Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Othello: Act 3, Scene 1

           Enter CASSIO [and some] MUSICIANS.

  1   Masters, play here; I will content your pains;
1. content: reward.

  2   Something that's brief; and bid "Good morrow, general."

           [They play, and shout "Good morrow, general."
           Then enter] CLOWN [a servant of Othello.]
CLOWN: "Clown" isn't the character's personal name; it's the name of a character type who always witty and wise remarks.

  3   Why masters, have your instruments been in
  4   Naples, that they speak i' the nose thus?
4. speak i' the nose thus: i.e., sound like a man whose nose has been affected by syphilis (a disease supposed to have originated in Naples).

      First Musician
'Cassio and the Musicians' by Sir John Gilbert
Cassio and the musicians.
Illustrator: Sir John Gilbert

  5   How, sir, how!

  6   Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?

      First Musician
  7   Ay, marry, are they, sir.

  8   O, thereby hangs a tail.

      First Musician
  9   Whereby hangs a tale, sir?

 10   Marry. sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know.
10. wind-instrument: this term, together with tail in line 8, suggests a joke on flatulence.

 11   But, masters, here's money for you: and the general
 12   so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's
 13   sake, to make no more noise with it.

      First Musician
 14   Well, sir, we will not.

 15   If you have any music that may not be heard, to't
15. may not: cannot.

 16   again: but, as they say to hear music the general
 17   does not greatly care.

      First Musician
 18   We have none such, sir.

 19   Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away:
 20   go; vanish into air; away!

           Exeunt Musicians.

 21   Dost thou hear, my honest friend?

 22   No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.

 23   Prithee, keep up thy quillets.
23. Prithee . . . quillets: please keep your quibbles and puns to yourself.

          Gives the Clown a gold coin.

                                                  There's a poor piece
 24   of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends
 25   the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's
 26   one Cassio entreats her a little favor of speech:
26. a little favor of speech: the favor of a brief conference.

 27   wilt thou do this?

 28   She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I
 29   shall seem to notify unto her.

 30   Do, good my friend.

           Exit Clown

           Enter IAGO.

                                    In happy time, Iago.
30. In happy time: You have come at just the right time.

 31   You have not been a-bed, then?

 32   Why, no; the day had broke
 33   Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
 34   To send in to your wife: my suit to her
 35   Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona
 36   Procure me some access.

                                           I'll send her to you presently;
36. presently: right away.

 37   And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
 38   Out of the way, that your converse and business
 39   May be more free.

                                I humbly thank you for't.

           Exit [Iago].

 40   I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest.
40. I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest: Cassio is surprised that Iago, a Venetian, is more kind and honest that anyone Cassio knows from Cassio's home town, Florence.

           Enter EMILIA.

 41   Good morrow, good Lieutenant: I am sorry
 42   For your displeasure; but all will sure be well.
42. displeasure: loss of [Othello's] favor.

 43   The general and his wife are talking of it;
 44   And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies,
 45   That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus,
 46   And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
46. affinity: kindred, family connections.

 47   He might not but refuse you. But he protests he loves you
 48   And needs no other suitor but his likings
 49   To take the safest occasion by the front
49. occasion: opportunity. front: forelock.

Anna Patrick, who played Emilia in the 1995 movie of Othello
Anna Patrick, who played Emilia in the 1995 movie of Othello
 50   To bring you in again.

                                        Yet, I beseech you,
 51   If you think fit, or that it may be done,
 52   Give me advantage of some brief discourse
 53   With Desdemona alone.

                                     Pray you, come in;
 54   I will bestow you where you shall have time
55. bosom: inmost thoughts, most private concerns.
 55   To speak your bosom freely.

                                        I am much bound to you.