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  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  • 32. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -32-Original Text Modern Texthere. I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and dare nottask my weakness with any more.drinker. I wouldn’t dare drink much more thanthat.IAGOWhat, man, ’tis a night of revels! The gallants desireit.IAGOWhat are you talking about, man? Tonight is forcelebrating! The gentlemen are waiting.CASSIOWhere are they?CASSIOWhere are they?IAGOHere at the door. I pray you call them in.IAGOBy the door. Please invite them in.CASSIOI’ll do ’t, but it dislikes me.CASSIOI’ll do it, but I don’t like it.Exit CASSIO exits.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 330354045IAGOIf I can fasten but one cup upon him,With that which he hath drunk tonight already,He’ll be as full of quarrel and offenseAs my young mistress dog. Now my sick foolRoderigo,Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,To Desdemona hath tonight carousedPotations pottle-deep, and he’s to watch.Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits(That hold their honors in a wary distance,The very elements of this warlike isle)Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups,And they watch too. Now ’mongst this flock ofdrunkardsAm I to put our Cassio in some actionThat may offend the isle.But here they come.If consequence do but approve my dreamMy boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.IAGOIf I can just get him to drink one more glass afterwhat he’s drunk already, he’ll be asargumentative and eager to fight as a little dog.That fool Roderigo, all twisted up inside with love,has been drinking toasts to Desdemona by thegallon, and he’s on guard duty.I’ve gotten the restof the guards drunk, as well as several gentlemenfrom Cyprus who are quick to take offense. NowI’ll get Cassio to do something in front of all thesedrunkards that will offend everyone on the island.Here they come. If the future turns out as I hope itwill, I’m all set for success.Enter CASSIO, MONTANO and gentlemen CASSIO, MONTANO, and GENTLEMEN enter,followed by servants with wine.CASSIOFore heaven, they have given me a rouse already.CASSIOMy God, they’ve given me a lot to drink.MONTANOGood faith, a little one, not past a pint, As I am asoldier.MONTANONo, it was a little one, not more than a pint.50IAGOSome wine, ho!(sings)And let me the cannikin clink, clink,And let me the cannikin clink.A soldier’s a man,A life’s but a span,Why then let a soldier drink.Some wine, boys!IAGOBring in more wine!(he sings)And clink your glasses together,And clink your glasses together.A soldier’s a man,And a man’s life is short,So let the soldier drink.Have some more wine, boys!Act 2, Scene 3, Page 4
  • 33. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -33-Original Text Modern Text55CASSIOFore heaven, an excellent song.CASSIOMy God, what a great song!IAGOI learned it in England where indeed they are mostpotent in potting. Your Dane, your German, and yourswag-bellied Hollander—Drink, ho!—are nothing toyour English.IAGOI learned it England, where they have a talent fordrinking. The Danes, the Germans, and theDutch—come on, drink, drink!—are nothingcompared to the English.CASSIOIs your Englishman so expert in his drinking?CASSIOAre Englishmen really such heavy drinkers?IAGOWhy, he drinks you with facility your Dane deaddrunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain. Hegives your Hollander a vomit ere the next pottle canbe filled.IAGOThey drink Danes under the table, and it takesthem no effort at all to out-drink Germans. Andthe Dutch are vomiting while the English areasking for refills.CASSIOTo the health of our general!CASSIOLet’s drink to our general!60MONTANOI am for it, lieutenant, and I’ll do you justice.MONTANOHear, hear! I’ll drink as much as you do!6570IAGOOh, sweet England!(sings)King Stephen was a worthy peer,His breeches cost him but a crown,He held them sixpence all too dear,With that he called the tailor lown.He was a wight of high renown,And thou art but of low degree,Tis pride that pulls the country down,Then take thine auld cloak about thee.Some wine, ho!IAGOOh, sweet England!(he sings)King Stephen was a good king, and his pantswere very cheap,But he thought his tailor overcharged him, sohe called him a peasant.And that was a man of noble rank, much higherthan you are.So be happy with your worn-out cloak,Since pride is ruining the nation.More wine!CASSIOWhy, this is a more exquisite song than the other.CASSIOGod, that song’s even better than the other one.IAGOWill you hear ’t again?IAGODo you want to hear it again?CASSIONo, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place thatdoes those things. Well, heaven’s above all, andthere be souls must be saved, and there be soulsmust not be saved.CASSIONo, because we shouldn’t be doing that—stuff.Oh well, God’s in charge, and some people haveto go to heaven, while other people have to go tohell.75IAGOIt’s true, good lieutenant.IAGOThat’s true, lieutenant.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 5CASSIOFor mine own part, no offence to the general nor anyman of quality, I hope to be saved.CASSIOSpeaking for myself—and no offense to thegeneral or anyone else—I hope I’m going toheaven.IAGOAnd so do I too, lieutenant.IAGOMe too, lieutenant.CASSIOAy, but (by your leave) not before me. The lieutenantCASSIOOkay, but please not before me. The lieutenant
  • 34. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -34-Original Text Modern Textis to be saved before the ancient. Let’s have no moreof this, let’s to our affairs.—Forgive us our sins!—Gentlemen, let’s look to our business. Do not think,gentlemen, I am drunk. This is my ancient, this is myright hand, and this is my left. I am not drunk now. Ican stand well enough, and I speak well enough.has to get to heaven before the ensign. But let’sstop this drinking and get down to business.—God forgive our sins!—Gentlemen, let’s get downto business. By the way, I don’t want anyonethinking I’m drunk. This is my ensign. This is myright hand, and this is my left hand.I’m not drunk. I can stand well enough, and I canspeak just fine.ALLExcellent well!ALLYes, you’re speaking very well.80CASSIOWhy, very well then. You must not think then that Iam drunk.CASSIOYes, very well. So don’t think that I’m drunk.Exit CASSIO exits.MONTANOTo th platform, masters. Come, let’s set the watch.MONTANOLet’s go to the platform where we’ll stand guard.Come on.Exit GENTLEMEN GENTLEMEN exit.85IAGOYou see this fellow that is gone before,He is a soldier fit to stand by CaesarAnd give direction. And do but see his vice,Tis to his virtue a just equinox,The one as long as th other. Tis pity of him.I fear the trust Othello puts him inOn some odd time of his infirmityWill shake this island.IAGOYou see that man who just left? He’s a goodsoldier, good enough to be Caesar’s right-handman. But he has a serious weakness. It’s too bad.I’m worried that Othello trusts him too much, andit’ll be bad for Cyprus eventually.MONTANOBut is he often thus?MONTANOBut is he often like this?Act 2, Scene 3, Page 690IAGOTis evermore the prologue to his sleep.He’ll watch the horologe a double setIf drink rock not his cradle.IAGOHe drinks like this every night before he goes tosleep. He’d stay up all night and all day if hedidn’t drink himself to sleep.95MONTANOIt were wellThe general were put in mind of it.Perhaps he sees it not, or his good naturePrizes the virtue that appears in CassioAnd looks not on his evils. Is not this true?MONTANOThe general should be informed about this.Maybe he’s never noticed, or he only wants tosee Cassio’s good side. Don’t you think so?Enter RODERIGO RODERIGO enters.IAGO(aside) How now, Roderigo?I pray you, after the lieutenant, go!IAGO(speaking so that only RODERIGO can hear)Hello, Roderigo. Please, follow the lieutenant.Hurry! Go!Exit RODERIGO RODERIGO exits.100MONTANOAnd ’tis great pity that the noble MoorShould hazard such a place as his own secondWith one of an ingraft infirmity.MONTANOAnd it’s too bad that the Moor chose a man withsuch a deep-rooted drinking problem as hissecond-in-command. We should definitely say
  • 35. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -35-Original Text Modern TextIt were an honest action to saySo to the Moor.something to the Moor.105IAGONot I, for this fair island.I do love Cassio well, and would do muchTo cure him of this evil—IAGOI wouldn’t say anything, not if you gave me thewhole island for doing so. I respect Cassio andI’d like to help cure his alcoholism—Cry within “Help! help!” A voice offstage calls “Help! Help!”IAGOBut, hark! What noise?IAGOWhat’s that noise?Enter CASSIO, pursuing RODERIGO CASSIO enters, chasing RODERIGO.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 7CASSIOZounds! You rogue! You rascal!CASSIODamn you, you villain, you rascal!MONTANOWhat’s the matter, lieutenant?MONTANOWhat’s the matter, lieutenant?110CASSIOA knave teach me my duty?I’ll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.CASSIOTo think that fool had the nerve to try to teach memanners! I’ll beat him until the welts look likebasket-weave!RODERIGOBeat me?RODERIGOYou’ll beat me?CASSIODost thou prate, rogue? (strikes him)CASSIOAre you talking, you villain?(he hits RODERIGO)MONTANONay, good lieutenant! I pray you, sir, hold yourhand.(stays him)MONTANONo, don’t hit him, lieutenant! Please, sir, restrainyourself. (he restrains CASSIO)CASSIOLet me go, sir, or I’ll knock you oer the mazzard.CASSIOLet me go, or I’ll knock you on the head.115MONTANOCome, come, you’re drunk.MONTANOCome on, you’re drunk.CASSIODrunk?CASSIODrunk?They fight MONTANO and CASSIO fight.IAGO(aside to RODERIGO)Away, I say, go out, and cry a mutiny.—IAGO(speaking so that only RODERIGO can hear) Gotell everyone there’s a riot.—Exit RODERIGO RODERIGO exits.120Nay, good lieutenant! Alas, gentlemen—Help, ho!— Lieutenant—sir, Montano—Help, masters!—Here’s a goodly watch indeed!No, lieutenant—God, gentlemen—Help—Lieutenant—sir, Montano—Help, men!—Thenight guard is coming!Bell rings Someone rings a bell.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 8Who’s that which rings the bell?—Diablo, ho!The town will rise. Fie, Fie, lieutenant,You’ll be ashamed for ever.Who’s sounding that alarm? The whole town willriot! God, lieutenant, please stop! You’ll beashamed of this forever!Enter OTHELLO and attendants OTHELLO enters with attendants.
  • 36. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -36-Original Text Modern Text125OTHELLOWhat is the matter here?OTHELLOWhat is the matter here?MONTANOI bleed still,I am hurt to the death. He dies!MONTANOMy God, I’m bleeding! I’ve been mortallywounded. I’ll kill him!OTHELLOHold, for your lives!OTHELLOStop right now!130IAGOHold, ho! Lieutenant—sir, Montano—gentlemen,Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?Hold! The general speaks to you. Hold, for shame!IAGOStop! Lieutenant—sir, Montano—gentlemen!Have you forgotten your duty and your sense ofdecorum? Stop! The general is talking to you!Stop, for God’s sake!135140OTHELLOWhy, how now, ho! From whence ariseth this?Are we turned Turks? And to ourselves do thatWhich heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl.He that stirs next to carve for his own rageHolds his soul light, he dies upon his motion.Silence that dreadful bell, it frights the isleFrom her propriety. What is the matter, masters?—Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,Speak, who began this? On thy love, I charge thee.OTHELLOHow did this all start? Have we all become assavage as the Turks, treating each other asbadly as they would have treated us? Forheaven’s sake, stop this savage brawl! The nextman who swings his sword must not care abouthis life, because the instant he strikes, he dies.Stop that alarm from ringing, it’s scaring theislanders. What’s the matter here, gentlemen?—Honest Iago, you look upset. Speak up and tellme who started this. Answer me.145IAGOI do not know. Friends all but now, even now,In quarter, and in terms like bride and groomDivesting them for bed. And then, but now,As if some planet had unwitted men,IAGOI don’t know. We were all having fun until just aminute ago; we were as happy as a bride andgroom taking off their clothes. But then the moodsuddenly changed. It was as if something haddriven the men insane and made them point theirswords at one another. I don’tAct 2, Scene 3, Page 9150Swords out, and tilting one at other’s breastsIn opposition bloody. I cannot speakAny beginning to this peevish odds,And would in action glorious I had lostThose legs that brought me to a part of it.know what could have started this. I’d ratherhave lost my legs in battle than be a part of this!OTHELLOHow comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?OTHELLOHow did you manage to lose your self-control likethis, Michael?CASSIOI pray you pardon me, I cannot speak.CASSIOPlease, excuse me, sir. I can’t speak.155OTHELLOWorthy Montano, you were wont be civil.The gravity and stillness of your youthThe world hath noted, and your name is greatIn mouths of wisest censure. What’s the matterThat you unlace your reputation thusAnd spend your rich opinion for the nameOf a night-brawler? Give me answer to it.OTHELLOMontano, you’re supposed to be calm andcollected. You’re famous for it. Wise peoplerespect you. What in the world made you riskyour reputation like this and become a streetbrawler? Tell me.160MONTANOWorthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.MONTANOOthello, I’ve been seriously hurt. Your officer
  • 37. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -37-Original Text Modern Text165Your officer Iago can inform you,While I spare speech, which something now offendsme,Of all that I do know. Nor know I aughtBy me that’s said or done amiss this night,Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,And to defend ourselves it be a sinWhen violence assails us.Iago can tell you what happened. I should savemy breath, since it hurts to talk. I didn’t doanything wrong that I know of, unless it was a sinto defend myself when someone attacked me.170OTHELLONow, by heaven,My blood begins my safer guides to rule,And passion, having my best judgment collied,Assays to lead the way. If I once stir,OTHELLOAll right, now I’m starting to lose my cool. ByGod, if you don’t tell me what happened you’ll allsuffer. Tell me how this fight began, who startedit. Whoever is guilty, even if he were my twinbrother, I swear I’m through with him. We’re in atown that’s justAct 2, Scene 3, Page 10175180Or do but lift this arm, the best of youShall sink in my rebuke. Give me to knowHow this foul rout began, who set it on,And he that is approved in this offence,Though he had twinned with me, both at a birth,Shall lose me. What, in a town of warYet wild, the people’s hearts brimful of fear,To manage private and domestic quarrel?In night, and on the court and guard of safety?Tis monstrous. Iago, who began ’t?avoided a war, everyone’s still on edge, andyou’re getting into private fights while you’resupposed to be on guard duty? That’sunbelievably bad. Iago, who started it?MONTANOIf partially affined or leagued in officeThou dost deliver more or less than truthThou art no soldier.MONTANOI know you’re close to Cassio, but if you divergefrom the truth in any way, you’re not a truesoldier.185190195200IAGOTouch me not so near.I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouthThan it should do offence to Michael Cassio.Yet I persuade myself to speak the truthShall nothing wrong him. This it is, general:Montano and myself being in speech,There comes a fellow crying out for helpAnd Cassio following him with determined swordTo execute upon him. Sir, this gentlemanSteps in to Cassio and entreats his pause,Myself the crying fellow did pursue,Lest by his clamor—as it so fell out—The town might fall in fright. He, swift of foot,Outran my purpose, and I returned then ratherFor that I heard the clink and fall of swordsAnd Cassio high in oath, which till tonightI neer might say before. When I came back—For this was brief— I found them close togetherAt blow and thrust, even as again they wereWhen you yourself did part them.More of this matter cannot I report.IAGOYou’re hitting close to home there. I’d rather cutmy tongue out of my mouth than say anythingbad about Michael Cassio. But I don’t think it’llhurt him to tell the truth. This is what happened,General. Montano and I were talking when aman came running, crying for help. Cassio waschasing him with his sword out, trying to kill theguy. This gentleman stopped Cassio and toldhim to put away his sword. I followed the guywho was crying for help, to keep him fromscaring the public. But he was fast and outranme. When I got back, I heard the swords clinkingand Cassio swearing. I’d never heard him swearbefore. They were nearly killing each other, asyou saw when you pulled them apart. I can’t tellyou anything else.
  • 38. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -38-Original Text Modern TextAct 2, Scene 3, Page 11205But men are men, the best sometimes forget.Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,As men in rage strike those that wish them best,Yet surely Cassio, I believe, receivedFrom him that fled some strange indignityWhich patience could not pass.But nobody’s perfect, and even the best mansometimes loses control and strikes out in rage.Cassio was wrong to hurt Montano, who wasonly trying to help him, but I’m sure the guy whoran away must have offended Cassio in someterrible way, and Cassio couldn’t let it pass.210OTHELLOI know, Iago,Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love theeBut never more be officer of mine.—OTHELLOIago, I know you’re fond of Cassio and aredownplaying this for his benefit. Cassio, I loveyou, but you’re never again going to be one ofmy officers.—Enter DESDEMONA, attended DESDEMONA enters with attendants.Look, if my gentle love be not raised up!I’ll make thee an example.Look, you’ve woken my wife! I’ll make you anexample for the others to learn from.215DESDEMONAWhat’s the matter, dear?DESDEMONAWhat’s the matter, dear?OTHELLOAll’s well, sweeting,Come away to bed.—(to MONTANO) Sir, for yourhurtsMyself will be your surgeon. Lead him off.OTHELLOEverything’s fine, now, sweetheart. Go back tobed.— (to MONTANO) I’ll see to it personallythat your wounds are treated. Lead him off.MONTANO is led off MONTANO is carried off.220Iago, look with care about the townAnd silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.—Come, Desdemona, ’tis the soldiers lifeTo have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.Iago, go and calm down the townspeople.—Come with me, Desdemona. Unfortunately, it’spart of the soldier’s life to be woken up bytrouble.Exeunt all but IAGO and CASSIO Everyone except CASSIO and IAGO exits.IAGOWhat, are you hurt, lieutenant?IAGOAre you hurt, lieutenant?CASSIOAy, past all surgery.CASSIOYes, but no doctor can help me.225IAGOMarry, heaven forbid!IAGOOh I hope that’s not true!Act 2, Scene 3, Page 12CASSIOReputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost myreputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself,and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, myreputation!CASSIOMy reputation, my reputation! I’ve lost myreputation, the longest-living and truest part ofmyself! Everything else in me is just animal-like.Oh, my reputation, Iago, my reputation!IAGOAs I am an honest man, I thought you had receivedsome bodily wound. There is more sense in that thanin reputation. Reputation is an idle and most falseimposition, oft got without merit and lost withoutdeserving. You have lost no reputation at all unlessyou repute yourself such a loser. What, man, thereare ways to recover the general again. You are butnow cast in his mood, a punishment more in policythan in malice, even so as one would beat hisIAGOI swear I thought you meant you’d been hurtphysically. Your physical health matters morethan your reputation. A reputation is a uselessand fake quality that others impose on us. Youhaven’t lost it unless you think you have. Thereare lots of ways to get on the general’s good sideagain. You’ve been discharged because he’sangry, and because he’s obliged to do so forpolicy reasons, not because he dislikes you. He’s
  • 39. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -39-Original Text Modern Textoffenseless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue tohim again and he’s yours.got to beat up the weak to frighten the strong. Goto him, petition him. He’ll change his mind.CASSIOI will rather sue to be despised than to deceive sogood a commander with so slight, so drunken, andso indiscreet an officer. Drunk? And speak parrot?And squabble? Swagger? Swear? And discoursefustian with one’s own shadow? O thou invisiblespirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,let us call thee devil!CASSIOI’d rather ask him to hate me than ask such agood commander to accept such a worthless,drunk, stupid officer as myself. Drunk? Babblingsenselessly? Squabbling? Swaggering?Swearing? Ranting and raving to my ownshadow! Oh, wine is the devil!IAGOWhat was he that you followed with your sword?What had he done to you?IAGOWho were you chasing with your sword? Whatdid he do to you?230CASSIOI know not.CASSIOI don’t know.IAGOIs ’t possible?IAGOIs that possible?CASSIOI remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly.A quarrel, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that menshould put an enemy in their mouths to steal awaytheir brains! That we should, with joy, pleasancerevel and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!CASSIOI remember a jumble of impressions, but nothingdistinctly. I remember a fight, but not why wewere fighting. Oh God, why do men drink andlose their minds? Why do we party until we’relike animals?Act 2, Scene 3, Page 13IAGOWhy, but you are now well enough. How came youthus recovered?IAGOYou seem all right now. How did you get better?CASSIOIt hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give placeto the devil wrath. One unperfectness shows meanother, to make me frankly despise myself.CASSIOMy drunkenness went away when anger tookover. One weakness led to another, to make mehate myself.235IAGOCome, you are too severe a moraler. As the time,the place, and the condition of this country stands, Icould heartily wish this had not befallen. But since itis as it is, mend it for your own good.IAGOCome on, you’re being too hard on yourself. Iwish none of this had happened, given thesituation here, and your rank. But since this hashappened, you should fix it for your own good.CASSIOI will ask him for my place again, he shall tell me Iam a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra,such an answer would stop them all. To be now asensible man, by and by a fool, and presently abeast! Oh, strange! Every inordinate cup isunblessed and the ingredient is a devil.CASSIOI’ll ask him for my position back again, and he’lltell me I’m a drunk. Even if I had a whole bunchof mouths, I wouldn’t be able to answer that. Iwas a reasonable man, then I became a fool,and finally a beast! Oh, how strange! Every glassof liquor is damned, and the devil’s the mainingredient!IAGOCome, come, good wine is a good familiar creature,if it be well used. Exclaim no more against it. And,good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.IAGOCome on now, wine is good for you, if you knowhow to use it. Don’t say anything bad about wineanymore. Lieutenant, I think you know I’m yourfriend.CASSIOI have well approved it, sir. I drunk!CASSIOI know that, sir. Imagine, me, a drunk!
