Othello: Act 1, Scene 2


           Enter OTHELLO, IAGO,
           ATTENDANTS with torches.



      IAGO
1. trade: i.e., actual business.
  1   Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
2. stuff: material, substance.
  2   Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience
3. contrived: premeditated.
  3   To do no contrived murder: I lack iniquity
  4   Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times
5. yerk'd: stabbed.
  5   I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.

      OTHELLO
  6   'Tis better as it is.

      IAGO
  6                       Nay, but he prated,
  7   And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
  8   Against your honor
  9   That, with the little godliness I have,
10. did full hard forbear him: had a hard time keeping my hands off him.
 10   I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray you, sir,
 11   Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
12. magnifico: Venetian grandee, i.e., Brabantio.
 12   That the magnifico is much beloved,
13. in his effect: at his command. potential: powerful.
 13   And hath in his effect a voice potential
14. double: of double strength (like the Duke's voting power in the Senate).
 14   As double as the duke's: he will divorce you;
 15   Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
 16   The law, with all his might to enforce it on,
17. cable: scope (cf. "give one rope enough").
 17   Will give him cable.

      OTHELLO
 17                      Let him do his spite:
18. signiory: Venetian government.
 18   My services which I have done the signiory
19. yet to know: not yet public knowledge.
 19   Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,—
 20   Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
21. promulgate: make publicly known.
 21   I shall promulgate—I fetch my life and being
22. siege: seat, i.e., rank. demerits: deserts, merits.
 22   From men of royal siege, and my demerits
23. unbonneted: bare-headed; i.e., "in all due modesty."
 23   May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
 24   As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago,
 25   But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
26. unhoused: unconfined, undomesticated.
 26   I would not my unhoused free condition
 27   Put into circumscription and confine
28. the sea's worth: all the treasure in the sea.
 28   For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?

      IAGO
 29   Those are the raised father and his friends:
 30   You were best go in.

      OTHELLO
 30                      Not I; I must be found:
31. parts: qualities, personal merits. title: position. perfect soul: clear conscience, conviction that I have done no wrong.
 31   My parts, my title and my perfect soul
 32   Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?

      IAGO
33. Janus: In Roman mythology, Janus is the two-faced god of doorways, gates, beginnings, and endings. In short, he is the god of reversals. In this situation, Iago's expectations have been reversed; he expected a group of Othello's enemies to show up, but instead a group of Othello's friends arrive. Also, Iago himself is two-faced, so it is appropriate for him to swear by Janus.
 33   By Janus, I think no.

           Enter CASSIO with [OFFICERS and] torches.

      OTHELLO
 34   The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant.
 35   The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
 36   What is the news?

      CASSIO
 36                    The duke does greet you, general,
 37   And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
 38   Even on the instant.

      OTHELLO
38. matter: business.
 38                      What is the matter, think you?

      CASSIO
 39   Something from Cyprus as I may divine:
 40   It is a business of some heat: the galleys
41. sequent: successive, one after another.
 41   Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
 42   This very night at one another's heels,
43. consuls: senators.
 43   And many of the consuls, raised and met,
 44   Are at the duke's already: you have been hotly call'd for;
 45   When, being not at your lodging to be found,
46. several: separate.
 46   The senate hath sent about three several quests
 47   To search you out.

      OTHELLO
 47                    'Tis well I am found by you.
 48   I will but spend a word here in the house,
 49   And go with you.

           [Exit.]

      CASSIO
49. what makes he here?: what is he doing here?
 49                  Ancient, what makes he here?

      IAGO
50. carack: large trading ship.
 50   'Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carack:
51. prize: booty.
 51   If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.

      CASSIO
 52   I do not understand.

      IAGO
 52                      He's married.

      CASSIO
 52                                  To who?

           [Re-enter OTHELLO.]

      IAGO
53. Marry: indeed.
 53   Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?

      OTHELLO
53. Have with you: a formula equivalent to "yes, let's go."
 53                           Have with you.

      CASSIO
 54   Here comes another troop to seek for you.



           Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO,
           with OFFICERS [with] torches [and
           weapons.]

      IAGO
55. advised: on your guard.
 55   It is Brabantio. General, be advised;
 56   He comes to bad intent.

      OTHELLO
 56                         Holla! stand there!

      RODERIGO
 57   Signior, it is the Moor.

      BRABANTIO
 57                       Down with him, thief!

           [They draw on both sides.]

      IAGO
 58   You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.

      OTHELLO
59. Keep up: i.e., sheathe.
 59   Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.
 60   Good signior, you shall more command with years
 61   Than with your weapons.

      BRABANTIO
 62   O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter?
63. enchanted: bewitched, cast a spell upon.
 63   Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
64. refer me to all things of sense: i.e., submit my case to the court of ordinary common sense.
 64   For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
 65   If she in chains of magic were not bound,
 66   Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
 67   So opposite to marriage that she shunned
 68   The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
 69   Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
70. guardage: guardianship.
 70   Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
71. fear: frighten.
 71   Of such a thing as thou — to fear, not to delight!
72. gross in sense: obvious to perception (synonymous with "palpable to thinking" in line 76). 73. practised on her with foul charms: abused her by means of black magic.
 72   Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
 73   That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,
 74   Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
75. motion: vital faculties, the mental powers. I'll have't disputed on: I'll submit it to experts for judgment.
 75   That weaken motion: I'll have't disputed on;
 76   'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
77. attach: arrest.
 77   I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
 78   For an abuser of the world, a practiser
79. inhibited: prohibited. out of warrant: unwarrantable, illegal.
 79   Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
 80   Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
 81   Subdue him at his peril.

      OTHELLO
 81                          Hold your hands,
82. inclining: following, party.
 82   Both you of my inclining, and the rest:
 83   Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
 84   Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
 85   To answer this your charge?

      BRABANTIO
 85                             To prison, till fit time
86. course of direct session: regular legal proceedings.
 86   Of law and course of direct session
 87   Call thee to answer.

      OTHELLO
 87                      What if I do obey?
 88   How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
 89   Whose messengers are here about my side,
 90   Upon some present business of the state
 91   To bring me to him?

      Officer
 91                    'Tis true, most worthy signior;
 92   The duke's in council and your noble self,
 93   I am sure, is sent for.

      BRABANTIO
 93                         How! the duke in council!
94. Bring him away: i.e., bring Othello along with us to the Senate. —Brabantio is speaking as though Othello is in his custody, though we can clearly see that that is not the case.
 94   In this time of the night! Bring him away:
 95   Mine's not an idle cause: the duke himself,
 96   Or any of my brothers of the state,
 97   Cannot but feel this wrong as 'twere their own;
 98   For if such actions may have passage free,
 99   Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.

           Exeunt.