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 5, Scene 1

           Enter IAGO and RODERIGO.

  1   Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will he come.
1. bulk: market stall.

  2   Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home:
2. put it home: thrust strongly into your target.

  3   Quick, quick; fear nothing; I'll be at thy elbow:
Roderigo waiting to ambush Cassio
Illustrator: Sir John Gilbert

  4   It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,
  5   And fix most firm thy resolution.

  6   Be near at hand; I may miscarry in't.

  7   Here, at thy hand: be bold, and take thy stand.


  8   I have no great devotion to the deed;
  9   And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons:
 10   'Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.

 11   I have rubb'd this young quat almost to the sense,
11. quat: pimple, small boil. sense: quick.

 12   And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,
 13   Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
 14   Every way makes my gain: live Roderigo,
 15   He calls me to a restitution large
 16   Of gold and jewels that I bobb'd from him,
16. bobb'd: swindled.

 17   As gifts to Desdemona;
 18   It must not be: if Cassio do remain,
 19   He hath a daily beauty in his life
 20   That makes me ugly; and, besides, the Moor
 21   May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril:
20-21. the Moor / May unfold me to him: i.e., Othello may tell Cassio what I have said.

 22   No, he must die. But so: I hear him coming.

           Enter CASSIO.

 23   I know his gait, 'tis he.—Villain, thou diest!

           [Makes a pass at Cassio.]

 24   That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,
 25   But that my coat is better than thou know'st
 26   I will make proof of thine.
26. I will make proof of thine: i.e., I will test how well your coat protects you.

           [Draws, and wounds Roderigo.]
Engraving by H.C. Selous: Cassio stabbing Roderigo; Iago cutting leg of Cassio

                                                 O, I am slain!

           [From behind, Iago wounds Cassio
           in the leg, and runs away.]

 27   I am maim'd for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!


           Enter OTHELLO.

 28   The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.

 29   O, villain that I am!

                                      It is even so.

 30   O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!

 31   'Tis he:—O brave Iago, honest and just,
31. brave: excellent, noble.

 32   That hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong!
32. thy friend's wrong: i.e., the wrong done to me.

 33   Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,
33. Minion: hussy; i.e., Desdemona.

 34   And your unblest fate hies: strumpet, I come.
34. hies: approaches rapidly, hastens on.

 35   Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted;
35. Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted: i.e., the seductive image of your eyes is wiped out of my heart.

 36   Thy bed, lust-stain'd, shall with lust's blood be spotted.

           Exit Othello.

           Enter LODOVICO and GRATIANO.

 37   What, ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder!
37. watch: night watchmen, security patrol. passage: passers-by.

 38   'Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.

 39   O, help!

 40   Hark!

 41   O wretched villain!

 42   Two or three groan: it is a heavy night:
42. heavy: thick, dark.

 43   These may be counterfeits: let's think't unsafe
43. counterfeits: fakes.

 44   To come in to the cry without more help.
44. cry: a shout of pain or fear.

 45   Nobody come? then shall I bleed to death.

 46   Hark!

           Enter IAGO [with a light].

 47   Here's one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.
47. in his shirt: Without a jacket or cloak, Iago appears to have just gotten out of bed.

 48   Who's there? Whose noise is this that cries on murder?
48. cries on: cries out.

 49   We do not know.

                                Did not you hear a cry?

 50   Here, here! for heaven sake, help me!
50. heaven: heaven's.

                                                        What's the matter?

 51   This is Othello's ancient, as I take it.

 52   The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.

 53   What are you here that cry so grievously?

 54   Iago? O, I am spoil'd, undone by villains!
54. spoil'd: destroyed.

 55   Give me some help.

 56   O me, lieutenant! what villains have done this?

 57   I think that one of them is hereabout,
 58   And cannot make away.
58. make: get

                                          O treacherous villains!

           [To Lodovico and Gratiano.]