  • 40. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -40-Original Text Modern TextIAGOYou or any man living may be drunk at a time, man. Itell you what you shall do. Our general’s wife is nowthe general. I may say so in this respect, for that hehath devoted and given up himself to thecontemplation, mark, and denotement of her partsand graces. Confess yourself freely to her,importune her help to put you in your place again.She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed adisposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not todo more than she is requested. This broken jointbetween you and her husband entreat her to splinter,and, my fortunes against any lay worth naming, thiscrack of your love shall grow stronger than it wasbefore.IAGOAny man can get drunk sometime. I’ll tell youwhat to do. Othello’s wife has a lot of influencenow. He’s completely devoted to her. Go openyour heart to her. Ask her to help you get backyour position. She is so generous, kind, andready to help that she thinks it’s wrong not to doeverything she can, even more than she is askedto do. Ask her to help you heal the rift betweenher husband and you. I’d bet my lucky stars yourproblem will be forgotten, and your relationshipwill be stronger than ever.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 14240CASSIOYou advise me well.CASSIOThat’s good advice.IAGOI protest, in the sincerity of love and honestkindness.IAGOI’m helping you because I like and respect you.CASSIOI think it freely, and betimes in the morning I willbeseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake forme. I am desperate of my fortunes if they check me.CASSIOI believe it completely. Early in the morning I’ll govisit Desdemona and plead my case. Mysituation is desperate.IAGOYou are in the right. Good night, lieutenant, I must tothe watch.IAGOYou’re doing the right thing. Good night,lieutenant. I’ve got to go to the guard tower.CASSIOGood night, honest Iago.CASSIOGood night, honest Iago.Exit CASSIO exits.245250255260IAGOAnd what’s he then that says I play the villain?When this advice is free I give and honest,Probal to thinking and indeed the courseTo win the Moor again? For ’tis most easyTh inclining Desdemona to subdueIn any honest suit. She’s framed as fruitfulAs the free elements. And then for herTo win the Moor, were to renounce his baptism,All seals and symbols of redeemèd sin,His soul is so enfettered to her love,That she may make, unmake, do what she list,Even as her appetite shall play the godWith his weak function. How am I then a villainTo counsel Cassio to this parallel course,Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!When devils will the blackest sins put onThey do suggest at first with heavenly showsAs I do now. For whiles this honest foolPlies Desdemona to repair his fortuneAnd she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,IAGOWho can say I’m evil when my advice is sogood? That’s really the best way to win the Moorback again. It’s easy to get Desdemona on yourside. She’s full of good intentions. And the Moorloves her so much he would renounce hisChristianity to keep her happy. He’s so enslavedby love that she can make him do whatever shewants. How am I evil to advise Cassio to doexactly what’ll do him good? That’s the kind ofargument you’d expect from Satan! When devilsare about to commit their biggest sins they puton their most heavenly faces, just like I’m doingnow. And while this fool is begging Desdemonato help him, and while she’s pleading his case tothe Moor, I’ll poison the Moor’s ear against her,hinting that she’s taking Cassio’s side because ofher lust for him. The more she
  • 41. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -41-Original Text Modern Text265 I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear:Act 2, Scene 3, Page 15270That she repeals him for her body’s lust.And by how much she strives to do him goodShe shall undo her credit with the Moor.So will I turn her virtue into pitchAnd out of her own goodness make the netThat shall enmesh them all.tries to help Cassio, the more she’ll shakeOthello’s confidence in her. And that’s how I’llturn her good intentions into a big trap to snagthem all.Enter RODERIGO RODERIGO enters.How now, Roderigo! Hello, Roderigo!RODERIGOI do follow here in the chase not like a hound thathunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money isalmost spent, I have been tonight exceedingly wellcudgeled, and I think the issue will be I shall have somuch experience for my pains. And so, with nomoney at all and a little more wit, return again toVenice.RODERIGOI’m totally worn out. My chase is too much forme. I’ve spent most of my money, and tonight Igot beaten up. The upshot is that I’ve got a littlemore experience. So with no money, but a littlemore wisdom, I’m going back to Venice.275280285IAGOHow poor are they that have not patience!What wound did ever heal but by degrees?Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,And wit depends on dilatory time.Does’t not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee.And thou, by that small hurt, hath cashiered Cassio.Though other things grow fair against the sun,Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.Content thyself awhile. In troth, ’tis morning.Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.Retire thee, go where thou art billeted.Away, I say, thou shalt know more hereafter.Nay, get thee gone.IAGOYou’re a poor man if you’re this impatient! If youget hurt, does your wound heal immediately? No,it heals gradually. We achieve things with ourintelligence, not by magic, and intelligentplanning takes time. Aren’t things going well?Cassio’s beaten you up, but with that tinysacrifice on your part, you got Cassiodischarged! If we’re patient, we’ll be rewardedwith the fruits of our labors. My God, it’s morning.All this excitement has made the time fly by. Goback to where you’re staying and go to sleep. Goon, I’m telling you. You’ll understand better later.Go.Exit RODERIGO RODERIGO exits.Act 2, Scene 3, Page 16290Two things are to be done:My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress.I’ll set her on.Myself, the while, to draw the Moor apartAnd bring him jump when he may Cassio findSoliciting his wife. Ay, that’s the way.Dull not device by coldness and delay.Now two things still need to be done. My wifehas to help make Desdemona take Cassio’sside. I’ll put her on that. And I need to take theMoor aside right at the moment when Cassio’stalking to Desdemona, so he’ll see themtogether. Yes, that’s the way I’ll do it. Let’s notruin a brilliant plan by being slow to act.Exit IAGO exits.Act 3, Scene 1Enter CASSIO and MUSICIANS CASSIO enters with MUSICIANS.CASSIOMasters, play here, I will content your pains.Something that’s brief, and bid “Good morrow,CASSIOMusicians, start playing here. I’ll pay you for yourtrouble. Play something short that will put the
  • 42. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -42-Original Text Modern Textgeneral.” general in a good mood.They play. Enter CLOWN The MUSICIANS play. The CLOWN enters.CLOWNWhy masters, have your instruments been in Naples,that they speak i th nose thus?CLOWNYour instruments all have a nasal twang. Havethey been to Naples?MUSICIANHow, sir? How?MUSICIANExcuse me?5CLOWNAre these, I pray you, wind instruments?CLOWNAre these wind instruments?MUSICIANAy, marry, are they, sir.MUSICIANYes, they are.CLOWNOh, thereby hangs a tail.CLOWNOh, there’s the problem.MUSICIANWhereby hangs a tale, sir?MUSICIANWhat’s the problem?CLOWNMarry sir, by many a wind instrument that I know.But, masters, here’s money for you, and the generalso likes your music that he desires you, for love’ssake, to make no more noise with it.CLOWNAnyone full of hot air is a problem. But here’ssome money. The general likes your music a lot,but he asks you to stop playing now.10MUSICIANWell, sir, we will not.MUSICIANWell, we’ll stop, then.Act 3, Scene 1, Page 2CLOWNIf you have any music that may not be heard, to ’tagain. But, as they say, to hear music the generaldoes not greatly care.CLOWNIf you’ve got any music that can’t be heard, thenplay that. But as I said, the general isn’t really inthe mood to hear music now.MUSICIANWe have none such, sir.MUSICIANWe don’t have any music that can’t be heard.CLOWNThen put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away. Go,vanish into air, away!CLOWNThen pack up your instruments and go away. Go!Exeunt MUSICIANS The MUSICIANS exit.CASSIODost thou hear, my honest friend?CASSIODo you hear, my friend?15CLOWNNo, I hear not your honest friend, I hear you.CLOWNNo, I don’t hear your friend. I hear you.CASSIOPrithee, keep up thy quillets. There’s a poor piece ofgold for thee. If the gentlewoman that attends thegeneral’s wife be stirring, tell her there’s one Cassioentreats her a little favour of speech. Wilt thou dothis?CASSIOPlease don’t play games.(CASSIO givesCLOWN money). There’s a bit ofgold for you. When the woman taking care of thegeneral’s wife wakes up, could you please tell herthat Cassio asks to speak with her?CLOWNShe is stirring, sir. If she will stir hither, I shall seem tonotify unto her.CLOWNShe’s awake, sir. If she feels like coming overhere, I’ll give her your message.Exit CLOWN The CLOWN exits.Enter IAGO IAGO enters.In happy time, Iago. Good to see you, Iago.
  • 43. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -43-Original Text Modern TextIAGOYou have not been abed, then?IAGOYou didn’t go to sleep, then?20CASSIOWhy, no. The day had brokeBefore we parted. I have made bold, Iago,To send in to your wife. My suit to herIs that she will to virtuous DesdemonaProcure me some access.CASSIONo. When I left you it was already morning. I’vebeen bold, Iago. I’ve asked to talk to your wife.I’m going to ask her to let me talk to Desdemona.Act 3, Scene 1, Page 325IAGOI’ll send her to you presently,And I’ll devise a mean to draw the MoorOut of the way, that your converse and businessMay be more free.IAGOI’ll send her out to you now. I’ll think of a plan toget the Moor out of the way, so you can speakmore openly.CASSIOI humbly thank you for’t.CASSIOI humbly thank you.Exit IAGO IAGO exits.I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest. Even for a Florentine, I never knew someone sokind and honest.Enter EMILIA EMILIA enters.3035EMILIAGood morrow, good Lieutenant. I am sorryFor your displeasure, but all will sure be well.The general and his wife are talking of it,And she speaks for you stoutly. The Moor repliesThat he you hurt is of great fame in CyprusAnd great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdomHe might not but refuse you. But he protests he lovesyouAnd needs no other suitor but his likingsTo take the safest occasion by the frontTo bring you in again.EMILIAGood morning, lieutenant. I’m sorry about whathappened, but I’m sure everything will turn out allright. The general and his wife are talking about itnow, and she’s defending you strongly. The Moorsays the man you hurt is very important inCyprus, and that under the circumstances he hasno choice but to refuse to reinstate you. But hesays he still loves and respects you, and basedon his own feelings alone he’s looking for anopportunity to safely take you back.40CASSIOYet I beseech you,If you think fit, or that it may be done,Give me advantage of some brief discourseWith Desdemona alone.CASSIOPlease find a way to give me some time alonewith Desdemona, if you think that’s all right.EMILIAPray you come in.I will bestow you where you shall have timeTo speak your bosom freely.EMILIAPlease come in. I’ll take you to a place where youcan speak freely.CASSIOI am much bound to you.CASSIOThank you very much.Exeunt They exit.Act 3, Scene 2Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and GENTLEMEN OTHELLO, IAGO and GENTLEMEN enter.OTHELLOThese letters give, Iago, to the pilot,OTHELLOIago, give these letters to the ship’s captain who
  • 44. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -44-Original Text Modern TextAnd by him do my duties to the senate.That done, I will be walking on the works,Repair there to me.brought me here, and ask him to pay my respectsto the Senate of Venice. Now that’s done, I’mgoing to walk on the fortification walls. Look forme there when you come back.5IAGOWell, my good lord, I’ll do ’t.IAGOI will, my lord.OTHELLOThis fortification, gentlemen, shall we see ’t?OTHELLOShall we go see this fortification, men?GENTLEMENWe’ll wait upon your lordship.GENTLEMENWe’re at your service, my lord.Exeunt They all exit.Act 3, Scene 3Enter DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and EMILIA DESDEMONA, CASSIO and EMILIA enter.DESDEMONABe thou assured, good Cassio, I will doAll my abilities in thy behalf.DESDEMONAI’ll do everything I can for you, Cassio.EMILIAGood madam, do. I warrant it grieves my husbandAs if the cause were his.EMILIAPlease do, madam. My husband’s so upset aboutCassio’s problem you’d think it was his own.5DESDEMONAOh, that’s an honest fellow. Do not doubt, Cassio,But I will have my lord and you againAs friendly as you were.DESDEMONAYour husband’s such a good man. Don’t worry,Cassio. I’m sure you and my husband will be asfriendly as you were before.CASSIOBounteous madam,Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,He’s never anything but your true servant.CASSIOMy dear beautiful lady, whatever happens toMichael Cassio, he’ll always be your humbleservant.10DESDEMONAI know ’t, I thank you. You do love my lord.You have known him long, and be you well assuredHe shall in strangeness stand no farther offThan in a polite distance.DESDEMONAI know that. Thank you. You’re my husband’sfriend and you’ve known him a long time. I assureyou the only reason he’s keeping away from younow is political.15CASSIOAy, but, lady,That policy may either last so long,Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,Or breed itself so out of circumstances,That, I being absent and my place supplied,My general will forget my love and service.CASSIOYes, my lady. But those political considerationsmight last such a long time that the general willforget my love and service, especially if I’m goneand someone else has my job.20DESDEMONADo not doubt that. Before Emilia hereI give thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,If I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform itTo the last article. My lord shall never rest,I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience.DESDEMONAThat’ll never happen. Emilia here will be mywitness: I promise you that you’ll get your positionback again. And if I promise to help someone, Ido everything I can. My husband will never get amoment’s rest, I’ll keep him up at night talkingabout you until he runs outAct 3, Scene 3, Page 2His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift, of patience. He will think that his bed has become
  • 45. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -45-Original Text Modern Text25 I’ll intermingle everything he doesWith Cassio’s suit. Therefore be merry, Cassio,For thy solicitor shall rather dieThan give thy cause away.a conference table for discussing your problem—he won’t be able to get away from it. I’ll bring upyour name at every moment. So cheer up. I’myour advocate, and I’d rather die than give up onyou.Enter OTHELLO and IAGO OTHELLO and IAGO enter.EMILIAMadam, here comes my lord.EMILIAMadam, here comes your husband.CASSIOMadam, I’ll take my leave.CASSIOMadam, I’d better leave now.DESDEMONAWhy, stay and hear me speak.DESDEMONAWhy not stay and hear me talk to him?30CASSIOMadam, not now. I am very ill at ease,Unfit for mine own purposes.CASSIONo, madam. I’m very uncomfortable, and thatwon’t help my case.DESDEMONAWell, do your discretion.DESDEMONAWell, do whatever you think best.Exit CASSIO CASSIO exits.IAGOHa! I like not that.IAGOHey! I don’t like that.OTHELLOWhat dost thou say?OTHELLOWhat did you say?35IAGONothing, my lord, or if—I know not what.IAGONothing, my lord, or if I did—I don’t know what.OTHELLOWas not that Cassio parted from my wife?OTHELLOWasn’t that Cassio leaving my wife?IAGOCassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think itThat he would steal away so guilty-likeSeeing you coming.IAGOCassio, my lord? No, I don’t think so. He wouldn’tsneak away looking so guilty when he saw youcoming.40OTHELLOI do believe ’twas he.OTHELLOI really think it was him.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 3DESDEMONAHow now, my lord?I have been talking with a suitor here,A man that languishes in your displeasure.DESDEMONAWhat’s this, my lord? I was talking to a petitionerhere just now, someone who’s suffering from youranger.OTHELLOWho is ’t you mean?OTHELLOWho do you mean?4550DESDEMONAWhy, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,If I have any grace or power to move youHis present reconciliation take.For if he be not one that truly loves you,That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,I have no judgment in an honest face.I prithee, call him back.DESDEMONAYour lieutenant, Cassio. Oh, if I’ve got anyinfluence over you at all, please patch things upwith him. In my judgment, this man truly lovesyou, and his mistake was innocent rather thanwicked. Please call him and tell him to come backhere.OTHELLOWent he hence now?OTHELLOWas that him just now?
  • 46. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -46-Original Text Modern TextDESDEMONAAy, sooth, so humbledThat he hath left part of his grief with meTo suffer with him. Good love, call him back.DESDEMONAYes. He feels so bad and humble that I feel badalong with him. My love, call him back in here.55OTHELLONot now, sweet Desdemona. Some other time.OTHELLONot now, my sweet Desdemona. Some othertime.DESDEMONABut shall ’t be shortly?DESDEMONABut will it be soon?OTHELLOThe sooner, sweet, for you.OTHELLOVery soon, because you want it.DESDEMONAShall ’t be tonight at supper?DESDEMONAWill it be tonight at supper?OTHELLONo, not tonight.OTHELLONo, not tonight.DESDEMONATomorrow dinner, then?DESDEMONAThen tomorrow at dinner?OTHELLOI shall not dine at home,I meet the captains at the citadel.OTHELLOI won’t be eating dinner at home. I’ll be meetingthe captains at the citadel.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 4606570DESDEMONAWhy, then, tomorrow night, or Tuesday morn.On Tuesday noon, or night, or Wednesday morn.I prithee name the time, but let it notExceed three days. In faith, he’s penitent,And yet his trespass, in our common reason(Save that, they say, the wars must make exampleOut of her best) is not, almost, a faultT incur a private check. When shall he come?Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soulWhat you would ask me that I should denyOr stand so mammring on. What? Michael CassioThat came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,Hath taen your part, to have so much to doTo bring him in? Trust me, I could do much—DESDEMONAWell then, tomorrow night, or Tuesday morning.Or Tuesday noon or at night, or Wednesdaymorning. Please just name a time, but don’t waitmore than three days. He’s very sorry. Hismistake was hardly worth punishing him for in thefirst place—though in wartime it is sometimesnecessary to make examples out of even the bestsoldiers. So when should he come? Tell me,Othello. I can’t imagine you asking me forsomething and me telling you no or standingthere muttering. Michael Cassio came with youwhen you were trying to win my love. SometimesI’d criticize you to him, and he’d defend you. Andnow I have to make this big fuss about bringinghim back? I swear, I could do so much—75OTHELLOPrithee, no more. Let him come when he will,I will deny thee nothing.OTHELLOPlease, no more. He can come whenever hewants. I won’t refuse you anything.80DESDEMONAWhy, this is not a boon,Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,Or sue to you to do a peculiar profitTo your own person. Nay, when I have a suitWherein I mean to touch your love indeedIt shall be full of poise and difficult weightAnd fearful to be granted.DESDEMONADon’t act like you’re doing me a favor! This is likeif I asked you to wear your gloves when it’s coldoutside, or eat nutritious food, or do somethingthat’s good for you. If I ever have to ask you forsomething that will put your luck to the test, it’ll besomething difficult and terrible.OTHELLOI will deny thee nothing!OTHELLOI won’t deny you anything! But in return, please,
  • 47. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -47-Original Text Modern Text85Whereon I do beseech thee, grant me this,To leave me but a little to myself.do one thing for me: leave me alone for a littlewhile.DESDEMONAShall I deny you? No. Farewell, my lord.DESDEMONAWould I ever deny you anything? No. Goodbye,my husband.OTHELLOFarewell, my Desdemona. I’ll come to thee straight.OTHELLOGoodbye, my Desdemona. I’ll come see you rightaway.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 5DESDEMONAEmilia, come.—Be as your fancies teach you.Whateer you be, I am obedient.DESDEMONACome here, Emilia.—Do whatever you feel likedoing, my husband, and I’ll obey you.Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA DESDEMONA and EMILIA exit.90OTHELLOExcellent wretch! Perdition catch my soulBut I do love thee! And when I love thee notChaos is come again.OTHELLOWhat a wonderful girl! God help me, I love you!And when I stop loving you, the universe will fallback into the chaos that was there when timebegan.IAGOMy noble lord—IAGOMy noble lord—OTHELLOWhat dost thou say, Iago?OTHELLOWhat is it, Iago?95IAGODid Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady,Know of your love?IAGOWhen you were wooing Desdemona, did MichaelCassio know about it?OTHELLOHe did, from first to last.Why dost thou ask?OTHELLOYes, he knew about it the whole time. Why doyou ask?100IAGOBut for a satisfaction of my thought,No further harm.IAGOI was just curious. No reason.OTHELLOWhy of thy thought, Iago?OTHELLOWhy are you curious, Iago?IAGOI did not think he had been acquainted with her.IAGOI didn’t realize he knew her.OTHELLOOh, yes, and went between us very oft.OTHELLOOh, yes. He carried messages back and forthbetween us very often.IAGOIndeed?IAGOOh, really?105OTHELLOIndeed? Ay, indeed! Discern’st thou aught in that?Is he not honest?OTHELLOOh, really? Yes, really. Do you see somethingwrong with that? Isn’t he an honest man?IAGOHonest, my lord?IAGOHonest, my lord?Act 3, Scene 3, Page 6OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 48. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -48-Original Text Modern TextHonest, ay, honest. Honest, yes, honest.IAGOMy lord, for aught I know.IAGOAs far as I know, sir.OTHELLOWhat dost thou think?OTHELLOWhat are you thinking?IAGOThink, my lord?IAGOThinking, my lord?110115120OTHELLO“Think, my lord?” Alas, thou echo’st meAs if there were some monster in thy thoughtToo hideous to be shown. Thou dost meansomething.I heard thee say even now thou lik’st not thatWhen Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?And when I told thee he was of my counselOf my whole course of wooing, thou cried’st“Indeed?”And didst contract and purse thy brow togetherAs if thou then hadst shut up in thy brainSome horrible conceit. If thou dost love meShow me thy thought.OTHELLO“Thinking, my lord?” My God, you keep repeatingeverything I say as if you were thinkingsomething too horrible to say out loud. You’rethinking something. Just a minute ago I heardyou say you didn’t like it when Cassio left mywife. What didn’t you like? And when I told youhe was involved the whole time I was trying toget Desdemona, you were like, “Oh, really?” Andthen you frowned and wrinkled up your foreheardas if you were imagining something horrible. Ifyou’re my friend, tell me what you’re thinking.IAGOMy lord, you know I love you.IAGOMy lord, you know I’m your friend.125OTHELLOI think thou dost.And for I know thou rt full of love and honestyAnd weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st thembreath,Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.For such things in a false disloyal knaveAre tricks of custom, but in a man that’s justThey are close dilations, working from the heart,That passion cannot rule.OTHELLOI think you are. And I know you’re full of love andhonesty, and you think carefully before youspeak. That’s why these pauses of yours frightenme. If some fool were withholding things fromme, I wouldn’t think twice about it. If some lying,cheating villain acted like that, it would just be atrick. But when an honest man acts like that, youknow he’s wrestling with bad thoughts and can’thelp it.130IAGOFor Michael Cassio,I dare be sworn, I think, that he is honest.IAGOAs for Michael Cassio, I think it would be safe forme to swear that he’s honest.OTHELLOI think so too.OTHELLOI think so too.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 7IAGOMen should be what they seem,Or those that be not, would they might seem none!IAGOPeople should be what they appear to be. Ifthey’re not honest, they shouldn’t look like theyare!OTHELLOCertain, men should be what they seem.OTHELLOAbsolutely, people should be what they appearto be.IAGOWhy then I think Cassio’s an honest man.IAGOIn that case, I think Cassio’s an honest man.135OTHELLONay, yet there’s more in this.I prithee speak to me as to thy thinkings,OTHELLONo, I think there’s more to this than you’re lettingon. Please tell me what you’re thinking—even
  • 49. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -49-Original Text Modern TextAs thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst ofthoughtsThe worst of words.your worst suspicions.140145IAGOGood my lord, pardon me,Though I am bound to every act of dutyI am not bound to that all slaves are free to.Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false,As where’s that palace whereinto foul thingsSometimes intrude not? Who has that breast so pureWherein uncleanly apprehensionsKeep leets and law-days and in sessions sitWith meditations lawful?IAGOPlease don’t make me do that, sir. I have to obeyall your orders, but surely I’m not obligated toreveal my deepest thoughts—even slaves aren’texpected to do that. You want me to say whatI’m thinking? What if my thoughts are disgustingand wrong? Even good people think horriblethings sometimes. Who is so pure that theynever think a bad thought?OTHELLOThou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,If thou but think’st him wronged and mak’st his earA stranger to thy thoughts.OTHELLOYou’re not being a good friend, Iago, if youeventhink your friend has been wronged and youdon’t tell him about it.150155IAGOI do beseech you,Though I perchance am vicious in my guess,As, I confess, it is my nature’s plagueTo spy into abuses, and oft my jealousyShapes faults that are not, that your wisdom,From one that so imperfectly conceits,Would take no notice, nor build yourself a troubleOut of his scattering and unsure observance.It were not for your quiet nor your good,IAGOPlease don’t ask me to tell you. I might becompletely wrong. I have a bad tendency to besuspicious of people and to look too closely intowhat they’re doing. Often I imagine crimes thataren’t really there. You would be wise to ignoremy weak guesses and imaginary suspicions, anddon’t worry yourself about the meaninglessthings I’ve noticed. For me to tell you mythoughts would only destroy your peace of mind,andAct 3, Scene 3, Page 8Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdomTo let you know my thoughts.it wouldn’t be wise, honest, or responsible for meto tell them.OTHELLOWhat dost thou mean?OTHELLOWhat are you talking about?160165IAGOGood name in man and woman, dear my lord,Is the immediate jewel of their souls.Who steals my purse steals trash. Tis something,nothing:Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave tothousands.But he that filches from me my good nameRobs me of that which not enriches himAnd makes me poor indeed.IAGOA good reputation is the most valuable thing wehave—men and women alike. If you steal mymoney, you’re just stealing trash. It’s something,it’s nothing: it’s yours, it’s mine, and it’ll belong tothousands more. But if you steal my reputation,you’re robbing me of something that doesn’tmake you richer, but makes me much poorer.OTHELLOI’ll know thy thoughts.OTHELLOI’m going to find out what you’re thinking.IAGOYou cannot, if my heart were in your hand,Nor shall not, whilst ’tis in my custody.IAGOYou can’t find that out, even if you held my heartin your hand you couldn’t make me tell you. Andas long my heart’s inside my body, you neverwill.OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 50. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -50-Original Text Modern TextHa! What?170175IAGOOh, beware, my lord, of jealousy!It is the green-eyed monster which doth mockThe meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in blissWho, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger,But, oh, what damnèd minutes tells he oerWho dotes, yet doubts— suspects, yet soundlyloves!IAGOBeware of jealousy, my lord! It’s a green-eyedmonster that makes fun of the victims it devours.The man who knows his wife is cheating on himis happy, because at least he isn’t friends withthe man she’s sleeping with. But think of theunhappiness of a man who worships his wife, yetdoubts her faithfulness. He suspects her, but stillloves her.OTHELLOOh, misery!OTHELLOOh, what misery!180IAGOPoor and content is rich, and rich enough,But riches fineless is as poor as winterTo him that ever fears he shall be poor.Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defendFrom jealousy!IAGOThe person who’s poor and contented is richenough. But infinite riches are nothing tosomeone who’s always afraid he’ll be poor. God,help us not be jealous!Act 3, Scene 3, Page 9185190195OTHELLOWhy, why is this?Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,To follow still the changes of the moonWith fresh suspicions? No! To be once in doubtIs to be resolved. Exchange me for a goatWhen I shall turn the business of my soulTo such exsufflicate and blowed surmises,Matching thy inference. Tis not to make me jealousTo say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances.Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.Nor from mine own weak merits will I drawThe smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,For she had eyes and chose me. No, Iago,I’ll see before I doubt, when I doubt, prove,And on the proof there is no more but this:Away at once with love or jealousy!OTHELLOWhy are you telling me this? Do you think Iwould live a life of jealousy, tormented by newsuspicions every hour? No. If there’s any doubt,there is no doubt. I might as well be a goat if Iever let myself become obsessed with the kind ofsuspicions you’re implying. If you say my wife isbeautiful, eats well, loves good company, speaksfreely, sings, plays music, and dances well,you’re not making me jealous. When a woman isvirtuous, talents like these just make her better.And I’m not going to start feeling inferior. Shehad her eyes wide open when she chose me.No, Iago, I’ll have to see some real evidencebefore I start suspecting her of anything bad, andwhen I suspect her, I’ll look for proof, and ifthere’s proof, that’s when I’ll let go of my loveand my jealousy.200205IAGOI am glad of this, for now I shall have reasonTo show the love and duty that I bear youWith franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio.Wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure.I would not have your free and noble natureOut of self-bounty be abused. Look to ’t.I know our country disposition well.In Venice they do let God see the pranksThey dare not show their husbands. Their bestconscienceIs not to leave ’t undone, but keep’t unknown.IAGOI’m glad to hear you say that. Now I can showyou my devotion and my duty with more honesty.So please listen to me. I’m not talking aboutproof yet. Watch your wife. Watch how she iswith Cassio. Just watch—don’t be eithercompletely suspicious or completely trustful. Iwouldn’t want to see you taken advantage ofbecause you’re such an open and trusting guy.Watch out! I know the people of Venice well.They let God see things they wouldn’t show theirhusbands. They don’t avoid doing things that arewrong, they just try not to get caught.OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 51. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -51-Original Text Modern Text210 Dost thou say so? Do you really think so?Act 3, Scene 3, Page 10IAGOShe did deceive her father, marrying you,And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,She loved them most.IAGOShe lied to her father to marry you. And whenshe pretended to be afraid of you, she loved youthe most.OTHELLOAnd so she did.OTHELLOThat’s right, she did.215IAGOWhy, go to then.She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,To seel her father’s eyes up close as oak,He thought ’twas witchcraft. But I am much to blame.I humbly do beseech you of your pardonFor too much loving you.IAGOWell, there you go. She was so young, but shedeceived her father so thoroughly he thought itwas witchcraft! But I’m sorry I’ve blurted all thisout. I beg your pardon for loving you too much.OTHELLOI am bound to thee forever.OTHELLOI’m indebted to you forever.IAGOI see this hath a little dashed your spirits.IAGOYou seem a little depressed about this.220OTHELLONot a jot, not a jot.OTHELLONot at all, not at all.225IAGOTrust me, I fear it has.I hope you will consider what is spokeComes from my love. But I do see you’re moved.I am to pray you not to strain my speechTo grosser issues nor to larger reachThan to suspicion.IAGOReally, I’m afraid you are. I hope you rememberthat I said all this because I love you. But I seeyou’re troubled. Please don’t take what I saidmore seriously than it deserves to be taken.OTHELLOI will not.OTHELLOI won’t.230IAGOShould you do so, my lord,My speech should fall into such vile successWhich my thoughts aimed not at. Cassio’s my worthyfriend—My lord, I see you’re moved.IAGOIf you take it too seriously, it’ll have bad effectsthat I didn’t want it to have. Cassio’s a goodfriend of mine—My lord, I can see you’re upset.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 11OTHELLONo, not much moved.I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.OTHELLONo, not too upset. I’m sure Desdemona wouldnever cheat on me.IAGOLong live she so. And long live you to think so.IAGOI hope she never does! And I hope you keep onthinking she wouldn’t.OTHELLOAnd yet how nature, erring from itself—OTHELLOBut still, it’s true that good things can go bad,away from their true natures—IAGOAy, there’s the point. As, to be bold with you,IAGOThat’s the point I’m trying to make. If I can be
