Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald L. Bailey
Peer Reviewed

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


Enter Othello with a light.
3240Oth. It is the cause, it is the cause, my soule,
Let me not name it to you, you chaste starres:
It is the cause, yet I'le not shed her blood,
Nor scarre that vvhiter skin of hers, then snow,
And smooth, as monumentall Alablaster;
3245Yet she must die, else shee'll betray more men,
Put out the light, and then put out the light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can againe, thy former light restore,
Should I repent me; but once put out thine,
3250Thou cunning patterne of excelling nature,
I know not where is that promethian heate,
That can thy light returne: when I haue pluckt the rose,
I cannot giue it vitall growth againe,
3255It must needes wither; I'le smell it on the tree,
A balmy breath, that doth almost perswade
Iustice her selfe to breake her sword once more,
Be thus, when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And loue thee after: once more, and this the last,
He
3260So sweete was ne're so fatall: I must weepe,
But they are cruell teares; this sorrowes heauenly,
It strikes when it does loue: she wakes.
Des. Who's there, Othello?
Oth. I, Desdemona.
3265Des. Will you come to bed my Lord?
Oth. Haue you prayed to night, Desdemona?
Des. I my Lord:
Oth. If you bethinke your selfe of any crime,
Vnreconcil'd as yet to heauen and grace,
3270Sollicite for it straite.
Des. Alas my Lord, what may you meane by that?
Oth. Well doe it, and be briefe, I will walke by,
I would not kill thy vnprepared spirit,
3275No, heauen fore-fend, I would not kill thy soule.
Des. Talke you of killing?
Oth. I, I doe.
Des. Then heauen haue mercy on me.
Oth. Amen, with all my heart.
3280Des. If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.
Oth. Hum.
Des. And yet I feare you, for you are fatall then,
When your eyes roule so: why I should feare, I know not,
3285Since guiltinesse I know not, but yet I feele I feare.
Oth. Thinke on thy sinnes.
Des. They are loues I beare to you.
Oth. And for that thou diest.
Des. That death's vnnaturall, that kills for louing,
3290Alas, why gnaw you so your neather lip?
Some bloody passion shakes your very frame,
These are portents: but yet I hope
They doe not point on me.
Oth. Peace, and be still.
3295Des. I will, so, what's the matter?
Oth. That handkercher which I so lou'd, and gaue thee,
Thou gauest to Cassio.
Des. No, by my life and soule,
Send for the man and aske him.
3300Oth. Sweete soule take heed, take heed of periury,
Thou art on thy death-bed.
Des. I, but not yet to die.
Oth. Yes, presently:
Therefore confesse thee freely of thy sinne,
3305For to deny each article with oath,
Cannot remoue, nor choke the strong conceit,
That I doe groane withall: thou art to die.
Des. The Lord haue mercy on me.
Oth. I say Amen.
3310Des. And haue you mercy too:
I neuer did offend you in my life, --neuer lou'd Cassio,
But with such generall warranty of heauen,
As I might loue: I neuer gaue him token.
Oth. By heauen I saw my handkercher in his hand,
3315O periured woman, thou doest stone thy heart,
And makest me call, what I intend to doe,
A murder, which I thought a sacrifice,
I saw the handkercher.
Des. He found it then,
3320I neuer gaue it him, send for him hither,
And let him confesse a truth.
Oth. He has confest.
Des. What, my Lord?
Oth. Thar he hath ----vds death.
3325Des. How, vnlawfully?
Oth. I.
Des. He will not say so.
Oth. No, his mouth is stop'd,
Honest Iago hath tane order for't.
3330Des. My feare interprets then, --what is he dead?
Oth. Had all his haires bin liues,
My great reuenge had stomacke for 'em all.
Des. Alas he is betraid, and I vndone.
Oth. O strumpet, ---weepest thou for him to my face?
3335Des. O bannish me, my Lord, but kill me not.
Oth. Downe strumpet.
Des. Kill me to morrow, let me liue to night.
Oth. Nay, an you striue.
Des. But halfe an houre, but while I say one prayer.
Oth. Tis too late.
he stiflles her.
3342.1Des. O Lord, Lord, Lord.
Emillia calls within.
Em. My Lord, my Lord, what ho, my Lord, my Lord.
