A line-by-line translation

Othello

Othello Translation Act 1, Scene 2

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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' th' conscience To do no contrived murder. I lack iniquity Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times I had thought t' have yerked him here under the ribs.

IAGO

Even though I have killed men while serving in war, still my conscience forbids me from committing any premeditated murder. I lack the evil disposition that would sometimes serve my purpose. Nine or ten times I've thought about just stabbing him right under the ribs.

OTHELLO

'Tis better as it is.

OTHELLO

It's better that you haven't.

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: That the Magnifico is much beloved And hath in his effect a voice potential 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) Will give him cable.

IAGO

No, he said such insulting, rude things against your sense of honor that it took all the goodness in me to hold back from hurting him. But I beg you to tell me, sir: are you safely married? Because you can be sure that Senator Barbantio is well-liked in the city, and has twice as much influence as the Duke. He will divorce you two, or at least subject you to whatever restraint and punishment he has the power to inflict.

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 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 Put into circumscription and confine For the sea’s worth. But look, what lights come yond?

OTHELLO

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IAGO

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

IAGO

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OTHELLO

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

OTHELLO

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IAGO

By Janus, I think no.

IAGO

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Enter CASSIO, with officers and torches

OTHELLO

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

OTHELLO

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CASSIO

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

CASSIO

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OTHELLO

What’s the matter, think you?

OTHELLO

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CASSIO

Something from Cyprus as I may divine. It is a business of some heat. The galleys Have sent a dozen sequent messengers 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 guests To search you out.

CASSIO

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OTHELLO

'Tis well I am found by you.I will but spend a word here in the houseAnd go with you.

OTHELLO

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Exit

CASSIO

Ancient, what makes he here?

CASSIO

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IAGO

Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.If it prove lawful prize, he’s made for ever.

IAGO

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CASSIO

I do not understand.

CASSIO

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IAGO

He’s married.

IAGO

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CASSIO

To who?

CASSIO

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IAGO

Marry, to—

IAGO

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Enter OTHELLO

Come, captain, will you go?

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OTHELLO

Have with you.

OTHELLO

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CASSIO

Here comes another troop to seek for you.

CASSIO

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Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and officers with torches and weapons

IAGO

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

IAGO

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OTHELLO

Holla! Stand there!

OTHELLO

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RODERIGO

Signior, it is the Moor.

RODERIGO

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BRABANTIO

Down with him, thief!

BRABANTIO

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They draw their swords

IAGO

You, Roderigo! Come, sir, I am for you.

IAGO

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OTHELLO

Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.Good signior, you shall more command with yearsThan with your weapons.

OTHELLO

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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, So opposite to marriage that she shunned The wealthy curlèd darlings of our nation, Would ever have, t' incur a general mock, Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom Of such a thing as thou—to fear, not to delight. 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 weakens motion. I’ll have ’t disputed on. 'Tis probable and palpable to thinking. 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!

BRABANTIO

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OTHELLO

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

OTHELLO

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BRABANTIO

To prison, till fit timeOf law and course of direct sessionCall thee to answer.

BRABANTIO

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OTHELLO

What if I do obey? How may the Duke be therewith satisfied, Whose messengers are here about my side Upon some present business of the state To bring me to him?

OTHELLO

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OFFICER

'Tis true, most worthy signior.The Duke’s in council and your noble self,I am sure, is sent for.

OFFICER

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BRABANTIO

How? The Duke in council? In this time of the night? Bring him away. Mine’s not an idle cause. The Duke himself, Or any of my brothers of the state, Cannot but feel this wrong as ’twere their own. For if such actions may have passage free, Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.

BRABANTIO

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Exeunt

Othello
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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.