  • 52. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -52-Original Text Modern Text235240Not to affect many proposèd matchesOf her own clime, complexion, and degree,Whereto we see in all things nature tends—Foh! One may smell in such a will most rank,Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural.But—pardon me—I do not in positionDistinctly speak of her, though I may fearHer will, recoiling to her better judgment,May fall to match you with her country forms,And happily repent.frank with you, she veered away from her ownnature in turning down all those young men fromher own country, with her skin color, with herstatus—everything her nature would have drawnher to—Ugh! You can almost smell the dark andugly desires inside her, the unnatural thoughts—But—I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to refer to herspecifically just now. I only worry that she mightsnap back to her natural taste in men one day,and compare you unfavorably to other Italians.245OTHELLOFarewell, farewell.If more thou dost perceive, let me know more.Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.OTHELLOGoodbye, goodbye. If you see anything else, letme know. Tell your wife to watch her. Leave mealone now, Iago.IAGOMy lord, I take my leave. (going)IAGOMy lord, I’ll say goodbye now. (beginning to exit)OTHELLO(aside) Why did I marry? This honest creaturedoubtlessSees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.OTHELLO(to himself) Why did I ever get married? I’m surethis good and honest man sees and knows more,much more, than he’s telling me.250255IAGO(returns) My lord, I would I might entreat your honorTo scan this thing no farther. Leave it to time.Although ’tis fit that Cassio have his place,For sure, he fills it up with great ability,Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,You shall by that perceive him and his means.Note if your lady strain his entertainmentIAGO(returning) My lord, please don’t think about thisany more. Time will tell. It’s right for Cassio tohave his lieutenancy back—he’s very talented.But keep him away for a while, and you’ll seehow he goes about getting it back. Noticewhether your wife insists on yourAct 3, Scene 3, Page 12260With any strong or vehement importunity.Much will be seen in that. In the meantime,Let me be thought too busy in my fears—As worthy cause I have to fear I am—And hold her free, I do beseech your honor.giving it back to him. That will tell you a lot. But inthe meantime, just assume that I’m paranoid—asI’m pretty sure I am—and keep thinking she’sinnocent, please.OTHELLOFear not my government.OTHELLODon’t worry about how I handle it.IAGOI once more take my leave.IAGOI’ll say goodbye once more.Exit IAGO exits.265270OTHELLOThis fellow’s of exceeding honestyAnd knows all quantities, with a learnèd spirit,Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,I’d whistle her off and let her down the windTo prey at fortune. Haply, for I am blackAnd have not those soft parts of conversationThat chamberers have, or for I am declinedInto the vale of years—yet that’s not much—She’s gone, I am abused, and my reliefMust be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriageOTHELLOThis Iago is extremely honest and good, and heknows a lot about human behavior. If it turns outthat she really is running around on me, I’ll sendher away, even though it’ll break my heart.Maybe because I’m black, and I don’t have nicemanners like courtiers do, or because I’m gettingold—but that’s not much—She’s gone, and I’vebeen cheated on. I have no choice but to hateher. Oh what a curse marriage is! We think ourbeautiful wives belong to us, but their desires arefree! I’d rather be a toad in a moldy basement
  • 53. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -53-Original Text Modern Text275280That we can call these delicate creatures oursAnd not their appetites! I had rather be a toadAnd live upon the vapor of a dungeonThan keep a corner in the thing I loveFor others uses. Yet ’tis the plague to great ones,Prerogatived are they less than the base.Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.Even then this forkèd plague is fated to usWhen we do quicken. Look where she comes.than to have only a part of someone I love,sharing the rest of her with others. This is theplague of important men—our wives betray usmore than those of poor men. It’s our destiny,like death. We are destined to be betrayed whenwe are born. Oh, here she comes.Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA DESDEMONA and EMILIA enter.If she be false, heaven mocked itself.I’ll not believe ’t.If she’s cheated on me, then heaven itself is afake. I don’t believe it.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 13285DESDEMONAHow now, my dear Othello?Your dinner, and the generous islandersBy you invited, do attend your presence.DESDEMONAWhat’s going on, Othello, darling? The nobles ofCyprus whom you invited to dinner are waitingfor you.OTHELLOI am to blame.OTHELLOI’m sorry.DESDEMONAWhy do you speak so faintly?Are you not well?DESDEMONAWhy are you whispering? Are you sick?290OTHELLOI have a pain upon my forehead, here.OTHELLOI have a headache, right here in my forehead.DESDEMONAWhy that’s with watching, ’twill away again.Let me but bind it hard, within this hourIt will be well. (pulls out a handkerchief)DESDEMONAThat’s from lack of sleep. It’ll go away. Let mewrap up your head, and it will feel okay in lessthan an hour. (she pulls out a handkerchief)295OTHELLOYour napkin is too little,Let it alone.OTHELLONo, your handkerchief’s too little. Leave my headalone.Her handkerchief drops The handkerchief falls to the floor.Come, I’ll go in with you. Come on, I’ll escort you to dinner.DESDEMONAI am very sorry that you are not well.DESDEMONAI’m very sorry you’re not feeling well.Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA OTHELLO and DESDEMONA exit.300EMILIA(picks up the handkercheif)I am glad I have found this napkin,This was her first remembrance from the Moor.My wayward husband hath a hundred timesEMILIA(picking up the handkerchief) I’m glad I found thishandkerchief. It’s the first keepsake the Moorgave her. My stubborn husband has asked me tosteal it aAct 3, Scene 3, Page 14305Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token(For he conjured her she should ever keep it)That she reserves it evermore about herTo kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work taen outAnd give ’t Iago. What he will do with itHeaven knows, not I.hundred times. But she loves it so much (sinceOthello told her she should always keep it withher) that she always keeps it near her to kiss itand talk to it. I’ll copy the embroidery pattern andthen give it to Iago. Heaven knows what he’sgoing to do with it. I only try to satisfy his whims.
  • 54. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -54-Original Text Modern TextI nothing but to please his fantasy.Enter IAGO IAGO enters.IAGOHow now! What do you here alone?IAGOWhat’s going on? What are you doing herealone?310EMILIADo not you chide. I have a thing for you.EMILIADon’t snap at me. I’ve got something for you.IAGOA thing for me? It is a common thing—IAGOYou’ve got something for me? It’s acommonthing—EMILIAHa?EMILIAWhat?IAGOTo have a foolish wife.IAGO—to have a stupid wife.315EMILIAOh, is that all? What will you give me nowFor the same handkerchief?EMILIAOh, is that so? And what would you give me forthe handkerchief?IAGOWhat handkerchief?IAGOWhat handkerchief?EMILIAWhat handkerchief?Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona,That which so often you did bid me steal.EMILIAWhat handkerchief? The one the Moor gave toDesdemona, which you asked me to steal somany times.320IAGOHast stolen it from her?IAGOYou stole it from her?EMILIANo, but she let it drop by negligenceAnd, to th advantage, I being here, took ’t up.Look, here it is.EMILIANo, actually. She dropped it carelessly, and,seizing the opportunity, since I was here, I pickedit up. Look, here it is.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 15IAGOA good wench, give it me.IAGOGood girl, give it to me.325EMILIAWhat will you do with ’t, that you have been soearnestTo have me filch it?EMILIAAnd what are you going to do with it? Why didyou want it so much that you begged me to stealit?IAGOWhy, what is that to you?IAGOWhat’s it to you?EMILIAIf it be not for some purpose of import,Give ’t me again. Poor lady, she’ll run madWhen she shall lack it.EMILIAIf you don’t need it for some important reason,then give it back to me. Poor lady, she’ll go crazywhen she sees it’s missing.330IAGOBe not acknown on ’t,I have use for it. Go, leave me.IAGODon’t admit to knowing anything about it. I needit. Now go, leave me.Exit EMILIA EMILIA exits.I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkinAnd let him find it. Trifles light as airAre to the jealous confirmations strongI’ll leave this handkerchief at Cassio’s house andlet him find it.To a jealous man, a meaninglesslittle thing like this looks like absolute proof. This
  • 55. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -55-Original Text Modern Text335As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.The Moor already changes with my poison.Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisonsWhich at the first are scarce found to distaste,But with a little act upon the bloodBurn like the mines of sulfur.handkerchief may be useful to me. The Moor’smind has already become infected with mypoisonous suggestions. Ideas can be likepoisons. At first they hardly even taste bad, butonce they get into your blood they start burninglike hot lava.Enter OTHELLO OTHELLO enters.340I did say so.Look, where he comes. Not poppy nor mandragoraNor all the drowsy syrups of the world,Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleepWhich thou owedst yesterday.Here he comes. No drugs or sleeping pills willever give you the restful sleep that you had lastnight.OTHELLOHa! Ha! False to me?OTHELLOArgh! She’s cheating on me?IAGOWhy, how now, general? No more of that.IAGOOh, general, please, no more of that!Act 3, Scene 3, Page 16345OTHELLOAvaunt! Be gone! Thou hast set me on the rack.I swear ’tis better to be much abusedThan but to know ’t a little.OTHELLOGet lost! You’ve tortured me with these thoughts.It is better to be tricked completely than to onlysuspect a little.IAGOHow now, my lord!IAGOWhat’s with you, my lord?350OTHELLOWhat sense had I in her stoln hours of lust?I saw ’t not, thought it not, it harmed not me.I slept the next night well, fed well, was free andmerry.I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.He that is robbed, not wanting what is stoln,Let him not know’t, and he’s not robbed at all.OTHELLOI had no idea she was cheating on me. I neversaw it or suspected it, so it never hurt me. I sleptwell, ate well, and was happy. I never sawCassio’s kisses on her lips. A man who’s robbed,but doesn’t miss what’s stolen, isn’t robbed at all.IAGOI am sorry to hear this.IAGOI’m sorry to hear this.355360365OTHELLOI had been happy if the general camp,Pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body,So I had nothing known. Oh, now foreverFarewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!Farewell the plumèd troops and the big warsThat makes ambition virtue! Oh, farewell!Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,The spirit-stirring drum, th ear-piercing fife,The royal banner, and all quality,Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!And O you mortal engines, whose rude throatsThe immortal Jove’s dead clamors counterfeit,Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone.OTHELLOI would’ve been happy if the whole army had hadsex with her, the lowest-ranking grunts and all,as long as I didn’t know anything about it. Oh,goodbye to my peace of mind! Goodbye to myhappiness! Goodbye to the soldiers and to thewars that make men great! Goodbye! Goodbyeto the horses and the trumpets and the drums,the flute and the splendid banners, and all thoseproud displays and pageantry of war! And youdeadly cannons that roar like thunderboltsthrown by the gods, goodbye! Othello’s career isover.IAGOIs ’t possible, my lord?IAGOIs this possible, my lord?OTHELLOVillain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,OTHELLOYou villain, you’d better be able to prove my
  • 56. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -56-Original Text Modern Text370 Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proofOr by the worth of mine eternal soulThou hadst been better have been born a dogThan answer my waked wrath!wife’s a whore! Be sure of it. Get me proof I cansee. If you can’t, trust me, you won’t want to feelmy rage!Act 3, Scene 3, Page 17IAGOIs ’t come to this?IAGOHas it come to this?375OTHELLOMake me to see ’t, or at the least so prove itThat the probation bear no hinge nor loopTo hang a doubt on, or woe upon thy life!OTHELLOShow me, or at least prove it beyond the shadowof a doubt. If you can’t, your life is worthless!IAGOMy noble lord—IAGOMy noble lord—380OTHELLOIf thou dost slander her and torture me,Never pray more. Abandon all remorse.On horror’s head horrors accumulate,Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed,For nothing canst thou to damnation addGreater than that.OTHELLOIf you’re slandering her just to torture me, thenit’ll be no use to pray for mercy or say you’resorry. You might as well go ahead and commitevery unspeakable crime you can think of,because there’s nothing you could that would topwhat you’ve already done!385390IAGOOh, grace! Oh, heaven forgive me!Are you a man? Have you a soul or sense?God buy you, take mine office. O wretched foolThat lov’st to make thine honesty a vice!O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,To be direct and honest is not safe.I thank you for this profit, and from henceI’ll love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.IAGOOh, heaven help me! Aren’t you a rational humanbeing? Don’t you have any sense at all?Goodbye. I resign my official position. I’m suchan idiot for always telling the truth! What ahorrible world we live in! Listen, pay attention,everybody. It’s not safe to be straightforward andhonest. I’m glad you’ve taught me this valuablelesson. From now on, I’ll never try to help a friendwhen it hurts him so much to hear the truth.OTHELLONay, stay. Thou shouldst be honest.OTHELLONo, stop. You should always be honest.IAGOI should be wise, for honesty’s a foolAnd loses that it works for.IAGOI should always be wise. Honesty’s stupid, itmakes me lose my friends even when I’m tryingto help them.395400OTHELLOBy the world,I think my wife be honest and think she is not.I think that thou art just and think thou art not.I’ll have some proof. Her name, that was as freshAs Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and blackAs mine own face. If there be cords or knives,Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!OTHELLOI swear, I think my wife’s faithful, and I think she’snot. I think you’re trustworthy one minute andthen not the next. I need proof! Her reputationwas as pure as the snow, but now it’s as dirtyand black as my own face. As long as thereare ropes, knives, poison, fire, or streams todrown in , I won’t stand for this. Oh, how I wish Iknew the truth!Act 3, Scene 3, Page 18IAGOI see, sir, you are eaten up with passion.I do repent me that I put it to you.IAGOI see you’re all eaten up with emotion. I’m sorry Isaid anything. You want proof?
  • 57. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -57-Original Text Modern TextYou would be satisfied?OTHELLOWould? Nay, and I will.OTHELLOWant? Yes, I want it, and I’ll get it.405IAGOAnd may, but how? How satisfied, my lord?Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on,Behold her topped?IAGOBut how? How will you get proof? Are you goingto hide and watch them having sex?OTHELLODeath and damnation! Oh!OTHELLODeath and damnation! Oh!410415IAGOIt were a tedious difficulty, I think,To bring them to that prospect. Damn them then,If ever mortal eyes do see them bolsterMore than their own! What then? How then?What shall I say? Where’s satisfaction?It is impossible you should see this,Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as grossAs ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,If imputation and strong circumstancesWhich lead directly to the door of truthWill give you satisfaction, you may have ’t.IAGOI think it would be very hard to arrange for themto have sex while you watched. If anyone seesthem in bed together besides themselves, Iguess we could damn them then. So what canwe do? What can I say? What proof is there? It’dbe impossible for you to watch them, even if theywere as horny as animals in heat and as stupidas drunks. But if you would be willing to acceptcircumstantial evidence as proof, we can getthat.OTHELLOGive me a living reason she’s disloyal.OTHELLOGive me one good reason to think she’s cheatingon me.420425IAGOI do not like the office.But, sith I am entered in this cause so far,Pricked to ’t by foolish honesty and love,I will go on. I lay with Cassio latelyAnd, being troubled with a raging tooth,I could not sleep. There are a kind of menSo loose of soul that in their sleeps will mutterIAGOI don’t like what you’re asking me to do. Butsince I’ve gotten myself involved this far,because I’m so stupidly honest and because Ilike you so much, I’ll keep going. I recentlyshared a bed with Cassio, and I couldn’t sleepbecause of a raging toothache. Well, somepeople talk in their sleep, and Cassio is one ofthem. I heard him saying, “Sweet Desdemona,let’s be careful and hide our love,” in his sleep.And then he grabbed my hand and said, “Oh, mydarling!” andAct 3, Scene 3, Page 19430435Their affairs. One of this kind is Cassio.In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona,Let us be wary, let us hide our loves.”And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,Cry “O sweet creature!” and then kiss me hard,As if he plucked up kisses by the rootsThat grew upon my lips, lay his legOver my thigh, and sigh, and kiss, and thenCry “Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!”kissed me hard, as if he were trying to suck mylips off. Then he put his leg over mine, andsighed and kissed me, and said, “Damn fate forgiving you to the Moor!”OTHELLOOh, monstrous! Monstrous!OTHELLOOh, that’s monstrous! Monstrous!IAGONay, this was but his dream.IAGONo, it was just a dream.
  • 58. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -58-Original Text Modern TextOTHELLOBut this denoted a foregone conclusion.OTHELLOBut it shows that something has alreadyhappened.440IAGOTis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.And this may help to thicken other proofsThat do demonstrate thinly.IAGOIt’s a reason for suspicion, even though it’s just adream. And it might back up other evidence thatmay seem too flimsy.OTHELLOI’ll tear her all to pieces!OTHELLOI’ll tear her to pieces!445IAGONay, yet be wise, yet we see nothing done,She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchiefSpotted with strawberries in your wife’s hand?IAGONo, be reasonable. We don’t have any proof yet.She might still be faithful. Just tell me this: haveyou ever seen her holding a handkerchief with anembroidered strawberry pattern on it?OTHELLOI gave her such a one, ’twas my first gift.OTHELLOYes, I gave her one like that. It was my first gift toher.IAGOI know not that, but such a handkerchief—I am sure it was your wife’s—did I todaySee Cassio wipe his beard with.IAGOI don’t know about that, but I saw a handkerchieflike that today. I’m sure it belongs to your wife,and I saw Cassio use it to wipe his beard.OTHELLOIf it be that—OTHELLOIf it’s the same one—450IAGOIf it be that, or any that was hers,It speaks against her with the other proofs.IAGOIf it’s the same one, or any one that belongs toher, then together with the other evidence it’spretty strong.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 20455460OTHELLOOh, that the slave had forty thousand lives!One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.Now do I see ’tis true. Look here, Iago,All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.Tis gone.Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throneTo tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,For ’tis of aspics tongues!OTHELLOOh, I’d kill that bastard Cassio forty thousandtimes if I could! Killing him once is not enoughrevenge. Now I see it’s true. Oh, Iago, all thelove I felt is gone, vanished in the wind.Welcome, hatred and vengeance! Get out of myheart, love! My heart feels like it’s full ofpoisonous snakes!IAGOYet be content.IAGOCalm down—OTHELLOOh, blood, blood, blood!OTHELLOI want blood!IAGOPatience, I say. Your mind may change.IAGOBe patient, I’m telling you. You may change yourmind later.465OTHELLONever, Iago. Like to the Pontic sea,Whose icy current and compulsive courseNeer keeps retiring ebb but keeps due onTo the Propontic and the Hellespont,Even so my bloody thoughts with violent paceOTHELLONever, Iago. My thoughts of revenge are flowingthrough me like a violent river, never turningback to love, only flowing toward full revengethat’ll swallow them up. I swear to God I’ll getrevenge. (he kneels)
  • 59. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -59-Original Text Modern Text470Shall neer look back, neer ebb to humble loveTill that a capable and wide revengeSwallow them up. Now, by yon marble heaven,In the due reverence of a sacred vowI here engage my words. (he kneels)475IAGODo not rise yet.Witness, you ever-burning lights above,You elements that clip us round about,Witness that here Iago doth give upThe execution of his wit, hands, heart,To wronged Othello’s service. Let him command,And to obey shall be in me remorse,What bloody business ever.IAGODon’t get up yet. Let heaven be my witness—I’mputting my mind, my heart, and my hands inOthello’s control. Let him command me, and I’lldo whatever he asks, no matter how violent.Act 3, Scene 3, Page 21480OTHELLOI greet thy loveNot with vain thanks but with acceptance bounteous,And will upon the instant put thee to ’t.Within these three days let me hear thee sayThat Cassio’s not alive.OTHELLOI accept your devotion with my deepest love. I’llput you to the test right away. Within the nextthree days I want to hear you tell me thatCassio’s dead.IAGOMy friend is dead,Tis done at your request. But let her live.IAGOMy friend Cassio is dead. It’s done, because yourequest it. But let her live.485OTHELLODamn her, lewd minx! Oh, damn her, damn her!Come, go with me apart. I will withdrawTo furnish me with some swift means of deathFor the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.OTHELLODamn her, the wicked whore! Oh, damn her,damn her! Come away with me. I’m going insideto think up some way to kill that beautiful devil.You’re my lieutenant now.IAGOI am your own for ever.IAGOI’m yours forever.Exeunt They exit.Act 3, Scene 4Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and CLOWN DESDEMONA, EMILIA and the CLOWN enter.DESDEMONADo you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?DESDEMONAExcuse me, do you know which room LieutenantCassio lies in?CLOWNI dare not say he lies anywhere.CLOWNI wouldn’t dare say he lies anywhere.DESDEMONAWhy, man?DESDEMONAWhy do you say that?CLOWNHe’s a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies, ’tisstabbing.CLOWNHe’s a soldier. If I accused a soldier of lying, he’dstab me.5DESDEMONAGo to. Where lodges he?DESDEMONAOh, come on. Where does he sleep?CLOWNTo tell you where he lodges is to tell you where I lie.CLOWNTelling you where he’s sleeping is like telling you
  • 60. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -60-Original Text Modern Textwhere I’m lying.DESDEMONACan anything be made of this?DESDEMONAWhat on earth does that mean?CLOWNI know not where he lodges, and for me to devise alodging and say he lies here, or he lies there, were tolie in mine own throat.CLOWNI don’t know where he’s staying, so if I told youhe’s sleeping here or there, I’d be lying.DESDEMONACan you inquire him out and be edified by report?DESDEMONACan you ask around and find out?10CLOWNI will catechize the world for him, that is, makequestions, and by them answer.CLOWNI’ll go ask questions everywhere.DESDEMONASeek him, bid him come hither. Tell him I havemoved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will bewell.DESDEMONAFind him and tell him to come here. Tell him I’vespoken to my husband on his behalf, and I thinkeverything will be all right.CLOWNTo do this is within the compass of man’s wit, andtherefore I will attempt the doing it.CLOWNI think I can do that. It’s not too much to ask.Exit CLOWN exits.Act 3, Scene 4, Page 2DESDEMONAWhere should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?DESDEMONAWhere could I have lost that handkerchief,Emilia?EMILIAI know not, madam.EMILIAI don’t know, madam.15DESDEMONABelieve me, I had rather have lost my purseFull of crusadoes. And but my noble MoorIs true of mind and made of no such basenessAs jealous creatures are, it were enoughTo put him to ill thinking.DESDEMONABelieve me, I’d rather have lost a purse full ofgold coins. This would be enough to make myhusband suspect me, if he wasn’t so free ofjealousy.20EMILIAIs he not jealous?EMILIAHe’s not jealous?DESDEMONAWho, he? I think the sun where he was bornDrew all such humors from him.DESDEMONAWho, him? I think all tendencies to jealousy wereburned out of him by the sun of his native land.EMILIALook where he comes.EMILIALook, here he comes.Enter OTHELLO OTHELLO enters.25DESDEMONAI will not leave him now till CassioBe called to him.—How is ’t with you, my lord?DESDEMONAI won’t leave him alone until he gives Cassio hisjob back.—How are you, my lord?OTHELLOWell, my good lady.—(aside) Oh, hardness todissemble!—How do you, Desdemona?OTHELLOI’m fine, my lady.—(to himself) Oh, it’s so hard topretend!—How are you, Desdemona?DESDEMONAWell, my good lord.DESDEMONAI’m fine, my lord.