Oth. What voyce is this? not dead? not yet quite dead?
I that am cruell, am yet mercifull,
I would not haue thee linger in thy paine, --- so, so.
3350Em. What ho, my Lord, my Lord.
Oth. Who's there?
Em. O good my Lord, I'de speake a word with you.
Oth. Yes, tis Emillia, by and by: shee's dead:
3355Tis like she comes to speake of Cassios death;
The noyse was here; ha, no more mouing,
Still as the graue: shall she come in? were't good?
I thinke she stirres againe; no, what's the best?
If she come in, shee'll sure speake to my wife.
3360My wife, my wife, my wife; I ha no wife;
O insupportable: O heauy houre.
Me thinks it should be now a huge Ecclips
Of Sunne and Moone, and that the affrighted Globe,
Should yawne at alteration.
3365Em. I doe beseech you I may speake with you, -good my Lord.
Oth. I had forgot thee: O come in Emillia.
Soft, by and by; let me the Curtaines draw,
Ent. Emil.
Where art thou? whats the matter with thee now?
Em. O my good Lord, yonder's foule murders done.
Oth. What, now?
Em. But now my Lord.
3375Oth. It is the very error of the Moone,
She comes more neere the earth, then she was wont,
And makes men mad.
Em. Cassio my Lord has kil'd a yong Venetian,
Cal'd Roderigo.
3380Oth. Roderigo kild, and Cassio kild?
Em. No, Cassio is not kild.
Oth. Not Cassio kild, then murders out of tune,
And sweete reuenge growes harsh.
Des. O falsly, falsly murdered.
3385Em. O Lord, what cry is that?
Oth. That? what?
Em. Out and alas, it is my Ladyes voyce,
Helpe, helpe, ho helpe, O Lady speake againe,
Sweete Desdemona, O sweete Mistresse speake.
3390Des. A guiltlesse death I die.
Em. O who has done this deed?
Des. No body, I my selfe, farewell:
Commend me to my kinde Lord, O farewell.
she dies.
Oth. Why, how should she be murdered?
3395Em. Alas, who knowes?
Oth. You heard her say, her selfe, it was not I.
Em. She sayd so, I must needes report a truth.
Oth. She's like a lyer, gone to burning Hell,
'Twas I that kild her.
3400Em. O, the more Angell she,
And you the blacker diuell.
Oth. She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.
Em. Thou doest bely her, and thou art a diuell.
Oth. She was false as water.
3405Em. Thou as rash as fire,
To say that she was false: O she was heauenly true.
Oth. Cassio did top her, aske thy husband else,
O I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed, vpon iust grounds,
3410To this extremity, thy husband knew it all.
Em. My husband?
Oth. Thy husband.
Em. That she was false to wedlocke?
Oth. I, with Cassio: nay, had she bin true,
3415If heauen would make me such another world,
Of one intire and perfect Crisolite,
I'de not haue sold her for it.
Em. My husband?
Oth. I, twas he that told me first,
3420An honest man he is, and hates the slime,
That sticks on filthy deedes.
Em. My husband?
Oth. What needes this iteration? woman, I say thy husband.
Em. If he say so, may his pernitious soule
Rot halfe a graine a day: he lies to'th heart,
She was too fond of her most filthy bargaine.
Oth. Ha?
3435Em. Doe thy worst,
This deed of thine is no more worthy heauen,
Then thou wast worthy her.
Oth. Peace, you were best.
Em. Thou hast not halfe the power to doe me harme,
3440As I haue to be hurt: O gull, O dolt,
As ignorant as dirtt; thou hast done a deed ---
I care not for thy sword, I'le make thee know,
Tho I lost twenty liues : helpe, helpe, O helpe;
The Moore has kild my Mistresse, murder, murder.
3445
Enter Montano, Gratiano, Iago, and others.
Mon. What is the matter? how now Generall?
Em. O, are you come Iago? you haue done well,
That men must lay their murder on your neck.
All. What is the matter?
3450Em. Disproue this villaine, if thou bee'st a man;
He sayes thou toldst him that his wife was false,
I know thou didst not, thou art not such a villaine:
Speake, for my heart is full.
Iag. I told him what I thought, and told no more,
Then what he found himselfe was apt and true.
