Othello: Act 4, Scene 1
Enter OTHELLO and IAGO.
1Will you think so?
1Think so, Iago!
2To kiss in private?
2An unauthorized kiss.
3Or to be naked with her friend in bed
4An hour or more, not meaning any harm?
5Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!
6It is hypocrisy against the devil:
7They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
8The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.
9So they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip;
10But if I give my wife a handkerchief
12Why, then, 'tis hers, my lord; and, being hers,
13She may, I think, bestow't on any man.
14She is protectress of her honor too:
15May she give that?
16Her honor is an essence that's not seen;
17. They have it very oft that have it not: i.e., often individuals enjoy a reputation for honor who have it not.
17They have it very oft that have it not:
18But, for the handkerchief
19By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.
20Thou said'st (O, it comes o'er my memory,
21. raven o'er the infected house: allusion to the belief that the raven hovered over a house of sickness or infection, such as one visited by the plague.
21As doth the raven o'er the infected house,
22Boding to all) he had my handkerchief.
23Ay, what of that?
23That's not so good now.
24If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
25. abroad: around or about.
25Or heard him say as knaves be such abroad,
26Who having, by their own importunate suit,
27Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,
28. Convinced or supplied them: Seduced or satisfied them.
28Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
29But they must blab
29Hath he said any thing?
30He hath, my lord; but be you well assured,
31No more than he'll unswear.
31What hath he said?
32Faith, that he didI know not what he did.
34With her, on her; what you will.
35Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when
36they belie her. Lie with her! that's fulsome.
38confess, and be hanged for his labor;first, to be
39hanged, and then to confess.I tremble at it.
40-41. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing / passion without some instruction: i.e., It is not natural that I would feel such overwhelming (shadowing) emotion (jealousy) without some foundation in fact. instruction: prompting, cause.
40Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
41passion without some instruction. It is not words
42that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
43Is't possible?Confesshandkerchief!O devil!
Falls in a trance.
45My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught;
46And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
47All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho! my lord!
48My lord, I say! Othello!
48How now, Cassio!
49What's the matter?
50My lord is fall'n into an epilepsy.
51This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.
52Rub him about the temples.
53. lethargy must have his: coma must have its.
53The lethargy must have his quiet course:
54If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
55Breaks out to savage madness. Look he stirs:
56Do you withdraw yourself a little while,
57He will recover straight: when he is gone,
58I would on great occasion speak with you.
59. hurt your head: Othello takes this as alluding to a cuckold's horns.
59How is it, general? Have you not hurt your head?
60Dost thou mock me?
60I mock you not, by heaven.
61Would you would bear your fortune like a man!
62A horned man's a monster and a beast.
63There's many a beast then in a populous city,
64. civil: i.e., among the citizenry, city-dwelling.
64And many a civil monster.
65Did he confess it?
65Good sir, be a man;
66. yoked: married.
66Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
67. draw with you: pull you like yoked oxen who i.e., share your fate as cuckold. 68. unproper beds / Which they dare swear peculiar: not exclusively their own beds which they dare to swear private. your case is better: i.e., because you know the truth. 71. lip: kiss. secure: unsuspected.
67May draw with you. There's millions now alive
68That nightly lie in those unproper beds
69Which they dare swear peculiar: your case is better.
70O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
71To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
72And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
73And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
74O, thou art wise; 'tis certain.
74Stand you awhile apart;
75. in a patient list: within the bounds of patience (manly self control).
75Confine yourself but in a patient list.
76Whilst you were here o'erwhelmed with your grief
77A passion most unsuiting such a man
78Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,
79. ecstasy: trance.
79And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy,
80Bade him anon return and here speak with me;
81. encave: conceal.
81The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
82. fleers: sneers. notable scorns: obvious instances of disrespect.
82And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
83That dwell in every region of his face,
84For I will make him tell the tale anew:
85Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
86. cope: copulate with.