  • 61. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -61-Original Text Modern TextOTHELLOGive me your hand. This hand is moist, my lady.OTHELLOGive me your hand. Your hand’s moist, my lady.DESDEMONAIt hath felt no age nor known no sorrow.DESDEMONAIt’s moist because it’s still young andinexperienced.30OTHELLOThis argues fruitfulness and liberal heart.Hot, hot, and moist. This hand of yours requiresA sequester from liberty, fasting, and prayer,OTHELLOIt says you’re fertile, and you’ve got a givingheart. Hot, hot and moist. With a hand like thisyou need toAct 3, Scene 4, Page 335Much castigation, exercise devout,For here’s a young and sweating devil here,That commonly rebels. Tis a good hand,A frank one.fast and pray to stave off temptations. Someonewith a young sweating hand like this one is boundto act up sooner or later. It’s a nice hand, an openone.DESDEMONAYou may indeed say so,For ’twas that hand that gave away my heart.DESDEMONAYou’re right to say that. This was the hand thatgave you my heart.OTHELLOA liberal hand. The hearts of old gave hands,But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.OTHELLOThis hand gives itself away very freely. In the olddays, people used to give their hearts to eachother when they joined their hands in marriage.But these days, people give each other theirhands without their hearts.40DESDEMONAI cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.DESDEMONAI don’t know about that. Now, don’t forget, youpromised me something.OTHELLOWhat promise, chuck?OTHELLOWhat did I promise, my dear?DESDEMONAI have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.DESDEMONAI sent for Cassio to come talk with you.OTHELLOI have a salt and sorry rheum offends me.Lend me thy handkerchief.OTHELLOI have a bad cold that’s bothering me. Lend meyour handkerchief.DESDEMONAHere, my lord.DESDEMONAHere, my lord.45OTHELLOThat which I gave you.OTHELLONo, the one I gave you.DESDEMONAI have it not about me.DESDEMONAI don’t have it with me.OTHELLONot?OTHELLOYou don’t?DESDEMONANo, indeed, my lord.DESDEMONANo, my lord.OTHELLOThat’s a fault. That handkerchiefDid an Egyptian to my mother give,She was a charmer and could almost readOTHELLOThat’s not good. An Egyptian woman gave thathandkerchief to my mother. She was a witch, andshe couldAct 3, Scene 4, Page 4
  • 62. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -62-Original Text Modern Text5055The thoughts of people. She told her, while she keptitTwould make her amiable and subdue my fatherEntirely to her love, but if she lost itOr made gift of it, my father’s eyeShould hold her loathèd and his spirits should huntAfter new fancies. She, dying, gave it meAnd bid me, when my fate would have me wived,To give it her. I did so, and take heed on ’t,Make it a darling like your precious eye.To lose ’t or give ’t away were such perditionAs nothing else could match.almost read people’s thoughts. She told mymother that as long as she kept it with her, myfather would love and desire her. But if she lost itor gave it away, my father would start hating herand looking at other women. When she was dyingshe gave it to me and told me to give it to my wifewhen I got married. I did. So pay attention. Treatit as something precious. Losing it or giving itaway would be an unspeakable loss, a loss likenone other.DESDEMONAIs ’t possible?DESDEMONAIs that possible?6065OTHELLOTis true. There’s magic in the web of it.A sibyl, that had numbered in the worldThe sun to course two hundred compasses,In her prophetic fury sewed the work.The worms were hallowed that did breed the silk,And it was dyed in mummy which the skillfulConserved of maidens hearts.OTHELLOYes, it’s true. There’s magic in its fabric. A two-hundred-year-old witch sewed it while she was ina fevered trance. The silk came from sacredsilkworms, and it was dyed with fluid made fromembalmed virgins hearts.DESDEMONAIndeed? Is ’t true?DESDEMONAReally? Is that true?OTHELLOMost veritable, therefore look to ’t well.OTHELLOIt’s absolutely true, so take good care of it.DESDEMONAThen would to Heaven that I had never seen ’t!DESDEMONAI wish I had never seen it!OTHELLOHa! Wherefore?OTHELLOHa! Why?70DESDEMONAWhy do you speak so startingly and rash?DESDEMONAWhy are you yelling at me so angrily?OTHELLOIs ’t lost? Is ’t gone? Speak, is ’t out o th way?OTHELLOIs it lost? Is it gone? Tell me, is it missing?DESDEMONABless us!DESDEMONAGod help me!Act 3, Scene 4, Page 5OTHELLOSay you?OTHELLOWhat do you have to say for yourself?DESDEMONAIt is not lost, but what and if it were?DESDEMONAIt’s not lost, but what if it were?75OTHELLOHow!OTHELLOWhat do you mean?DESDEMONAI say, it is not lost.DESDEMONAI’m telling you, it’s not lost.OTHELLOFetch ’t, let me see ’t.OTHELLOThen bring it here. Let me see it.DESDEMONAWhy, so I can, sir, but I will not now.This is a trick to put me from my suit.DESDEMONAI could, sir. But I don’t want to now. This is just atrick to take my mind off what I’m asking you for.
  • 63. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -63-Original Text Modern TextPray you, let Cassio be received again. Please hire Cassio again.80OTHELLOFetch me the handkerchief—my mind misgives.OTHELLOBring me the handkerchief—My mind is full ofdoubt.DESDEMONACome, come,You’ll never meet a more sufficient man.DESDEMONACome on. You know you’ll never find a morecapable man.OTHELLOThe handkerchief!OTHELLOThe handkerchief!85DESDEMONAA man that all his timeHath founded his good fortunes on your love,Shared dangers with you—DESDEMONAHe’s counted on your friendship for his success.He’s shared dangers with you—OTHELLOThe handkerchief!OTHELLOThe handkerchief!DESDEMONAIn sooth, you are to blame.DESDEMONAReally, I don’t think you’re behaving very well.OTHELLOAway!OTHELLODamn it!Exit OTHELLO exits.EMILIAIs not this man jealous?EMILIAAnd you say he’s not jealous?Act 3, Scene 4, Page 690DESDEMONAI neer saw this before.Sure, there’s some wonder in this handkerchief,I am most unhappy in the loss of it.DESDEMONAI never saw him like this before. There must besome magic in that handkerchief. I’m miserablethat I lost it.95EMILIATis not a year or two shows us a man.They are all but stomachs, and we all but food.To eat us hungerly, and when they are full,They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!EMILIAMen are all the same, but it takes longer than ayear or two to see how bad they are. They’re likestomachs and we’re just the food. They eat us uphungrily, and when they’re full, they vomit us up.Look, here comes Cassio and my husband.Enter CASSIO and IAGO IAGO and CASSIO enter.IAGOThere is no other way. Tis she must do ’t,And, lo, the happiness! Go and importune her.IAGOThere’s no other way. She’s the one who’s got todo it. And what luck, she’s here! Go ahead andask her.DESDEMONAHow now, good Cassio, what’s the news with you?DESDEMONAHello, Cassio. How are you?100105CASSIOMadam, my former suit. I do beseech youThat by your virtuous means I may againExist, and be a member of his loveWhom I, with all the office of my heartEntirely honor. I would not be delayed.If my offence be of such mortal kindThat nor my service past, nor present sorrows,Nor purposed merit in futurity,Can ransom me into his love again,CASSIONothing, madam. Just my earlier request. I’mbegging you to help me get back on his goodside. I’m devoted to him with all my heart. I can’twait any longer. If my wrongdoing was so seriousthat I can’t get back into his good graces eitherby my past service, or my present situation, orthe promise of devoted service in the future, justknowing that would help me. Then I could stopwondering, and find some other career.
  • 64. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -64-Original Text Modern Text110But to know so must be my benefit.So shall I clothe me in a forced content,And shut myself up in some other course,To fortune’s alms.Act 3, Scene 4, Page 7115120DESDEMONAAlas, thrice-gentle Cassio,My advocation is not now in tune.My lord is not my lord, nor should I know himWere he in favor as in humor altered.So help me every spirit sanctifiedAs I have spoken for you all my bestAnd stood within the blank of his displeasureFor my free speech. You must awhile be patient.What I can do I will, and more I willThan for myself I dare. Let that suffice you.DESDEMONAI’m sorry, dear Cassio, but now is not the righttime to bring up your case. My husband’s nothimself. If his face changed as much as hispersonality has, I wouldn’t recognize him. Godknows I have done my best to argue for you, andmade him angry at me for being so aggressive.You’ll just have to be patient for a little while. I’lldo what I can, more than I’d do for myself. Letthat be enough for you.IAGOIs my lord angry?IAGOIs Othello angry?EMILIAHe went hence but now,And certainly in strange unquietness.EMILIAHe just left, clearly upset about something.125IAGOCan he be angry? I have seen the cannonWhen it hath blown his ranks into the airAnd, like the devil, from his very armPuffed his own brother—and is he angry?Something of moment then, I will go meet him.There’s matter in ’t indeed, if he be angry.IAGOCan he even get angry? It’s hard to believe. I’veseen him stay calm when cannons were blowinghis soldiers to bits, even killing his own brotherwithout him batting an eyelid—is he really upset?It must be about something important. I’ll go talkto him. If he’s angry, there must be somethingseriously wrong.DESDEMONAI prithee, do so.DESDEMONAPlease, do so.Exit IAGO IAGO exits.130135140Something, sure, of state,Either from Venice, or some unhatched practiceMade demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,Hath puddled his clear spirit, and in such casesMen’s natures wrangle with inferior things,Though great ones are their object. Tis even so,For let our finger ache and it enduesOur other healthful members even to that senseOf pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods,Nor of them look for such observancesAs fit the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,I was, unhandsome warrior as I am,Arraigning his unkindness with my soul,But now I find I had suborned the witness,And he’s indicted falsely.There must be some political news from Venice,or some dangerous plot here in Cyprus hasruined his good mood. Men always get angryabout little things when they’re really worriedabout bigger ones. That’s the way it goes. Whenour finger hurts, it makes the rest of the bodyhurt too. We shouldn’t expect men to be perfect,or for them to be as polite as on the weddingday.Oh, Emilia, I’m so inexperienced that I thoughthe was being unkind, but actually I was judginghim harshly.Act 3, Scene 4, Page 8EMILIAPray heaven it beEMILIAI hope to God it’s something political, like you
  • 65. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -65-Original Text Modern Text145State matters, as you think, and no conceptionNor no jealous toy concerning you.think, and not jealousy involving you.DESDEMONAAlas the day! I never gave him cause.DESDEMONAOh no! I never gave him reason to be jealous.150EMILIABut jealous souls will not be answered so.They are not ever jealous for the cause,But jealous for they’re jealous. It is a monsterBegot upon itself, born on itself.EMILIABut jealous people don’t think like that. They’renever jealous for a reason; they’re just jealous.It’s like a monster that just grows and grows, outof nothing.DESDEMONAHeaven keep the monster from Othello’s mind!DESDEMONAI hope God keeps that monster from growing inOthello’s mind!EMILIALady, amen.EMILIAAmen to that, lady.155DESDEMONAI will go seek him.—Cassio, walk hereabout.If I do find him fit, I’ll move your suitAnd seek to effect it to my uttermost.DESDEMONAI’ll go look for him—Cassio, stay around here. Ifhe’s in a good mood I’ll mention you again, anddo everything I can.CASSIOI humbly thank your ladyship.CASSIOI thank you, lady.Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA DESDEMONA and EMILIA exit.Enter BIANCA BIANCA enters.BIANCASave you, friend Cassio!BIANCAHello, Cassio!Act 3, Scene 4, Page 9CASSIOWhat make you from home?How is ’t with you, my most fair Bianca?Indeed, sweet love, I was coming to your house.CASSIOWhy are you so far from home? How are you, mypretty Bianca? To tell you the truth, I was justgoing to your house.160BIANCAAnd I was going to your lodging, Cassio.What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights?Eight score eight hours? And lovers absent hoursMore tedious than the dial eightscore times!Oh weary reckoning!BIANCAAnd I was just going to yours. You’ve kept awayfrom me for a week? Seven days and sevennights? A hundred and sixty-eight hours? Andlovers hours are a hundred and sixty timeslonger than normal ones! What a tedious wait!165CASSIOPardon me, Bianca,I have this while with leaden thoughts been pressed,But I shall, in a more continuate time,Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,(giving her DESDEMONA’s handkerchief)Take me this work out.CASSIOI’m sorry, Bianca. All this time I’ve beendepressed and had problems on my mind. WhenI get some free time I’ll make it up to you.(hegives her DESDEMONA ’s handkerchief)SweetBianca, would you copy this embroidery patternfor me?170BIANCAO Cassio, whence came this?This is some token from a newer friend!To the felt absence now I feel a cause.Is ’t come to this? Well, well.BIANCAOh, Cassio, where did you get this? This is a giftfrom another woman, a new lover! Now I knowwhy you’ve been staying away from me. Has itcome to this? Well, well.CASSIOGo to, woman,Throw your vile guesses in the devil’s teethCASSIOOh, come on, woman. Stop jumping to sillyconclusions. Now you’re jealous, thinking that
  • 66. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -66-Original Text Modern Text175From whence you have them. You are jealous nowThat this is from some mistress, someremembrance.No, in good troth, Bianca.this is from some mistress of mine, but I swearit’s not, Bianca.BIANCAWhy, whose is it?BIANCAWell, whose is it?180CASSIOI know not neither, I found it in my chamber.I like the work well. Ere it be demanded,As like enough it will, I would have it copied.Take it and do ’t, and leave me for this time.CASSIOI don’t even know. I found it in my room. It’spretty. Someone is certainly looking for it, and I’llhave to give it back. So I’d like it copied. Take itand do that for me, and leave me alone for awhile.BIANCALeave you! Wherefore?BIANCALeave you alone! Why?Act 3, Scene 4, Page 10CASSIOI do attend here on the generalAnd think it no addition, nor my wish,To have him see me womaned.CASSIOI’m waiting here for the general, and I don’t wanthim to see me with a woman.BIANCAWhy, I pray you?BIANCAAnd why’s that?185CASSIONot that I love you not.CASSIOIt’s not because I don’t love you.BIANCABut that you do not love me.I pray you bring me on the way a littleAnd say if I shall see you soon at night.BIANCABut you don’t love me. Please, just walk with mea little ways, and tell me if I’ll see you latertonight.CASSIOTis but a little way that I can bring you,For I attend here. But I’ll see you soon.CASSIOI can only walk a little way with you, since I’mwaiting here. But I’ll see you soon.190BIANCATis very good. I must be circumstanced.BIANCAAll right, have it your way. I have to make do.Exeunt They exit.Act 4, Scene 1Enter OTHELLO and IAGO OTHELLO and IAGO enter.IAGOWill you think so?IAGODo you really think so?OTHELLOThink so, Iago?OTHELLOWhat do you mean, do I think so?IAGOWhat,To kiss in private?IAGOWhat, just because they kissed in private?OTHELLOAn unauthorized kiss!OTHELLOAn illicit kiss!IAGOOr to be naked with her friend in bedAn hour or more, not meaning any harm?IAGOMaybe she was just naked in bed with him for anhour or so, but they didn’t do anything.
  • 67. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -67-Original Text Modern Text5OTHELLONaked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!It is hypocrisy against the devil.They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.OTHELLONaked in bed together, but without doinganything? Come on, Iago. That would be likeplaying a trick on the devil: they’d make him thinkthey’re going to commit adultery, but then backoff. Anyone who acted like that would be lettingthe devil tempt them, and tempting God tocondemn them.10IAGOSo they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip.But if I give my wife a handkerchief—IAGOAs long as they didn’t do anything, it would onlybe a minor sin. But if I gave my wife ahandkerchief—OTHELLOWhat then?OTHELLOThen what?IAGOWhy then ’tis hers, my lord, and, being hers,She may, I think, bestow ’t on any man.IAGOThen it’s hers. And if it’s hers, I guess she cangive it to any man she wants.15OTHELLOShe is protectress of her honor too.May she give that?OTHELLOHer reputation is also her own. Can she give thataway too?Act 4, Scene 1, Page 2IAGOHer honor is an essence that’s not seen,They have it very oft that have it not.But for the handkerchief—IAGOYou can’t see a reputation. A lot of people don’teven deserve the reputations they have. But ahandkerchief—20OTHELLOBy heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.Thou saidst—Oh, it comes oer my memory,As doth the raven oer the infectious house,Boding to all—he had my handkerchief.OTHELLOGod, I wish I could forget about the handkerchief!What you told me it haunts me like a nightmare—he’s got my handkerchief!IAGOAy, what of that?IAGOYes, what about it?OTHELLOThat’s not so good now.OTHELLOThat’s not good.25IAGOWhat if I had said I had seen him do you wrong?Or heard him say—as knaves be such abroad,Who having, by their own importunate suit,Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,Convincèd or supplied them, cannot chooseBut they must blab—IAGOWhat if I’d said I saw him do something to hurtyou? Or heard him say something about it. Youknow there are jerks out there who have to bragabout bedding some woman.—OTHELLOHath he said any thing?OTHELLOHas he said anything?30IAGOHe hath, my lord, but be you well assuredNo more than he’ll unswear.IAGOYes, but he’d deny it all.OTHELLOWhat hath he said?OTHELLOWhat did he say?IAGOWhy, that he did—I know not what he did.IAGOHe said he did—I don’t know.
  • 68. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -68-Original Text Modern TextOTHELLOWhat? what?OTHELLOHe what?IAGOLie—IAGOHe was in bed with—OTHELLOWith her?OTHELLOWith her?Act 4, Scene 1, Page 3IAGOWith her, on her, what you will.IAGOWith her, on top of her—however you want to sayit.OTHELLOLie with her? lie on her? We say “lie on her” whenthey belie her! Lie with her—that’s fulsome.Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! Toconfess, and be hanged for his labor. First to behanged, and then to confess—I tremble at it. Naturewould not invest herself in such shadowing passionwithout some instruction. It is not words that shakeme thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is ’t possible?Confess!—Handkerchief!—Oh, devil!—OTHELLOIn bed with her? On top of her? I would havethought people were telling lies about her ratherthan believe he was lying on her. My God, it’snauseating! Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! I’ll kill him first, and then let himconfess—I’m trembling with rage. I wouldn’t betrembling like this if I didn’t know deep down thiswas all true. Noses, ears, lips. Is it possible? Tellme the truth—Handkerchief—Damn it!(falls in a trance) (he falls into a trance)35IAGOWork on, My medicine, work! Thus credulous foolsare caught,And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,All guiltless, meet reproach.—What, ho! My lord!My lord, I say! Othello!IAGOKeep working, poison! This is the way to trickgullible fools. Many good and innocent womenare punished for reasons like this.—My lord? Mylord, Othello!Enter CASSIO CASSIO enters.How now, Cassio! Hey, Cassio!CASSIOWhat’s the matter?CASSIOWhat’s the matter?40IAGOMy lord is falln into an epilepsy.This is his second fit. He had one yesterday.IAGOOthello’s having some kind of epileptic fit. This ishis second fit like this. He had one yesterday.CASSIORub him about the temples.CASSIORub his temples.45IAGONo, forbear.The lethargy must have his quiet course.If not, he foams at mouth and by and byBreaks out to savage madness. Look, he stirs.Do you withdraw yourself a little while,IAGONo, don’t. This fit has to run its course. If youinterrupt it, he’ll foam at the mouth and go crazy.Look, he’s moving. Why don’t you go away for abit? He’ll getAct 4, Scene 1, Page 4He will recover straight. When he is goneI would on great occasion speak with you.better right away. When he leaves, it’s veryimportant that I talk to you.Exit CASSIO CASSIO exits.How is it, general? Have you not hurt your head? What happened, general? Did you hit your head?OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 69. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -69-Original Text Modern Text50 Dost thou mock me? Are you making fun of me?IAGOI mock you not, by heaven.Would you would bear your fortune like a man!IAGOMaking fun of you? No, I swear! I wish you couldface your bad news like a man!OTHELLOA hornèd man’s a monster and a beast.OTHELLOA man who’s been cheated on isn’t a real man.He’s subhuman, like an animal.IAGOThere’s many a beast then in a populous city,And many a civil monster.IAGOIn that case there are a lot of animals on theloose in this city.55OTHELLODid he confess it?OTHELLODid he confess?60IAGOGood sir, be a man,Think every bearded fellow that’s but yokedMay draw with you. There’s millions now aliveThat nightly lie in those unproper bedsWhich they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better.Oh, ’tis the spite of hell, the fiend’s arch-mock,To lip a wanton in a secure couch,And to suppose her chaste. No, let me know,And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.IAGOSir, be a man. Every married man has beencheated on. Millions of men sleep with wives whocheat on them, wrongly believing they belong tothem alone. Your case is better than that. At leastyou’re not ignorant. The worst thing of all is tokiss your wife thinking she’s innocent, when infact she’s a whore. No, I’d rather know the truth.Then I’ll know exactly what she is, just as I knowwhat I am.OTHELLOOh, thou art wise! Tis certain.OTHELLOYou’re wise! That’s for sure.65IAGOStand you awhile apart,Confine yourself but in a patient list.Whilst you were here oerwhelmèd with your grief—A passion most resulting such a man—Cassio came hither. I shifted him awayAnd laid good ’scuses upon your ecstasy,IAGOGo somewhere else for a while. Calm down.While you were dazed by grief—which isn’tappropriate for a man like you—Cassio showedup here. I got him to leave, and made up anexcuse for your trance. I told him to come backand talk to me in a bit, and he promised he would.So hide here and watch how he sneersAct 4, Scene 1, Page 57075Bade him anon return and here speak with me,The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scornsThat dwell in every region of his face.For I will make him tell the tale anewWhere, how, how oft, how long ago, and whenHe hath, and is again to cope your wife.I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience,Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,And nothing of a man.at you. I’ll make him tell me the whole storyagain—where, how often, how long ago—andwhen he plans to sleep with your wife in thefuture. I’m telling you, just watch his face. Butstay calm, and don’t get carried away by rage, orI’ll think you’re not a man.80OTHELLODost thou hear, Iago?I will be found most cunning in my patience,But—dost thou hear?—most bloody.OTHELLODo you hear what I’m saying, Iago? I’ll be verypatient, but—do you hear me?—I’m not done withhim yetIAGOThat’s not amiss,But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?IAGOThat’s fine, but for now keep your cool. Will yougo hide?OTHELLO withdraws OTHELLO hides.
