By William Shakespeare

Yale University Press

Copyright © 2005 Yale University
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-300-10807-1


About This Book................................................ix
Some Essentials of the Shakespearean Stage.....................xxxvii
An Essay by Harold Bloom.......................................205
Further Reading................................................259
Finding List...................................................265

Chapter One


Othello (the Moor) Brabantio (Senator of Venice, Desdemona'a father) Gratiano (Brabantio's brother, Desdemona's uncle) Lodovico (Desdemona's cousin) Duke (of Venice) Senators (of Venice) Cassio (Othello's lieutenant) Iago (Othello's ancient) Roderigo (Venetian gentleman) Montano (Governor of Cyprus, Othello's predecessor) Sailors Clown Herald Desdemona (Brabantio's daughter, Othello's wife) Emilia (Iago's wife, Desdemona's maid) Bianca (courtesan, Cassio's mistress) Officers, Gentlemen, Messenger, Musicians, Attendants

Act 1

SCENE 1 Venice. A street.

ENTER Roderigo and Iago Roderigo Never tell me, I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.

Iago But you will not hear me. If ever I did dream Of such a matter, abhor me.

Roderigo Thou told'st me 5 Thou didst hold him in thy hate.

Iago Despise me If I do not. Three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, Off-capped to him, and by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place. 10 But he, as loving his own pride and purposes, Evades them with a bumbast circumstance, Horribly stuffed with epithets of war, Nonsuits my mediators. For "Certes," says he, "I have already chose my officer." 15 And what was he? Forsooth, a great arithmetician, One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost damned in a fair wife, That never set a squadron in the field, 20 Nor the division of a battle knows More than a spinster, unless the bookish theoric, Wherein the togèd consuls can propose As masterly as he. Mere prattle, without practice, Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th'election, 25 And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds, Christian and heathen, must be be-lee'd and calmed By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster. He, in good time, must his lieutenant be, 30 And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship's ancient.

Roderigo By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.

Iago Why, there's no remedy. 'Tis the curse of service, Preferment goes by letter and affection, And not by old gradation, where each second 35 Stood heir to the first. Now sir, be judge yourself Whether I in any just term am affined To love the Moor.

Roderigo I would not follow him, then.

Iago O, sir, content you, I follow him to serve my turn upon him. 40 We cannot all be masters, nor all masters Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave That, doting on his own obsequious bondage, Wears out his time, much like his master's ass, 45 For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashiered. Whip me such honest knaves! Others there are Who, trimmed in forms and visages of duty, Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves, And throwing but shows of service on their lords, 50 Do well thrive by them, and when they have lined their coats Do themselves homage. These fellows have some soul, And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir, it is as sure as you are Roderigo, Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago. 55 In following him, I follow but myself. Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, But seeming so for my peculiar end. For when my outward action doth demonstrate The native act and figure of my heart 60 In complement extern, 'tis not long after But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.

Roderigo What a full fortune does the thick lips owe, If he can carry't thus!

Iago Call up her father, 65 Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight, Proclaim him in the streets. Incense her kinsmen, And though he in a fertile climate dwell, Plague him with flies. Though that his joy be joy, Yet throw such changes of vexation on't 70 As it may lose some color.

Roderigo Here is her father's house, I'll call aloud.

Iago Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell As when, by night and negligence, the fire Is spied in populous cities. 75

Roderigo What ho, Brabantio, Signior Brabantio, ho!

Iago Awake, what, ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves, thieves! Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags! Thieves, thieves!

Brabantio appears above, at a window

Brabantio What is the reason of this terrible summons? 80 What is the matter there?

Roderigo Signior, is all your family within?

Iago Are your doors locked?

Brabantio Why, wherefore ask you this?

Iago Zounds, sir, you're robbed, for shame, put on your gown, Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul, 85 Even now, now, very now, an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise, Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. Arise, I say.

Brabantio What, have you lost your wits? 90

Roderigo Most reverend signior, do you know my voice?

Brabantio Not I. What are you?

Roderigo My name is Roderigo.

Brabantio The worser welcome. I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors. In honest plainness thou hast heard me say 95 My daughter is not for thee. And now, in madness, Being full of supper and distempering draughts, Upon malicious knavery dost thou come To start my quiet.

Roderigo Sir, sir, sir - 100

Brabantio But thou must needs be sure My spirit and my place have in them power To make this bitter to thee.

Roderigo Patience, good sir.

Brabantio What tell'st thou me of robbing? This is Venice, My house is not a grange. Roderigo Most grave Brabantio, 105 In simple and pure soul I come to you.

Iago Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not serve God if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you service, and you think we are ruffians, you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, you'll have your nephews 110 neigh to you, you'll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.

Brabantio What profane wretch art thou?

Iago I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs. 115

Brabantio Thou art a villain.

Iago You are - a senator.

Brabantio This thou shalt answer. I know thee, Roderigo.

Roderigo Sir, I will answer anything. But, I beseech you, If't be your pleasure and most wise consent, As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter, 120 At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night, Transported with no worse nor better guard But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor - If this be known to you, and your allowance, 125 We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs. But if you know not this, my manners tell me We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe That, from the sense of all civility, I thus would play and trifle with your reverence. 130 Your daughter - if you have not given her leave, I say again - hath made a gross revolt, Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes In an extravagant and wheeling stranger Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself. 135 If she be in her chamber, or your house, Let loose on me the justice of the state For thus deluding you.

