No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -1-Original Text Modern TextAct 1, Scene 1En...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -2-Original Text Modern TextTo love the Moor...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -3-Original Text Modern TextIAGOAwake! What,...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -4-Original Text Modern TextPatience, good s...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -5-Original Text Modern TextLet loose on me ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -6-Original Text Modern TextMay be abused? H...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -7-Original Text Modern Text25I shall promul...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -8-Original Text Modern Text50IAGOFaith, he ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -9-Original Text Modern Text7580Judge me the...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -10-Original Text Modern Text5DUKEAnd mine a...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -11-Original Text Modern TextThe Ottomites, ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -12-Original Text Modern TextShe is abused, ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -13-Original Text Modern Text100105A maiden ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -14-Original Text Modern Text135140145That I...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -15-Original Text Modern TextAct 1, Scene 3,...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -16-Original Text Modern Text220Being strong...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -17-Original Text Modern TextThe rites for w...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -18-Original Text Modern TextAdieu, brave Mo...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -19-Original Text Modern Textwith industry—w...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -20-Original Text Modern Texttomorrow. Adieu...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -21-Original Text Modern TextAct 2, Scene 1E...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -22-Original Text Modern Text35 With foul an...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -23-Original Text Modern TextMONTANOBut good...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -24-Original Text Modern TextCASSIOThe great...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -25-Original Text Modern TextYou rise to pla...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -26-Original Text Modern TextAct 2, Scene 1,...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -27-Original Text Modern TextTis truly so. Y...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -28-Original Text Modern TextDoes challenge ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -29-Original Text Modern Textother’s hands? ...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -30-Original Text Modern Text220225230235Not...
No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -31-Original Text Modern Text10Michael, good...
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  1. 1. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -1-Original Text Modern TextAct 1, Scene 1Enter RODMERIGO and IAGO RODERIGO and IAGO enter.RODERIGOTush! Never tell me. I take it much unkindlyThat thou, Iago, who hast had my purseAs if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.RODERIGOCome on, don’t tell me that. I don’t like it that youknew about this, Iago. All this time I’ve thoughtyou were such a good friend that I’ve let youspend my money as if it was yours.IAGOSblood, but you’ll not hear me! If ever I did dream ofsuch a matter, abhor me.IAGODamn it, you’re not listening to me! I neverdreamed this was happening—if you find out Idid, you can go ahead and hate me.RODERIGOThou told’st meThou didst hold him in thy hate.RODERIGOYou told me you hated him.10152025IAGODespise meIf I do not. Three great ones of the city(In personal suit to make me his lieutenant)Off-capped to him, and by the faith of manI know my price, I am worth no worse a place.But he (as loving his own pride and purposes)Evades them with a bombast circumstanceHorribly stuffed with epithets of war,And in conclusionNonsuits my mediators. For “Certes,” says he,“I have already chose my officer.”And what was he?Forsooth, a great arithmetician,One Michael Cassio, a Florentine(A fellow almost damned in a fair wife)That never set a squadron in the field,Nor the division of a battle knowsMore than a spinster—unless the bookish theoric,IAGOI do hate him, I swear. Three of Venice’s mostimportant noblemen took their hats off to him andasked him humbly to make me his lieutenant, thesecond in command. And I know my own worthwell enough to know I deserve that position. Buthe wants to have things his own way, so hesidesteps the issue with a lot of military talk andrefuses their request. “I’ve already chosen mylieutenant,” he says. And who does he choose? Aguy who knows more about numbers thenfighting! This guy from Florence named MichaelCassio. He has a pretty wife but he can’t evencontrol her. And he’s definitely never commandedmen in battle. He’s got no more hands-onknowledge of warfare than an old woman—unless you count what he’s read in books,Act 1, Scene 1, Page 230Wherein the toged consuls can proposeAs masterly as he. Mere prattle without practiceIs all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th electionAnd I, of whom his eyes had seen the proofAt Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other groundsChristian and heathen, must be belee’d and calmedBy debitor and creditor. This counter-casterHe (in good time) must his lieutenant beAnd I, bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.which any peace-lover can do. His militaryunderstanding is all theory, no practice. ButCassio’s been chosen over me. My career is cutshort by some bookkeeper, even though thegeneral saw my fighting skills first-hand inRhodes and Cyprus. This accountant is nowlieutenant, while I end up as the Moor’s flag-bearer.35RODERIGOBy heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.RODERIGOBy God, I’d rather be his executioner.40IAGOWhy, there’s no remedy. Tis the curse of service.Preferment goes by letter and affection,And not by old gradation, where each secondStood heir to th first. Now sir, be judge yourself,Whether I in any just term am affinedIAGOAnd there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s thecurse of military service. You get promoted whensomeone likes you, not because you’re next inline. Now, you tell me: should I feel loyal to theMoor?
  2. 2. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -2-Original Text Modern TextTo love the Moor.RODERIGOI would not follow him then.RODERIGOIf you don’t like him you should quit.455055IAGOO sir, content you.I follow him to serve my turn upon him.We cannot all be masters, nor all mastersCannot be truly followed. You shall markMany a duteous and knee-crooking knaveThat (doting on his own obsequious bondage)Wears out his time much like his master’s assFor naught but provender, and when he’s old,cashiered.Whip me such honest knaves. Others there areWho, trimmed in forms and visages of duty,Keep yet their hearts attending on themselvesAnd, throwing but shows of service on their lords,Do well thrive by them. And when they have linedtheir coats,Do themselves homage. These fellows have somesoul,IAGONo, calm down. I’m serving under him to takeadvantage of him. We can’t all be masters, andnot all masters should be followed. Look at all thedevoted servants who work for their masters theirwhole lives for nothing but their food, and thenwhen they get old they’re terminated. They oughtto be whipped for being so stupid. But thenthere’s another kind of servant who looks dutifuland devoted, but who’s really looking out forhimself. By pretending to serve their lords, thesemen get rich, and when they’ve saved up enoughthey can be their own masters. Guys like thathave soul, and that’s the kind of guy I am. Let metellAct 1, Scene 1, Page 36065And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,It is as sure as you are Roderigo,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.For when my outward action doth demonstrateThe native act and figure of my heartIn compliment extern, ’tis not long afterBut I will wear my heart upon my sleeveFor daws to peck at. I am not what I am.you, as sure as your name’s Roderigo, if I werethe Moor I wouldn’t want to be Iago. I may seemto love and obey him, but in fact, I’m just servinghim to get what I want. If my outward appearancestarted reflecting what I really felt, soon enoughI’d be wearing my heart on my sleeve for birds topeck at. No, it’s better to hide it. I’m not who Iappear to be.RODERIGOWhat a full fortune does the Thick-lips oweIf he can carry’t thus!RODERIGOThick-lips sure is lucky if he can pull this off!7075IAGOCall up her father.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 joyYet throw such changes of vexation on’t,As it may lose some color.IAGOLet’s shout up to Desdemona’s father, wake him,pester him, spoil his happiness, spread rumorsabout him in the streets, enrage his relatives, andirritate him endlessly. However real his happinessis, it will vanish in light of this.RODERIGOHere is her father’s house, I’ll call aloud.RODERIGOHere’s her father’s house. I’ll call out.IAGODo, with like timorous accent and dire yellAs when, by night and negligence, the fireIs spied in populous cities.IAGODo it, and shout like the city’s on fire.80RODERIGOWhat, ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!RODERIGOHey, Brabantio! Signor Brabantio, hey!
  3. 3. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -3-Original Text Modern TextIAGOAwake! What, ho, Brabantio! Thieves! Thieves!Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!Thieves! thieves!IAGOWake up, Brabantio! Wake up! Thieves! Thieves!Check on your daughter, your house, yourmoney! Thieves! Thieves!Enter BRABANTIO, above BRABANTIO enters, above.Act 1, Scene 1, Page 485BRABANTIOWhat is the reason of this terrible summons?What is the matter there?BRABANTIOWhat’s the reason for this horrible shouting?What’s the matter?RODERIGOSignior, is all your family within?RODERIGOSir, is everyone in your family at home?IAGOAre your doors locked?IAGOAre your doors locked?BRABANTIOWhy, wherefore ask you this?BRABANTIOWhy are you asking me that?90IAGOZounds, sir, you’re robbed! For shame, put on yourgown.Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul.Even now, now, very now, an old black ramIs tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise,Awake the snorting citizens with the bellOr else the devil will make a grandsire of you.Arise, I say!IAGOFor God’s sake, sir, you’ve been robbed. Getdressed. Your heart’s going to break. It’s like halfyour soul’s been ripped out. At this very minutean old black ram is having sex with your littlewhite lamb. Wake up, wake up, ring a bell andwake up all the snoring citizens. If you wait toolong you’ll have black grandchildren. Get up, I tellyou!BRABANTIOWhat, have you lost your wits?BRABANTIOAre you crazy?95RODERIGOMost reverend signior, do you know my voice?RODERIGODo you recognize my voice, noble lord?BRABANTIONot I. What are you?BRABANTIONot me. Who are you?RODERIGOMy name is Roderigo.RODERIGOMy name’s Roderigo.100BRABANTIOThe worser welcome.I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors.In honest plainness thou hast heard me sayMy daughter is not for thee. And now in madness,Being full of supper and distempering drafts,Upon malicious knavery dost thou comeTo start my quiet?BRABANTIOI told you not to hang around my house. I’vealready told you quite plainly that my daughterwill never marry you. Now you come here drunkto make trouble and startle me out of a soundsleep?105RODERIGOSir, sir, sir—RODERIGOSir, sir, sir—Act 1, Scene 1, Page 5BRABANTIOBut thou must needs be sureMy spirits and my place have in their powerTo make this bitter to thee.BRABANTIOYou know I’m powerful enough to make you payfor this.RODERIGO RODERIGO
  4. 4. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -4-Original Text Modern TextPatience, good sir. Please wait, sir.110BRABANTIOWhat tell’st thou me of robbing? This is Venice,My house is not a grange.BRABANTIOWhy are you talking about robbery? This isVenice. My house isn’t in some remotecountryside.RODERIGOMost grave Brabantio,In simple and pure soul I come to you—RODERIGOBrabantio, with all due respect, I’m here out ofcourtesy and good will. I’ve come to tell you—IAGOZounds, sir, you are one of those that will not serveGod, if the devil bid you. Because we come to doyou service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll haveyour daughter covered with a Barbary horse. You’llhave your nephews neigh to you. You’ll havecoursers for cousins and gennets for germans.IAGOMy God, sir, you’re stubborn and suspicious. Wecome here to help you and you treat us likethugs, but you let an African horse climb all overyour daughter. Your grandsons will neigh to youlike horses. Your whole family will be ruined.BRABANTIOWhat profane wretch art thou?BRABANTIOWhat kind of crude jerk are you?IAGOI am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughterand the Moor are now making the beast with twobacks.IAGOThe kind that tells you that the Moor is havingsex with your daughter right now.BRABANTIOThou art a villain!BRABANTIOYou’re a villain!IAGOYou are a senator!IAGOYou’re a senator!BRABANTIOThis thou shalt answer. I know thee, Roderigo.BRABANTIOYou’re going to pay for this, Roderigo. I knowwho you are.120RODERIGOSir, 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 daughterAt this odd-even and dull watch o th nightRODERIGOI’ll answer for everything. I don’t know if youknow or approve of this, but in the wee hours ofthe morning your daughter left your house, withno better escort than a hired gondolier, to go intothe rough embrace of a lustful Moor. If all of thishappened with yourAct 1, Scene 1, Page 6125130135Transported with no worse nor better guardBut with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,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 meWe have your wrong rebuke. Do not believeThat, from the sense of all civility,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 fortunesIn an extravagant and wheeling strangerOf here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself.If she be in her chamber or your house,approval, then we’ve been very rude to botheryou like this. But if you didn’t know about it, thenyou were wrong to get mad at us. I’d never playpranks on you. If you didn’t allow your daughterto do what she’s doing, then she’s rebellingagainst you. She’s throwing her life away onsome stranger. Go ahead, see for yourself ifshe’s in her bedroom. If she is, you can sue mefor lying to you.