  • 70. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -70-Original Text Modern Text85Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,A huswife that by selling her desiresBuys herself bread and clothes. It is a creatureThat dotes on Cassio, as ’tis the strumpet’s plagueTo beguile many and be beguiled by one.He, when he hears of her, cannot refrainFrom the excess of laughter. Here he comes.Now I’ll ask Cassio about Bianca, a prostitutewho sells her body for food and clothes. She’scrazy about Cassio. That’s the whore’s curse, toseduce many men, but to be seduced by one.Whenever he talks about her he can’t stoplaughing.Enter CASSIO CASSIO enters.90 As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad.And his unbookish jealousy must construePoor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviorQuite in the wrong.—How do you now, lieutenant?And when he laughs, Othello will go crazy. In hisignorant jealousy, he’ll totally misunderstandCassio’s smiles, gestures, and jokes.—How areyou, lieutenant?Act 4, Scene 1, Page 695CASSIOThe worser that you give me the additionWhose want even kills me.CASSIOIt doesn’t make me feel any better when you callme lieutenant. I’m dying to have that title backagain.IAGOPly Desdemona well, and you are sure on ’t.Now if this suit lay in Bianca’s powerHow quickly should you speed!IAGOJust keep asking Desdemona, and it’ll be yours.If it was up to Bianca to get you your job back,you’d have had it already!CASSIOAlas, poor caitiff!CASSIOThe poor thing!OTHELLOLook how he laughs already!OTHELLOHe’s laughing already!100IAGOI never knew woman love man so.IAGOI never knew a woman who loved a man somuch.CASSIOAlas, poor rogue, I think indeed she loves me.CASSIOThe poor thing, I really think she loves me.OTHELLONow he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.OTHELLONow he denies it a bit, and tries to laugh it off.IAGODo you hear, Cassio?IAGOHave you heard this, Cassio?OTHELLONow he importunes himTo tell it oer. Go to, well said, well said.OTHELLOHe’s asking him to tell the story again. Go on, tellit.105IAGOShe gives it out that you shall marry her.Do you intend it?IAGOShe says you’re going to marry her. Are you?CASSIOHa, ha, ha!CASSIOHa, ha, ha!OTHELLODo ye triumph, Roman? Do you triumph?OTHELLOAre you laughing because you’ve won? Do youthink you’ve won?CASSIOI marry her! What? A customer? Prithee bear somecharity to my wit. Do not think it so unwholesome.Ha, ha, ha!CASSIOMe, marry her? That whore? Please give me alittle credit! I’m not that stupid. Ha, ha, ha!OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 71. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -71-Original Text Modern Text110 So, so, so, so! They laugh that win! So, so, so, so! The winner’s always got the lastlaugh, hasn’t he?Act 4, Scene 1, Page 7IAGOWhy the cry goes that you shall marry her.IAGOI swear, there’s a rumor going around that you’llmarry her.CASSIOPrithee say true!CASSIOYou’re kidding!IAGOI am a very villain else.IAGOIf it’s not true, you can call me a villain.OTHELLOHave you scored me? Well.OTHELLOHave you given me bastard children to raise? Allright, then.115CASSIOThis is the monkey’s own giving out. She ispersuaded I will marry her, out of her own love andflattery, not out of my promise.CASSIOThe little monkey must have started that rumorherself. She thinks I’ll marry her because sheloves me. She’s just flattering herself. I neverpromised her anything.OTHELLOIago beckons me. Now he begins the story.OTHELLOIago is gesturing for me to come closer. Nowhe’s telling the story.CASSIOShe was here even now. She haunts me in everyplace. I was the other day talking on the sea-bankwith certain Venetians, and thither comes the baubleand, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck—CASSIOShe was here just now. She hangs around me allthe time. I was talking to some Venetians downby the shore, and the fool showed up. I swear toyou, she put her arms around me like this—OTHELLOCrying “O dear Cassio!” as it were. His gestureimports it.OTHELLOSaying, “Oh, Cassio,” it seems, judging by hisgestures.CASSIOSo hangs and lolls and weeps upon me, so shakes,and pulls me! Ha, ha, ha!CASSIOShe hangs around me and dangles from myneck and cries, shaking me and pulling at me.Ha, ha, ha!120OTHELLONow he tells how she plucked him to my chamber.Oh, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shallthrow it to.OTHELLONow he’s saying how she took him into ourbedroom. Oh, I can see your nose now. But Ican’t see the dog I’m going to throw it to.CASSIOWell, I must leave her company.CASSIOI have to get rid of her.IAGOBefore me! Look, where she comes.IAGOLook out, here she comes.Enter BIANCA BIANCA enters.Act 4, Scene 1, Page 8CASSIOTis such another fitchew. Marry, a perfumed one.—What do you mean by this haunting of me?CASSIOIt’s a whore like all the others, stinking of cheapperfume.—Why are you always hanging aroundme?BIANCA BIANCA
  • 72. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -72-Original Text Modern Text125 Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did youmean by that same handkerchief you gave me evennow? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out thework? A likely piece of work, that you should find it inyour chamber, and not know who left it there! This issome minx’s token, and I must take out the work?There, give it your hobby-horse. Wheresoever youhad it, I’ll take out no work on ’t.Damn you! What did you mean by giving me thishandkerchief? I was an idiot to take it! You wantme to copy the embroidery pattern? That was alikely story, that you found it in your room anddidn’t know who it belonged to. This is a lovetoken from some other slut, and you want me tocopy its pattern for you? Give it back to her, Iwon’t do anything with it.CASSIOHow now, my sweet Bianca! How now, how now?CASSIOWhat is it, my dear Bianca? What’s wrong?OTHELLOBy heaven, that should be my handkerchief!OTHELLOMy God, that’s my handkerchief!BIANCAIf you’ll come to supper tonight, you may. If you willnot, come when you are next prepared for.BIANCAIf you want to come have dinner with me, youcan. If you don’t want to, then good riddance.Exit BIANCA exits.IAGOAfter her, after her.IAGOGo after her, go.130CASSIOI must, she’ll rail in the street else.CASSIOActually, I should. She’ll scream in the streets if Idon’t.IAGOWill you sup there?IAGOWill you be having dinner with her tonight?CASSIOYes, I intend so.CASSIOYes, I will.IAGOWell, I may chance to see you, for I would very fainspeak with you.IAGOWell, maybe I’ll see you there. I’d really like tospeak with you.CASSIOPrithee come, will you?CASSIOPlease come. Will you?135IAGOGo to! Say no more.IAGODon’t talk anymore, go after her.Exit CASSIO CASSIO exits.Act 4, Scene 1, Page 9OTHELLO(advancing) How shall I murder him, Iago?OTHELLO(coming forward) How should I murder him,Iago?IAGODid you perceive how he laughed at his vice?IAGODid you see how he laughed about sleeping withher?OTHELLOO Iago!OTHELLOOh Iago!IAGOAnd did you see the handkerchief?IAGOAnd did you see the handkerchief?140OTHELLOWas that mine?OTHELLOWas it mine?IAGOYours by this hand. And to see how he prizes thefoolish woman your wife! She gave it him, and heIAGOIt was yours, I swear. And do you see how muchyour foolish wife means to him? She gave it to
  • 73. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -73-Original Text Modern Texthath given it his whore. him, and he gave it to his whore.OTHELLOI would have him nine years a-killing. A fine woman!A fair woman! A sweet woman!OTHELLOI wish I could keep killing him for nine yearsstraight. Oh, she’s a fine woman! A fair woman!A sweet woman!IAGONay, you must forget that.IAGONo, you have to forget all that now.OTHELLOAy, let her rot and perish and be damned tonight, forshe shall not live. No, my heart is turned to stone. Istrike it and it hurts my hand. Oh, the world hath nota sweeter creature, she might lie by an emperor’sside and command him tasks.OTHELLOYes, let her die and rot and go to hell tonight.She won’t stay alive for long. No, my heart’sturned to stone—when I hit it, it hurts my hand.Oh, the world never saw a sweeter creature. Shecould be married to an emperor, and he’d be likeher slave!145IAGONay, that’s not your way.IAGOBut that’s not how you’re going to be.OTHELLOHang her! I do but say what she is. So delicate withher needle, an admirable musician. Oh, she will singthe savageness out of a bear! Of so high andplenteous wit and invention!OTHELLODamn her, I’m just describing her truthfully! She’sso good at sewing, and a wonderful musician.Oh, she could sing a wild bear to sleep! Oh,she’s so witty and creative!IAGOShe’s the worse for all this.IAGOAll the worse that she stooped this low, then.Act 4, Scene 1, Page 10OTHELLOOh, a thousand thousand times—and then of sogentle a condition!OTHELLOOh, a thousand times worse, a thousand times—and what a sweet personality she has!IAGOAy, too gentle.IAGOYes, a little too sweet.150OTHELLONay, that’s certain. But yet the pity of it, Iago! O Iago,the pity of it, Iago!OTHELLOYes, that’s for sure. Oh, it’s dreadful, dreadful,Iago!IAGOIf you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent tooffend, for if it touch not you it comes near nobody.IAGOIf you still feel so affectionate toward her, thenwhy not give her permission to cheat on you? If itdoesn’t bother you, it won’t bother anyone else.OTHELLOI will chop her into messes! Cuckold me?OTHELLOI’ll chop her into pieces. How could she cheat onme?IAGOOh, ’tis foul in her.IAGOOh, it’s horrible of her.OTHELLOWith mine officer!OTHELLOAnd with my own officer!155IAGOThat’s fouler.IAGOThat’s worse.OTHELLOGet me some poison, Iago, this night. I’ll notexpostulate with her, lest her body and beautyunprovide my mind again—This night, Iago!OTHELLOGet me some poison tonight, Iago. I won’t arguewith her, so her beautiful body won’t disarmme.—Tonight, Iago.IAGO IAGO
  • 74. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -74-Original Text Modern TextDo it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed, eventhe bed she hath contaminated.Don’t do it with poison. Strangle her in her bed,the same bed she’s contaminated.OTHELLOGood, good, the justice of it pleases! Very good!OTHELLOGood, good, I like that—it’s only fair! Very good!IAGOAnd for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You shallhear more by midnight.IAGOAnd let me kill Cassio. You’ll hear more from meby midnight.160OTHELLOExcellent good.OTHELLOExcellent, good.A trumpet within A trumpet sounds offstage.Act 4, Scene 1, Page 11What trumpet is that same? What’s that trumpet for?IAGOI warrant something from Venice. Tis Lodovico, this,comes from the duke. See, your wife’s with him.IAGOI think someone’s coming from Venice. It’sLodovico. He must be coming from the duke.Look, your wife is with him.Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, and attendants LODOVICO, DESDEMONA and attendantsenter.LODOVICOSave you, worthy general!LODOVICOGreetings, good general!OTHELLOWith all my heart, sir.OTHELLOGreetings, sir.LODOVICOThe duke and senators of Venice greet you.LODOVICOThe duke and senators of Venice greet you.(gives him a letter) (he hands OTHELLO a piece of paper)165OTHELLOI kiss the instrument of their pleasures.OTHELLOI’ll do whatever they order me to do in this letter.DESDEMONAAnd what’s the news, good cousin Lodovico?DESDEMONAWhat’s new, cousin Lodovico?IAGOI am very glad to see you, signior. Welcome toCyprus.IAGOVery nice to see you, sir. Welcome to Cyprus.LODOVICOI thank you. How does lieutenant Cassio?LODOVICOThank you. How is lieutenant Cassio?IAGOLives, sir.IAGOWell, he’s alive.170DESDEMONACousin, there’s falln between him and my lordAn unkind breach, but you shall make all well.DESDEMONACousin, there’s been a falling out between himand Othello. An unfortunate rift, but you can fix it.OTHELLOAre you sure of that?OTHELLOAre you sure of that?DESDEMONAMy lord?DESDEMONAExcuse me?OTHELLO(reads) “This fail you not to do, as you will—”OTHELLO(reading) “Don’t fail to do this, since you’ll—”Act 4, Scene 1, Page 12
  • 75. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -75-Original Text Modern Text175LODOVICOHe did not call, he’s busy in the paper.Is there division ’twixt my lord and Cassio?LODOVICOHe didn’t say anything, he’s reading. So there’s arift between Othello and Cassio?DESDEMONAA most unhappy one. I would do muchT atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.DESDEMONAYes, unfortunately. I’d do anything to bring themback together, since I really care for Cassio.OTHELLOFire and brimstone!OTHELLODamn it all!DESDEMONAMy lord?DESDEMONAExcuse me, my lord?OTHELLOAre you wise?OTHELLOAre you in your right mind?180DESDEMONAWhat, is he angry?DESDEMONAIs he angry?LODOVICOMaybe the letter moved him,For, as I think, they do command him home,Deputing Cassio in his government.LODOVICOMaybe the letter upset him. I think they want himto go home and appoint Cassio governor in hisplace.DESDEMONATrust me, I am glad on ’t.DESDEMONAI’m happy about that.OTHELLOIndeed!OTHELLOOh, are you really!185DESDEMONAMy lord?DESDEMONAMy lord?OTHELLOI am glad to see you mad.OTHELLOI’m glad you’re insane enough to admit it in frontof me.DESDEMONAWhy, sweet Othello—DESDEMONAWhy, sweet Othello—OTHELLO(striking her) Devil!OTHELLO(striking her) You devil!DESDEMONAI have not deserved this.DESDEMONAI haven’t done anything to deserve this!Act 4, Scene 1, Page 13190LODOVICOMy lord, this would not be believed in Venice,Though I should swear I saw ’t. Tis very much.Make her amends, she weeps.LODOVICOMy lord, no one will believe this in Venice, eventhough I’d swear I saw it with my own eyes. Thatwas too much. You should apologize. She’scrying.195OTHELLOOh, devil, devil!If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.Out of my sight!OTHELLOOh, you devil, you devil! You can cry all day andall night, and I still won’t believe you’re sad. Getout of my sight!DESDEMONAI will not stay to offend you.DESDEMONAI wouldn’t want to stay here and make you angry.LODOVICOTruly, an obedient lady.I do beseech your lordship, call her back.LODOVICOShe’s obedient—a fine lady. Please, my lord, callher back.
  • 76. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -76-Original Text Modern TextOTHELLOMistress!OTHELLOMadam!200DESDEMONAMy lord?DESDEMONAMy lord?OTHELLOWhat would you with her, sir?OTHELLOWhat do you want with her, sir?LODOVICOWho, I, my lord?LODOVICOWho, me?205210OTHELLOAy, you did wish that I would make her turn.Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,And turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep.And she’s obedient, as you say, obedient,Very obedient.—Proceed you in your tears.—Concerning this, sir—Oh, well-painted passion!—I am commanded home.—Get you away,I’ll send for you anon.—Sir, I obey the mandateAnd will return to Venice.—Hence, avaunt!OTHELLOYes, you asked me to call her back. See howwell she can turn? She can turn and turn, andthen turn on you again. And she can cry, sir—oh,how she can cry! And she’s obedient, as yousay, obedient. Very obedient—keep crying.—Concerning this—oh, what fake emotion!—I ambeing ordered home—Get away from me, I’llsend for you later.—Sir, I’ll obey the order andreturn to Venice. Get away from me, you witch!Exit DESDEMONA DESDEMONA exits.Act 4, Scene 1, Page 14Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonightI do entreat that we may sup together.You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats andmonkeys!Cassio can have my job. And tonight, sir, I inviteyou have dinner with me. Welcome to Cyprus.Horny animals!Exit OTHELLO exits.215LODOVICOIs this the noble Moor whom our full senateCall all in all sufficient? Is this the natureWhom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtueThe shot of accident nor dart of chanceCould neither graze nor pierce?LODOVICOIs this the same Moor whom the senateconsiders so capable? Is this the guy who’ssupposed to never get emotional, and who nevergets rattled, no matter what disaster happens?IAGOHe is much changed.IAGOHe’s changed a great deal.220LODOVICOAre his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?LODVICOIs he sane? Is he losing his mind?IAGOHe’s that he is. I may not breathe my censureWhat he might be. If what he might he is not,I would to heaven he were!IAGOHe is what he is. I won’t say anything negativeabout what he might be. If he isn’t what he mightbe, then I wish to God he were!LODOVICOWhat? Strike his wife?LODOVICOHitting his wife?225IAGOFaith, that was not so well. Yet would I knewThat stroke would prove the worst!IAGOIt’s true, that wasn’t such a nice thing to do. But Iwish I could say that’s the last time he’ll do it!LODOVICOIs it his use?Or did the letters work upon his bloodAnd new-create his fault?LODOVICOIs it a habit of his? Or did the letter make himemotional somehow, and this is the first time he’sdone it?Act 4, Scene 1, Page 15
  • 77. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -77-Original Text Modern Text230IAGOAlas, alas!It is not honesty in me to speakWhat I have seen and known. You shall observehim,And his own courses will denote him soThat I may save my speech. Do but go afterAnd mark how he continues.IAGOOh, it’s too bad! It wouldn’t be right for me to tellyou everything I’ve seen and heard. You’ll seewhat he’s like. His own actions will show youwhat kind of person he is, so I won’t have tobother telling you. Just go after him and watchwhat he does next.LODOVICOI am sorry that I am deceived in him.LODOVICOI’m sorry I was so wrong about him.Exeunt They exit.Act 4, Scene 2Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA OTHELLO and EMILIA enter.OTHELLOYou have seen nothing then?OTHELLOYou haven’t seen anything, then?EMILIANor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.EMILIANo, and I didn’t hear anything either, or suspectanything at all.OTHELLOYes, you have seen Cassio and she together.OTHELLOBut you’ve seen her and Cassio together.5EMILIABut then I saw no harm, and then I heardEach syllable that breath made up between them.EMILIAYes, but I didn’t see anything wrong, and I heardevery syllable they said.OTHELLOWhat, did they never whisper?OTHELLODidn’t they ever whisper?EMILIANever, my lord.EMILIANever, my lord.OTHELLONor send you out o th way?OTHELLOOr ask you to leave the room?EMILIANever.EMILIANever.10OTHELLOTo fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?OTHELLONot even to get her fan, or her gloves, or hermask, or anything?EMILIANever, my lord.EMILIANo, my lord.OTHELLOThat’s strange.OTHELLOThat’s strange.1520EMILIAI durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,Lay down my soul at stake. If you think otherRemove your thought, it doth abuse your bosom.If any wretch have put this in your headLet heaven requite it with the serpent’s curseFor if she be not honest, chaste, and trueThere’s no man happy. The purest of their wivesIs foul as slander.EMILIAI’d swear to you on my soul that she’s a good,honest person, sir. If you suspect otherwise, stopthinking that right now because you’re wrong. Ifany jerk has tried to convince you she’s bad, Ihope God curses him. If she’s not honest, faithful,and true, then there’s no such thing as a faithfulwife or a happy husband.Act 4, Scene 2, Page 2
  • 78. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -78-Original Text Modern TextOTHELLOBid her come hither. Go.OTHELLOTell her to come here. Go.Exit EMILIA EMILIA exits.She says enough, yet she’s a simple bawdThat cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,A closet, lock and key, of villainous secrets.And yet she’ll kneel and pray, I have seen her do ’t.She says all the right things, but the dumbestbrothel-keeper would tell the same story.Desdemona’s a tricky whore with a closet full ofawful secrets, but still she’ll kneel and pray like anhonest woman. I’ve seen her do it.Enter DESDEMONA with EMILIA DESDEMONA and EMILIA enter.25DESDEMONAMy lord, what is your will?DESDEMONAMy lord, what do you want?OTHELLOPray, chuck, come hither.OTHELLOPlease, dear, come here.DESDEMONAWhat is your pleasure?DESDEMONAWhat can I do for you?OTHELLOLet me see your eyes.Look in my face.OTHELLOLet me see your eyes. Look at my face.DESDEMONAWhat horrible fancy’s this?DESDEMONAWhat horrible thing are you imagining?30OTHELLO(to EMILIA) Some of your function, mistress,Leave procreants alone and shut the door.Cough or cry “hem” if any body come.Your mystery, your mystery! Nay, dispatch!OTHELLO(to EMILIA) Go do what you do best, madam.Leave us alone for our hanky-panky, and shut thedoor behind you. If somebody comes, give ashout. That’s your job, your job. Go on, hurry!Exit EMILIA EMILIA exits.35DESDEMONAUpon my knee, what doth your speech import?I understand a fury in your words,But not the words.DESDEMONAI’m begging you on my knees to tell me what yourwords mean. I can tell you’re furious, but I don’tunderstand what you’re saying.OTHELLOWhy, what art thou?OTHELLOWhy? Who are you?Act 4, Scene 2, Page 3DESDEMONAYour wife, my lord. Your true and loyal wife.DESDEMONAI’m your wife, your true and loyal wife.40OTHELLOCome, swear it, damn thyself.Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselvesShould fear to seize thee. Therefore be doubledamned,Swear thou art honest!OTHELLOGo ahead, swear to that, so you’ll be damned tohell for lying. Otherwise the devils will mistakeyou for an angel and be too scared to grab you.Go ahead, make sure you damn yourself byswearing you’ve been faithful to me.DESDEMONAHeaven doth truly know it.DESDEMONAHeaven knows I am.OTHELLOHeaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.OTHELLOHeaven knows you’re as unfaithful as hell.DESDEMONATo whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?DESDEMONAUnfaithful, my lord? With whom? How am Iunfaithful?OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 79. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -79-Original Text Modern TextAh, Desdemona, away, away, away! Leave me alone, Desdemona, go away!45DESDEMONAAlas the heavy day, why do you weep?Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?If haply you my father do suspectAn instrument of this your calling back,Lay not your blame on me. If you have lost him,Why, I have lost him too.DESDEMONAOh, what a horrible day! Why are you crying?Because of me? If you’ve been ordered back toVenice because of my father, don’t blame me.You may have lost his respect, but so have I.5055OTHELLOHad it pleased heavenTo try me with affliction, had they rainedAll kinds of sores and shames on my bare head,Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,I should have found in some place of my soulA drop of patience. But, alas, to make meOTHELLOIf God had decided to treat me like Job, makingme sick and covered with sores, reducing me toabject poverty, selling me into slavery anddestroying all my hopes, I would have foundsome way to accept it with patience. But insteadHe’s made me a laughingstock for everyone inour time to point at and scorn! Even that I couldput up with. But instead, my wife, who’s supposedtoAct 4, Scene 2, Page 46065The fixèd figure for the time of scornTo point his slow and moving finger at!Yet could I bear that too, well, very well.But there where I have garnered up my heart,Where either I must live or bear no life,The fountain from the which my current runsOr else dries up—to be discarded thence!Or keep it as a cistern for foul toadsTo knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there,Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin,—Ay, there, look grim as hell!be like the fountain that my children and all mydescendants flow from, has rejected me! Worsethan that, she’s polluted herself, so that thefountain is a place where disgusting toadscopulate and reproduce! Even the goddess ofpatience couldn’t look at this and be patient—it’stoo horrifying!DESDEMONAI hope my noble lord esteems me honest.DESDEMONAI hope you think I’m faithful to you.70OTHELLOOh, ay, as summer flies are in the shambles,That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed,Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweetThat the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst neerbeen born!OTHELLOAs faithful as flies in rotting meat, which give birthto maggots every time the wind blows. You’re likea weed pretending to be a flower, so beautifuland sweet-smelling that I ache when I look atyou. Oh, I wish you’d never been born!DESDEMONAAlas, what ignorant sin have I committed?DESDEMONAHave I done something to offend you withoutknowing it?7580OTHELLOWas this fair paper, this most goodly book,Made to write “whore” upon? What committed?Committed? O thou public commoner!I should make very forges of my cheeksThat would to cinders burn up modestyDid I but speak thy deeds. What committed?Heaven stops the nose at it and the moon winks,The bawdy wind that kisses all it meetsIs hushed within the hollow mine of earthAnd will not hear ’t. What committed!OTHELLOWas someone as beautiful as you meant to be awhore? What have you done? What have youdone? Oh, you streetwalker! If I said out loudwhat you’ve done, you’d burn up with shame.What have you done? Heaven has to hold itsnose when it sees you! The pure moon in the skyhas to shut its eyes when you go by! Even thewind that blows over everything on earth isashamed to visit you. You brazen whore!