86He hath, and is again to cope your wife.
87I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
88. all in all in spleen: utterly governed by passionate impulses.
88Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,
89And nothing of a man.
89Dost thou hear, Iago?
90I will be found most cunning in my patience;
91Butdost thou hear?most bloody.
91That's not amiss;
92But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
93Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
94. huswife: hussy.
94A huswife that by selling her desires
95Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature
96That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague
97To beguile many and be beguiled by one:
98He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
99From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:
100As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
101. unbookish: uninstructed; ignorant. construe: interpret.
101And his unbookish jealousy must construe
102Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures and light behavior,
103Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?
104. addition: the title of lieutenant makes Cassio feel worser because he is no longer a lieutenant.
104The worser that you give me the addition
105Whose want even kills me.
106Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't.
107Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
108How quickly should you speed!
108. caitiff: wretch.
108Alas, poor caitiff!
109Look, how he laughs already!
110I never knew woman love man so.
111Alas, poor rogue! I think, i' faith, she loves me.
112. faintly: not very earnestly.
112Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.
113Do you hear, Cassio?
113Now he importunes him
114To tell it o'er: go to; well said, well said.
115She gives it out that you shall marry hey:
116Do you intend it?
117Ha, ha, ha!
118. Roman: the Romans were noted for their triumphs or triumphal processions.
118Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?
119. customer: prostitute.
119I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee,
120bear some charity to my wit: do not think
121. unwholesome: unsound.
121it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!
122. they laugh that win: i.e., they that laugh last laugh best.
122So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.
123Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.
124Prithee, say true.
125I am a very villain else.
126. scor'd: scored off, beaten.
126Have you scor'd me? Well.
127. the monkey's own giving out: i.e., Bianca's own story.
127This is the monkey's own giving out. She is
128-129. her own / love and flattery: her self-love and self-satisfaction.
128persuaded I will marry her, out of her own
129love and flattery, not out of my promise.
130. beckons: signals.
130Iago beckons me; now he begins the
132She was here even now; she haunts me in
133every place. I was the other day talking on
134the sea-bank with certain Venetians; and
135. bauble: plaything; toy.
135thither comes the bauble, and, by this hand,
136she falls me thus about my neck
137Crying "O dear Cassio!" as it were: his gesture
139So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales,
140and pulls me: ha, ha, ha!
141Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber.
142O, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall
143throw it to.
144Well, I must leave her company.
145. Before me: i.e., on my soul.
145Before me! look, where she comes.
146. fitchew: polecat (thought to be very lecherous as well as strong smelling); also a slang word for prostitute.
146'Tis such another fitchew! marry, a perfumed one.
147What do you mean by this haunting of me?
148Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
149mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even
150now? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
151work?A likely piece of work, that you should
152find it in your chamber, and not know who left it
153there! This is some minx's token, and I must take
154. hobby-horse: harlot; woman of easy virtue.
154out the work? There; give it your hobby-horse:
155wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.
156How now, my sweet Bianca! how now! how
158By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!
159. An: If.
159An you'll come to supper tonight, you may;
160an you will not, come when you are next
162After her, after her.
163Faith, I must; she'll rail in the street else.
164Will you sup there?
165Faith, I intend so.
166Well, I may chance to see you; for I would
167very fain speak with you.
168Prithee, come; will you?
169Go to; say no more.
170How shall I murder him, Iago?
171Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?
173And did you see the handkerchief?
174Was that mine?
175Yours by this hand: and to see how he prizes the
176foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he
177hath given it his whore.
178I would have him nine years a-killing.
179A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!
180Nay, you must forget that.
181Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned tonight;
182for she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to
183stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
184world hath not a sweeter creature! she might lie by
185an emperor's side and command him tasks.
186. your way: your proper course, the direction your mind should take; i.e., the way you should think of her.
186Nay, that's not your way.