  5. 5. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -5-Original Text Modern TextLet loose on me the justice of the stateFor thus deluding you.140BRABANTIOStrike 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.Light, I say, light!BRABANTIOLight the candles! Wake up my whole household!I dreamt about this. I’m starting to worry it’s true.Give me some light!Exit above BRABANTIO exits.145150IAGO(to RODERIGO)Farewell, for I must leave you.It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,To be producted (as, if I stay, I shall)Against the Moor. For I do know the state(However this may gall him with some check)Cannot with safety cast him, for he’s embarkedWith such loud reason to the Cyprus wars(Which even now stand in act) that, for their souls,Another of his fathom they have noneTo lead their business. In which regard,IAGO(to RODERIGO)It’s time for me to say goodbye to you. It wouldbe inappropriate—dangerous, even—for me tobe seen working against the Moor, as I would if Istayed. The Venetian government mightreprimand him for this, but it can’t safely get rid ofhim, since it needs him urgently for the imminentCyprus wars. They couldn’t find another manwith his abilities to lead their armed forces—not iftheir souls depended on it. I hate him, but I’ve gotto show him signs of loyaltyAct 1, Scene 1, Page 7155Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,Yet for necessity of present lifeI must show out a flag and sign of love,(Which is indeed but sign). That you shall surely findhim,Lead to the Sagittary the raisèd search,And there will I be with him. So farewell.and affection, even if it’s just an act. If you wantto find him, send the search party to theSagittarius Inn. He and I will be there.Exit IAGO exits.Enter BRABANTIO, with servants and torches BRABANTIO enters with servants and torches.160165BRABANTIOIt is too true an evil. Gone she is.And what’s to come of my despisèd timeIs naught but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,Where didst thou see her?—Oh, unhappy girl!—With the Moor, say’st thou?—Who would be afather?—How didst thou know ’twas she?—Oh, she deceivesmePast thought!—What said she to you?—Get moretapers,Raise all my kindred. Are they married, think you?BRABANTIOIt’s true. She’s gone. The rest of my life will benothing but bitterness. Now, Roderigo, where didyou see her?—Oh, that miserable wretch!—Yousay you saw her with the Moor?—Oh, who wouldwant to be a father?—How did you know it washer?—To think she tricked me so easily!—Whatdid she say to you?—Get me more candles, andwake up all my relatives. Do you think they’remarried?RODERIGOTruly, I think they are.RODERIGOYes, I really think so.170BRABANTIOOh, heaven, how got she out? Oh, treason of theblood!Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters mindsBy what you see them act. Is there not charmsBy which the property of youth and maidhoodBRABANTIOOh, heaven, how did she get out? My own fleshand blood rebels against me! Fathers, never trustyour daughters just because they act obedientand innocent. Are there magic spells that canlead young virgins astray? Have you ever heard
  6. 6. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -6-Original Text Modern TextMay be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,Of some such thing?of anything like that, Roderigo?RODERIGOYes, sir, I have indeed.RODERIGOYes, sir, I have.175BRABANTIOCall up my brother—Oh, would you had had her!Some one way, some another. Do you knowWhere we may apprehend her and the Moor?BRABANTIOCall my brother.—Now I wish you’d marriedher!—Some of you go one way, some the otherway.—Do you know where we can find her andthe Moor?RODERIGOI think I can discover him, if you pleaseTo get good guard and go along with me.RODERIGOI think I can find him. Get together a group ofarmed men and follow me.Act 1, Scene 1, Page 8180BRABANTIOPray you lead on. At every house I’ll call.I may command at most.—Get weapons, ho!And raise some special officers of might.—On, good Roderigo. I will deserve your pains.BRABANTIOLead the way. I’ll stop at every house. I’mrespected enough that most of them will do whatI say.—Get your weapons! And get the officerswho guard the city at night.—Let’s go, Roderigo.I’ll reward you for your troubles.Exeunt They exitAct 1, Scene 2Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and attendants with torches OTHELLO and IAGO enter, followed byattendants with torches.5IAGOThough in the trade of war I have slain men,Yet do I hold it very stuff o th conscienceTo do no contrived murder. I lack iniquitySometimes to do me service. Nine or ten timesI had thought t have yerked him here under the ribs.IAGOI’ve killed many men in battle, but I still believe it’sdeeply wrong to murder someone. Sometimes Iworry I’m not cruel enough for this job. Nine orten times I wanted to stab him under the ribs.OTHELLOTis better as it is.OTHELLOIt’s better that you didn’t kill him.1015IAGONay, but he pratedAnd spoke such scurvy and provoking termsAgainst your honorThat, 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:That the Magnifico is much belovedAnd hath in his effect a voice potentialAs double as the Duke’s. He will divorce you,Or put upon you what restraint and grievanceThe law (with all his might to enforce it on)Will give him cable.IAGOBut he kept chattering so foolishly, talking aboutyou in such insulting and despicable terms, that itwas hard for me to restrain myself. But please tellme, sir, is your marriage secure? Brabantio is animportant man in this city, almost as powerful asthe duke himself. He’ll try to annul your marriage,or else inflict whatever punishment the law andhis power will allow him to.20OTHELLOLet him do his spite.My services which I have done the signioryShall out-tongue his complaints. Tis yet to know—Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,OTHELLOLet him do his worst. The services I have done forthe Venetian government will count for more thanhis complaints will. No one knows this yet—and Idon’t like to brag, but I come from a royal family,
  7. 7. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -7-Original Text Modern Text25I shall promulgate. I fetch my life and beingFrom men of royal siege, and my demeritsMay speak unbonneted to as proud a fortuneAs this that I have reached. For know, Iago,But that I love the gentle Desdemona,I would not my unhousèd free conditionPut into circumscription and confineFor the sea’s worth. But look, what lights come yond?and I’m as noble as the woman I’ve married. Andlet me tell you, Iago, if I didn’t love Desdemona asmuch as I do, I’d never agree to get married andlose my freedom at all. But look at those lights.Who’s coming?Act 1, Scene 2, Page 230IAGOThose are the raisèd father and his friends.You were best go in.IAGOThat’s her father and his friends, who’ve beenroused out of bed. You’d better go inside.OTHELLONot I, I must be found.My parts, my title, and my perfect soulShall manifest me rightly. Is it they?OTHELLONo, I must let them find me. My good qualities,my legal status as Desdemona’s husband, andmy innocence will protect me. Is it them?IAGOBy Janus, I think no.IAGOI don’t think so.Enter CASSIO, with officers and torches CASSIO enters with officers and men carryingtorches.35OTHELLOThe servants of the Duke and my lieutenant?The goodness of the night upon you, friends!What is the news?OTHELLOThe servants of the Duke and my lieutenant?Hello, everyone! What’s going on?CASSIOThe Duke does greet you, general,And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,Even on the instant.CASSIOThe Duke sends his regards. He needs to seeyou right away.OTHELLOWhat’s the matter, think you?OTHELLOWhat do you think he wants?4045CASSIOSomething from Cyprus as I may divine.It is a business of some heat. The galleysHave sent a dozen sequent messengersThis very night at one another’s heels,And many of the consuls, raised and met,Are at the Duke’s already. You have been hotlycalled for.When being not at your lodging to be foundThe Senate hath sent about three several guestsTo search you out.CASSIOSomething about Cyprus. I think it’s important.The warships have sent a dozen messagestonight, one after the other, and many of thesenators have been awakened and are at theDuke’s already. They’re very anxious for you toget there. When you weren’t at home, the Senatesent out three different search parties to find you.OTHELLOTis well I am found by you.I will but spend a word here in the houseAnd go with you.OTHELLOIt’s good you found me. I’ll just speak a word ortwo here in the house and then I’ll go with you.Exit OTHELLO exits.Act 1, Scene 2, Page 3CASSIOAncient, what makes he here?CASSIOEnsign, what’s he doing in there?