  • 80. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -80-Original Text Modern TextImpudent strumpet!DESDEMONABy heaven, you do me wrong!DESDEMONAI swear to God you’re accusing me wrongly!Act 4, Scene 2, Page 585OTHELLOAre you not a strumpet?OTHELLOSo you’re saying you’re not a whore?DESDEMONANo, as I am a Christian.If to preserve this vessel for my lordFrom any other foul unlawful touchBe not to be a strumpet, I am none.DESDEMONANo, I’m as honest as I am Christian. If only lettingmy husband touch my body means I’m not awhore, I’m not a whore.90OTHELLOWhat, not a whore?OTHELLOWhat, you’re not a whore?DESDEMONANo, as I shall be saved.DESDEMONANo, I swear it.OTHELLOIs ’t possible?OTHELLOIs that possible?DESDEMONAOh, heaven forgive us!DESDEMONAOh, heaven help us!95OTHELLOI cry you mercy, then,I took you for that cunning whore of VeniceThat married with Othello.—You, mistress,That have the office opposite to Saint PeterAnd keep the gate of hell!OTHELLOI beg your pardon then. I must have the wrongwoman. I mistook you for that sly Venetianwoman who married Othello.—You whorehouse-keeper.Enter EMILIA EMILIA enters.You, you, ay, you!We have done our course. There’s money for yourpains.I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.You’re in charge of this hell! You! We’ve finishedour business. Here’s some money for you.Please lock the door and keep quiet.Exit OTHELLO exits.100EMILIAAlas, what does this gentleman conceive?How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?EMILIAWhat’s he talking about? How are you, madam?DESDEMONAFaith, half asleep.DESDEMONAI’m stunned, to tell you the truth.EMILIAGood madam, what’s the matter with my lord?EMILIAMy lady, what’s wrong with your husband?Act 4, Scene 2, Page 6DESDEMONAWith who?DESDEMONAWith who?EMILIAWhy, with my lord, madam.EMILIAWhy, with your husband, madam. My lord.105DESDEMONAWho is thy lord?DESDEMONAWho’s your lord?EMILIAHe that is yours, sweet lady.EMILIAMy lord is your lord.
  • 81. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -81-Original Text Modern Text110DESDEMONAI have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia.I cannot weep, nor answers have I none,But what should go by water. Prithee, tonightLay on my bed my wedding sheets. Remember,And call thy husband hither.DESDEMONAI don’t have a lord. Don’t talk to me, Emilia. Ican’t even cry, though tears are the only answersI could give to all your questions. Tonight put mywedding sheets on my bed, and tell yourhusband to come to me now.EMILIAHere’s a change indeed!EMILIAThings have certainly changed!Exit EMILIA exits.DESDEMONATis meet I should be used so, very meet.How have I been behaved that he might stickThe small’st opinion on my least misuse?DESDEMONAIt’s fair for him to treat me like this, very fair.What have I ever done that he has anything tocomplain about?Enter EMILIA with IAGO IAGO and EMILIA enter.IAGOWhat is your pleasure, madam? How is ’t with you?IAGOWhat can I do for you, madam? How are you?115DESDEMONAI cannot tell. Those that do teach young babesDo it with gentle means and easy tasks.He might have chid me so, for, in good faith,I am a child to chiding.DESDEMONAI don’t know. When grown-ups teach littlechildren, they do it gently and easily. He mighthave treated me like that, because I’m as unusedto abuse as a little child.IAGOWhat is the matter, lady?IAGOWhat’s the matter, lady?Act 4, Scene 2, Page 7120EMILIAAlas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her,Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her,That true hearts cannot bear it.EMILIAHe called her a whore so many times, andheaped up so much abuse on her that goodpeople can’t stand to hear it.DESDEMONAAm I that name, Iago?DESDEMONAAm I that name, Iago?IAGOWhat name, fair lady?IAGOWhat name, madam?DESDEMONASuch as she says my lord did say I was.DESDEMONAWhat my lord said I was.125EMILIAHe called her “whore.” A beggar in his drinkCould not have laid such terms upon his callet.EMILIAHe called her a whore. A beggar couldn’t havecalled his slut worse names.IAGOWhy did he so?IAGOWhy did he do that?DESDEMONAI do not know. I am sure I am none such.DESDEMONAI don’t know. I just know I’m not one.IAGODo not weep, do not weep. Alas the day!IAGODon’t cry, don’t cry. What a day this is!130EMILIAHath she forsook so many noble matches,Her father and her country, and her friends,To be called “whore”? Would it not make one weep?EMILIADid she give up all those chances to marrynoblemen, give up her father and country andfriends, just to be called a whore? Doesn’t thatmake you want to cry?DESDEMONA DESDEMONA
  • 82. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -82-Original Text Modern TextIt is my wretched fortune. It’s just my bad luck.IAGOBeshrew him for ’t!How comes this trick upon him?IAGODamn him! How did he get such an idea?DESDEMONANay, heaven doth know.DESDEMONAHeaven knows.135EMILIAI will be hanged, if some eternal villain,Some busy and insinuating rogue,Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,Have not devised this slander. I will be hanged else!EMILIAI bet my life some evil busybody, some meddling,lying jerk made up this rumor to get someposition. I bet my life on it.Act 4, Scene 2, Page 8IAGOFie, there is no such man. It is impossible.IAGONobody’s that bad. It’s impossible.140DESDEMONAIf any such there be, heaven pardon him!DESDEMONAIf there is, then heaven help him!145EMILIAA halter pardon him and hell gnaw his bones!Why should he call her “whore”? Who keeps hercompany?What place? What time? What form? Whatlikelihood?The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave,Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.O heavens, that such companions thou’dst unfold,And put in every honest hand a whipTo lash the rascals naked through the worldEven from the east to th west!EMILIAA hangman’s noose will help him! Let hell chewhim up! Why should he call her a whore? Who’sbeen with her? When has she had the time, theplace, or the means to sleep with anyone? Howis this at all likely? The Moor is being tricked bysome crook, some terrible villain, some rottenbastard. Oh, I wish we could unmask scoundrelslike that, and give a whip to every good man tobeat them senseless with!IAGOSpeak within door.IAGOKeep your voice down.150EMILIAOh, fie upon them! Some such squire he wasThat turned your wit the seamy side withoutAnd made you to suspect me with the Moor.EMILIAOh, to hell with those people! It’s the same kindof guy who got you upset and made you suspectI’d cheated on you with the Moor.IAGOYou are a fool. Go to.IAGOYou’re a fool. Shut up.155160DESDEMONAAlas Iago,What shall I do to win my lord again?Good friend, go to him. For, by this light of heaven,I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel:If eer my will did trespass gainst his love,Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,Delighted them, or any other form,Or that I do not yet, and ever did,DESDEMONAOh God, Iago, what can I do to win my husbandback again? Please go to him, my friend. I swearI have no idea why he stopped loving me. HereI’m kneeling to swear that if I ever did anything todestroy his love for me, either by thoughts oractions, or if I ever took pleasure in anyone else,or if I never did love him, or don’t love him now—even though he tries to shake me off—Act 4, Scene 2, Page 9And ever will—though he do shake me offTo beggarly divorcement—love him dearly,then I hope I have a life of misery! Unkindness ispowerful, and his unkindness may kill me, but it’ll
  • 83. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -83-Original Text Modern Text165Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much,And his unkindness may defeat my life,But never taint my love. I cannot say “whore,”It does abhor me now I speak the word.To do the act that might the addition earnNot the world’s mass of vanity could make me.never destroy my love. I can’t say “whore.” Itmakes me sick to say the word even now. Iwouldn’t do the thing that would make me awhore for all the money in the world.170IAGOI pray you, be content, ’tis but his humor.The business of the state does him offence,And he does chide with you.IAGOPlease calm down. He’s just in a bad mood.Political business is bothering him, and he’s justtaking it out on you.DESDEMONAIf ’twere no other—DESDEMONAIf only that were all it is—IAGOTis but so, I warrant.IAGOIt is, I promise.Trumpets sound Trumpets sound.175 Hark, how these instruments summon to supper.The messengers of Venice stays the meat.Go in, and weep not. All things shall be well.Those trumpets are calling us in to dinner. TheVenetians are waiting for their food. Go in, anddon’t cry. Everything will be all right.Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA DESDEMONA and EMILIA exit.Enter RODERIGO RODERIGO enters.How now, Roderigo! How are you, Roderigo?RODERIGOI do not find that thou deal’st justly with me.RODERIGOI don’t think you’re treating me fairly.180IAGOWhat in the contrary?IAGOWhat makes you say that?RODERIGOEvery day thou daff’st me with some device, Iago,and rather, as it seems to me now, keep’st from meall conveniency than suppliest me with the leastadvantage of hope.RODERIGOEvery day you put me off with some trick. Insteadof finding opportunities for me, you seem to bepreventing me from making any progress.Act 4, Scene 2, Page 10I will indeed no longer endure it, nor am I yetpersuaded to put up in peace what already I havefoolishly suffered.Well, I won’t take it any longer. And I’m not goingto sit back and accept what you’ve done.IAGOWill you hear me, Roderigo?IAGOWill you listen to me, Roderigo?RODERIGOI have heard too much, and your words andperformances are no kin together.RODERIGOI’ve listened to you too much already. Yourwords and actions don’t match up.185IAGOYou charge me most unjustly.IAGOThat’s not fair.RODERIGOWith naught but truth. I have wasted myself out ofmy means. The jewels you have had from me todeliver Desdemona would half have corrupted avotaress. You have told me she hath received themand returned me expectations and comforts ofsudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.RODERIGOIt’s the truth. I’ve got no money left. The jewelsyou took from me to deliver to Desdemonawould’ve made even a nun want to sleep withme. You told me she got them, and that shepromised to give me a little something in returnsoon, but nothing like that ever happens.IAGO IAGO
  • 84. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -84-Original Text Modern TextWell, go to. Very well. Well, all right then. Fine.RODERIGO“Very well,” “go to”! I cannot go to, man, nor ’tis notvery well. Nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin to findmyself fopped in it.RODERIGO“Fine!” he says. “All right!” It’s not fine, and I’mnot all right! It’s wrong, and I’m starting to realizeI’m being cheated!IAGOVery well.IAGOOkay.190RODERIGOI tell you ’tis not very well. I will make myself knownto Desdemona. If she will return me my jewels I willgive over my suit and repent my unlawful solicitation.If not, assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you.RODERIGOIt’s not okay! I’m going to tell Desdemona myfeelings. If she returns my jewels, I’ll stoppursuing her and apologize to her. If not, I’llchallenge you to a duel.IAGOYou have said now.IAGOYou’ve said what you have to say now.RODERIGOAy, and said nothing but what I protest intendment ofdoing.RODERIGOYes, and I’ll do everything I just said.Act 4, Scene 2, Page 11IAGOWhy, now I see there’s mettle in thee, and even fromthis instant to build on thee a better opinion thanever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo. Thou hasttaken against me a most just exception, but yet Iprotest I have dealt most directly in thy affair.IAGOWell, all right then. Now I see that you havesome guts. From this moment on I have a higheropinion of you than before. Give me your hand,Roderigo. Your complaint against me is perfectlyunderstandable, but I still insist I’ve doneeverything I could to help you.RODERIGOIt hath not appeared.RODERIGOIt doesn’t look that way to me.195IAGOI grant indeed it hath not appeared, and yoursuspicion is not without wit and judgment. But,Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed, which Ihave greater reason to believe now than ever—Imean purpose, courage and valor—this night showit. If thou the next night following enjoy notDesdemona, take me from this world with treacheryand devise engines for my life.IAGOI admit it doesn’t look that way to me, and thefact that you suspect me shows that you’resmart. But Roderigo, if you’re as courageous anddetermined as I think you are, then wait just a bitlonger. If you’re not having sex with Desdemonatomorrow night, then I suggest you find someway to stab me in the back and kill me.RODERIGOWell, what is it? Is it within reason and compass?RODERIGOWell, what’s your plan? Is it feasible?IAGOSir, there is especial commission come from Veniceto depute Cassio in Othello’s place.IAGOVenice has made Cassio governor here onCyprus.RODERIGOIs that true? Why, then Othello and Desdemonareturn again to Venice.RODERIGOIs that true? Then Desdemona and Othello willgo back to Venice.IAGOOh, no, he goes into Mauritania and taketh awaywith him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode belingered here by some accident—wherein none canbe so determinate as the removing of Cassio.IAGOOh, no. He’ll go to Mauritania and take thebeautiful Desdemona with him, unless he getsstuck here for some reason. The best way toextend his stay here is to get rid of Cassio.RODERIGO RODERIGO
  • 85. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -85-Original Text Modern Text200 How do you mean, removing of him? What do you mean, get rid of him?IAGOWhy, by making him uncapable of Othello’s place:knocking out his brains.IAGOI mean knock his brains out, so he can’t takeOthello’s place.RODERIGOAnd that you would have me to do!RODERIGOAnd that’s what you want me to do!Act 4, Scene 2, Page 12IAGOAy, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right. Hesups tonight with a harlotry, and thither will I go tohim. He knows not yet of his honorable fortune. Ifyou will watch his going thence (which I will fashionto fall out between twelve and one) you may takehim at your pleasure. I will be near to second yourattempt, and he shall fall between us. Come, standnot amazed at it, but go along with me. I will showyou such a necessity in his death that you shall thinkyourself bound to put it on him. It is now highsuppertime, and the night grows to waste. About it!IAGOYes, if you want to help yourself. He’s havingdinner tonight with a prostitute, and I’ll go visithim. He doesn’t know he’s been appointedgovernor yet. When you see him walking by here(as I’ll make sure he does between twelve andone) you can nab him. I’ll be nearby to help you,and between the two of us we can handle him.Come on, don’t stand there in a daze. Comealong with me. I’ll give you such reasons forkilling him that you’ll feel obliged to snuff him out.It’s nearly dinner time, and the night’s going to bewasted. Let’s go!RODERIGOI will hear further reason for this.RODERIGOI want to hear more about this.205IAGOAnd you shall be satisfied.IAGOYou will. You’ll hear all you want to hear.Exeunt They exit.Act 4, Scene 3Enter OTHELLO, LODOVICO, DESDEMONA,EMILIA and attendantsOTHELLO, LODOVICO, DESDEMONA andEMILIAenter, with attendants.LODOVICOI do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.LODOVICOPlease, sir, don’t trouble yourself.OTHELLOOh, pardon me, ’twill do me good to walk.OTHELLOI beg your pardon; walking will make me feel better.LODOVICOMadam, good night. I humbly thank your ladyship.LODOVICOGood night, madam. Thank you.DESDEMONAYour honor is most welcome.DESDEMONAYou’re most welcome.5OTHELLOWill you walk, sir?—O Desdemona—OTHELLOWould you walk out with me, sir?—Oh,Desdemona—DESDEMONAMy lord?DESDEMONAYes, my lord?OTHELLOGet you to bed on th instant, I will be returnedForthwith. Dismiss your attendant there, look ’t bedone.OTHELLOGo to bed right this minute. I’ll be there shortly. Sendyour maid Emilia away. Make sure you do what I say.DESDEMONAI will, my lord.DESDEMONAI will, my lord.Exeunt OTHELLO, LODOVICO, and attendants OTHELLO, LODOVICO, and attendants
  • 86. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -86-Original Text Modern Textexit.10EMILIAHow goes it now? He looks gentler than he did.How are things now? He looks calmer than he didbefore.DESDEMONAHe says he will return incontinent,And hath commanded me to go to bedAnd bid me to dismiss you.DESDEMONAHe says he’ll come back right away. He asked me togo to bed and to send you away.EMILIADismiss me?EMILIASend me away?15DESDEMONAIt was his bidding. Therefore, good Emilia,Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu.We must not now displease him.DESDEMONAThat’s what he said. So give me my nightgown,Emilia, and I’ll say goodnight. We shouldn’t displeasehim.Act 4, Scene 3, Page 2EMILIAAy. Would you had never seen him!EMILIAYes. I wish you’d never met him.20DESDEMONASo would not I. My love doth so approve himThat even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns—Prithee, unpin me—have grace and favor.DESDEMONAThat’s not what I wish. I love him even when he’sharsh and mean—Help me unpin this, wouldyou?—I love even his stubbornness, his frowns,his bad moods.EMILIAI have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.EMILIAI put those wedding sheets on your bed, as youasked.DESDEMONAAll’s one. Good Father, how foolish are our minds!If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud meIn one of these same sheets.DESDEMONAIt doesn’t matter. Oh, how silly we are! If I diebefore you do make sure I’m wrapped in thosesheets in my coffin.EMILIACome, come! You talk!EMILIAListen to you! Don’t be silly!2530DESDEMONAMy mother had a maid called Barbary,She was in love, and he she loved proved madAnd did forsake her. She had a song of “Willow,”An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortuneAnd she died singing it. That song tonightWill not go from my mind. I have much to doBut to go hang my head all at one sideAnd sing it like poor Barbary. Prithee, dispatch.DESDEMONAMy mother had a maid named Barbary. She wasin love, and her lover turned out to be wild andleft her. She knew an old song called “Willow”that reminded her of her own story, and she diedsinging it. I can’t get that song out of my headtonight. It’s all I can do to keep myself fromhanging my head down in despair and singing itlike poor Barbary. Please, hurry up.EMILIAShall I go fetch your nightgown?EMILIAShould I get your nightgown?DESDEMONANo, unpin me here.This Lodovico is a proper man.DESDEMONANo, just help me unpin this. That Lodovico is agood-looking man.35EMILIAA very handsome man.EMILIAHe’s very handsome.DESDEMONAHe speaks well.DESDEMONAHe speaks well.EMILIA EMILIA
  • 87. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -87-Original Text Modern TextI know a lady in Venice would have walked barefootto Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.I know a lady in Venice who’d walk all the way toPalestine for a kiss from him.Act 4, Scene 3, Page 3DESDEMONA(singing)The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,Sing all a green willow.Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,Sing willow, willow, willow.The fresh streams ran by her, and murmured hermoans,Sing willow, willow, willow.Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the stonesSing willow, willow, willow—Lay by these—Willow, willow—Prithee, hie thee, he’ll come anon—Sing all a green willow must be my garland.Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve—Nay, that’s not next—Hark! Who is ’t that knocks?DESDEMONA(singing)The poor soul sat singing by the sycamore tree,Everyone sing the green willow,She had her hand on her breast and her headon her knee,Sing willow, willow, willow.The fresh streams ran by her and murmuredher moans,Sing willow, willow, willow.Her salt tears fell from her and softened thestones,Sing willow, willow, willow.—Put these things over there.—Please, hurry, he’ll come right away.—Everyone sing, a green willow must be mygarland.Nobody blame him, he’s right to hate me—No, that’s not how it goes.—Who’s knocking?EMILIAIt’s the wind.EMILIAIt’s the wind.40DESDEMONA(sings)I called my love false love but what said he then?Sing willow, willow, willow.If I court more women you’ll couch with more men—So, get thee gone, good night. Mine eyes do itch,Doth that bode weeping?DESDEMONA(singing) I told my lover he didn’t love me, butwhat did he say? Sing willow, willow, willow.If I chase more women, you’ll sleep with moremen—Okay, go away now. Good night. My eyesitch—is that an omen I’ll be crying soon?EMILIATis neither here nor there.EMILIANo, it doesn’t mean anything.45DESDEMONAI have heard it said so. Oh, these men, these men!Dost thou in conscience think—tell me, Emilia—That there be women do abuse their husbandsIn such gross kind?DESDEMONAI heard someone say that’s what it means. Oh,these men, these men! Do you honestly think—tell me, Emilia—there are women who’d cheat ontheir husbands in such a disgusting manner?EMILIAThere be some such, no question.EMILIAThere are women like that out there, no question.Act 4, Scene 3, Page 4DESDEMONAWouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?DESDEMONAWould you ever do such a thing for all the world?50EMILIAWhy, would not you?EMILIAWhy, wouldn’t you?DESDEMONANo, by this heavenly light!DESDEMONABy the light of heaven, no, I would not!EMILIANor I neither, by this heavenly light.EMILIAI wouldn’t either, by daylight. It would be easier to
  • 88. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -88-Original Text Modern TextI might do ’t as well i th dark. do it in the dark.DESDEMONAWouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?DESDEMONACould you really do such a thing, for all theworld?EMILIAThe world’s a huge thing. It is a great price for a smallvice.EMILIAThe world’s huge. It’s a big prize for such a smallsin.55DESDEMONAIn troth, I think thou wouldst not.DESDEMONAI don’t think you would.EMILIAIn troth, I think I should, and undo ’t when I had done.Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring, norfor measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, norcaps, nor any petty exhibition. But for the wholeworld? Why, who would not make her husband acuckold to make him a monarch? I should venturepurgatory for ’t.EMILIAActually I think I would, and then I’d undo it after Idid it. I wouldn’t do it for a nice ring, or fine linen,or pretty gowns or petticoats or hats. But for thewhole world? Who wouldn’t cheat on her husbandto make him king? I’d risk my soul for that.DESDEMONABeshrew me, if I would do such a wrongFor the whole world.DESDEMONAI’d never do such a bad thing, not for the wholeworld!EMILIAWhy the wrong is but a wrong i th world, and havingthe world for your labor, ’tis a wrong in your ownworld, and you might quickly make it right.EMILIAWhy, a bad action is just a wrong in this world,but when you’ve won the whole world, it’s awrong in your own world, so you can make it rightthen.60DESDEMONAI do not think there is any such woman.DESDEMONAI don’t think any woman like that exists.EMILIAYes, a dozen, and as many to th vantage as wouldstore the world they played for.But I do think it is their husbands faultsIf wives do fall. Say that they slack their dutiesEMILIAYes, a dozen of them—as many as there arewomen in the world, in fact. But I do think it’s thehusband’s fault if we wives cheat on them. Forinstance, our husbandsAct 4, Scene 3, Page 5657075And pour our treasures into foreign laps,Or else break out in peevish jealousies,Throwing restraint upon us. Or say they strike us,Or scant our former having in despite.Why, we have galls, and though we have somegrace,Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands knowTheir wives have sense like them. They see andsmellAnd have their palates both for sweet and sour,As husbands have. What is it that they doWhen they change us for others? Is it sport?I think it is. And doth affection breed it?I think it doth. Is ’t frailty that thus errs?It is so too. And have not we affections,Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?Then let them use us well, else let them know,The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.may stop sleeping with us, and give it out to otherwomen instead. Or they may get insanely jealous,and keep us from going anywhere. Or let’s saythey hit us, or cut back on the money they give usout of spite. We have feelings. We may be able toforgive them, but we want to get back at themtoo. Husbands need to know that their wives arehuman beings too. They see, smell, and tastesweet and sour just like their husbands. Why dothey replace us with other women? Do they do itfor fun? I think they do. Is it out of lust? I think so.Is it a weakness? It is. And don’t we havepassions, and a taste for fun, and weaknesses,just like men? Then tell them to treat us well. Orlet them figure out that the bad things we do arejust what we learned from them.
