Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jessica Slights
Not Peer Reviewed

Othello (Modern)


4.1
2370
Enter Othello and Iago.
Iago
Will you think so?
Othello
Think so, Iago?
Iago
What,
To kiss in private?
Othello
An unauthorized kiss?
2375Iago Or to be naked with her friend in bed
An hour or more, not meaning any harm?
Othello Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm?
It is hypocrisy against the devil.
They that mean virtuously and yet do so,
2380The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.
Iago If they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip;
But if I give my wife a handkerchief--
Othello What then?
Iago Why then 'tis hers, my lord, and, being hers,
2385She may, I think, bestow't on any man.
Othello She is protectress of her honor too;
May she give that?
Iago Her honor is an essence that's not seen;
They have it very oft, that have it not.
2390But for the handkerchief--
Othello By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it!
Thou saidst--Oh, it comes ore my memory
As doth the raven o'er the infectious house,
Boding to all--he had my handkerchief.
2395Iago
Ay, what of that?
Othello
That's not so good now.
Iago What if I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
Or heard him say--as knaves be such abroad
Who, having by their own importunate suit
2400Or voluntary dotage of some mistress
Convincèd or supplied them, cannot choose
But they must blab--
Othello
Hath he said anything?
Iago He hath, my lord, but be you well assured,
2405No more than he'll unswear.
Othello
What hath he said?
Iago Faith, that he did--I know not what he did.
Othello
What? What?
Iago
Lie.
2410Othello
With her?
Iago With her, on her -- what you will.
Othello Lie with her? Lie on her? We say "lie on her" when they belie her. Lie with her? Zounds, that's fulsome! Handkerchief! Confessions! Handkerchief! -- To 2415confess and be hanged for his labor. 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 shakes me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips! -- Is't possible? Confess? 2420Handkerchief? O devil!
[Othello] falls in a trance.
Iago Work on,
My medicine works! Thus credulous fools are caught,
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach. What ho! My lord?
2425My lord, I say! Othello!
Enter Cassio.
How now, Cassio?
Cassio What's the matter?
Iago My lord is fallen into an epilepsy.
2430This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.
Cassio
Rub him about the temples.
2431.1Iago
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.
2435Do you withdraw yourself a little while.
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?
Othello
Dost thou mock me?
2440Iago
I mock you not, by heaven!
Would you would bear your fortune like a man.
Othello A hornèd man's a monster and a beast.
Iago There's many a beast then in a populous city,
And many a civil monster.
2445Othello
Did he confess it?
Iago
Good sir, be a man.
Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
May draw with you. There's millions now alive
That nightly lie in those unproper beds,
2450Which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better.
O 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch
And to suppose her chaste. No, let me know,
And, knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
2455Othello
Oh, thou art wise, 'tis certain.
Iago
Stand you awhile apart;
Confine yourself but in a patient list:
Whilst you were here, o'erwhelmèd with your grief--
A passion most unsuiting such a man--
2460Cassio came hither. I shifted him away
And laid good 'scuses upon your ecstasy,
Bade him anon return and here speak with me,
The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
And mark the fleers, the gibes and notable scorns
2465That dwell in every region of his face.
For I will make him tell the tale anew:
Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
He hath and is again to cope your wife.
I say, but mark his gesture--marry, patience!
2470Or I shall say you're all in all in spleen
And nothing of a man.
Othello
Dost thou hear, Iago?
I will be found most cunning in my patience,
But--dost thou hear?--most bloody.
2475Iago
That's not amiss,
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
[Othello withdraws.]
Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and cloth. It is a creature
2480That dotes on Cassio--as 'tis the strumpet's plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
He, when he hears of her, cannot restrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.
Enter Cassio.
2485As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
And his unbookish jealousy must conster
Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures, and light behaviors
Quite in the wrong. How do you, lieutenant?
Cassio The worser that you give me the addition
2490Whose want even kills me.
Iago Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't.
Now if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
How quickly should you speed.
Cassio
Alas, poor caitiff!
2495Othello [Aside] Look how he laughs already.
Iago I never knew a woman love man so.
Cassio Alas, poor rogue, I think i'faith she loves me.
Othello [Aside] Now he denies it faintly and laughs it out.
Iago
Do you hear, Cassio?
2500Othello
[Aside] Now he importunes him
To tell it o'er. Go to, well said, well said.
Iago She gives it out that you shall marry her.
Do you intend it?
Cassio Ha, ha, ha!
2505Othello [Aside] Do you triumph, Roman? Do you triumph?
Cassio I marry? What, a customer?
Prithee bear some charity to my wit;
Do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!
Othello [Aside] So, so, so, so! They laugh that wins.
2510Iago Faith, the cry goes that you marry her.
Cassio Prithee say true.
Iago I am a very villain else.
Othello [Aside] Have you scored me? Well.
Cassio This is the monkey's own giving out.
2515She is persuaded I will marry her
Out of her own love and flattery, not out of my promise.
Othello [Aside] Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.
Cassio She was here even now; she haunts me in every place. I was the other day talking on the 2520seabank with certain Venetians, and thither comes the bauble and, by this hand, falls me thus about my neck.
Othello [Aside] Crying "O dear Cassio!" as it were; his gesture imports it.
Cassio So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; 2525so shakes and pulls me. Ha, ha, ha!