  8. 8. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -8-Original Text Modern Text50IAGOFaith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.If it prove lawful prize, he’s made for ever.IAGOTonight he boarded a treasure ship. If he cankeep it, he’ll be set forever.CASSIOI do not understand.CASSIOI don’t understand.IAGOHe’s married.IAGOHe’s married.CASSIOTo who?CASSIOTo whom?IAGOMarry, to—IAGOTo—Enter OTHELLO OTHELLO enters.Come, captain, will you go? Are you ready?55OTHELLOHave with you.OTHELLOYes, I’ll go with you now.CASSIOHere comes another troop to seek for you.CASSIOHere comes another group looking for you.Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and officers withtorches and weaponsBRABANTIO and RODERIGO enter, followedbyOFFICERS and men with torches.IAGOIt is Brabantio. General, be advised,He comes to bad intent.IAGOIt’s Brabantio. Look out, sir. He intends to dosomething bad to you.OTHELLOHolla! Stand there!OTHELLOHey! Stop right there!RODERIGOSignior, it is the Moor.RODERIGOSir, it’s the Moor.BRABANTIODown with him, thief!BRABANTIOGet him, he’s a thief!They draw their swords Both sides draw their swords.Act 1, Scene 2, Page 460IAGOYou, Roderigo! Come, sir, I am for you.IAGOYou, Roderigo! Come on, I’ll fight you.OTHELLOKeep up your bright swords, for the dew will rustthem.Good signior, you shall more command with yearsThan with your weapons.OTHELLOPut away your swords. They’ll get rusty in thedew. Sir, your age and status inspire morerespect than your weapons do.6570BRABANTIOO thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed mydaughter?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,So opposite to marriage that she shunnedThe wealthy curlèd darlings of our nation,Would ever have, t incur a general mock,Run from her guardage to the sooty bosomOf such a thing as thou—to fear, not to delight.BRABANTIOYou evil thief, where have you hidden mydaughter? You devil, you’ve put a spell on her!Anybody with eyes could tell you that a beautifuland happy young girl like her, who’s refused tomarry all of the handsome young men of the city,wouldn’t run off with a black thing like you unlessshe’d been bewitched. You’re something to fear,not to love. It’s obvious to everyone that you’vetricked her, drugged her, or kidnapped her. That’sprobably what happened, so I’m arresting you.—Arrest this man as a practitioner of black magic.
  9. 9. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -9-Original Text Modern Text7580Judge me the world if ’tis not gross in senseThat thou hast practiced on her with foul charms,Abused her delicate youth with drugs or mineralsThat weakens motion. I’ll have ’t disputed on.Tis probable and palpable to thinking.I therefore apprehend and do attach theeFor an abuser of the world, a practicerOf arts inhibited and out of warrant.—Lay hold upon him. If he do resist,Subdue him at his peril!Grab him. If he struggles, use force!85OTHELLOHold your hands,Both you of my inclining and the rest.Were it my cue to fight, I should have known itWithout a prompter. Whither will you that I goTo answer this your charge?OTHELLOJust a minute. I don’t need anyone to tell mewhen to fight. You’ve accused me of someserious crimes. Where do you want me to go torespond to these charges?Act 1, Scene 2, Page 5BRABANTIOTo prison, till fit timeOf law and course of direct sessionCall thee to answer.BRABANTIOTo prison, until you’re called into court.90OTHELLOWhat if I do obey?How may the Duke be therewith satisfied,Whose messengers are here about my sideUpon some present business of the stateTo bring me to him?OTHELLOWhat if I do what you say? How would I satisfythe Duke then? His messengers are waiting hereto take me to him immediately, on pressing statebusiness.95OFFICERTis true, most worthy signior.The Duke’s in council and your noble self,I am sure, is sent for.OFFICERIt’s true. The Duke’s in a meeting right now, andhe’s sent for you too.100BRABANTIOHow? 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,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.BRABANTIOThe Duke’s in a meeting? At this time of night?Bring him with us. The law’s on my side. TheDuke and any of my fellow senators will take thiswrong as seriously as if it were their own. If welet crimes like this happen, slaves and heathenswill be our rulers.Exeunt They all exit.Act 1, Scene 3Enter DUKE, SENATORS, and OFFICERS The DUKE enterswith SENATORS andOFFICERS.DUKEThere’s no composition in this newsThat gives them credit.DUKEThese reports are inconsistent. You can’t trustthem.FIRST SENATORIndeed, they are disproportioned.My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.FIRST SENATORIt’s true, they’re inconsistent. My letters say thereare a hundred and seven ships.
  10. 10. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -10-Original Text Modern Text5DUKEAnd mine a hundred and forty.DUKEAnd mine say a hundred and forty.SECOND SENATORAnd mine, two hundred.But though they jump not on a just account—As in these cases, where the aim reportsTis oft with difference—yet do they all confirmA Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.SECOND SENATORAnd mine say two hundred. But often in thesecases, reports are just estimates. The importantthing is that they all say a Turkish fleet isapproaching Cyprus.10DUKENay, it is possible enough to judgment.I do not so secure me in the error,But the main article I do approveIn fearful sense.DUKEYes, we get the idea. The inconsistency doesn’tmake me think that the reports are all wrong. Ihave no doubt about what they’re basicallysaying, and it’s frightening.SAILOR(within)What, ho, what, ho, what, ho!SAILOR(offstage) Hello! Hey, hello!15OFFICERA messenger from the galleys.OFFICERIt’s a messenger from the warships.Enter SAILOR A SAILOR enters.DUKENow, what’s the business?DUKEWhy are you here?SAILORThe Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes,So was I bid report here to the stateBy Signior Angelo.SAILORSignor Angelo told me to come here and tell youthat the Turkish fleet is heading for Rhodes, notCyprus.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 220DUKEHow say you by this change?DUKEWhat do you think about this change?2530FIRST SENATORThis cannot be,By no assay of reason. Tis a pageant,To keep us in false gaze. When we considerTh importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,And let ourselves again but understandThat as it more concerns the Turk than RhodesSo may he with more facile question bear it,For that it stands not in such warlike braceBut altogether lacks th abilitiesThat Rhodes is dressed in. If we make thought of thisWe must not think the Turk is so unskillfulTo leave that latest which concerns him first,Neglecting an attempt of ease and gainTo wake and wage a danger profitless.FIRST SENATORThey can’t have changed; there’s no way thiscould be true. It’s a trick to confuse us. Thinkabout how important Cyprus is to the Turks, andremember that they could capture Cyprus moreeasily, since it isn’t as well protected as Rhodesis. If we keep these things in mind, we can’tpossibly imagine that the Turks would be soincompetent as to put off for last what they wantto achieve first, setting aside something easy andprofitable to do something dangerous andpointless.DUKENay, in all confidence, he’s not for Rhodes.DUKENo, I think we can be confident that the Turksaren’t really headed for Rhodes.35OFFICERHere is more news.OFFICERHere’s some more news coming in.Enter a MESSENGER A MESSENGER enters.MESSENGER MESSENGER
  11. 11. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -11-Original Text Modern TextThe Ottomites, reverend and gracious,Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,Have there injointed them with an after fleet.Sir, the Turks sailed to Rhodes, where they joinedwith another fleet.FIRST SENATORAy, so I thought. How many, as you guess?FIRST SENATORThat’s just what I thought. How many, can youguess?4045MESSENGEROf thirty sail. And now they do re-stemTheir backward course, bearing with frankappearanceTheir purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,Your trusty and most valiant servitor,With his free duty recommends you thus,And prays you to believe him.MESSENGERThirty ships. Now they’ve turned around and areclearly heading for Cyprus. Signor Montano, yourbrave and loyal servant, gives you thisinformation and asks you to send reinforcementsto relieve him.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 3DUKETis certain then for Cyprus.Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?DUKEThen it’s certain they’re heading for Cyprus. IsMarcus Luccicos in town?FIRST SENATORHe’s now in Florence.FIRST SENATORNo, he’s in Florence.DUKEWrite from us to him. Post-post-haste, dispatch.DUKEWrite to him immediately. Hurry.FIRST SENATORHere comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.FIRST SENATORHere come Brabantio and the brave Moor.Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, CASSIO, IAGO,RODERIGO, and officersBRABANTIO, OTHELLO, CASSIO, IAGO,RODERIGO and the officers enter.50DUKEValiant Othello, we must straight employ youAgainst the general enemy Ottoman—(to BRABANTIO) I did not see you. Welcome, gentlesignior.We lacked your counsel and your help tonight.DUKEBrave Othello, I have to send you right away to fightthe Turks, our great enemy.—(toBRABANTIO) Oh, Ididn’t see you there. Welcome, sir. I could haveused your wisdom and help tonight.5560BRABANTIOSo did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me.Neither my place nor aught I heard of businessHath raised me from my bed, nor doth the generalcareTake hold on me, for my particular griefIs of so flood-gate and oerbearing natureThat it engluts and swallows other sorrowsAnd it is still itself.BRABANTIOI could have used yours as well. Forgive me, yourgrace. I didn’t get out of bed and come here in thedead of night because I heard about the war orbecause I was worried about the city’s defense. Ihave a personal problem so painful and gut-wrenching that it overwhelms everything else.DUKEWhy, what’s the matter?DUKEWhy, what’s the matter?BRABANTIOMy daughter! Oh, my daughter!BRABANTIOIt’s my daughter! Oh, my daughter!ALLDead?FIRST SENATORIs she dead?BRABANTIOAy, to me.BRABANTIOShe’s dead to me. She’s been tricked and stolen
  12. 12. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -12-Original Text Modern TextShe is abused, stoln from me, and corruptedBy spells and medicines bought of mountebanks.from me, enchanted by black magic spells. Shemust’veAct 1, Scene 3, Page 465 For nature so prepostrously to err,Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,Sans witchcraft could not.been tricked or drugged, because there’s no wayshe could have made this mistake on her own.70DUKEWhoeer he be that in this foul proceedingHath thus beguiled your daughter of herselfAnd you of her, the bloody book of lawYou shall yourself read in the bitter letter,After your own sense, yea, though our proper sonStood in your action.DUKEWhoever tricked your daughter and stole her fromyou will pay for it. And you yourself will determinethe sentence as you see fit, and impose the deathpenalty if you choose to, even if the criminal weremy own son.75BRABANTIOHumbly I thank your grace.Here is the man, this Moor, whom now it seems,Your special mandate for the state affairsHath hither brought.BRABANTIOI humbly thank you, sir. Here is the man, theMoor. It seems you had your own reasons forsummoning him here.ALLWe are very sorry for’t.ALLWe’re sorry to hear this.DUKE(to OTHELLO)What, in your own part, can you say tothis?DUKE(to OTHELLO) What do you have to say foryourself?BRABANTIONothing, but this is so.BRABANTIONothing, but this is true.8085OTHELLOMost potent, grave, and reverend signiors,My very noble and approved good masters,That I have taen away this old man’s daughter,It is most true. True, I have married her.The very head and front of my offendingHath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace,For since these arms of mine had seven years pithTill now some nine moons wasted, they have usedTheir dearest action in the tented field,And little of this great world can I speak,OTHELLONoble, honorable gentlemen whom I serve: it’strue that I’ve taken this man’s daughter from himand married her. But that’s my only offense.There’s nothing more. I’m awkward in my speechand I’m not a smooth talker. From the time I wasseven years old until nine months ago I’ve beenfighting in battles. I don’t know much about theworld apart from fighting. So I won’t do myselfmuch good by speaking in my own defense. But ifyou’ll let me, I’ll tell you the plainAct 1, Scene 3, Page 59095More than pertains to feats of broils and battle,And therefore little shall I grace my causeIn speaking for myself. Yet, by your graciouspatience,I will a round unvarnished tale deliverOf my whole course of love. What drugs, whatcharms,What conjuration and what mighty magic—For such proceeding I am charged withal—I won his daughter.story of how we fell in love, and what drugs,charms, spells, and powerful magic—becausethat’s what I’m being accused of—I used to winhis daughter.BRABANTIO BRABANTIO
