Othello Navigator Scene IndexNotesPrevious SceneNext Scene

Othello: Act 4, Scene 1


Full Summary

           Enter OTHELLO and IAGO.

      IAGO
  1   Will you think so?

      OTHELLO
  1                     Think so, Iago!

      IAGO
  1                                   What,
  2   To kiss in private?

      OTHELLO
  2                      An unauthorized kiss.

      IAGO
  3   Or to be naked with her friend in bed
  4   An hour or more, not meaning any harm?

      OTHELLO
  5   Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!
  6   It is hypocrisy against the devil:
  7   They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
  8   The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.

      IAGO
  9   So they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip;
 10   But if I give my wife a handkerchief —

      OTHELLO
 11   What then?

      IAGO
 12   Why, then, 'tis hers, my lord; and, being hers,
 13   She may, I think, bestow't on any man.

      OTHELLO
 14   She is protectress of her honor too:
 15   May she give that?

      IAGO
 16   Her honor is an essence that's not seen;
 17   They have it very oft that have it not:
 18   But, for the handkerchief —

      OTHELLO
 19   By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.
 20   Thou said'st (O, it comes o'er my memory,
 21   As doth the raven o'er the infected house,
 22   Boding to all) he had my handkerchief.

      IAGO
 23   Ay, what of that?

      OTHELLO
 23                  That's not so good now.

      IAGO
 23                                              What
 24   If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
 25   Or heard him say — as knaves be such abroad,
 26   Who having, by their own importunate suit,
 27   Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,
 28   Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
 29   But they must blab —

      OTHELLO
 29                    Hath he said any thing?

      IAGO
 30   He hath, my lord; but be you well assured,
 31   No more than he'll unswear.

      OTHELLO
 31                         What hath he said?

      IAGO
 32   Faith, that he did—I know not what he did.

      OTHELLO
 33   What? what?

      IAGO
 34   Lie—

      OTHELLO
 34               With her?

      IAGO
 34                               With her, on her; what you will.

      OTHELLO
 35   Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when
 36   they belie her. Lie with her! that's fulsome.
 37   —Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief!—To
 38   confess, and be hanged for his labor;—first, to be
 39   hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it.
 40   Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
 41   passion without some instruction. It is not words
 42   that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
 43   —Is't possible?—Confess—handkerchief!—O devil!

           Falls in a trance.

      IAGO
 44   Work on,
 45   My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught;
 46   And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
 47   All guiltless, meet reproach. —What, ho! my lord!
 48   My lord, I say! Othello!

Full Summary

           Enter CASSIO.

 48                              How now, Cassio!

      CASSIO
 49   What's the matter?

      IAGO
 50   My lord is fall'n into an epilepsy.
 51   This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.

      CASSIO
 52   Rub him about the temples.

      IAGO
 52                                      No, forbear;
 53   The lethargy must have his quiet course:
 54   If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
 55   Breaks out to savage madness. Look he stirs:
 56   Do you withdraw yourself a little while,
 57   He will recover straight: when he is gone,
 58   I would on great occasion speak with you.

           [Exit Cassio.]

 59   How is it, general? Have you not hurt your head?

      OTHELLO
 60   Dost thou mock me?

      IAGO
 60                               I mock you not, by heaven.
 61   Would you would bear your fortune like a man!

      OTHELLO
 62   A horned man's a monster and a beast.

      IAGO
 63   There's many a beast then in a populous city,
 64   And many a civil monster.

      OTHELLO
 65   Did he confess it?

      IAGO
 65                     Good sir, be a man;
 66   Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
 67   May draw with you. There's millions now alive
 68   That nightly lie in those unproper beds
 69   Which they dare swear peculiar: your case is better.
 70   O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
 71   To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
 72   And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
 73   And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.

      OTHELLO
 74   O, thou art wise; 'tis certain.

      IAGO
 74                                    Stand you awhile apart;
 75   Confine yourself but in a patient list.
 76   Whilst you were here o'erwhelmed with your grief—
 77   A passion most unsuiting such a man—
 78   Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,
 79   And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy,
 80   Bade him anon return and here speak with me;
 81   The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
 82   And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
 83   That dwell in every region of his face,
 84   For I will make him tell the tale anew:
 85   Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
 86   He hath, and is again to cope your wife.
 87   I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
 88   Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,
 89   And nothing of a man.

      OTHELLO
 89                              Dost thou hear, Iago?
 90   I will be found most cunning in my patience;
 91   But—dost thou hear?—most bloody.