  • 89. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -89-Original Text Modern Text80DESDEMONAGood night, good night. Heaven me such uses send,Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!DESDEMONAGood night, good night. I pray that God will let melearn from women like that—not to follow theirbad example, but to avoid it!Exeunt They exit.Act 5, Scene 1Enter IAGO and RODERIGO IAGO and RODERIGO enter.5IAGOHere, stand behind this bulk, straight will he come.Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.Quick, quick! Fear nothing. I’ll be at thy elbow.It makes us, or it mars us. Think on that,And fix most firm thy resolution.IAGOHere, stand behind this wall; he’ll come rightaway. Keep your sword out, and then stick it in asfar as it’ll go. Quick, quick. Don’t be afraid. I’ll beright next to you. This will either make us or breakus. Keep that in mind, and be steady.RODERIGOBe near at hand, I may miscarry in ’t.RODERIGOStay right near me. I may mess it up.IAGOHere, at thy hand. Be bold, and take thy stand.IAGOI’m right behind you. Be bold, and get ready.Withdraws IAGO moves aside.10RODERIGOI have no great devotion to the deedAnd yet he hath given me satisfying reasons.Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.RODERIGOI don’t really want to do this, but he’s given megood reasons. I guess it’s only one man—no bigdeal. My sword comes out, and he dies.1520IAGO(aside) I have rubbed this young quat almost to thesense,And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill CassioOr Cassio him, or each do kill the other,Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,He calls me to a restitution largeOf gold and jewels that I bobbed from himAs gifts to Desdemona.It must not be. If Cassio do remainHe hath a daily beauty in his lifeThat makes me ugly. And besides, the MoorMay unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.No, he must die. But so, I hear him coming.IAGO(to himself) I’ve rubbed this young pimple untilhe’s ready to pop, and now he’s angry. Whetherhe kills Cassio, or Cassio kills him, or they killeach other, it all works in my favor. If Roderigosurvives, though, he’ll ask me for all the gold andjewelry that I stole from him and said I gave toDesdemona. I can’t let that happen. If Cassiosurvives,he’s so handsome and well-spoken thathe makes me look ugly. And besides, the Moormight tell him about my lies about him.—Thatwould be very dangerous for me. No, he’s got todie. Let it be so. I hear him coming.Act 5, Scene 1, Page 2Enter CASSIO CASSIO enters.RODERIGOI know his gait, ’tis he.—Villain, thou diest!RODERIGOI know the sound of his walk.—Die, villain!Thrusts at CASSIO RODERIGO thrusts his sword at CASSIO.25CASSIOThat thrust had been mine enemy indeedBut that my coat is better than thou know’stI will make proof of thine.CASSIOThat thrust might really have hurt me if I didn’thave this armor on under my cloak. Now let’s seewhat you’ve got on.Draws, and wounds RODERIGO CASSIOdraws his sword and stabs Roderigo.RODERIGOOh, I am slain!RODERIGOOh, I’m dead!
  • 90. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -90-Original Text Modern TextIAGO from behind wounds CASSIO in the legs, exits From behind, IAGO stabs CASSIO in the leg andthen exits.CASSIOI am maimed for ever. Help, ho! Murder! Murder!CASSIOI’ll be crippled forever! Help! Murder! murder!Enter OTHELLO OTHELLO enters.OTHELLOThe voice of Cassio. Iago keeps his word.OTHELLOThat’s Cassio’s voice. Iago has kept his word.RODERIGOOh, villain that I am!RODERIGOOh, what a villain I am!30OTHELLOIt is even so.OTHELLOThat’s the truth.CASSIOOh, help, ho! Light! A surgeon!CASSIOHelp me! Get some light! Get me a surgeon!OTHELLOTis he. Oh, brave Iago, honest and just,That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong!OTHELLOIt’s him! Brave Iago, how honest and trustworthyyou are! You even went as far as murder to helpyour friend in his misfortune. You teach me how Ishould act.Act 5, Scene 1, Page 335Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,And your unblest fate hies. Strumpet, I come.For, of my heart, those charms, thine eyes, areblotted.Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust’s blood bespotted.Whore, your lover’s dead now, and you’ll begoing to hell soon. I’m coming, slut! I’ve shut thememory of your beautiful eyes out of my heart.You’ve already stained our sheets with your lust;now I’ll stain them with your whore’s blood.Exit OTHELLO exits.Enter LODOVICO and GRATIANO LODOVICO and GRATIANO enter.CASSIOWhat, ho! No watch? No passage? Murder! Murder!CASSIOHelp! Isn’t there a guard around? No one passingby? Murder! Murder!GRATIANOTis some mischance, the cry is very direful.GRATIANOSomething’s wrong, the man sounds panicked.40CASSIOOh, help!CASSIOOh, help!LODOVICOHark!LODOVICOListen!RODERIGOOh, wretched villain!RODERIGOI’ve acted like such a villain!45LODOVICOTwo or three groan. Tis heavy night,These may be counterfeits. Let’s think ’t unsafeTo come in to the cry without more help.LODOVICOTwo or three men are groaning. But it’s dark out,and it could be a trap. It’s not safe to go nearthem till we get more help.RODERIGONobody come? Then shall I bleed to death.RODERIGONobody’s coming? I’ll bleed to death.LODOVICOHark!LODOVICOLook!Enter IAGO IAGO enters.GRATIANOHere’s one comes in his shirt, with light andGRATIANOHere’s someone coming in his pajamas, with a
  • 91. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -91-Original Text Modern Textweapons. candle and weapons.IAGOWho’s there? Whose noise is this that ones onmurder?IAGOWho’s there? Who’s shouting “murder”?Act 5, Scene 1, Page 450LODOVICOWe do not know.LODOVICOWe don’t know.IAGODo not you hear a cry?IAGODidn’t you hear someone shouting?CASSIOHere, here! For heaven’s sake, help me!CASSIOI’m here, here! For heaven’s sake, help me!IAGOWhat’s the matter?IAGOWhat’s the matter?GRATIANO(to LODOVICO) This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.GRATIANO(to LODOVICO) That’s Othello’s ensign, I think.LODOVICOThe same indeed, a very valiant fellow.LODOVICOIt is. He’s a good man.IAGO(to CASSIO) What are you here that cry sogrievously?IAGO(to CASSIO) Who’s shouting so loudly?55CASSIOIago? Oh, I am spoiled, undone by villains!Give me some help.CASSIOIs that you, Iago? I’m here, I’ve been destroyedby villains! Help me.IAGOOh, me, lieutenant! What villains have done this?IAGOOh, lieutenant! What villains did this to you?CASSIOI think that one of them is hereabout,And cannot make away.CASSIOI think one of them is nearby and can’t get away.60IAGOOh, treacherous villains!—(to LODOVICO and GRATIANO)What are you there? Come in, and give some help.IAGOThe treacherous criminals!—(to LODOVICO andGRATIANO) Who’s there?Come here and help!RODERIGOOh, help me there!RODERIGOSomebody help me over here!CASSIOThat’s one of them.CASSIOThat’s one of them.IAGOO murdrous slave! O villain!IAGO(to RODERIGO) Murderer! Villain!Stabs RODERIGO IAGO stabs RODERIGO.Act 5, Scene 1, Page 5RODERIGOO damned Iago! O inhuman dog!RODERIGODamned Iago! You inhuman dog!65IAGOKill men i th dark! Where be these bloody thieves?How silent is this town!—Ho! murder! murder!—What may you be? Are you of good or evil?IAGOKilling men in the dark? Where are thesemurderers? This is such a quiet, sleepy town!—Murder, murder!—Who’s that coming? Are yougood or evil?
  • 92. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -92-Original Text Modern TextLODOVICOAs you shall prove us, praise us.LODOVICOJudge for yourself.IAGOSignior Lodovico?IAGOSignor Lodovico?70LODOVICOHe, sir.LODOVICOThat’s me.IAGOI cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.IAGOI beg your pardon. Cassio’s been wounded.GRATIANOCassio!GRATIANOCassio!IAGOHow is ’t, brother!IAGOHow are you doing, brother?CASSIOMy leg is cut in two.CASSIOMy leg’s been cut in two.75IAGOMarry, heaven forbid!Light, gentlemen, I’ll bind it with my shirt.IAGOGod forbid! Bring me some light, gentlemen, I’llbind the wound with my shirt.Enter BIANCA BIANCA enters.BIANCAWhat is the matter, ho? Who is ’t that cried?BIANCAWhat’s the matter? Who’s shouting?IAGOWho is ’t that cried?IAGOWho’s shouting?BIANCAOh, my dear Cassio!My sweet Cassio! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!BIANCAOh, my dear Cassio! My sweet Cassio! Oh,Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!80IAGOO notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspectWho they should be that have thus mangled you?IAGOYou notorious whore! Cassio, do you know whomight have stabbed you like this?Act 5, Scene 1, Page 6CASSIONo.CASSIONo.GRATIANOI am sorry to find you thus. I have been to seek you.GRATIANOI’m sorry to find you like this. I’ve been looking allover for you.85IAGOLend me a garter. So.—Oh, for a chair,To bear him easily hence!IAGOLend me your sash—Oh, if we only had astretcher to carry him out of here!BIANCAAlas, he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!BIANCAHe’s fainted! Oh Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!90IAGOGentlemen all, I do suspect this trashTo be a party in this injury.—Patience awhile, good Cassio.—Come, come,Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?Alas, my friend and my dear countrymanRoderigo! No—yes, sure! Yes, ’tis Roderigo.IAGOSir, I believe this piece of trash, Bianca, hassomething to do with all this trouble.—Hang inthere, Cassio.—Come here, bring the light. Doyou recognize this face? Oh, no, it’s my friendand countryman, Roderigo.—Yes, it’s Roderigo!GRATIANOWhat, of Venice?GRATIANOWhat, Roderigo from Venice?IAGO IAGO
  • 93. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -93-Original Text Modern TextEven he, sir. Did you know him? That’s the one, sir. Do you know him?95GRATIANOKnow him? Ay.GRATIANOKnow him? Yes.IAGOSignior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon,These bloody accidents must excuse my mannersThat so neglected you.IAGOSignor Gratiano, I beg your pardon. I didn’t meanto ignore you—it’s just because of this bloodyuproar.GRATIANOI am glad to see you.GRATIANOI’m glad to see you.IAGOHow do you, Cassio?—Oh, a chair, a chair!IAGOHow are you doing, Cassio?—Someone bringme a stretcher!100GRATIANORoderigo!GRATIANORoderigo!IAGOHe, he, ’tis he.IAGOIt’s him, it’s him.A chair is brought in A stretcher is brought in.Act 5, Scene 1, Page 7105Oh, that’s well said—the chair!Some good man bear him carefully from hence.I’ll fetch the general’s surgeon.—(to BIANCA) Foryou, mistress,Save you your labor.—He that lies slain here,Cassio,Was my dear friend. What malice was between you?Good—here’s the stretcher. Get somebodystrong to carry him out of here. I’ll get thegeneral’s surgeon. (to BIANCA) As for you,maam, don’t bother. The man lying here was mydear friend, Roderigo.—What was the problembetween you?CASSIONone in the world, nor do I know the man.CASSIOThere wasn’t any problem. I don’t even knowhim.IAGO(to BIANCA)What, look you pale?—Oh, bear him out o the air.—IAGO(to BIANCA) You’re pale?—Get Cassio out ofhere.—You look awfully pale, Bianca.CASSIO and RODERIGO are borne off CASSIO and RODERIGO are carried away.110Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?—Stayyou, good gentlemen.—Look you pale, mistress?—Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.—Behold her well. I pray you, look upon her.Do you see, gentlemen? Nay, guiltinessWill speak, though tongues were out of use.Do you see how afraid she is? Watch her, we’llget the whole story. Keep an eye on her. Do yousee? The guilty speak volumes even whenthey’re silent.Enter EMILIA EMILIA enters.EMILIAAlas, what is the matter? What is the matter,husband?EMILIAWhat’s the matter? What’s the matter, husband?115IAGOCassio hath here been set on in the darkBy Roderigo and fellows that are ’scaped.He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.IAGOCassio was attacked here in the dark byRoderigo and men who escaped. He’s neardeath, and Roderigo’s dead already.EMILIAAlas, good gentleman! Alas, good Cassio!EMILIAOh, no, good gentleman! Oh no, good Cassio!IAGO IAGO
  • 94. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -94-Original Text Modern Text120This is the fruits of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,Go know of Cassio where he supped tonight.—(to BIANCA) What, do you shake at that?This is what happens when you visit whores.Please, Emilia, ask Cassio where he was atdinner tonight.—(to BIANCA) What, does thatmake you nervous?Act 5, Scene 1, Page 8BIANCAHe supped at my house, but I therefore shake not.BIANCAHe ate at my house, but that doesn’t make menervous.IAGOOh, did he so? I charge you, go with me.IAGOOh, did he? I order you to come with me.EMILIAOh, fie upon thee, strumpet!EMILIAGo to hell, you whore!125BIANCAI am no strumpet, but of life as honestAs you that thus abuse me.BIANCAI’m no whore. I’m as moral as you are.EMILIAAs I! Fie upon thee!EMILIAAs moral as me! Damn you!130IAGOKind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dressed.—Come, mistress, you must tell ’s another tale.Emilia, run you to the citadelAnd tell my lord and lady what hath happed.—Will you go on afore?(aside)This is the nightThat either makes me or fordoes me quite.IAGOGentlemen, let’s go make sure Cassio’s woundsare properly dressed.—Come on, maam, youcan tell us another story. Emilia, go to the castleand tell Othello and Desdemona whathappened.—Will you please go now? (tohimself) This is the night that’ll either make me orbreak me.Exeunt They all exit.Act 5, Scene 2DESDEMONA asleep in bed Enter OTHELLO with alightDESDEMONA is asleep in bed. OTHELLOenterswith a candle.51015OTHELLOIt is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars,It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood,Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snowAnd smooth as monumental alabaster.Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.Put out the light, and then put out the light.If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,I can again thy former light restoreShould I repent me. But once put out thy light,Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature,I know not where is that Promethean heatThat can thy light relume. When I have plucked thyroseI cannot give it vital growth again,It must needs wither. I’ll smell thee on the tree.Oh, balmy breath, that dost almost persuadeJustice to break her sword! One more, one more.OTHELLOI have to do it, I have to do it. I have to keep myreason in mind. I won’t say out loud what myreason is, but I have to do it. But I won’t shed anyof her blood or scar that beautiful skin, whiterthan snow and smooth as the finest marble. Butshe’s got to die, or she’ll cheat on other men. Putout the light of the candle, and then put out thelight of her heart. If I extinguish the candle, I canlight it again if I regret it. But once I kill you, youbeautiful, fake woman, I do not know the magicthat could bring you back. When I’ve plucked thisrose, I can’t make it grow again; it will have nochoice but to wither and die. Let me smell youwhile you’re still on the tree. (he kisses her) Oh,that sweet breath almost convinces me not to killyou and carry out justice. One more, one morekiss. If you’re this beautiful when you’re dead, I’llkill you and then love you afterward. (kissing
  • 95. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -95-Original Text Modern Text20Be thus when thou art dead and I will kill theeAnd love thee after. (kissing her) One more, andthat’s the last.So sweet was neer so fatal. I must weep,But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly,It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.her) One more, and this is the last. Such a sweetkiss was never so deadly. I have to cry, but I haveto be cruel too. I’m acting like God in the OldTestament—I have to punish the one I love.She’s waking up.DESDEMONAWho’s there? Othello?DESDEMONAWho’s there? Othello?OTHELLOAy, Desdemona.OTHELLOYes, Desdemona.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 225DESDEMONAWill you come to bed, my lord?DESDEMONAWill you come to bed, my lord?OTHELLOHave you prayed tonight, Desdemon?OTHELLOHave you said your prayers tonight, Desdemona?DESDEMONAAy, my lord.DESDEMONAYes, my lord.30OTHELLOIf you bethink yourself of any crimeUnreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,Solicit for it straight.OTHELLOIf you can think of any crime you haven’tconfessed, then pray for forgiveness right away.DESDEMONAAlack, my lord, what do you mean by that?DESDEMONAOh, my lord, what do you mean by that?OTHELLOWell, do it, and be brief. I will walk by.I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit.No, heavens forfend, I would not kill thy soul!OTHELLOWell, hurry up and confess. Be quick about it. I’llwait over here. I don’t want to kill you beforeyou’ve readied your soul. No, I don’t want to sendyour soul to hell when I kill you.35DESDEMONATalk you of killing?DESDEMONAYou’re talking about killing?OTHELLOAy, I do.OTHELLOYes, I am.DESDEMONAThen heavenHave mercy on me!DESDEMONAThen heaven have mercy on me.OTHELLOAmen, with all my heart.OTHELLOAmen to that, from the bottom of my heart.DESDEMONAIf you say, I hope you will not kill me.DESDEMONAIf you really feel that way, then I hope you won’tkill me.OTHELLOHumh!OTHELLOHmmph!40DESDEMONAAnd yet I fear you, for you’re fatal thenWhen your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not,Since guiltiness I know not. But yet I feel I fear.DESDEMONAYou’re scaring me. You terrify me when you havethat look in your eyes. I don’t know why I shouldbe afraid, since I haven’t done anything wrong.But I’m still afraid.OTHELLOThink on thy sins.OTHELLOThink of your sins.
  • 96. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -96-Original Text Modern TextAct 5, Scene 2, Page 3DESDEMONAThey are loves I bear to you.DESDEMONAMy only sin was loving you too much.45OTHELLOAy, and for that thou diest.OTHELLOYes, that’s why you have to die.50DESDEMONAThat death’s unnatural that kills for loving.Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.These are portents, but yet I hope, I hopeThey do not point on me.DESDEMONAYou’re wrong to kill me for loving you. Why areyou chewing on your lower lip like that? You’reshaking with emotion. These are bad omens, butI hope, I hope, they don’t predict my future.OTHELLOPeace, and be still.OTHELLOQuiet. Stay still.DESDEMONAI will so. What’s the matter?DESDEMONAI will. What’s this all about?OTHELLOThat handkerchiefWhich I so loved and gave thee, thou gav’stTo Cassio.OTHELLOYou gave that handkerchief, the one I loved andgave to you, to Cassio.55DESDEMONANo, by my life and soul!Send for the man and ask him.DESDEMONANo, I swear by my life and soul! Bring him hereand ask him.OTHELLOSweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.Thou art on thy deathbed.OTHELLOMy sweet darling, don’t lie. You’re on yourdeathbed.DESDEMONAAy—but not yet to die!DESDEMONAI am? But I’m not dying yet!60OTHELLOPresently.Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin,For to deny each article with oathCannot remove nor choke the strong conceptionThat I do groan withal. Thou art to die.OTHELLOYes, right now. So confess your sin freely now.Even if you swear you’re innocent of everyaccusation, you won’t change my mind or removethe thought that’s tormenting me. You’re going todie.65DESDEMONAOh, heaven have mercy on me!DESDEMONAThen heaven have mercy on me!OTHELLOI say “amen.”OTHELLOAmen to that.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 4DESDEMONAAnd have you mercy too! I never didOffend you in my life, never loved CassioBut with such general warranty of heavenAs I might love. I never gave him token.DESDEMONAAnd you have mercy on me too! I never didanything wrong to you in my life. I never lovedCassio, except with the pure love that I feel forhumankind. I never gave him any token ofromantic love.70OTHELLOBy heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ’s hand.O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart,And mak’st me call what I intend to doA murder, which I thought a sacrifice!I saw the handkerchief.OTHELLOI saw him holding the handkerchief! You liar,you’re turning my heart to stone, and making mecall what I’ll do murder, when I had been thinkingof it as a sacrifice! I saw the handkerchief.
  • 97. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -97-Original Text Modern Text75DESDEMONAHe found it then,I never gave it him. Send for him hither,Let him confess a truth.DESDEMONAHe found it somewhere, then. I never gave it tohim. Tell him to come here. He’ll tell the truth.OTHELLOHe hath confessed.OTHELLOHe’s already done so.DESDEMONAWhat, my lord?DESDEMONAWhat, my lord?OTHELLOThat he hath usèd thee.OTHELLOThat he had sex with you.DESDEMONAHow? Unlawfully?DESDEMONAWhat? Had sex with me?OTHELLOAy.OTHELLOYes.80DESDEMONAHe will not say so.DESDEMONAHe wouldn’t say that.OTHELLONo, his mouth is stopped. Honest IagoHath taen order for ’t.OTHELLONo. He won’t say anything anymore. HonestIago’s arranged that.DESDEMONAOh! My fear interprets. What, is he dead?DESDEMONAOh, I’m scared. What, is he dead?85OTHELLOHad all his hairs been livesMy great revenge had stomach for them all.OTHELLOIf he had as many lives as he’s got hairs on hishead, I would’ve killed them all in revenge.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 5DESDEMONAAlas, he is betrayed and I undone.DESDEMONAOh, he’s been betrayed, and I’ve been ruined.OTHELLOOut, strumpet! weep’st thou for him to my face?OTHELLOWhat, you whore, are you crying for him right infront of me?DESDEMONAOh, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!DESDEMONASend me away, my lord, but don’t kill me!OTHELLODown, strumpet!OTHELLODown, whore!90DESDEMONAKill me tomorrow—let me live tonight!DESDEMONAKill me tomorrow—but let me live tonight.OTHELLONay, if you strive—OTHELLONo, if you struggle with me—DESDEMONABut half an hour!DESDEMONAJust half an hour!OTHELLOBeing done, there is no pause.OTHELLOWhile I’m doing this, I can’t pause for a moment.DESDEMONABut while I say one prayer!DESDEMONAJust let me say one prayer!95OTHELLOIt is too late. (he smothers her)OTHELLOIt’s too late. (he smothers her)EMILIA(within) My lord , my lord! What, ho! My lord, my lord!EMILIA(offstage) My lord, my lord! Hello! My lord, mylord!
  • 98. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -98-Original Text Modern Text100OTHELLOWhat noise is this?—Not dead? Not yet quite dead?I that am cruel am yet merciful,I would not have thee linger in thy pain.So, so.OTHELLOWhat’s that noise? Aren’t you dead yet? I knowI’m cruel, but I’m merciful too. I don’t want you tolinger in pain.EMILIA(within) What, ho! My lord, my lord!EMILIA(offstage) Hello! My lord, my lord!OTHELLOWho’s there?OTHELLOWho’s there?EMILIA(within) O good my lord, I would speak a word withyou!EMILIA(offstage) Oh my lord, I need to speak to you!Act 5, Scene 2, Page 6105110OTHELLOYes, ’tis Emilia.—(to EMILIA) By and by.—She’sdead.—Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death,The noise was high. Ha! No more moving?Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were ’t good?I think she stirs again—No. What’s best to do?If she come in, she’ll sure speak to my wife—My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife.Oh, insupportable! Oh, heavy hour!Methinks it should be now a huge eclipseOf sun and moon, and that th affrighted globeShould yawn at alteration.OTHELLOYes, it’s Emilia.(to EMILIA)—Just a minute!—She’s dead now.—Emilia’s probably come to tellme that Cassio’s been killed. The fight outsidewas loud. So! You’re not moving anymore? No,you’re as still as a grave. Should I let her in? Isthat a good idea? I think she’s moving again—No. What should I do? If she comes in, she’ll tryto speak to my wife. My wife, my wife! Whatwife? I don’t have a wife. Oh, this is unbearable!Oh, the horror! There should be a huge eclipse ofthe sun and the moon, now that Desdemona’s nolonger on this earth.115EMILIA(within)I do beseech youThat I may speak with you, O good my lord!EMILIA(offstage) Please, my lord. I need to speak withyou. Oh, my good lord!OTHELLOI had forgot thee—Oh, come in, Emilia.Soft, by and by. Let me the curtains draw.Where art thou?OTHELLOI’d forgotten about you—Emilia, wait a moment,let me draw the curtains. (closes the bedcurtains) Where are you? (unlocks the door)Unlocks the door. Enter EMILIA EMILIA enters.What’s the matter with thee now? What’s the matter with you now?EMILIAO my good lord, yonder’s foul murders done!EMILIAOh, my lord, terrible murders have beencommitted over there!120OTHELLOWhat, now?OTHELLOWhat? Just now?EMILIABut now, my lord.EMILIAYes, just now, my lord.OTHELLOIt is the very error of the moon,She comes more nearer earth than she was wontAnd makes men mad.OTHELLOIt’s because of the full moon. It comes too closeto the earth and drives men crazy.125EMILIACassio, my lord, hath killed a young VenetianCalled Roderigo.EMILIACassio’s killed a young Venetian namedRoderigo.