  13. 13. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -13-Original Text Modern Text100105A maiden never bold,Of spirit so still and quiet that her motionBlushed at herself. And she, in spite of nature,Of years, of country, credit, everything,To fall in love with what she feared to look on?It is a judgment maimed and most imperfectThat will confess perfection so could err.Against all rules of nature, and must be drivenTo find out practices of cunning hellWhy this should be. I therefore vouch againThat with some mixtures powerful oer the bloodOr with some dram, conjured to this effect,He wrought upon her.She’s a good girl, quiet and obedient. Sheblushes at the slightest thing. And you want meto believe that despite her young age and properupbringing she fell in love with a man she’d beafraid to look at? The very thought of it isridiculous. You’d have to be stupid to think thatsomeone so perfect could make such anunnatural mistake as that. The devil must bebehind this. Therefore I say again that he musthave used some powerful drug or magic potionon her.110DUKETo vouch this is no proof,Without more wider and more overt testThan these thin habits and poor likelihoodsOf modern seeming do prefer against him.DUKEYour saying this isn’t proof. There has to be clearevidence that he’s done this, not just theseaccusations.115FIRST SENATORBut, Othello, speak.Did you by indirect and forcèd coursesSubdue and poison this young maid’s affections?Or came it by request and such fair questionAs soul to soul affordeth?FIRST SENATORTell us, Othello. Did you trick or deceive this ladyin some way? Or did you agree to this asequals?OTHELLOI do beseech you,Send for the lady to the Sagittary,OTHELLOPlease, send for Desdemona to come here fromthe Sagittarius Inn and ask her to speak aboutme in frontAct 1, Scene 3, Page 6120And let her speak of me before her father.If you do find me foul in her reportThe trust, the office I do hold of you,Not only take away, but let your sentenceEven fall upon my life.of her father. If she has anything bad to sayabout me, then you can sentence me to death.DUKEFetch Desdemona hither.DUKEBring Desdemona here.OTHELLOAncient, conduct them. You best know the place.OTHELLOIago, bring Desdemona here. You know whereshe is.Exeunt IAGO and attendants IAGO and attendants exit.125 And till she come, as truly as to heavenI do confess the vices of my bloodSo justly to your grave ears I’ll presentHow I did thrive in this fair lady’s loveAnd she in mine.In the meantime I’ll tell you all, as honestly as Iconfess my sins to God, how I wooed thisbeautiful lady, and how she came to love me.DUKESay it, Othello.DUKETell us, Othello.130OTHELLOHer father loved me, oft invited me,Still questioned me the story of my lifeFrom year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,OTHELLOHer father loved me and used to invite me to hishouse often, continually asking me about my lifeand all the battles I’ve fought. I told him
  14. 14. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -14-Original Text Modern Text135140145That I have passed.I ran it through, even from my boyish days,To th very moment that he bade me tell it,Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,Of moving accidents by flood and field,Of hair-breadth ’scapes i th imminent deadlybreach,Of being taken by the insolent foeAnd sold to slavery, of my redemption thenceAnd portance in my traveler’s history.Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,Rough quarries, rocks, hills whose heads touchheavenIt was my hint to speak—such was my process—And of the Cannibals that each others eat,everything, from my boyhood up until the timewhen I was talking to him. I told him aboutunfortunate disasters, hair-raising adventures onsea and on land, and near-catastrophes anddangerous adventures I’ve been through. I toldhim how I was captured and sold as a slave, howI bought my freedom, and how I wanderedthrough caves and deserts. I was able to tell himabout cannibals who eat each other, and menwith heads growing below their shoulders. WhenI talked about all these things, Desdemona usedto listen attentively. If she had to go do somehousehold chore, I noticed that she’d alwayscome back quickly to hear more of my stories.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 7150155160165170The Anthropophagi, and men whose headsGrew beneath their shoulders. These things to hearWould Desdemona seriously incline.But still the house affairs would draw her hence,Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,She’d come again, and with a greedy earDevour up my discourse, which I, observing,Took once a pliant hour and found good meansTo draw from her a prayer of earnest heartThat I would all my pilgrimage dilate,Whereof by parcels she had something heardBut not intentively. I did consent,And often did beguile her of her tearsWhen I did speak of some distressful strokeThat my youth suffered. My story being doneShe gave me for my pains a world of sighs.She swore, in faith, ’twas strange, ’twas passingstrange,Twas pitiful, ’twas wondrous pitiful.She wished she had not heard it, yet she wishedThat heaven had made her such a man. Shethanked meAnd bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,I should but teach him how to tell my storyAnd that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake.She loved me for the dangers I had passed,And I loved her that she did pity them.This only is the witchcraft I have used.Here comes the lady. Let her witness it.When I was relaxing, she’d pull me aside andask to hear some part of a story she had missed.Her eyes would fill with tears at the bad things Iwent through in my younger years. When mystories were done, she’d sigh and tell me howstrangely wonderful and sad my life had been.She said she wished she hadn’t heard it, but shealso wished there was a man like me for her.She thanked me and told me that if a friend ofmine had a story like mine to tell, she’d fall inlove with him. I took the hint and spoke to her.She said she loved me for the dangers I’dsurvived, and I loved her for feeling such strongemotions about me. That’s the only witchcraft Iever used. Here comes my wife now. She’llconfirm everything.Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and attendants DESDEMONA, IAGO, and attendants enter.175DUKEI think this tale would win my daughter too.Good Brabantio. Take up this mangled matter at thebest.Men do their broken weapons rather useThan their bare hands.DUKEI think a story like that would win my owndaughter over. Brabantio, I urge you to make thebest of this. Try to accept what’s happened.
  15. 15. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -15-Original Text Modern TextAct 1, Scene 3, Page 8180BRABANTIOI pray you, hear her speak.If she confess that she was half the wooer,Destruction on my head if my bad blameLight on the man.—Come hither, gentle mistress.Do you perceive in all this noble companyWhere most you owe obedience?BRABANTIOPlease let her speak. If she admits she wantedthis, then I won’t blame Othello.—Come here, mychild. Who do you obey here?185190DESDEMONAMy noble father,I do perceive here a divided duty.To you I am bound for life and education.My life and education both do learn meHow to respect you. You are the lord of duty.I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband.And so much duty as my mother showedTo you, preferring you before her father,So much I challenge that I may professDue to the Moor my lord.DESDEMONAFather, this isn’t easy for me. I’m torn. I owe yourespect because you gave me life and education.You’re the one I have to obey. I’m your daughter.But this man here is my husband now, and I owehim as much as my mother owed you, just asshe preferred you to her own father. So I have togive my obedience to the Moor, my husband.195BRABANTIOGod 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.I here do give thee that with all my heartWhich, but thou hast already, with all my heartI would keep from thee. For your sake, jewel,I am glad at soul I have no other child.For thy escape would teach me tyranny,To hang clogs on them.—I have done, my lord.BRABANTIOI’m finished, then. Duke, please go ahead withyour state business. I’d rather adopt a child thanhave one of my own.—Come here, Moor. I’mforced to give my blessing to this marriage. Withall my heart, I give you that thing which, if youdidn’t already have it, I’d try with all my heart tokeep from you. Desdemona, I’m glad you’re myonly child, since if I had others I’d keep them alllocked up. You would have made me treat themlike a tyrant.—I’m done, my lord.200DUKELet me speak like yourself and lay a sentenceWhich, as a grise or step, may help these lovers.When remedies are past, the griefs are endedBy seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.DUKELet me refer to a proverb that may help youforgive these lovers: if you can’t changesomething, don’t cry about it. When you lamentsomething bad that’s already happened, you’resetting yourself up for moreAct 1, Scene 3, Page 9205To mourn a mischief that is past and goneIs the next way to draw new mischief on.What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,Patience her injury a mockry makes.The robbed that smiles steals something from thethief,He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.bad news. A robbery victim who can smile abouthis losses is superior to the thief who robbedhim, but if he cries he’s just wasting time.210215BRABANTIOSo let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile,We lose it not, so long as we can smile.He bears the sentence well that nothing bearsBut the free comfort which from thence he hears.But he bears both the sentence and the sorrowThat, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.These sentences to sugar or to gall,BRABANTIOSo if the Turks steal Cyprus from us, it won’t bebad as long as we keep smiling. It’s easy toaccept platitudes like that if you haven’t lostanything. But I’ve lost something precious, and Ihave to put up with the platitude as well assuffering my loss. Talk is cheap. I’ve never heardof someone feeling better because of someone