Em. But did you euer tell him she was false.
Iag. I did.
3460Em. You told a lie, an odious damned lie;
Vpon my soule, a lie, a wicked lie:
She false with Cassio; did you say with Cassio?
Iag. With Cassio mistresse; go to, charme your tongue.
Em. I will not charme my tongue, I am bound to speake.
Iag. What are you mad, I charge you get you home.
Em. Good Gentlemen let me haue leaue to speake,
Tis proper I obey him, but not now:
Perchance Iago, I will ne're goe home.
Oth. Oh, oh, oh.
Oth. fals on the bed.
3485Em. Nay, lay thee downe, and rore,
For thou hast kild the sweetest innocent,
That ere did lift vp eye.
Oth. O she was foule:
I scarce did know you Vncle, there lies your Niece,
3490Whose breath indeed, these hands haue newly stopt,
I know this act shewes terrible and grim.
Gra. Poore Desdemona, I am glad thy father's dead,
Thy match was mortall to him, and pure griefe,
3495Shore his old thread atwane: did he liue now,
This sight would make him doe a desperate turne,
Yea curse his better Angell from his side,
And fall to reprobation.
Oth. Tis pittifull, but yet Iago knowes,
3500That she with Cassio, hath the act of shame
A thousand times committed; Cassio confest it,
And she did gratifie his amorous workes,
With the recognisance and pledge of loue,
Which I first gaue her; I saw it in his hand,
3505It was a handkercher; an Antique token
My father gaue my mother.
Em. O God, O heauenly God.
Iag. Zouns, hold your peace.
Em. 'Twill out, 'twill: I hold my peace sir, no,
3510I'le be in speaking, liberall as the ayre,
Let heauen, and men, and diuells, let em all,
All, all cry shame against me, yet I'le speake.
Iag. Be wise, and get you home.
Em. I will not.
3515Gra. Fie, your sword vpon a woman?
Em. O thou dull Moore, that handkercher thou speakst on,
I found by fortune, and did giue my husband:
For often with a solemne earnestnesse,
3520More then indeed belong'd to such a trifle,
He beg'd of me to steale it.
Iag. Villainous whore.
Em. She gaue it Cassio? no alas I found it,
And I did giu't my husband.
3525Iag. Filth thou liest.
Em. By heauen I doe not, I doe not Gentlemen,
O murderous Coxcombe! what should such a foole
Doe with so good a woman?
3528.1
The Moore runnes at Iago. Iago kils his wife.
Oth. Are there no stones in heauen,
3530But what serues for the thunder? pretious villaine.
Gra. The woman falls, sure he has kild his wife.
Em. I, I, O lay me by my mistresse side.
Exit Iago.
3535Gra. Hee's gone, but his wife's kild.
Mon. Tis a notorious villaine, take your weapon,
Which I haue here recouered from the Moore:
Come, guard the dore without, let him not passe,
But kill him rather, I'le after that same villaine,
3540For tis a damned slaue.
Exit Mont. and Gratiano.
Oth. I am not valiant neither,
But euery puny whipster gets my sword,
But why should honour out liue honesty?
Let it goe all.
Em. Moore, she was chast, she lou'd thee cruell Moore,
So come my soule to blisse, as I speake true;
3550So speaking as I thinke, I die, I die.
she dies.
Oth. I haue another weapon in this chamber,
It is a sword of Spaine, the Isebrookes temper;
O here it is; Vncle I must come forth.
Gra. within.
Gra. If thou attempt it, it will cost thee deere,
3555Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Looke in vpon me then, and speake to me,
Or naked as I am, I will assault thee.
Gra. What is the matter?
Oth. Behold, I haue a weapon,
3560A better neuer did it selfe sustaine
Vpon a Souldiers thigh: I haue seene the day,
That with this little arme, and this good sword,
I haue made my way through more impediments,
Then twenty times you stop: but O vaine boast,
3565Who can controule his Fate? tis not so now,
Pale as thy smocke, when we shall meete at count,
This looke of thine, will hurle my soule from heauen,
3575And fiends will snatch at it: cold, cold, my girle,
Euen like thy chastity; O cursed slaue:
Whippe me you Diuells,
From the possession of this heauenly sight,
Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulphure,
3580Wash me in steepe downe gulphes of liquid fire:
O Desdemona, Desdemoua, dead, O, o, o.
