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, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, and attendants.
    I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.
    Oh, pardon me; 'twill do me good to walk.
    Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.
    Your honor is most welcome.
    Will you walk, sir? O Desdemona--
    My lord.
    Get you to bed on th'instant. I will be returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there; look't be done.
    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,
    And hath commanded me to go to bed,
    And bid me to dismiss you.
    Dismiss me?
    It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia,
    2985Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu.
    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, his frowns--
    2990Prithee unpin me--have grace and favor 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
    In one of these same sheets.
    Come, come, you talk.
    My mother had a maid called Barbary;
    She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
    And did forsake her. She had a "Song of Willow"--
    An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune,
    3000And she died singing it. That song tonight
    Will not go from my mind; I have much to do
    But to go hang my head all at one side
    And sing it like poor Barbary. Prithee dispatch.
    Shall I go fetch your nightgown?
    No, unpin me here.
    This Lodovico is a proper man.
    A very handsome man.
    He speaks well.
    I know a lady in Venice would have walked
    3010Barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.
    [Singing] The poor soul sat singing by a sycamore tree,
    Sing all a green willow;
    Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee.
    Sing willow, willow, willow.
    3015The fresh streams ran by her and murmured her moans,
    Sing willow, willow, willow;
    Her salt tears fell from her and softened the stones.
    Sing willow--
    Lay by these.--
    [Singing] willow, willow.--
    3019.1Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon.
    [Singing] 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't that knocks?
    It's the wind.
    [Singing] I called my love false love, but what said he then?
    3025 Sing willow, willow, willow;
    If I court more women, you'll couch with more men.
    So get thee gone, goodnight. Mine eyes do itch;
    Doth that bode weeping?
    'Tis neither here nor there.
    I have heard it said so. Oh, these men, these men!
    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?
    Why, would not you?
    No, by this heavenly light.
    Nor I neither, by this heavenly light;
    I might do't as well i'th'dark.
    Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
    The world's a huge thing;
    It is a great price for a small vice.
    In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
    In troth, I think I should, and undo't when 3045I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition. But for all the whole world--'ud's pity!--who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should 3050venture purgatory for't.
    Beshrew me if I would do such a wrong
    For the whole world.
    Why, the wrong is but a wrong i'th'world; and having the world for your labor 'tis a wrong in 3055your own world, and you might quickly make it right.
    I do not think there is any such woman.
    Yes, a dozen--and as many to th'vantage as would store the world they played for.
    But I do think it is their husbands' faults
    3060If wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties
    And pour our treasures into foreign laps;
    Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
    Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us,
    Or scant our former having in despite.
    3065Why, 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,
    And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
    As husbands have. What is it that they do
    3070When they change us for others? Is it sport?
    I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
    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?
    3075Then let them use us well; else let them know,
    The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.
    Good night, good night. God me such uses send,
    Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad, mend.