      IAGO
 91                                                   That's not amiss;
 92   But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?

           [Othello withdraws.]

 93   Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
 94   A huswife that by selling her desires
 95   Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature
 96   That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague
 97   To beguile many and be beguiled by one:
 98   He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
 99   From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:

Full Summary

           Enter CASSIO.

100   As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
101   And his unbookish jealousy must construe
102   Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures and light behavior,
103   Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?

      CASSIO
104   The worser that you give me the addition
105   Whose want even kills me.

      IAGO
106   Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't.

           [Speaking lower.]

107   Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
108   How quickly should you speed!

      CASSIO
108                               Alas, poor caitiff!

      OTHELLO
109   Look, how he laughs already!

      IAGO
110   I never knew woman love man so.

      CASSIO
111   Alas, poor rogue! I think, i' faith, she loves me.

      OTHELLO
112   Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.

      IAGO
113   Do you hear, Cassio?

      OTHELLO
113                             Now he importunes him
114   To tell it o'er: go to; well said, well said.

      IAGO
115   She gives it out that you shall marry hey:
116   Do you intend it?

      CASSIO
117   Ha, ha, ha!

      OTHELLO
118   Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?

      CASSIO
119   I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee,
120   bear some charity to my wit: do not think
121   it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!

      OTHELLO
122   So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.

      IAGO
123   Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.

      CASSIO
124   Prithee, say true.

      IAGO
125   I am a very villain else.

      OTHELLO
126   Have you scor'd me? Well.

      CASSIO
127   This is the monkey's own giving out. She is
128   persuaded I will marry her, out of her own
129   love and flattery, not out of my promise.

      OTHELLO
130   Iago beckons me; now he begins the
131   story.

      CASSIO
132   She was here even now; she haunts me in
133   every place. I was the other day talking on
134   the sea-bank with certain Venetians; and
135   thither comes the bauble, and, by this hand,
136   she falls me thus about my neck—

      OTHELLO
137   Crying "O dear Cassio!" as it were: his gesture
138   imports it.

      CASSIO
139   So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales,
140   and pulls me: ha, ha, ha!

      OTHELLO
141   Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber.
142   O, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall
143   throw it to.

      CASSIO
144   Well, I must leave her company.

      IAGO

Full Summary

145   Before me! look, where she comes.

           Enter BIANCA.

      CASSIO
146   'Tis such another fitchew! marry, a perfumed one.—
147   What do you mean by this haunting of me?

      BIANCA
148   Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
149   mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even
150   now? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
151   work?—A likely piece of work, that you should
152   find it in your chamber, and not know who left it
153   there! This is some minx's token, and I must take
154   out the work? There; give it your hobby-horse:
155   wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.

      CASSIO
156   How now, my sweet Bianca! how now! how
157   now!

      OTHELLO
158   By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!

      BIANCA
159   An you'll come to supper tonight, you may;
160   an you will not, come when you are next
161   prepared for.

           Exit.

      IAGO
162   After her, after her.

      CASSIO
163   Faith, I must; she'll rail in the street else.

      IAGO
164   Will you sup there?

      CASSIO
165   Faith, I intend so.

      IAGO
166   Well, I may chance to see you; for I would
167   very fain speak with you.

      CASSIO
168   Prithee, come; will you?

      IAGO
169   Go to; say no more.

Full Summary
           [Exit Cassio.]

      OTHELLO [Advancing.]
170   How shall I murder him, Iago?

      IAGO
171   Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?

      OTHELLO
172   O Iago!

      IAGO
173   And did you see the handkerchief?

      OTHELLO
174   Was that mine?

      IAGO
175   Yours by this hand: and to see how he prizes the
176   foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he
177   hath given it his whore.

      OTHELLO
178   I would have him nine years a-killing.
179   A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!

      IAGO
180   Nay, you must forget that.

      OTHELLO
181   Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned tonight;
182   for she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to
183   stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
184   world hath not a sweeter creature! she might lie by
185   an emperor's side and command him tasks.

      IAGO
186   Nay, that's not your way.

      OTHELLO
187   Hang her! I do but say what she is. So delicate
188   with her needle: an admirable musician! O, she
189   will sing the savageness out of a bear. Of so high
190   and plenteous wit and invention!

      IAGO
191   She's the worse for all this.

      OTHELLO
192   O, a thousand thousand times: and then, of so
193   gentle a condition!

      IAGO
194   Ay, too gentle.

      OTHELLO
195   Nay, that's certain. But yet the pity of it, Iago!
196   O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!