Enter Lodouico, Montano, Iago, and Officers,
3582.1
Cassio in a Chaire.
Lod. Where is this rash and most infortunate man.
3585Oth. That's he that was Othello, here I am.
Lod. Where is this Viper, bring the villaine forth.
Oth. I looke downe towards his feet, but that's a fable
If thou beest a diuell, I cannot kill thee.
3590Lod. Wring his sword from him.
Iag. I bleed sir, but not kil'd.
Oth. I am not sorry neither, I'de haue thee liue,
For in my sense tis happinesse to die.
Lod. O thou Othello, that wert once so good,
3595Falne in the practise of a damned slaue,
What should be said to thee?
Oth. Why any thing,
An honourable murderer if you will:
For nought did I in hate, but all in honour.
3600Lod. This wretch hath part confest his villainy:
Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
Oth. I.
Cas. Deare Generall, I did neuer giue you cause.
Oth. I doe beleeue it, and I aske you pardon,
3605Will you pray, demand that demy diuell,
Why he hath thus insnar'd my soule and body?
Iag. Demand me nothing, what you know you know,
From this time forth I neuer will speake word.
Lod. What not to pray?
3610Grat. Torments will op'e your lips.
Oth. Well, thou doest best.
Lod. Sir, you shall vnderstand what hath befalne,
Which, as I thinke you know not: here is a letter,
3615Found in the pocket of the slaine Roderigo;
And here another; the one of them imports
The death of Cassio; to be vndertooke ---by Roderigo.
Oth. O villaine.
3620Cas. Most heathenish, and most grosse.
Lod. Now heres another discontented paper,
Found in his pocket too, and this it seemes,
Roderigo meant to haue sent this damned villaine,
But that belike, Iago, in the nicke
3625Came in, and satisfied him.
Oth. O the pernitious catieffe!
How came you Cassio by a handkercher,
That was my wifes?
Cas. I found it in my chamber,
3630And he himselfe confest it euen now,
That there he dropt it, for a speciall purpose;
Which wrought to his desire.
Oth. O foole, foole, foole.
Cas. There is besides in Roderigoes letter
3635How he vpbraides Iago, that he made him,
Braue me vpon the watch, whereon it came,
That I was cast; and euen but now he spake,
After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him,
Iago set him on.
3640Lod. You must forsake this roome, and goe with vs,
Your power and your command is taken off,
And Cassio rules in Cypres: for this slaue,
If there be any cunning cruelty,
That can torment him much, and hold him long,
3645It shall be his: you shall close prisoner rest,
Till that the nature of your fault be knowne
To the Venetian State; come, bring him away.
Oth. Soft you, a word or two,
I haue done the State some seruice, and they know't;
3650No more of that: I pray you in your letters,
When you shall these vnlucky deedes relate,
Speake of them as they are; nothing extenuate,
Nor set downe ought in malice, then must you speake,
3655Of one that lou'd not wisely, but too well:
Of one not easily iealous, but being wrought,
Perplext in the extreame; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearle away,
Richer then all his Tribe: of one whose subdued eyes,
3660Albeit vnused to the melting moode,
Drops teares as fast as the Arabian trees,
Their medicinall gum; set you downe this,
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a Malignant and a Turband Turke,
3665Beate a Venetian, and traduc'd the State;
I tooke bi'th throate the circumcised dog,
And smote him thus.
He stabs himselfe.
Lod. O bloody period.
Gra. All that's spoke is mard.
3670Oth. I kist thee ere I kild thee, no way but this,
Killing my selfe, to die vpon a kisse.
He dies.
Cas. This did I feare, but thought he had no weapon,
For he was great of heart.
Lod. O Spartane dog,
3675More fell then anguish, hunger, or the Sea,
Looke on the tragicke lodging of this bed:
This is thy worke, the obiect poisons sight,
Let it be hid: Gratiano, keepe the house,
3680And ceaze vpon the fortunes of the Moore:
For they succeed to you, to you Lord Gouernour,
Remaines the censure of this hellish villaine,
The time, the place, the torture: O inforce it,
My selfe will straite aboord, and to the State,
3685This heauy act with heauy heart relate.
Exeunt omnes.