 59   What are you there? Come in, and give some help.
59. What: Who.

 60   O, help me here!

 61   That's one of them.

                                    O murderous slave! O villain!

           [Stabs Roderigo.]

 62   O damn'd Iago! O inhuman dog!

 63   Kill men i' the dark!—Where be these bloody thieves?—
 64   How silent is this town!—Ho! murder! murder!—
 65   What may you be? are you of good or evil?

 66   As you shall prove us, praise us.
66. As you shall prove us, praise us: i.e., judge us according to our actions.

 67   Signior Lodovico?

 68   He, sir.

 69   I cry you mercy. Here's Cassio hurt by villains.

 70   Cassio!

 71   How is't, brother!

 72   My leg is cut in two.

                                    Marry, heaven forbid!
 73   Light, gentlemen; I'll bind it with my shirt.
Bianca and others attending to the wounded  Cassio
Illustrator: Sir John Gilbert

           Enter BIANCA.

 74   What is the matter, ho? who is't that cried?

 75   Who is't that cried?

 76   O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio,
 77   Cassio, Cassio!

 78   O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect
 79   Who they should be that have thus mangled you?

 80   No.

 81   I am sorry to find you thus; I have been to seek you.

 82   Lend me a garter. So. O, for a chair,
82. garter: Men wore garters to keep their hose up. Iago wants one to bind up Cassio's wound. chair: litter chair.
litter chair

 83   To bear him easily hence!

 84   Alas, he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!

 85   Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
85. this trash: i.e., Bianca.

 86   To be a party in this injury.
 87   Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come;
 88   Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?
 89   Alas my friend and my dear countryman
 90   Roderigo! No—yes, sure—O heaven, Roderigo!

 91   What, of Venice?

 92   Even he, sir; did you know him?

                                                       Know him! ay.

 93   Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon;
 94   These bloody accidents must excuse my manners,
 95   That so neglected you.

                                        I am glad to see you.

 96   How do you, Cassio? O, a chair, a chair!

 97   Roderigo!

 98   He, he 'tis he.

           [A litter chair brought in.]

98. well said: well done.
                               O, that's well said; the chair!
 99   Some good man bear him carefully from hence;
100   I'll fetch the general's surgeon.

           To Bianca.

                                                       For you, mistress,
101   Save you your labor.
101. Save you your labor: Apparently Bianca is trying to comfort Cassio.

           [To Cassio.]

                                       He that lies slain here, Cassio,
102   Was my dear friend. What malice was between you?
102. malice: enmity.

103   None in the world; nor do I know the man.

      IAGO [To Bianca.]
104   What, look you pale? O, bear him out o' the air.
104. out o' the air: Fresh air was considered bad for wounds.

           [Cassio and Roderigo are borne off.]

105   Stay you, good gentlemen. Look you pale, mistress?
106   Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?
106. gastness: terror.

107   Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.
108   Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her:
109   Do you see, gentlemen? nay, guiltiness will speak,
110   Though tongues were out of use.

           [Enter EMILIA.]

111   Alas, what's the matter? what's the matter, husband?

112   Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
113   By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:
114   He's almost slain, and Roderigo dead.

115   Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio!

116   This is the fruits of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
117   Go know of Cassio where he supp'd tonight.

           [To Bianca.]

118   What, do you shake at that?

119   He supp'd at my house; but I therefore shake not.

120   O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.

121   Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!

122   I am no strumpet; but of life as honest
123   As you that thus abuse me.

                                            As I! foh! fie upon thee!

124   Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio dress'd.
124. see poor Cassio dress'd: i.e., see that Cassio's wound is dressed.

125   Come, mistress, you must tell's another tale.
125. you must tell's another tale: i.e., you're going to have to tell us the truth.

126   Emilia run you to the citadel,
127   And tell my lord and lady what hath happ'd.
128   Will you go on? I pray.


                                        This is the night
129. foredoes: undoes, ruins, destroys.
129   That either makes me or fordoes me quite.