Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Othello (Modern)
  • Editor: Jessica Slights
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-466-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Jessica Slights
    Peer Reviewed

    Othello (Modern)

    Enter Othello, Iago, [and] attendants, with torches.
    Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
    205Yet do I hold it very stuff o'th'conscience
    To do no contrived murder; I lack iniquity
    Sometime to do me service. Nine or ten times
    I had thought t'have yerked him here under the ribs.
    'Tis better as it is.
    Nay, but he prated,
    And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
    Against your honor
    212.1That with the little godliness I have
    I did full hard forbear him. But I pray you, sir,
    Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
    215That the magnifico is much beloved,
    And hath in his effect a voice potential
    As double as the duke's. He will divorce you,
    Or put upon you what restraint or grievance
    The law, with all his might to enforce it on,
    220Will give him cable.
    Let him do his spite;
    My services, which I have done the signory,
    Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know--
    Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
    225I 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 reached. For know, Iago,
    But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
    230I would not my unhousèd free condition
    Put into circumscription and confine
    For the sea's worth. But look, what lights come yond?
    Enter Cassio [and officers] with torches.
    Those are the raisèd father and his friends;
    235You 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?
    By Janus, I think no.
    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,
    245And 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
    250Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
    This very night at one another's heels,
    And many of the consuls, raised and met,
    Are at the duke's already. You have been hotly called for,
    When, being not at your lodging to be found,
    255The 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
    And go with you.
    [Exit Othello.]
    Ancient, what makes he here?
    Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.
    If it prove lawful prize, he's made forever.
    I do not understand.
    He's married.
    To who?
    Marry to--
    [Enter Othello.]
    Come captain, will you go?
    Have with you.
    Here comes another troop to seek for you.
    Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, [and] officers [with] torches [and weapons].
    It is Brabantio. General, be advised;
    He comes to bad intent.
    Holla, stand there.
    Signor, it is the Moor.
    Down with him, thief.
    [Both sides draw their swords.]
    You, Roderigo? Come, sir, I am for you.
    Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. Good signor, you shall more command with years than with your weapons.
    O thou foul thief, 280where hast thou stowed my daughter?
    Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
    For I'll refer me to all things of sense
    If she in chains of magic were not bound,
    Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,
    285So opposite to marriage that she shunned
    The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
    Would ever have, t'incur a general mock,
    Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
    Of such a thing as thou--to fear, not to delight.
    290Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
    That thou hast practiced on her with foul charms,
    Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
    That weaken motion. I'll have't disputed on--
    'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
    295I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
    For an abuser of the world, a practiser
    Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
    Lay hold upon him; if he do resist,
    Subdue him at his peril.
    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. Whither will you that I go
    To answer this your charge?
    To prison, till fit time
    Of law and course of direct session
    Call thee to answer.
    What if I do obey?
    How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
    310Whose messengers are here about my side
    Upon some present business of the state
    To bring me to him?
    'Tis true, most worthy signor.
    The duke's in council, and your noble self
    315I 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,
    320Cannot but feel this wrong as 'twere their own;
    For if such actions may have passage free,
    Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.