  • 99. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -99-Original Text Modern TextAct 5, Scene 2, Page 7OTHELLORoderigo killed? And Cassio killed!OTHELLORoderigo’s been killed? And Cassio’s killed?EMILIANo, Cassio is not killed.EMILIANo, Cassio wasn’t killed.OTHELLONot Cassio killed! Then murder’s out of tune,And sweet revenge grows harsh.OTHELLOCassio’s not dead? Then the wrong man is dead,and sweet revenge has gone wrong.130DESDEMONAOh, falsely, falsely murdered!DESDEMONAOh, I’ve been murdered unfairly!EMILIAAlas, what cry is that?EMILIAOh Lord, who’s that crying?OTHELLOThat? What?OTHELLOThat? What?EMILIAOut and alas, that was my lady’s voice.EMILIAOh, no, that was my lady’s voice.Opens the bedcurtains EMILIA opens the bedcurtains.135Help! Help, ho, help! O lady, speak again!Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!Help! Help! Oh, lady, speak again.Sweet Desdemona! Oh sweet mistress, speak!DESDEMONAA guiltless death I die.DESDEMONAI’m dying an innocent woman.EMILIAOh, who hath done this deed?EMILIAOh, who did this thing?DESDEMONANobody. I myself. Farewell.Commend me to my kind lord. Oh, farewell!DESDEMONANo one. I did it myself. Give my love to my kindhusband. Oh, goodbye!Dies DESDEMONA dies.OTHELLOWhy, how should she be murdered?OTHELLOWhy, how could she have been murdered?EMILIAAlas, who knows?EMILIAMy God, who knows?140OTHELLOYou heard her say herself it was not I.OTHELLOYou heard her say it wasn’t me.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 8EMILIAShe said so. I must needs report the truth.EMILIAYes, she said that. I must go report whathappened.OTHELLOShe’s like a liar gone to burning hell.Twas I that killed her.OTHELLOShe was lying even as she was going down tohell. I did kill her.145EMILIAOh, the more angel she,And you the blacker devil!EMILIAThen she was even more an angel, and you’rean even blacker devil!OTHELLOShe turned to folly, and she was a whore.OTHELLOShe cheated on me, and she was a whore.EMILIAThou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.EMILIAYou slander her, you devil.OTHELLO OTHELLO
  • 100. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -100-Original Text Modern TextShe was false as water. She was fickle and unfaithful, like water.EMILIAThou art rash as fire,To say that she was false. Oh, she was heavenlytrue!EMILIAYou’ve lost your mind to accuse her of cheating.She was utterly true to you!150OTHELLOCassio did top her, ask thy husband else.Oh, I were damned beneath all depth in hell,But that I did proceed upon just groundsTo this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.OTHELLOCassio had sex with her. Ask your husband ifyou doubt me. If I didn’t have a good reason todo this, damn me to the very bottom of hell. Yourhusband knew about everything.EMILIAMy husband!EMILIAMy husband!OTHELLOThy husband.OTHELLOYour husband.EMILIAThat she was false to wedlock?EMILIAHe said she was unfaithful?155OTHELLOAy, with Cassio. Had she been true,If heaven would make me such another worldOf one entire and perfect chrysolite,I’d not have sold her for it.OTHELLOYes, with Cassio. If she’d been faithful to me, Inever would have given her up, not even if Godhimself offered me a jewel as big as a planet inexchange for her.EMILIAMy husband?EMILIAMy husband.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 9160OTHELLOAy, ’twas he that told me on her first.An honest man he is, and hates the slimeThat sticks on filthy deeds.OTHELLOYes, he’s the one who first told me about her.He’s an honest man who detests evil actions.EMILIAMy husband!EMILIAMy husband?OTHELLOWhat needs this iterance, woman? I say thyhusband.OTHELLOWhy do you keep repeating that, woman? I’mtelling you, your husband.EMILIAO mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love!My husband say that she was false!EMILIAOh, my mistress, a villain has made a mockery ofyour love! My husband said she was unfaithful!165OTHELLOHe, woman.I say “thy husband”—dost understand the word?My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.OTHELLOYes, him, woman. I said “your husband.”—Doyou understand that word? My friend, yourhusband, the honest, honest Iago.EMILIAIf he say so, may his pernicious soulRot half a grain a day! He lies to th heart.She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.EMILIAIf he said that, then I hope his malicious soul rotsin hell forever. He’s lying through his teeth! Shewas too attached to her filthy marriage ever to doa thing like that!OTHELLO draws his sword OTHELLO draws his sword.170OTHELLOHa!OTHELLOHa!EMILIADo thy worst.EMILIAGo ahead, do your worst. Killing me won’t send
  • 101. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -101-Original Text Modern TextThis deed of thine is no more worthy heavenThan thou wast worthy her.you to heaven. You weren’t good enough for her.OTHELLOPeace, you were best.OTHELLOYou’d better shut up!175EMILIAThou hast not half that power to do me harmAs I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt!As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed—I care not for thy sword, I’ll make thee knownEMILIAI can endure far more pain than you could evergive me! Oh, you idiot! You stupid fool! As dumbas dirt! You’ve committed a terrible evil—I’m notafraid of your sword. I’ll tell everyone what youdid, even if itAct 5, Scene 2, Page 10Though I lost twenty lives.—Help! Help, ho! Help!The Moor hath killed my mistress! Murder, murder!costs me my life twenty times over.—Help, help,help! The Moor’s killed my mistress! Murder,murder!Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, and IAGO MONTANO, GRATIANO, and IAGO enter.180MONTANOWhat is the matter? How now, general?MONTANOWhat’s the matter? What’s going on here,general?EMILIAOh, are you come, Iago? You have done well,That men must lay their murders on your neck.EMILIAOh, are you here, Iago? You’ve done a good job,that other men can attribute their murders to you!GRATIANOWhat is the matter?GRATIANOWhat’s the matter?185EMILIA(to IAGO) Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man.He says thou told’st him that his wife was false.I know thou didst not, thourt not such a villain.Speak, for my heart is full.EMILIA(to IAGO) Tell this villain he’s wrong, if you’reman enough. He says you told him his wifecheated on him. I know you didn’t. You’re notthat much of a villain. Speak, because I’m tooemotional to say any more.IAGOI told him what I thought, and told no moreThan what he found himself was apt and true.IAGOI told him what I thought. I didn’t tell him anythingthat didn’t make sense or ring true to him.190EMILIABut did you ever tell him she was false?EMILIABut did you tell him she cheated on him?IAGOI did.IAGOI did.EMILIAYou told a lie, an odious, damnèd lie.Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.She false with Cassio! Did you say with Cassio?EMILIAThen you told a lie, a sick, wicked lie. I swear onmy soul it was a lie. You said she slept withCassio. Did you say Cassio?195IAGOWith Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue.IAGOYes, with Cassio. Now be quiet.EMILIAI will not charm my tongue, I am bound to speak.My mistress here lies murdered in her bed—EMILIAI will not be quiet! I have to speak. My mistresshere lies murdered in her bed—ALLOh, heavens forfend!ALLNo, heaven forbid!Act 5, Scene 2, Page 11
  • 102. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -102-Original Text Modern TextEMILIAAnd your reports have set the murder on.EMILIAAnd your lies caused this murder.200OTHELLONay, stare not, masters, it is true, indeed.OTHELLODon’t stand there gaping, everyone. It’s true.GRATIANOTis a strange truth.GRATIANOIt may be true, but it’s unbelievable.MONTANOOh, monstrous act!MONTANOOh, what a horrible deed!205EMILIAVillainy, villainy, villainy!I think upon ’t, I think I smell ’t, Oh, villainy!I thought so then, I’ll kill myself for grief.Oh, villainy, villainy!EMILIAEvil, evil, evil! I can smell it! I suspected it earlier.I’ll kill myself out of grief! Oh, evil, evil!IAGOWhat, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.IAGOAre you crazy? I’m ordering you, go home.EMILIAGood gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.Tis proper I obey him, but not now.Perchance, Iago, I will neer go home.EMILIAGood gentlemen, give me permission to speak. Iknow I ought to obey my husband, but not now.Maybe I’ll never go home again, Iago!210OTHELLOOh! Oh! Oh!OTHELLOOh! Oh! Oh!EMILIANay, lay thee down and roar,For thou hast killed the sweetest innocentThat eer did lift up eye.EMILIAYes, go ahead and moan, because you killed thesweetest, most innocent woman who ever lived!215OTHELLOOh, she was foul!—I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newlystopped.I know this act shows horrible and grim.OTHELLOShe was filthy! I barely knew you, UncleGratiano.Here’s your niece lying here dead. I killed herwith these hands. I know this looks horrible.GRATIANOPoor Desdemon! I am glad thy father’s dead,Thy match was mortal to him, and pure griefShore his old thread in twain. Did he live now,GRATIANOPoor Desdemona! I’m glad your father isn’t aliveto see this. Your marriage made him die of griefbefore his time. If he was alive now, this sightwould hurtAct 5, Scene 2, Page 12220This sight would make him do a desperate turn,Yea, curse his better angel from his sideAnd fall to reprobation.him terribly. It would make him curse theheavens and be damned to hell.225OTHELLOTis pitiful, but yet Iago knowsThat she with Cassio hath the act of shameA thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it,And she did gratify his amorous worksWith that recognizance and pledge of loveWhich I first gave her. I saw it in his hand,It was a handkerchief, an antique tokenMy father gave my mother.OTHELLOIt’s sad, but Iago knows she had sex with Cassioa thousand times. Cassio confessed it, and shepledged her love to him by giving him thehandkerchief I’d given her. I saw it in his hand.It was an old memento that my father gave to mymother.EMILIA EMILIA
  • 103. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -103-Original Text Modern TextOh, heaven! Oh, heavenly powers! Oh, God! Dear God in heaven!230IAGOZounds, hold your peace.IAGODamn it, shut your mouth.EMILIATwill out, ’twill out.—I peace?No, I will speak as liberal as the north.Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,All, all cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.EMILIANo, the truth will come out—Me, shut my mouth?Let heaven and men and devils tell me to shutme up. I’ll say what I have to say.235IAGOBe wise, and get you home.IAGOIf you’re smart, you’ll go home.Draws his sword IAGO draws his sword.EMILIAI will not.EMILIAI won’t.GRATIANOFie! Your sword upon a woman?GRATIANOShame on you! Drawing your sword on awoman?240EMILIAO thou dull Moor! That handkerchief thou speak’st ofI found by fortune and did give my husband.For often, with a solemn earnestness—More than indeed belonged to such a trifle—He begged of me to steal it.EMILIAOh, you stupid Moor! I found that handkerchiefby accident and gave it to my husband. He’dbegged me to steal it many times.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 13IAGOVillainous whore!IAGOYou evil whore!EMILIAShe give it Cassio? No, alas, I found itAnd I did give ’t my husband.EMILIAYou think she gave it to Cassio? No, I found itand gave it to my husband.IAGOFilth, thou liest!IAGOYou piece of filth, you’re lying!245EMILIABy heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.—(to OTHELLO)O murderous coxcomb! What should such a foolDo with so good a wife?EMILIAI swear I’m not lying. (to OTHELLO) Oh, youmurderous fool! How did you ever get such agood wife?OTHELLOAre there no stones in heavenBut what serve for the thunder?—Precious villain!OTHELLOWon’t heaven strike this Iago dead? Youabsolute villain!He runs at IAGO IAGO stabs EMILIA OTHELLO runs at IAGO. IAGO stabs EMILIA.250GRATIANOThe woman falls! Sure he hath killed his wife.GRATIANOThe woman’s falling down! He’s killed his wife!EMILIAAy, ay. Oh, lay me by my mistress side.EMILIAYes, yes! Lay me next to my mistress.Exit IAGO IAGO exits.GRATIANOHe’s gone, but his wife’s killed.GRATIANOHe’s gone, and his wife’s dead.MONTANOTis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,Which I have recovered from the Moor.MONTANOHe’s a wicked, horrible criminal. Take the Moor’ssword and guard the door from the outside. Kill
  • 104. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -104-Original Text Modern Text255 Come, guard the door without. Let him not pass,But kill him rather. I’ll after that same villain,For ’tis a damnèd slave.him rather than let him leave this room. I’m goingafter Iago. He’s a horrid criminal.Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO MONTANO and GRATIANO exit.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 14260OTHELLOI am not valiant neither,But ever puny whipster gets my sword.But why should honor outlive honesty?Let it go all.OTHELLOI’m not that strong, if a puny nobody can grab mysword. But why should my reputation for honorlast longer than my honor did? Let it all go.265EMILIAWhat did thy song bode, lady?Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.And die in music.(singing) Willow, willow, willow—Moor, she was chaste, she loved thee, cruel Moor.So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true.So speaking as I think, alas, I die.EMILIAWhat did your song mean, lady? Can you hearme? I’ll die like a swan. They sing when they die.(singing) Willow, willow, willow.—Moor, she never cheated on you. She loved you,you cruel man. I swear on my soul I’m telling thetruth, and as I say this, I die.Dies EMILIA dies.OTHELLOI have another weapon in this chamber,It was a sword of Spain, the ice-brook’s temper.Oh, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.OTHELLOI’ve got another weapon in the room. It’s aSpanish sword, hardened in ice cold water andrazor sharp. Here it is. Uncle, I’m coming out!270GRATIANO(within) If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear.Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.GRATIANO(offstage) If you try that, you’ll pay for it. You’vegot no weapon, so you’ll have to suffer.OTHELLOLook in upon me then and speak with me,Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.OTHELLOLook in on me, and talk with me, or I’ll attackeven without a weapon.Enter GRATIANO GRATIANO enters.GRATIANOWhat is the matter?GRATIANOWhat’s the matter?275OTHELLOBehold, I have a weapon.A better never did itself sustainUpon a soldier’s thigh. I have seen the dayOTHELLOLook, I have a weapon, the best sword a soldiercould have. I’ve fought my way throughobstacles twenty times more terrifying than youwith this weapon. ButAct 5, Scene 2, Page 15280285That with this little arm and this good swordI have made my way through more impedimentsThan twenty times your stop. But, oh, vain boast!Who can control his fate? ’tis not so now.Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed.Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt,And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.Do you go back dismayed? ’tis a lost fear.Man but a rush against Othello’s breast,And he retires. Where should Othello go?—Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench,who can control his fate? I’m not like that now.Don’t be afraid, even though you see me with aweapon. This is the end of my journey, the endof my life. Are you backing away in fear? There’sno reason to be afraid. You could tap me with afeather and I’d back away. Where would Othellogo?—Oh, look at you! Such cruel luck! You’re aspale as your nightgown! When we meet onJudgment Day, that look of yours will send mefrom heaven to hell, where devils will grab me.You’re cold, cold, and you were never hot with
  • 105. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -105-Original Text Modern Text290295Pale as thy smock! When we shall meet at comptThis look of thine will hurl my soul from heavenAnd fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl,Even like thy chastity. O cursed, cursed slave!Whip me, ye devils,From the possession of this heavenly sight!Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulfur,Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!—Oh, Desdemona! Desdemona! dead! Oh! Oh!lust. Oh you damned villain! Whip me, youdevils, so I don’t have to look at this heavenlysight! Blow on me with hot winds, roast me inlava, drown me in liquid fire! Oh, Desdemona!Dead Desdemona! Oh, oh!Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, CASSIO carried in achair, and officers with IAGO, prisonerLODOVICO and MONTANO enter, followedbyCASSIO on a stretcher, and officerswith IAGO, prisoner.LODOVICOWhere is this rash and most unfortunate man?LODOVICOWhere is that poor rash man?OTHELLOThat’s he that was Othello. Here I am.OTHELLOYou mean the man who used to be Othello?Here I am.LODOVICOWhere is that viper? Bring the villain forth.LODOVICOWhere’s that snake? Bring the villain forward.IAGO is brought forward IAGO is brought forward.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 16300OTHELLOI look down towards his feet, but that’s a fable.If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.OTHELLOI’m looking to see if you have cloven hooves likethe devil. But that’s just a fairy tale. If you are adevil, I won’t be able to kill you.Stabs IAGO OTHELLO stabs IAGO.LODOVICOWrench his sword from him.LODOVICOTake his sword away from him.They take OTHELLO ’s sword They take OTHELLO ’s sword away.IAGOI bleed, sir, but not killed.IAGOI’m bleeding, but you didn’t kill me.OTHELLOI am not sorry neither. I’d have thee live,For in my sense ’tis happiness to die.OTHELLOI’m not sorry, either. I want you to live, since tome, death is happiness.305LODOVICOO thou Othello, thou was once so good,Falln in the practice of a cursèd slave,What shall be said to thee?LODOVICOOh Othello, you were once so good, then youwere tricked by this villain. What can I say toyou?OTHELLOWhy, anything.An honorable murderer, if you will,For naught I did in hate, but all in honor.OTHELLOSay anything. Call me an honorable murderer ifyou like. I did nothing out of hate, only out ofhonor.310LODOVICOThis wretch hath part confessed his villainy.Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?LODOVICOThis poor guy’s partly confessed his plan. Didyou plan Cassio’s death with him?OTHELLOAy.OTHELLOYes.CASSIODear general, I never gave you cause.CASSIODear general, I never gave you any reason tohate me.
  • 106. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -106-Original Text Modern Text315OTHELLOI do believe it, and I ask your pardon.Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devilWhy he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?OTHELLOI believe you, and I ask you to forgive me. Willyou please make this half-devil say why hetricked me and damned my soul?Act 5, Scene 2, Page 17IAGODemand me nothing. What you know, you know.From this time forth I never will speak word.IAGODon’t ask me anything. You know what youknow. From this moment on, I’ll never sayanother word.LODOVICOWhat, not to pray?LODOVICOWhat, not even to pray?GRATIANOTorments will ope your lips.GRATIANOTorture will make you talk.320OTHELLOWell, thou dost best.OTHELLOWell, do your best.325LODOVICOSir, you shall understand what hath befalln,Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letterFound in the pocket of the slain Roderigo,And here another. The one of them importsThe death of Cassio to be undertookBy Roderigo.LODOVICOSir, you’ll understand everything that hashappened. I don’t think you know now. Here is aletter we found in Roderigo’s pocket. And here’sanother. This one talks about how Roderigoshould kill Cassio.OTHELLOOh, villain!OTHELLOOh, you villain!CASSIOMost heathenish and most gross!CASSIOUngodly and monstrous!330LODOVICONow here’s another discontented paperFound in his pocket too, and this, it seems,Roderigo meant to have sent this damnèd villainBut that, belike, Iago in the interimCame in and satisfied him.LODOVICOHere’s another letter from his pocket, addressedto Iago and full of complaints. We think he wasgoing to send it to Iago, but then Iago stepped inand answered his complaints by killing him.335OTHELLOO thou pernicious caitiff!How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchiefThat was my wife’s?OTHELLOOh, you wicked scoundrel! Cassio, how did youget my wife’s handkerchief?CASSIOI found it in my chamber,And he himself confessed but even nowThat there he dropped it for a special purposeWhich wrought to his desire.CASSIOI found it in my room, and Iago just confessedthat he put it there for his own purposes.Act 5, Scene 2, Page 18OTHELLOO fool! fool! fool!OTHELLOOh, what a fool I am!340CASSIOThere is besides in Roderigo’s letterHow he upbraids Iago, that he made himBrave me upon the watch, whereon it cameThat I was cast. And even but now he spake,CASSIOAlso, in his letter to Iago, Roderigo criticizes Iagofor telling him to get me angry while I was onguard duty, and get me demoted. And just nowhe admitted it, even though he’d seemed to be
  • 107. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -107-Original Text Modern Text345After long seeming dead—Iago hurt him,Iago set him on.dead for a long while—Iago tricked him, Iagourged him to do it.350LODOVICO(to OTHELLO) You must forsake this room and gowith us.Your power and your command is taken offAnd Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,If there be any cunning crueltyThat can torment him much and hold him long,It shall be his. You shall close prisoner restTill that the nature of your fault be knownTo the Venetian state.—Come, bring him away.LODOVICO(to OTHELLO)You’ll have to leave this room and come with us.You’re stripped of your power and yourcommand, and Cassio will govern Cyprus. As forthis slave, Iago, if we can think of any torture thatwill hurt him a lot but keep him alive a long time,he’ll have it. You’ll remain a prisoner until webring your crimes to the Venetian government.—Okay, take him away.355360365OTHELLOSoft you, a word or two before you go.I have done the state some service, and theyknow ’t.No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speakOf one that loved not wisely, but too well.Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand,Like the base Indian, threw a pearl awayRicher than all his tribe. Of one whose subduedeyes,Albeit unused to the melting mood,Drop tears as fast as the Arabian treesTheir medicinal gum. Set you down this,OTHELLOWait. A word or two before you go. I’ve given thestate of Venice a bit of help in the past, and theyknow it. But enough about that. When you recordthese sad events in your letters, please describeme exactly as I am. Don’t tone things down orexaggerate them out of hostility. If you’re beingfair, you’ll have to describe me as someone wholoved too much, but who wasn’t wise about it. Iwas not easily made jealous, but once I wastricked and manipulated, I worked myself into afrenzy. Describe me as a fool who threw away aprecious pearl with his own hands, like a sillyIndian who didn’t know what it was worth. Assomeone who was not emotional, but who thencried a lot. Write all thisAct 5, Scene 2, Page 19370And say besides that in Aleppo once,Where a malignant and a turbaned TurkBeat a Venetian and traduced the state,I took by the throat the circumcisèd dog,And smote him, thus.down, and then say also that in Aleppo I oncesaw a Turk beating a Venetian, so I grabbed theTurk by the throat and hit him like this.Stabs himself OTHELLO stabs himself.LODOVICOOh, bloody period!LODOVICOOh, what a bloody end to all this!GRATIANOAll that is spoke is marred.GRATIANOEverything we’ve heard is bad.375OTHELLO(to DESDEMONA)I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this,Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.OTHELLO(to DESDEMONA) I kissed you before I killedyou. Now, killing myself, I’m dying while I kissyou again.Kisses DESDEMONA, dies OTHELLO kisses DESDEMONA and dies.CASSIOThis did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,For he was great of heart.CASSIOI was afraid this would happen, because he wasa noble, brave man, but I didn’t think he had aweapon.380LODOVICO(to IAGO)LODOVICO(to IAGO) You bloodthirsty dog, you’re crueler
  • 108. No Fear Shakespeare – Othello (by SparkNotes, transcription by Alex Woelffer) -108-Original Text Modern Text385390O Spartan dog,More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,Look on the tragic loading of this bed.This is thy work. The object poisons sight,Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the houseAnd seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,For they succeed on you.—To you, lord governor,Remains the censure of this hellish villain:The time, the place, the torture. Oh, enforce it!Myself will straight aboard, and to the stateThis heavy act with heavy heart relate.than sadness or hunger, crueler than the sea.Look at these dead people on this bed. You didall this. He makes me sick. Take him away.Gratiano, take care of the house, and take theMoor’s property. You’ve inherited everything.—(to CASSIO) Governor, I leave it in your hands topunish this evil villain: just decide the time, theplace and the means of torture. And then carry itout! I have to go back to Venice, and tell themabout these sad events.Exeunt They all exit.