Brabantio Strike on the tinder, ho! Give me a taper, call up all my people! This accident is not unlike my dream, 140 Belief of it oppresses me already. Light, I say, light!

EXIT Brabantio from above

Iago (to Roderigo) Farewell, for I must leave you. It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place To be produced, as if I stay I shall, Against the Moor, for I do know the state, However this may gall him with some check, 145 Cannot with safety cast him. For he's embarked With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars, Which even now stands in act, that for their souls Another of his fathom they have none, 150 To lead their business. In which regard, Though I do hate him as I do hell's pains, Yet, for necessity of present life, I must show out a flag and sign of love, Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him, 155 Lead to the Sagittary the raisèd search, And there will I be with him. So farewell.


ENTER Brabantio and Servants with torches

Brabantio It is too true an evil. Gone she is, And what's to come of my despisèd time Is naught but bitterness. Now Roderigo, 160 Where didst thou see her? O unhappy girl. With the Moor, say'st thou? Who would be a father? How didst thou know 'twas she? O, she deceives me Past thought. What said she to you? (to Servants) Get more tapers. Raise all my kindred. (to Roderigo) Are they married, think 165 you?

Roderigo Truly, I think they are.

Brabantio O heaven! How got she out? O treason of the blood! Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds By what you see them act. Is there not charms By which the property of youth and maidhood 170 May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo, Of some such thing?

Roderigo Yes, sir, I have indeed.

Brabantio (to Servants) Call up my brother. (to Roderigo) O, would you had had her! Some one way, some another. Do you know Where we may apprehend her and the Moor? 175

Roderigo I think I can discover him, if you please To get good guard, and go along with me.

Brabantio Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call, I may command at most. (to Servants) Get weapons, ho, And raise some special officers of night. 180 On, good Roderigo. I'll deserve your pains.


SCENE 2 Venice. Another street.

ENTER Othello, Iago, and Attendants with torches

Iago Though in the trade of war I have slain men, Yet do I hold it very stuff o'the conscience To do no contrived murder. I lack iniquity Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times I had thought to have yerked him here, under the ribs. 5

Othello 'Tis better as it is.

Iago Nay, but he prated, And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms Against your honor, that with the little godliness I have, I did full hard forbear him. But I pray you, sir, Are you fast married? Be assured of this, 10 That the Magnifico is much beloved, And hath in his effect a voice potentia 10 As double as the Duke's. He will divorce you, Or put upon you what restraint and grievance The law, with all his might to enforce it on, 15 Will give him cable. Othello Let him do his spite. My services which I have done the signiory Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know - Which, when I know that boasting is an honor, I shall promulgate - I fetch my life and being 20 From men of royal siege, and my demerits May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune As this that I have reached. For know, Iago, But that I love the gentle Desdemona, I would not my unhousèd free condition 25 Put into circumscription and confine 38 For the sea's worth. But look, what lights come yond?

Iago Those are the raisèd father and his friends. You were best go in.

Othello Not I. I must be found. My parts, my title, and my perfect soul Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?

Iago By Janus, I think no.

ENTER Cassio and Officers with torches

Othello The servants of the Duke? And my lieutenant? The goodness of the night upon you, friends! What is the news?

Cassio The Duke does greet you, general, 35 And he requires your haste - post-haste - appearance Even on the instant.

Othello What is the matter, think you?

Cassio Something from Cyprus, as I may divine. It is a business of some heat. The galleys Have sent a dozen sequent messengers 40 This very night, at one another's heels. And many of the consuls, raised and met, Are at the Duke's already. You have been hotly called for, When, being not at your lodging to be found, The Senate hath sent about three several quests 45 To search you out.

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

EXIT Othello

Cassio Ancient, what makes he here?

Iago Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carack. If it prove lawful prize, he's made forever. 50

Cassio I do not understand.

Iago He's married.

Cassio To who?

ENTER Othello

Iago Marry, to - Come, captain, will you go?

Othello Have with you.

Cassio Here comes another troop to seek for you.

Iago It is Brabantio. General, be advised, He comes to bad intent.

ENTER Brabantio, Roderigo, and Officers with torches and weapons

Othello Holla, stand there. 55

Roderigo (to Brabantio) Signior, it is the Moor.

Brabantio Down with him, thief!


Iago You, Roderigo, come sir, I am for you. Othello Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.

Good signior, you shall more command with years Than with your weapons. 60

Brabantio O thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my daughter? Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her, For I'll refer me to all things of sense, If she in chains of magic were not bound Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy, 65 So opposite to marriage that she shunned The wealthy curlèd darlings of our nation, Would ever have, to incur a general mock, Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom Of such a thing as thou - to fear, not to delight. 70 Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense That thou hast practiced on her with foul charms, Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals That weaken motion. I'll have't disputed on - 'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking. 75 I therefore apprehend and do attach thee For an abuser of the world, a practicer Of arts inhibited and out of warrant. Lay hold upon him. If he do resist, Subdue him at his peril.

Othello Hold your hands, 80 Both you of my inclining and the rest. Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it Without a prompter. Where will you that I go To answer this your charge?


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