thee  48

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’rt on thy death-bed.


Ay, but not yet to die.


Yes, presently;  52

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.  56


Then Lord have mercy on me!


I say, amen.


And have you mercy too! I never did

Offend you in my life; never lov’d Cassio

But with such general warranty of heaven  60

As I might love; I never gave him token.


By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ’s hand.

O perjur’d woman! thou dost stone my heart,

And mak’st me call what I intend to do  64

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 confess’d.  68


What, my lord?


That he hath us’d thee.


How? unlawfully?




He will not say so.


No; his mouth is stopp’d:

Honest Iago hath ta’en order for ’t.  72


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 betray’d and I undone.  76


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


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


Down, strumpet!


Kill me to-morrow; let me live to-night!


Nay, if you strive,—  81


But half an hour!


Being done, there is no pause.


But while I say one prayer!


It is too late.

[He smothers her.


[Within.] My lord, my lord! what, ho! my lord, my lord!  84


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.


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


Who’s there?  88


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


Yes; ’tis Emilia: by and by. She’s dead.

’Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death;

The noise was high. Ha! no more moving?  92

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!  97

Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse

Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe

Should yawn at alteration.


[Within.] I do beseech you  100

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?

[Unlocks the door.

Enter Emilia.

What’s the matter with thee now?  104


O! my good lord, yonder’s foul murder done.


What! now?


But now, my lord.


It is the very error of the moon;

She comes more near the earth than she was wont,  108

And makes men mad.


Cassio, my lord, has kill’d a young Venetian

Call’d Roderigo.


Roderigo kill’d!

And Cassio kill’d?


No, Cassio is not kill’d.  112


Not Cassio kill’d! then murder’s out of tune,

And sweet revenge grows harsh.


O! falsely, falsely murder’d.


Alas! what cry is that?


That! what?  116


Out, and alas! that was my lady’s voice:

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

Sweet Desdemona! O! sweet mistress, speak.


A guiltless death I die.  120


O! who hath done this deed?


Nobody; I myself; farewell:

Commend me to my kind lord. O! farewell!



Why, how should she be murder’d?


Alas! who knows?  124


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 kill’d her.


O! the more angel she,

And you the blacker devil.  129


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


Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.


She was false as water.


Thou art rash as fire to say

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


Cassio did tup her; ask thy husband else.

O! I were damn’d beneath all depth in bell

But that I did proceed upon just grounds  136

To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.


My husband!


Thy husband.


That she was false to wedlock?  140


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

If heaven would make me such another world

Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,

I’d not have sold her for it.  144


My husband!


Ay, ’twas he that told me 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.  148


O mistress! villany hath made mocks with love.

My husband say that she was false!


He, woman;

I say, thy husband: dost understand the word?

My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.  152


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.


Ha!  156


Do thy worst:

This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven

Than thou wast worthy her.


Peace! you were best.


Thou hast not half the power to do me harm  160

As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt!

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!  164

The Moor has kill’d my mistress! Murder! murder!

Enter Montano, Gratiano, Iago, and Others.


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?  169


Disprove this villain if thou be’st a man:

He says thou told’st him that his wife was false.

I know thou didst not, thou’rt not such a villain,

Speak, for my heart is full.  173


I told him what I thought, and told no more

Than what he found himself was apt and true.


But did you ever tell him she was false?  176


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.  181


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

My mistress here lies murder’d in her bed.


O heavens forfend!  184


And your reports have set the murder on.


Nay, stare not, masters; it is true, indeed.


’Tis a strange truth.


O monstrous act!


Villany! villany! villany!

I think upon ’t, I think, I smell ’t; O villany!  189

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

O! villany, villany!


What! are you mad? I charge you, get you home.  192


Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak:

’Tis proper I obey him, but not now.

Perchance, Iago, I will ne’er go home.


O! O! O!

[Falls on the bed.


Nay, lay thee down and roar,

For thou hast kill’d the sweetest innocent  197

That e’er did lift up eye.


O! she was foul.

I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,

Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp’d:  200

I know this act shows terrible and grim.


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.


’Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows  208

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  212

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

It was a handkerchief, an antique token

My father gave my mother.


O heaven! O heavenly powers!


Come, hold your peace.


’Twill out, ’twill out; I hold my peace, air? no;  217

No, I will speak as liberal as the north;

Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,

All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.  220


Be wise, and get you home.


I will not.

[Iago offers to stab Emilia.



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,  225

More than, indeed, belong’d to such a trifle,

He begg’d of me to steal it.


Villanous whore!


She give it Cassio! no, alas! I found it,  228

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

Do with so good a wife?


Are there no stones in heaven

But what serve for the thunder? Precious villain!

[He runs at Iago. Iago stabs Emilia, and exit.


The woman falls: sure, he has kill’d his wife.


Ay, ay; O! lay me by my mistress’ side.


He’s gone; but his wife’s kill’d.  236


’Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,

Which I have here recover’d 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,  241

But every puny whipster gets my sword.

But why should honour outlive honesty?

Let it go all.


What did thy song bode, lady?  244

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

And die in music:—

Willow, willow, willow.

Moor, she was chaste; she lov’d thee, cruel Moor;

So come my soul to bliss as I speak true;  249

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



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.  253


[Within.] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear:

Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.


Look in upon me then, and speak with me,  256

Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.

Re-enter Gratiano.


What is the matter?


Behold! I have a weapon;

A better never did itself sustain

Upon a soldier’s thigh: I have seen the day,  260

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.  264

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;  268

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,  272

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,  276

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!  280

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Enter Lodovico, Montano, Cassio carried in a chair, and Officers with Iago, prisoner.


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.  284


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

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

[Wounds Iago.


Wrench his sword from him.


I bleed, sir; but not kill’d.


I am not sorry neither; I’d have thee live;  288

For, in my sense, ’tis happiness to die.


O thou Othello! that wert once so good,

Fall’n in the practice of a damned slave,

What shall be said to thee?


Why, any thing:  292

An honourable murderer, if you will;

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


This wretch hath part confess’d his villany:

Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?  296




Dear general, I never gave you cause.


I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.

Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil  300

Why he hath thus ensnar’d 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.


Well, thou dost best.  305


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,  308

And here another; the one of them imports

The death of Cassio to be undertook

By Roderigo.


O villain!


Most heathenish and most gross!


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  316

Came in and satisfied him.


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 confess’d but even now  320

That there he dropp’d it for a special purpose

Which wrought to his desire.


O fool! fool! fool!


There is besides in Roderigo’s letter

How he upbraids Iago that he made him  324

Brave me upon the watch; whereon it came

That I was cast: and even but now he spake,

After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him,

Iago set him on.  328


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  332

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.


Soft you; a word or two before you go.  337

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,  340

Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice: then, must you speak

Of one that lov’d not wisely but too well;  343

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 subdu’d eyes

Albeit unused to the melting mood,  348

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their med’cinable gum. Set you down this;

And say besides, that in Aleppo once,

Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk  352

Beat a Venetian and traduc’d the state,

I took by the throat the circumcised dog,

And smote him thus.

[Stabs himself.


O bloody period!


All that’s spoke is marr’d.


I kiss’d thee ere I kill’d thee; no way but this,

[Falling upon Desdemona.

Killing myself to die upon a kiss.



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

For he was great of heart.


[To Iago.] O Spartan dog!  360

More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea.

Look on the tragic loading of this bed;

This is thy work; the object poisons sight;

Let it be hid. Gratiano, keep the house,  364

And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,

For they succeed on you. To you, lord governor,

Remains the censure of this hellish villain,

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

Myself will straight aboard, and to the state  369

This heavy act with heavy heart relate.