  16. 16. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -16-Original Text Modern Text220Being strong on both sides, are equivocal.But words are words. I never yet did hearThat the bruised heart was piercèd through the ears.I humbly beseech you, proceed to th affairs of state.else’s words. Please, I’m asking you, go aheadand get back to your state affairs.DUKEThe Turk with a most mighty preparation makes forCyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is bestknown to you, and though we have there a substituteof most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a sovereignmistress of effects, throws a more safer voice onyou. You must therefore be content to slubber thegloss of your new fortunes with this more stubbornand boistrous expedition.DUKEThe Turks are heading for Cyprus with apowerful fleet. Othello, you understand betterthan anyone how the defenses for Cyprus work.Even though we have a very good officer incharge there already, everyone says you’re thebetter man for the job. So I’ll have to ask you toput a damper on your marriage celebrations andtake part in this dangerous expedition.225OTHELLOThe tyrant custom, most grave senators,Hath made the flinty and steel couch of warMy thrice-driven bed of down. I do agnizeA natural and prompt alacrityI find in hardness, and do undertakeThese present wars against the Ottomites.Most humbly therefore bending to your state,OTHELLOI’ve gotten used to the hardships of a military life.I rise to the occasion when faced with difficulties.I will take charge of this war against the Turks.But I humbly ask you to make appropriatearrangements for my wife,Act 1, Scene 3, Page 10230I crave fit disposition for my wife.Due reference of place and exhibition,With such accommodation and besortAs levels with her breeding.giving her a place to live and people to keep hercompany that suit her high rank.DUKEWhy, at her father’s.DUKEShe can stay at her father’s house.BRABANTIOI’ll not have it so.BRABANTIOI won’t allow it.235OTHELLONor I.OTHELLONeither will I.240DESDEMONANor would I there reside,To put my father in impatient thoughtsBy being in his eye. Most gracious Duke,To my unfolding lend your prosperous earAnd let me find a charter in your voice,T assist my simpleness.DESDEMONAAnd I wouldn’t stay there. I don’t want to upsetmy father by being in his house. Dear Duke,please listen to what I have to say.DUKEWhat would you, Desdemona?DUKEWhat do you want to do, Desdemona?245250DESDEMONAThat I did love the Moor to live with him,My downright violence and storm of fortunesMay trumpet to the world. My heart’s subduedEven to the very quality of my lord.I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,And to his honors and his valiant partsDid I my soul and fortunes consecrate.So that, dear lords, if I be left behindA moth of peace and he go to the war,DESDEMONAWhen I fell in love with Othello I made up mymind that I wanted to live with him. You can seehow much I wanted to be with him by howviolently I threw away my old life. I feel like I’m apart of him now, and that means I’m part of asoldier. I saw Othello’s true face when I saw hismind. I gave my whole life to him because of hishonor and bravery. If I were left at homeuselessly while he went off to war, then I’m
  17. 17. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -17-Original Text Modern TextThe rites for which I love him are bereft me,And I a heavy interim shall supportBy his dear absence. Let me go with him.separated from my husband in his naturalelement. I’d be miserable without him. Let me gowith him.255OTHELLOLet her have your voice.Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it notTo please the palate of my appetite,OTHELLOPlease allow her to do this. I’m not asking tohave her near me for sex—I’m too old for that,and my sexualAct 1, Scene 3, Page 11260265Nor to comply with heat the young affectsIn my defunct and proper satisfaction,But to be free and bounteous to her mind,And heaven defend your good souls, that you thinkI will your serious and great business scantWhen she is with me. No, when light-winged toysOf feathered Cupid seel with wanton dullnessMy speculative and officed instrument,That my disports corrupt and taint my business,Let housewives make a skillet of my helmAnd all indign and base adversitiesMake head against my estimation.urges are dead. I want this because she wantsit—I love her for her mind. And I’d never wantyou to think that I’d neglect my serious officialduties while she was there with me. If I ever letlove blind me so that I choose to lounge aroundin bed with my loved one instead of going off towar, then you can let a housewife use my helmetas a frying pan. My reputation would bedisgraced if I ever acted like that.270DUKEBe it as you shall privately determine,Either for her stay or going. Th affair cries hasteAnd speed must answer it.DUKEYou can decide that privately. I don’t carewhether she stays or goes. What’s important isthe urgency of this mission. You’ve got to actfast.FIRST SENATORYou must away tonight.FIRST SENATORYou’ll have to leave tonight.OTHELLOWith all my heart.OTHELLOWith all my heart, I’ll go right away.275DUKEAt nine i th morning here we’ll meet again.Othello, leave some officer behindAnd he shall our commission bring to you,And such things else of quality and respectAs doth import you.DUKEWe’ll meet again at nine in the morning. Othello,have one of your officers stay behind to bringyou your commission and whatever else isimportant to you.280OTHELLOSo 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 thinkTo be sent after me.OTHELLOMy lord, my ensign is an honest and trustworthyman. He’ll accompany my wife, and bringwhatever else you think I might need.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 12285DUKELet 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.DUKEAll right, then. Good night, everyone.—(toBRABANTIO) Sir, if goodness is beautiful,your son-in-law is beautiful, not black.FIRST SENATOR FIRST SENATOR
  18. 18. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -18-Original Text Modern TextAdieu, brave Moor. Use Desdemona well. Goodbye, black Moor. Treat Desdemona well.BRABANTIOLook to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.She has deceived her father, and may thee.BRABANTIOKeep an eye on her, Moor. She lied to me, andshe may lie to you.Exeunt DUKE, BRABANTIO, CASSIO,SENATORS,and officersThe DUKE, BRABANTIO, CASSIO,SENATORS,and officers exit.290295OTHELLOMy life upon her faith!—Honest Iago,My Desdemona must I leave to thee.I prithee, let thy wife attend on her,And bring them after in the best advantage.Come, Desdemona, I have but an hourOf love, of worldly matter and direction,To spend with thee. We must obey the time.OTHELLOI’d bet my life she’d never lie to me. Iago, I’mleaving my dear Desdemona with you. Have yourwife attend to her, and bring them along as soonas you can. Come on, Desdemona, I’ve only gotan hour of love to spend with you, to tell you whatyou need to do. We’re on a tight schedule.Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA OTHELLO and DESDEMONA exit.RODERIGOIago.RODERIGOIago.IAGOWhat say’st thou, noble heart?IAGOWhat do you have to say, noble friend?RODERIGOWhat will I do, think’st thou?RODERIGOWhat do you think I should do?300IAGOWhy, go to bed, and sleep.IAGOGo to bed, and sleep.RODERIGOI will incontinently drown myself.RODERIGOI’m going to go drown myself.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 13IAGOIf thou dost I shall never love thee after. Why, thousilly gentleman!IAGOIf you do that, I’ll never respect you again. Why,you silly man!RODERIGOIt is silliness to live when to live is torment, and thenhave we a prescription to die when death is ourphysician.RODERIGOIt’s silly to live when life is torture. The only cureis death.IAGOOh, villainous! I have looked upon the world for fourtimes seven years, and since I could distinguishbetwixt a benefit and an injury I never found manthat knew how to love himself. Ere I would say Iwould drown myself for the love of a guinea hen, Iwould change my humanity with a baboon.IAGOOh, how stupid! I’ve been alive for twenty-eightyears, and I’ve never met a man who knew whatwas good for him. I’d rather be a baboon than killmyself out of love for some woman I can’t have.305RODERIGOWhat should I do? I confess it is my shame to be sofond, but it is not in my virtue to amend it.RODERIGOWhat should I do? I know it’s foolish to be somuch in love, but I can’t help it.IAGOVirtue? A fig! Tis in ourselves that we are thus orthus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which ourwills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles orsow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supplyit with one gender of herbs or distract it with many—either to have it sterile with idleness, or manuredIAGOCan’t help it? Nonsense! What we are is up tous. Our bodies are like gardens and ourwillpower is like the gardener. Depending onwhat we plant—weeds or lettuce, or one kind ofherb rather than a variety, the garden will eitherbe barren and useless, or rich and productive. If
  19. 19. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -19-Original Text Modern Textwith industry—why, the power and corrigibleauthority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of ourlives had not one scale of reason to poise another ofsensuality, the blood and baseness of our natureswould conduct us to most prepostrous conclusions.But we have reason to cool our raging motions, ourcarnal stings, our unbitted lusts. Whereof I take thisthat you call love to be a sect or scion.we didn’t have rational minds to counterbalanceour emotions and desires, our bodily urges wouldtake over. We’d end up in ridiculous situations.Thankfully, we have reason to cool our raginglusts. In my opinion, what you call love is just anoffshoot of lust.RODERIGOIt cannot be.RODERIGOI don’t believe it.IAGOIt is merely a lust of the blood and a permission ofthe will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself? Drown catsand blind puppies! I have professed me thy friend,and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables ofperdurable toughness.IAGOYou feel love because you feel lust and you haveno willpower. Come on, be a man. Drownyourself? Drowning is for cats or blind puppies—don’t drown yourself! I’ve told you I’m your friend,and I’ll stick by you.Act 1, Scene 3, Page 14I could never better stead thee than now. Put moneyin thy purse. Follow thou the wars, defeat thy favorwith an usurped beard. I say, put money in thypurse. It cannot be long that Desdemona shouldcontinue her love to the Moor—put money in thypurse—nor he his to her. It was a violentcommencement in her, and thou shalt see ananswerable sequestration—put but money in thypurse. These Moors are changeable in their wills—fillthy purse with money. The food that to him now is asluscious as locusts shall be to him shortly as bitter ascoloquintida. She must change for youth. When sheis sated with his body she will find the errors of herchoice. Therefore, put money in thy purse. If thouwilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate waythan drowning. Make all the money thou canst. Ifsanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erringbarbarian and supersubtle Venetian be not too hardfor my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoyher. Therefore make money. A pox of drowningthyself! Tis clean out of the way. Seek thou rather tobe hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drownedand go without her.I’ve never been more useful to you than I will benow. Here’s what you’ll do. Sell all your assetsand your land, and turn it into cash. Desdemonacan’t continue loving the Moor any more than hecan continue loving her. She fell in love with himvery suddenly, and they’ll break up just assuddenly. Moors are moody people.—So sellyour lands and raise a lot of cash. What seemssweet to him now will soon turn bitter. She’lldump Othello for a younger man. When she’shad enough of the Moor’s body, she’ll realize hermistake. She’ll need to have a new lover. She’llhave to have it. So have your money ready. Ifyou want to go to hell, there are better ways todo it than killing yourself. Raise all the moneyyou can. I can get the better of religion and a fewflimsy vows between a misguided barbarian anda depraved Venetian girl. You’ll get to sleep withher—just put together some money. And to hellwith drowning yourself! That’s completely besidethe point. If you’re ready to die, you can riskdeath by committing crimes in an attempt to getthe woman you want. Don’t just give up on herand drown yourself.310RODERIGOWilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on theissue?RODERIGOCan I count on you if I wait to see whathappens?IAGOThou art sure of me. Go, make money. I have toldthee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I hatethe Moor. My cause is hearted. Thine hath no lessreason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge againsthim. If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself apleasure, me a sport. There are many events in thewomb of time which will be delivered. Traverse, go,provide thy money. We will have more of thisIAGOYou can trust me. Go now and get cash. I toldyou before, and I’ll tell you again and again: Ihate the Moor. I’m devoted to my cause of hatinghim, just as devoted as you are to yours. So let’sjoin forces and get revenge. If you seduceDesdemona and make a fool out of him, it’ll befun for both of us. Many things may happen. Goget money. We’ll speak again tomorrow.