187Hang her! I do but say what she is. So delicate
188with her needle: an admirable musician! O, she
189will sing the savageness out of a bear. Of so high
190and plenteous wit and invention!
191She's the worse for all this.
192-193. of so gentle a condition: so nobly born and bred.
192O, a thousand thousand times: and then, of so
193gentle a condition!
194. gentle: i.e., generous with her favors.
194Ay, too gentle.
195Nay, that's certain. But yet the pity of it, Iago!
196O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
197. fond: dotingly foolish.
197If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her
198. patent: license.
198patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes
200. messes: portions of food. i.e., little pieces.
200I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!
201O, 'tis foul in her.
202With mine officer!
204Get me some poison, Iago; this night. I'll not
205. body and beauty: physical beauty.
205expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty
206unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago.
207Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed,
208even the bed she hath contaminated.
209Good, good: the justice of it pleases: very
211. be his undertaker: undertake to dispatch him.
211And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker: you
212shall hear more by midnight.
[A trumpet within.]
213What trumpet is that same?
214I warrant something from Venice.
Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA,
215This comes from the Duke. See, your wife's with him.
216God save you, worthy general!
216. With all my heart: i.e., I heartily thank you.
216With all my heart, sir.
217The duke and senators of Venice greet you.
[Gives him a letter.]
218I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.
[Opens the letter, and reads.]
219And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico?
220I am very glad to see you, signior
221Welcome to Cyprus.
222I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?
224Cousin, there's fall'n between him and my lord
225An unkind breach; but you shall make all well.
226Are you sure of that?
228"This fail you not to do, as you
230He did not call; he's busy in the paper.
231Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio?
232A most unhappy one. I would do much
233. atone: reconcile.
233To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
234Fire and brimstone!
234Are you wise?
235What, is he angry?
235May be the letter moved him;
236For, as I think, they do command him home,
237. government: office.
237Deputing Cassio in his government.
238By my troth, I am glad on't.
239I am glad to see you mad.
239Why, sweet Othello,
OTHELLO [Striking her.]
241I have not deserved this.
242My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
243Though I should swear I saw't: 'tis very much:
244Make her amends; she weeps.
244O devil, devil!
245. teem with: breed, be made pregnant by.
245If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
246. falls: lets fall. crocodile: Crocodiles were supposed to weep hypocritical tears for their victims.
246Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
247Out of my sight!
247I will not stay to offend you.
248Truly, an obedient lady:
249I do beseech your lordship, call her back.
250What would you with her, sir?
251Who, I, my lord?
252Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:
253Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
254And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep;
255And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
256Very obedient. Proceed you in your tears.
257Concerning this, sir,O well-painted passion!
258I am commanded home. Get you away;
259I'll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate,
260. avaunt: begone.
260And will return to Venice. Hence, avaunt!
261Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
262I do entreat that we may sup together:
263. Goats and monkeys!: Both animals were known to be extremely lecherous.
263You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.Goats and monkeys!
264Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
265Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
266Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
267The shot of accident, nor dart of chance,
268Could neither graze nor pierce?
268He is much changed.
269. safe: sound.
269Are his wits safe? is he not light of brain?
270-272. I may not breathe my censure / What he might be. If what he might he is not, / I would to heaven he were!: I dare not venture an opinion as to whether he's of unsound mind, as you suggest; but if he isn't, then it might be better to wish he were in fact insane, since only that could excuse his wild behavior.
270He's that he is; I may not breathe my censure
271What he might be. If what he might he is not,
272I would to heaven he were!
272What, strike his wife!
273'Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew
274That stroke would prove the worst!
274. use: custom, habit.
274Is it his use?
275. blood: passions.
275Or did the letters work upon his blood,
276And new-create this fault?
277It is not honesty in me to speak
278What I have seen and known. You shall observe him,
279And his own courses will denote him so
280That I may save my speech: do but go after,
281And mark how he continues.
282I am sorry that I am deceived in him.