Othello [Aside] Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. Oh, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall throw it to.
Cassio Well, I must leave her company.
2530Iago Before me! Look where she comes.
Enter Bianca.
Cassio 'Tis such another fitchew --marry, a perfumed one!
What do you mean by this haunting of me?
Bianca Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What 2535did 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 know not who left it there. This is some minx's token, and I must take out the work? 2540There, give it your hobby-horse! [Bianca throws down the handkerchief.] Wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.
Cassio How now, my sweet Bianca? How now? How now?
Othello [Aside] By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!
2545Bianca If you'll come to supper tonight, you may; if you will not, come when you are next prepared for.
Exit [Bianca].
Iago After her, after her!
Cassio Faith, I must; she'll rail in the streets else.
Iago Will you sup there?
2550Cassio Faith, I intend so.
Iago Well, I may chance to see you, for I would very fain speak with you.
Cassio Prithee come, will you?
Iago Go to, say no more.
[Exit Cassio.]
2555Othello [Coming forward] How shall I murder him, Iago?
Iago Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?
Othello O Iago!
Iago And did you see the handkerchief?
Othello Was that mine?
2560Iago Yours, by this hand --and to see how he prizes the foolish woman your wife; she gave it him, and he hath given it his whore.
Othello I would have him nine years a-killing! A fine woman, a fair woman, a sweet woman!
2565Iago Nay, you must forget that.
Othello Ay, let her rot and perish and be damned tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it and it hurts my hand. Oh, the world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by an 2570emperor's side and command him tasks.
Iago Nay, that's not your way.
Othello Hang her, I do but say what she is: so delicate with her needle, an admirable musician--Oh, she will sing the savageness out of a bear--of so high 2575plenteous wit and invention!
Iago She's the worse for all this.
Othello Oh, a thousand, a thousand times--and then of so gentle a condition!
Iago Ay, too gentle.
2580Othello Nay, that's certain--but yet the pity of it, Iago! Oh, Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
Iago If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend; for if it touch not you, it comes near 2585nobody.
Othello I will chop her into messes --cuckold me?
Iago Oh, 'tis foul in her.
Othello With mine officer?
Iago That's fouler.
2590Othello Get me some poison, Iago, this night. I'll not expostulate with her lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago.
Iago Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.
2595Othello Good, good--the justice of it pleases! Very good.
Iago And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You shall hear more by midnight.
2600Othello
Excellent good--
[A trumpet sounds.]
What trumpet is that same?
Iago I warrant something from Venice.
Enter Lodovico, Desdemona, and attendants.
'Tis Lodovico, this, comes from the duke.
See, your wife's with him.
Lodovico God save you, worthy general.
2605Othello With all my heart, sir.
Lodovico [Giving Othello a letter] The Duke and the Senators of Venice greet you.
Othello I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.
Desdemona And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico?
Iago I am very glad to see you, signor.
2610Welcome to Cyprus.
Lodovico I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?
Iago Lives, sir.
Desdemona Cousin, there's fallen between him and my lord
An unkind breach, but you shall make all well.
2615Othello
Are you sure of that?
Desdemona
My lord?
Othello [Reading]
"This fail you not to do, as you will . . . "
Lodovico He did not call; he's busy in the paper.
Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio?
2620Desdemona A most unhappy one. I would do much
T'atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
Othello
Fire and brimstone!
Desdemona
My lord?
Othello
Are you wise?
2625Desdemona
What, is he angry?
Lodovico
Maybe the letter moved him.
For, as I think, they do command him home,
Deputing Cassio in his government.
Desdemona
By my troth, I am glad on't.
2630Othello
Indeed?
Desdemona
My lord?
Othello
I am glad to see you mad.
Desdemona
Why, sweet Othello?
Othello
[Striking her] Devil!
2635Desdemona I have not deserved this.
Lodovico My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
Though I should swear I saw't. 'Tis very much.
Make her amends; she weeps.
Othello
O devil, devil!
2640If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.--
Out of my sight!
Desdemona
[Starting to exit] I will not stay to offend you.
Lodovico Truly obedient lady!
2645I do beseech your lordship call her back.
Othello
Mistress!
Desdemona
[Returning] My lord?
Othello
What would you with her, sir?
Lodovico Who I, my lord?
2650Othello Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn.
Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on
And turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep;
And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
Very obedient.--Proceed you in your tears!--
2655Concerning this, sir--O well-painted passion!--
I am commanded home.--Get you away!
I'll send for you anon.--Sir, I obey the mandate
And will return to Venice.--Hence, avaunt!--
[Exit Desdemona.]
Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight
2660I do entreat that we may sup together.
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.--Goats and monkeys!
Exit [Othello].
Lodovico Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
2665Whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue
The shot of accident nor dart of chance
Could neither graze nor pierce?
Iago
He is much changed.
Lodovico Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
2670Iago 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.
Lodovico
What? Strike his wife?
Iago Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew
2675That stroke would prove the worst.
Lodovico
Is it his use?
Or did the letters work upon his blood
And new-create his fault?
Iago
Alas, alas!
2680It is not honesty in me to speak
What I have seen and known. You shall observe him
And his own courses will denote him so
That I may save my speech; do but go after
And mark how he continues.
2685Lodovico I am sorry that I am deceived in him.
Exeunt.