  20. 20. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -20-Original Text Modern Texttomorrow. Adieu. Goodbye.RODERIGOWhere shall we meet i th morning?RODERIGOWhere will we meet in the morning?Act 1, Scene 3, Page 15IAGOAt my lodging.IAGOAt my house.RODERIGOI’ll be with thee betimes.RODERIGOI’ll be there early.IAGOGo to, farewell.Do you hear, Roderigo?IAGOGo home. Goodbye. Oh, and one more thing—315RODERIGOWhat say you?RODERIGOWhat is it?IAGONo more of drowning, do you hear?IAGONo more talk about killing yourself, okay?RODERIGOI am changed.RODERIGOI’ve changed my mind about that.IAGOGo to, farewell. Put money enough in your purse.IAGOGo then, goodbye. Put a lot of cash together.RODERIGOI’ll sell all my land.RODERIGOI’m going to sell all my land.Exit RODERIGO exits.320325IAGOThus do I ever make my fool my purse.For I mine own gained knowledge should profaneIf I would time expend with such a snipeBut for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,And it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheetsHe’s 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.The better shall my purpose work on him.Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now,IAGOThat’s how I always do it, getting money fromfools. I’d be wasting my skills dealing with anidiot like that if I couldn’t get something useful outof him. I hate the Moor, and there’s a widespreadrumor that he’s slept with my wife. I’m not sureit’s true, but just the suspicion is enough for me.He thinks highly of me. That’ll help. Cassio’s ahandsome man. Let’s see, how can IAct 1, Scene 3, Page 16330335340To get his place and to plume up my willIn double knavery. How? How? Let’s see.After some time, to abuse Othello’s earThat he is too familiar with his wife.He hath a person and a smooth disposeTo be suspected, framed to make women false.The Moor is of a free and open natureThat thinks men honest that but seem to be so,And will as tenderly be led by th noseAs asses are.I have ’t. It is engendered! Hell and nightMust bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.get his position and use him to hurt Othello at thesame time? How? How? Let’s see. After a whileI’ll start telling Othello that Cassio is too intimatewith Desdemona. Cassio is a smooth talker anda good-looking guy, the sort of man that peoplewould expect to be a seducer. The Moor is openand straightforward. He thinks any man whoseems honest is honest. People like that areeasy to manipulate. So it’s all decided. I’veworked it out. With a little help from the devil, I’llbring this monstrous plan to success.Exit He exits.
  21. 21. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -21-Original Text Modern TextAct 2, Scene 1Enter MONTANO and two GENTLEMEN MONTANO and two GENTLEMEN enter.MONTANOWhat from the cape can you discern at sea?MONTANOWhat can you see out on the ocean?FIRST GENTLEMANNothing at all. It is a high-wrought flood.I cannot ’twixt the heaven and the mainDescry a sail.FIRST GENTLEMANNothing. The water’s so rough that I can’t see anysails, either in the bay or on the ocean.5MONTANOMethinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land,A fuller blast neer shook our battlements.If it hath ruffianed so upon the seaWhat ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?MONTANOIt was windy on shore too. A big blast of windshook our fortifications. How could a ship madeout of wood hold together in those mountainouswaves? What do you think will be the result of thisstorm?1015SECOND GENTLEMANA segregation of the Turkish fleet.For do but stand upon the foaming shore,The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds,The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrousmane,Seems to cast water on the burning bear,And quench the guards of th ever-fixèd pole.I never did like molestation viewOn the enchafèd flood.SECOND GENTLEMANThe Turkish navy will be broken up. The wind’swhipping up the waves so high you expect themto reach the clouds and splash against the starsin the sky. I’ve never seen the waters sodisturbed.20MONTANOIf that the Turkish fleetBe not ensheltered and embayed, they are drowned.It is impossible they bear it out.MONTANOIf the Turkish fleet isn’t protected in some harbor,their men must all be drowned. No ship couldsurvive this storm.Enter a THIRD GENTLEMAN A THIRD GENTLEMAN enters.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 225THIRD GENTLEMANNews, lads, Our wars are done!The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks,That their designment halts. A noble ship of VeniceHath seen a grievous wreck and sufferanceOn most part of their fleet.THIRD GENTLEMANI’ve got news, boys, the war’s over! This terriblestorm has smashed the Turks so badly that theirplans are ruined. One of our ships has reportedthat it saw most of their fleet shipwrecked.MONTANOHow? Is this true?MONTANOWhat? Is this true?30THIRD GENTLEMANThe ship is here put in,A Veronesa. Michael Cassio,Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,Is come on shore. The Moor himself at seaAnd is in full commission here for Cyprus.THIRD GENTLEMANThe ship’s sailing into harbor now; it’s fromVerona. Michael Cassio, lieutenant of the MoorOthello, has arrived on shore. The Moor himselfis still at sea. He’s been commissioned to comehere to Cyprus.MONTANOI am glad on ’t. Tis a worthy governor.MONTANOI’m happy about that. He’ll be a good governor.THIRD GENTLEMANBut this same Cassio, though he speak of comfortTouching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadlyAnd prays the Moor be safe. For they were partedTHIRD GENTLEMANCassio brings good news about the Turkishdefeat, but he’s worried about the Othello’ssafety. The two of them were separated during
  22. 22. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -22-Original Text Modern Text35 With foul and violent tempest. the storm.40MONTANOPray heavens he be,For I have served him, and the man commandsLike a full soldier. Let’s to the seaside, ho!As well to see the vessel that’s come inAs to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,Even till we make the main and th aerial blueAn indistinct regard.MONTANOI hope to God Othello’s all right. I served underhim, and I know what an excellent commander heis. Let’s go to the shore to get a look at the shipthat came in, and to look out for Othello’s ship.We’ll stare out at the sea until the sea and the skyblur together.THIRD GENTLEMANCome, let’s do so.For every minute is expectancyOf more arrivance.THIRD GENTLEMANLet’s do that. Every minute we expect more shipsto arrive.Enter CASSIO CASSIO enters.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 345CASSIOThanks, you the valiant of this warlike isleThat so approve the Moor. Oh, let the heavensGive him defense against the elements,For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.CASSIOThanks, you brave men who defend this islandand respect Othello. I hope heaven protects himfrom the weather, because I lost sight of him onthe stormy sea.MONTANOIs he well shipped?MONTANOIs his ship sturdy?50CASSIOHis bark is stoutly timbered and his pilotOf very expert and approved allowanceTherefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,Stand in bold cure.CASSIOYes, it’s well built, and the ship’s pilot is veryexpert and experienced. For that reason I stillhave some hope for him, even though I don’thave my hopes up too high.A VOICE(within) A sail, a sail, a sail!A VOICE(offstage) A sail! A sail! A sail!Enter a MESSENGER A MESSENGER enters.CASSIOWhat noise?CASSIOWhat’s all that shouting about?55MESSENGERThe town is empty. On the brow o th seaStand ranks of people, and they cry “A sail!”MESSENGEREverybody in town is down at the shore shouting“A sail!”CASSIOMy hopes do shape him for the governor.CASSIOI hope it’s Othello.A shot A shot is heard.SECOND GENTLEMANThey do discharge their shot of courtesy.Our friends at least.SECOND GENTLEMANThey’ve fired a greeting shot, so at least it’s afriendly ship.60CASSIOI pray you sir, go forthAnd give us truth who ’tis that is arrived.CASSIOPlease go find out for certain who has arrived.SECOND GENTLEMANI shall.SECOND GENTLEMANI’ll do that.Exit SECOND GENTLEMAN exits.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 4
  23. 23. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -23-Original Text Modern TextMONTANOBut good lieutenant, is your general wived?MONTANOGood lieutenant, is your general married?65CASSIOMost fortunately. He hath achieved a maidThat paragons description and wild fame,One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,And in th essential vesture of creationDoes tire the ingener.CASSIOYes, and he’s very lucky to have married the womanhe did. His wife defies description. She’s God’smasterpiece, and she’d exhaust whoever tried to doher justice while praising her.Enter SECOND GENTLEMAN The SECOND GENTLEMAN enters.How now? Who has put in? Who’s arrived in the harbor?70SECOND GENTLEMANTis one Iago, ancient to the general.SECOND GENTLEMANA man named Iago, the general’s ensign.75CASSIOHe’s had most favorable and happy speed.Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,The guttered rocks and congregated sands,Traitors ensteeped to enclog the guiltless keel,As having sense of beauty, do omitTheir mortal natures, letting go safely byThe divine Desdemona.CASSIOHe made good time. You see how the storm, thejagged rocks, and the sand banks that trap ships allappreciate a beautiful woman. They let the heavenlyDesdemona arrive safe and sound.MONTANOWhat is she?MONTANOWho’s that?8085CASSIOShe that I spake of, our great captain’s captain,Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,Whose footing here anticipates our thoughtsA sennight’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 renewed fire to our extincted spiritsAnd bring all Cyprus comfort!CASSIOShe’s the one I was talking about, the general’s wife.The brave Iago was put in charge of bringing herhere, and he’s arrived a week sooner than weexpected. Dear God, please protect Othello and helphim arrive here safely, so he and Desdemona can bein each other’s arms, and Othello can cheer us upand bring comfort to Cyprus.Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGOwith attendantsDESDEMONA, IAGO, RODERIGO and EMILIAenter.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 590Oh, behold,The riches of the ship is come on shore!You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven,Before, behind thee, and on every hand,Enwheel thee round!Look, the precious Desdemona has arrived onshore. We should all kneel before her, men ofCyprus! Greetings, my lady, and may Godalways be with you.DESDEMONAI thank you, valiant Cassio.What tidings can you tell me of my lord?DESDEMONAThank you, brave Cassio. Is there any newsabout my husband?95CASSIOHe is not yet arrived. Nor know I aughtBut that he’s well and will be shortly here.CASSIOHe hasn’t arrived yet. As far as I know, he’s okayand will arrive here soon.DESDEMONAOh, but I fear. How lost you company?DESDEMONAOh, but I’m worried. How did you two getseparated?