      IAGO
197   If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her
198   patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes
199   near nobody.

      OTHELLO
200   I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!

      IAGO
201   O, 'tis foul in her.

      OTHELLO
202   With mine officer!

      IAGO
203   That's fouler.

      OTHELLO
204   Get me some poison, Iago; this night. I'll not
205   expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty
206   unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago.

      IAGO
207   Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed,
208   even the bed she hath contaminated.

      OTHELLO
209   Good, good: the justice of it pleases: very
210   good.

      IAGO
211   And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker: you
212   shall hear more by midnight.

      OTHELLO
213   Excellent good.

Full Summary

           [A trumpet within.]

213                            What trumpet is that same?

      IAGO
214   I warrant something from Venice.

           Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA,
           and ATTENDANTS.

214                                           'Tis Lodovico—
215   This comes from the Duke. See, your wife's with him.

      LODOVICO
216   God save you, worthy general!

      OTHELLO
216                          With all my heart, sir.

      LODOVICO
217   The duke and senators of Venice greet you.

           [Gives him a letter.]

      OTHELLO
218   I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.

           [Opens the letter, and reads.]

      DESDEMONA
219   And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico?

      IAGO
220   I am very glad to see you, signior
221   Welcome to Cyprus.

      LODOVICO
222   I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?

      IAGO
223   Lives, sir.

      DESDEMONA
224   Cousin, there's fall'n between him and my lord
225   An unkind breach; but you shall make all well.

      OTHELLO
226   Are you sure of that?

      DESDEMONA
227   My lord?

      OTHELLO [Reads.]
228   "This fail you not to do, as you
229   will—"

      LODOVICO
230   He did not call; he's busy in the paper.
231   Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio?

      DESDEMONA
232   A most unhappy one. I would do much
233   To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.

      OTHELLO
234   Fire and brimstone!

      DESDEMONA
234                                 My lord?

      OTHELLO
234                                               Are you wise?

      DESDEMONA
235   What, is he angry?

      LODOVICO
235                           May be the letter moved him;
236   For, as I think, they do command him home,
237   Deputing Cassio in his government.

      DESDEMONA
238   By my troth, I am glad on't.

      OTHELLO
238                                               Indeed!

      DESDEMONA
238                                                            My lord?

      OTHELLO
239   I am glad to see you mad.

      DESDEMONA
239                                        Why, sweet Othello,—

      OTHELLO [Striking her.]
240   Devil!

      DESDEMONA
241   I have not deserved this.

      LODOVICO
242   My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
243   Though I should swear I saw't: 'tis very much:
244   Make her amends; she weeps.

      OTHELLO
244                             O devil, devil!
245   If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
246   Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
247   Out of my sight!

      DESDEMONA
247                  I will not stay to offend you.

           [Going.]

      LODOVICO
248   Truly, an obedient lady:
249   I do beseech your lordship, call her back.

      OTHELLO
250   Mistress!

      DESDEMONA
250                  My lord?

      OTHELLO
250                               What would you with her, sir?

      LODOVICO
251   Who, I, my lord?

      OTHELLO
252   Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:
253   Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
254   And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep;
255   And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
256   Very obedient. —Proceed you in your tears.—
257   Concerning this, sir,—O well-painted passion!—
258   I am commanded home. —Get you away;
259   I'll send for you anon. —Sir, I obey the mandate,
260   And will return to Venice. —Hence, avaunt!

           [Exit Desdemona.]

261   Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
262   I do entreat that we may sup together:
263   You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.—Goats and monkeys!

           Exit.

      LODOVICO
264   Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
265   Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
266   Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
267   The shot of accident, nor dart of chance,
268   Could neither graze nor pierce?

      IAGO
268                                 He is much changed.

      LODOVICO
269   Are his wits safe? is he not light of brain?

      IAGO
270   He's that he is; I may not breathe my censure
271   What he might be. If what he might he is not,
272   I would to heaven he were!

      LODOVICO
272                            What, strike his wife!

      IAGO
273   'Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew
274   That stroke would prove the worst!

      LODOVICO
274                                Is it his use?
275   Or did the letters work upon his blood,
276   And new-create this fault?

      IAGO
276                           Alas, alas!
277   It is not honesty in me to speak
278   What I have seen and known. You shall observe him,
279   And his own courses will denote him so
280   That I may save my speech: do but go after,
281   And mark how he continues.

      LODOVICO
282   I am sorry that I am deceived in him.

           Exeunt.

Othello Navigator Scene IndexNotesPrevious SceneNext Scene