  24. 24. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -24-Original Text Modern TextCASSIOThe great contention of the sea and skiesParted our fellowship—CASSIOThe storm separated us.100A VOICE(within) A sail, a sail!A VOICE(offstage) A sail! A sail!CASSIOBut, hark! a sail.CASSIOListen, they’ve spotted another ship!A shot A gunshot is heard.SECOND GENTLEMANThey give this greeting to the citadel.This likewise is a friend.SECOND GENTLEMANThey fired a greeting shot too, so this is also afriendly ship.CASSIOSee for the news.CASSIOGo find out the news.Exit a SECOND GENTLEMEN SECOND GENTLEMAN exits.105Good ancient, you are welcome.—Welcome,mistress.(kisses EMILIA)Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,That I extend my manners. Tis my breedingThat gives me this bold show of courtesy.Ensign Iago, welcome.—And welcome to you,too, madam. (he kisses EMILIA) Don’t be upsetthat I kissed your wife hello, Iago. It’s a courtesywhere I come from.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 6110IAGOSir, would she give you so much of her lipsAs of her tongue she oft bestows on me,You’ll have enough.IAGOIf she gave you as much lip as she gives me,you’d be sick of her by now.DESDEMONAAlas, she has no speech!DESDEMONAOn the contrary, she’s a soft-spoken woman.115IAGOIn faith, too much.I find it still, when I have leave to sleep.Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,She puts her tongue a little in her heartAnd chides with thinking.IAGONo, she talks too much. She’s always talkingwhen I want to sleep. I admit that in front of you,my lady, she keeps a bit quiet. But she’s scoldingme silently.EMILIAYou have little cause to say so.EMILIAYou have no reason to say that.IAGOCome on, come on. You are pictures out of door,bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens,saints in your injuries, devils being offended, playersin your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.IAGOCome on, come on. You women are all thesame. You’re as pretty as pictures when you’reout in public, but in your own houses you’re asnoisy as jangling bells. In your own kitchens youact like wildcats. You make yourselves soundlike saints when you’re complaining aboutsomething, but you act like devils when someoneoffends you. You don’t take your jobs ashousewives seriously, and you’re shamelesshussies in bed.DESDEMONAOh, fie upon thee, slanderer!DESDEMONAShame on you, you slanderer!120IAGONay, it is true, or else I am a Turk.IAGONo, it’s true, or if it’s not, I’m a villain. You wake
  25. 25. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -25-Original Text Modern TextYou rise to play and go to bed to work. up to have fun, and you start work when you goto bed.EMILIAYou shall not write my praise.EMILIAYou clearly have nothing good to say about me.IAGONo, let me not.IAGONo, I don’t.DESDEMONAWhat wouldst thou write of me, if thou should’stpraise me?DESDEMONABut if you had to say something nice about me,what would you say?Act 2, Scene 1, Page 7125IAGOO gentle lady, do not put me to ’t,For I am nothing, if not critical.IAGODon’t make me do it, my lady. I’m critical bynature.DESDEMONACome on, assay. There’s one gone to the harbor?DESDEMONACome on, just try.—By the way, has someonegone down to the harbor?IAGOAy, madam.IAGOYes, madam.130DESDEMONAI am not merry, but I do beguileThe thing I am by seeming otherwise.Come, how wouldst thou praise me?DESDEMONAI’m not as happy as I seem. I’m just trying not toshow how worried I am about Othello’s safety.Come on, what would you say about me?135IAGOI am about it, but indeed my inventionComes from my pate as birdlime does from frieze,It plucks out brains and all. But my Muse laborsAnd thus she is delivered:If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,The one’s for use, the other useth it.IAGOI’m trying to think of something, but I’m not goodat inventing clever things. It takes time. Ah, I’vegot it. If a woman is pretty and smart, she usesher good looks to get what she wants.DESDEMONAWell praised! How if she be black and witty?DESDEMONAVery clever! But what if the woman is smart butugly?IAGOIf she be black, and thereto have a wit,She’ll find a white that shall her blackness fit.IAGOEven if she’s ugly, she’ll be smart enough to finda guy to sleep with her.140DESDEMONAWorse and worse!DESDEMONAThis is getting worse and worse!EMILIAHow if fair and foolish?EMILIAWhat if she’s pretty but stupid?IAGOShe never yet was foolish that was fair,For even her folly helped her to an heir.IAGONo pretty woman is stupid, because her stupiditywill make her more attractive to men.DESDEMONAThese are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh ith alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for herThat’s foul and foolish?DESDEMONAThese are stupid old jokes that men tell eachother in bars. What horrible thing do you have tosay about a woman who’s both ugly and stupid?145IAGOThere’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.IAGONo matter how ugly or stupid the woman is, sheplays the same dirty tricks that the smart andpretty ones do.
  26. 26. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -26-Original Text Modern TextAct 2, Scene 1, Page 8DESDEMONAOh, heavy ignorance! Thou praisest the worst best.But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deservingwoman indeed, one that in the authority of her meritdid justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?DESDEMONAYou don’t know a thing! You give your bestpraise to the worst women. But how would youpraise a truly good woman, someone who had noreason to worry about what anyone said abouther?150155IAGOShe that was ever fair and never proud,Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,Never lacked gold and yet went never gay,Fled from her wish and yet said “Now I may,”She that being angered, her revenge being nigh,Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,She that in wisdom never was so frailTo change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail,She that could think and neer disclose her mind,See suitors following and not look behind,She was a wight, if ever such wights were—IAGOA woman who was beautiful but never proud,who could speak well but knew when to be quiet,who dressed well but was never overdressed,who had self-restraint even when she could getwhat she wanted, a woman who never tookrevenge, who overlooked it when people hurther, who was too wise to do anything stupid, whocould think without revealing her thoughts, andwho could refrain from flirting with men in lovewith her, that kind of woman, if she ever existed,would—DESDEMONATo do what?DESDEMONAWould do what?160IAGOTo suckle fools and chronicle small beer.IAGOWould raise babies and clip coupons.DESDEMONAOh, most lame and impotent conclusion! Do notlearn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. Howsay you, Cassio? Is he not a most profane andliberal counselor?DESDEMONAOh, that’s pathetic! Don’t listen to him, Emilia,even though he’s your husband. What do youthink about him, Cassio? Isn’t he a horrible man?CASSIOHe speaks home, madam. You may relish him morein the soldier than in the scholar.CASSIOHe speaks bluntly, madam. He’s more of asoldier than a wise man.CASSIO takes DESDEMONAS hand CASSIO takes DESDEMONAS hand.IAGO(aside) He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said,whisper! With as little a web as this will I ensnare asgreat a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do, I willgyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true, Tisso, indeed.IAGO(to himself) He’s taking her hand. That’s right, goahead and whisper together. This is all I need toget Cassio. Yes, keep smiling at her, Cassio.Your fine manners around women will be yourdownfall. Oh, I’m sure you’re saying somethingvery clever.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 9If such tricks as these strip you out of yourlieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissedyour three fingers so oft, which now again you aremost apt to play the sir in. Very good, well kissed,and excellent courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. Yet againyour fingers to your lips? Would they were clyster-pipes for your sake!—If you lose your job because of little flirtations likethis, you’ll wish you hadn’t been so courteouswith her. Oh, how nice, you’re kissingyour ownhand, one finger at a time? I wish those fingerswere enema tubes!—Trumpet within A trumpet plays offstage.165 The Moor! I know his trumpet. That’s the Moor! I recognize his trumpet.CASSIO CASSIO
  27. 27. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -27-Original Text Modern TextTis truly so. Yes, it is.DESDEMONALet’s meet him and receive him.DESDEMONALet’s go greet him when he lands.CASSIOLo, where he comes!CASSIOLook, here he comes.Enter OTHELLO and attendants OTHELLO enters with attendants.OTHELLOOh my fair warrior!OTHELLOMy beautiful warrior!DESDEMONAMy dear Othello!DESDEMONAMy darling Othello!170175OTHELLOIt gives me wonder great as my contentTo see you here before me. Oh, my soul’s joy!If after every tempest come such calms,May the winds blow till they have wakened death,And let the laboring bark climb hills of seasOlympus-high, and duck again as lowAs hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die,Twere now to be most happy, for I fearMy soul hath her content so absoluteThat not another comfort like to thisSucceeds in unknown fate.OTHELLOI’m amazed you got here before me. But I’moverjoyed! My love, if the calm after the stormcould always be this wonderful, I’d want the windto blow until it waked the dead, and whipped upwaves as tall as mountains! If I died right now I’dbe completely happy, since I’ll probably never beas happy as this again in my life.180DESDEMONAThe heavens forbidBut that our loves and comforts should increase,Even as our days do grow.DESDEMONAGod willing, our love and our happiness will onlyincrease as we get older.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 10OTHELLOAmen to that, sweet powers!I cannot speak enough of this content.It stops me here, it is too much of joy.And this, and this, the greatest discords be (kissingher)That eer our hearts shall make!OTHELLOAmen to that! I can’t talk about my happinessanymore. It’s too much. I hope these kisses I’mabout to give you are the closest we ever cometo fighting.(they kiss)185IAGO(aside)Oh, you are well tuned now,But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,As honest as I am.IAGO(to himself) Oh, you’re happy now, but I’ll ruinyour happiness, for all my supposed honesty.190195OTHELLOCome, let us to the castle.News, friends! Our wars are done, the Turks aredrowned.How does my old acquaintance of this isle?—Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus,I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,I prattle out of fashion, and I doteIn mine own comforts.—I prithee, good Iago,Go to the bay and disembark my coffers.Bring thou the master to the citadel.He is a good one, and his worthinessOTHELLOLet’s go up to the castle. Good news, friends.The war’s over and the Turks are drowned. Howare my old friends from this island doing?—Honey, they’ll love you here in Cyprus. They’vebeen very good to me here. Oh, my dear, I’mblabbing on and on because I’m so happy.—Iago, would you be good enough to go get mytrunks from the ships? And bring the ship’scaptain to the castle. He’s a good man.—Let’sgo, Desdemona. I’ll say it again: I’m so happy tosee you here in Cyprus!
  28. 28. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -28-Original Text Modern TextDoes challenge much respect.—Come, Desdemona,Once more, well met at Cyprus.Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and attendants OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and attendants exit.IAGODo thou meet me presently at the harbor.—Comehither. If thou be’st valiant, as they say base menbeing in love have then a nobility in their naturesmore than is native to them, list me. The lieutenanttonight watches on the court of guard. First, I musttell thee this: Desdemona is directly in love with him.IAGOMeet me down at the harbor.—Come here. Theysay love makes cowards brave. So if you’rebrave, listen to me. Lieutenant Cassio will be onguard duty tonight. But first, I have to tell you thatDesdemona’s completely in love with him.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 11200RODERIGOWith him? Why, ’tis not possible.RODERIGOWith Cassio? That’s impossible.IAGOLay 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. Tolove him still for prating? Let not thy discreet heartthink it. Her eye must be fed, and what delight shallshe have to look on the devil? When the blood ismade dull with the act of sport, there should be agame to inflame it and to give satiety a freshappetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years,manners and beauties. All which the Moor isdefective in. Now for want of these requiredconveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itselfabused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish andabhor the Moor. Very nature will instruct her in it andcompel her to some second choice. Now sir, thisgranted—as it is a most pregnant and unforcedposition—who stands so eminent in the degree ofthis fortune as Cassio does? A knave very voluble,no further conscionable than in putting on the mereform of civil and humane seeming, for the bettercompassing of his salt and most hidden looseaffection. Why, none, why, none! A slipper andsubtle knave, a finder of occasions that has an eye,can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though trueadvantage never present itself. A devilish knave.Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath allthose requisites in him that folly and green mindslook after. A pestilent complete knave, and thewoman hath found him already.IAGOBe quiet and listen to me. Remember how shefell madly in love with the Moor because hebragged and told her made-up stories? Did youexpect her to keep on loving him for hischattering? You’re too smart to think that. No,she needs someone nice-looking. Othello’s ugly,what pleasure could she find in him?Lovemaking gets boring after a while. To keepthings hot, she’ll need to see someone with ahandsome face, someone close to her in age,someone who looks and acts like her. Othelloisn’t any of those things. Since he doesn’t havethese advantages to make him attractive to her,she’ll get sick of him until he makes her want topuke. She’ll start looking around for a secondchoice. Now, if that’s true—and it’s obviouslytrue—who’s in a better position than Cassio?He’s a smooth talker, and uses sophisticationand fine manners to hide his lust. Nobody’s ascrafty as he is. Besides, he’s young andhandsome, and he’s got all the qualities thatnaïve and silly girls go for. He’s a bad boy, andDesdemona’s got her eye on him already.RODERIGOI cannot believe that in her. She’s full of mostblessed condition.RODERIGOI can’t believe that. She’s not that kind of woman.She’s very moral.IAGOBlessed fig’s-end! The wine she drinks is made ofgrapes. If she had been blessed, she would neverhave loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thounot see her paddle with the palm of his hand? Didstnot mark that?IAGOLike hell she is! She’s made of the same fleshand blood as everyone else. If she were somoral, she would never have fallen in love withthe Moor in the first place. Good lord! Did younotice how she and Cassio were fondling each
  29. 29. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -29-Original Text Modern Textother’s hands? Did you see that?Act 2, Scene 1, Page 12RODERIGOYes, that I did, but that was but courtesy.RODERIGOYes, I did. But that wasn’t romantic, it was justpolite manners.205IAGOLechery, by this hand, an index and obscureprologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts.They met so near with their lips that their breathsembraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo!When these mutabilities so marshal the way, hard athand comes the master and main exercise, thincorporate conclusion. Pish! But, sir, be you ruledby me. I have brought you from Venice. Watch youtonight for the command, I’ll lay ’t upon you. Cassioknows you not. I’ll not be far from you. Do you findsome occasion to anger Cassio, either by speakingtoo loud, or tainting his discipline, or from what othercourse you please, which the time shall morefavorably minister.IAGOThey were lusting after each other. You could tellby how they were acting that they’re going to belovers. They were so close that their breath wasmingling. When two people get that intimate, sexwill soon follow. Disgusting! But listen to me; letme guide you. I brought you here from Venice.Be on guard duty tonight. I’ll put you in charge.Cassio doesn’t know you. I’ll be nearby. MakeCassio angry somehow, either by speaking tooloud, or insulting his military skills, or howeverelse you want.RODERIGOWell.RODERIGOAll right.IAGOSir, he’s rash and very sudden in choler, and haplymay strike at you. Provoke him that he may. Foreven out of that will I cause these of Cyprus tomutiny, whose qualification shall come into no truetaste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So shallyou have a shorter journey to your desires by themeans I shall then have to prefer them, and theimpediment most profitably removed, without thewhich there were no expectation of our prosperity.IAGOHe’s hot-tempered, and he might try to hit youwith his staff. Try to get him to do that. That’llallow me to stir up public sentiment against himhere in Cyprus. I’ll get them so riled up that they’llonly calm down when Cassio’s fired. To get whatyou want, you need to get Cassio out of the way.If you don’t do that, things are hopeless for you.RODERIGOI will do this, if you can bring it to any opportunity.RODERIGOI’ll do it, if you help me out.IAGOI warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel. Imust fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.IAGOI promise I will. Meet me in a little while at thecitadel. I need to get Othello’s things from theship. Goodbye.210RODERIGOAdieu.RODERIGOGoodbye.Exit RODERIGO exits.Act 2, Scene 1, Page 13215IAGOThat Cassio loves her, I do well believe ’t.That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit.The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,And I dare think he’ll prove to DesdemonaA most dear husband. Now, I do love her too,IAGOI think Cassio really does love her, and it’sperfectly likely that she loves him too. I can’tstand the Moor, but I have to admit that he’s areliable, loving, and good-natured man. He’dprobably be a good husband to Desdemona. Ilove her too, not simply out of lust, but also to
  30. 30. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -30-Original Text Modern Text220225230235Not out of absolute lust—though peradventureI stand accountant for as great a sin—But partly led to diet my revenge,For that I do suspect the lusty MoorHath leaped into my seat. The thought whereofDoth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,And nothing can or shall content my soulTill I am evened with him, wife for wife.Or, failing so, yet that I put the MoorAt least into a jealousy so strongThat judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,If this poor trash of Venice, whom I traceFor his quick hunting, stand the putting on,I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb(For I fear Cassio with my night-cape too)Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward meFor making him egregiously an assAnd practicing upon his peace and quietEven to madness. Tis here, but yet confused.Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used.feed my revenge. I have a feeling the Moor sleptwith my wife. That thought keeps gnawing at me,eating me up inside. I won’t be satisfied until I geteven with him, wife for wife. If I can’t do that, Ican at least make the Moor so jealous that hecan’t think straight. If that piece of Venetian trashRoderigo can do what I need to carry out myplan, I’ll have power over Cassio. I’ll say badthings about him to the Moor. I have a feelingCassio seduced my wife as well. I’ll make theMoor thank me, love me, and reward me, eventhough the joke will be on him the whole time.I’ve got a good plan, though I haven’t worked outthe details yet. You can never see the end of anevil plan until the moment comes.Exit IAGO exits.Act 2, Scene 2Enter Othello’s HERALD, with a proclamation Othello’s HERALD enters with a proclamation.HERALDIt is Othello’s pleasure, our noble and valiant general,that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing themere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man puthimself into triumph: some to dance, some to makebonfires, each man to what sport and revels hisaddiction leads him. For besides these beneficialnews, it is the celebration of his nuptial. So much washis pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices areopen, and there is full liberty of feasting from thispresent hour of five till the bell have told eleven. Blessthe isle of Cyprus and our noble general Othello!HERALDOur noble and courageous general Othello havingbeen informed that the Turkish fleet has beencompletely destroyed, invites every man tocelebrate our victory. Some of you dance, someof you make bonfires, and every man celebrate inwhatever way he likes to. For besides the goodnews, we are also celebrating his marriage. That’sthe end of the announcement. There will be afeast from five oclock until eleven. God bless theisland of Cyprus and our noble general Othello!Exit The HERALD exits.Act 2, Scene 3Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO, andattendantsOTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO andattendants enter.OTHELLOGood Michael, look you to the guard tonight.Let’s teach ourselves that honorable stopNot to outsport discretion.OTHELLOGood Michael, keep a careful eye on the guardstonight. Let’s exercise restraint and not let theparty get too wild.5CASSIOIago hath direction what to do,But notwithstanding with my personal eyeWill I look to ’t.CASSIOIago has orders what to do. But I’ll see to itpersonally anyway.OTHELLOIago is most honest.OTHELLOIago’s a good man. Goodnight, Michael. Come
  31. 31. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -31-Original Text Modern Text10Michael, good night. Tomorrow with your earliestLet me have speech with you.—Come, my dear love,The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue:That profit’s yet to come ’tween me and you.Good night.talk to me tomorrow as early as you can.—Comewith me, my dear love. Now that the wedding’sover, we can have the pleasure of consummatingour marriage. Good night, everyone.Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and attendants OTHELLO and DESDEMONA exit with theirattendants.Enter IAGO IAGO enters.CASSIOWelcome, Iago. We must to the watch.CASSIOHello, Iago. It’s time for us to stand guard.IAGONot this hour, lieutenant, ’tis not yet ten o the clock.Our general cast us thus early for the love of hisDesdemona—who let us not therefore blame. Hehath not yet made wanton the night with her, and sheis sport for Jove.IAGONot yet, lieutenant. It’s not even ten oclock. Thegeneral got rid of us early tonight so he could bewith Desdemona.—I can’t blame him. He hasn’tspent the night with her yet, and she’s beautifulenough to be Jove’s lover.15CASSIOShe’s a most exquisite lady.CASSIOShe’s an exquisitely beautiful lady.IAGOAnd, I’ll warrant her, full of game.IAGOAnd I bet she’s good in bed too.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 2CASSIOIndeed she’s a most fresh and delicate creature.CASSIOYes, she’s young and tender.IAGOWhat an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley toprovocation.IAGOAnd such pretty eyes! Like an invitation.CASSIOAn inviting eye, and yet methinks right modest.CASSIOYes, she’s pretty. But she’s modest and ladyliketoo.20IAGOAnd when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?IAGOAnd when she speaks, doesn’t her voice stir uppassion?CASSIOShe is indeed perfection.CASSIOShe’s a perfect woman, it’s true.IAGOWell, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, Ihave a stoup of wine, and here without are a brace ofCyprus gallants that would fain have a measure tothe health of black Othello.IAGOWell, good luck to them tonight in bed! Come withus, lieutenant. I’ve got a jug of wine, and thesetwo Cyprus gentlemen want to drink a toast to theblack Othello.CASSIONot tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and unhappybrains for drinking. I could well wish courtesy wouldinvent some other custom of entertainment.CASSIONot tonight, Iago. I’m not much of a drinker. I wishthere was less social pressure to drink.IAGOOh, they are our friends. But one cup. I’ll drink foryou.IAGOOh, but these are our friends. Just one glass. I’lldo most of the drinking for you.25CASSIOI have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was craftilyqualified too, and behold what innovation it makesCASSIOI’ve already had a glass of wine tonight, watereddown, but look how drunk I am. I’m not a heavy

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