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Othello

Othello Translation Act 2, Scene 1

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Enter MONTANO and two GENTLEMEN

MONTANO

What from the cape can you discern at sea?

MONTANO

What can you see out on the sea?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Nothing at all. It is a high-wrought flood.I cannot ’twixt the heaven and the mainDescry a sail.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Nothing at all. The waters are rough, and I can't see a single sail between the sky and the ocean.

MONTANO

Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land, A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements. If it hath ruffianed so upon the sea What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them, Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?

MONTANO

The wind's been blowing loudly on land, too. The strongest gust I've ever seen shook our walls. If the same kind of wind has been raging on the sea, what ships made of oak could hold together when waves as tall as mountains strike them? What do you think will happen?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

A segregation of the Turkish fleet. For do but stand upon the foaming shore, The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds, The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane, Seems to cast water on the burning bear, And quench the guards of th' ever-fixèd pole. I never did like molestation view On the enchafèd flood.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

The Turkish fleet will be dispersed. From the shore here, the billowing water seems to touch the clouds, and the wind-shaken, surging waves, with their high crests, seem to spray water on the constellations in the sky. I've never seen such a rough, raging sea.

MONTANO

If that the Turkish fleetBe not ensheltered and embayed, they are drowned.It is impossible they bear it out.

MONTANO

Unless the Turkish fleet is sheltered from this storm, they must be drowned. It's impossible for them to survive the storm at sea.

Enter a THIRD GENTLEMAN

THIRD GENTLEMAN

News, lads, Our wars are done! The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks, That their designment halts. A noble ship of Venice Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance On most part of their fleet.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

I've got news, lads. Our war is over! The storm has battered the Turkish fleet so badly that their attack has been halted. A noble Venetian ship has seen most of the Turkish fleet shipwrecked and in trouble.

MONTANO

How? Is this true?

MONTANO

What? Is this true?

THIRD GENTLEMAN

The ship is here put in, A Veronesa. Michael Cassio, Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello, Is come on shore. The Moor himself at sea And is in full commission here for Cyprus.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

The ship that saw all this is now docking here. It came from Verona, bringing Michael Cassio, the lieutenant of the warlike Moor Othello. The Moor himself is still at sea, having been ordered to come here to Cyprus.

MONTANO

I am glad on ’t. 'Tis a worthy governor.

MONTANO

I'm glad. He's a good governor.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly And prays the Moor be safe. For they were parted With foul and violent tempest.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

But this Cassio I mentioned—he brings good news about the Turks' losing their ships, but he looks sad and hopes that the Moor is safe at sea. Their two ships were separated by the foul, violent storm.

MONTANO

Pray heavens he be, For I have served him, and the man commands Like a full soldier. Let’s to the seaside, ho! As well to see the vessel that’s come in As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello, Even till we make the main and th' aerial blue An indistinct regard.

MONTANO

I pray to heaven that Othello is safe. For I have served under him, and he commands like a perfect soldier. Let's go to the shore, both to see the ship that's already arrived, and also to look out for brave Othello, even until it's so dark that we can't tell the blue sky from the sea.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

Come, let’s do so.For every minute is expectancyOf more arrivance.

THIRD GENTLEMAN

Come on, let's do that. Every minute we expect more ships to come in.

Enter CASSIO

CASSIO

Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle That so approve the Moor. Oh, let the heavens Give him defense against the elements, For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.

CASSIO

Thank you, you brave men of this warlike island, who think highly of the Moor. Oh, let heaven protect him from the elements. I lost sight of him on the dangerous sea.

MONTANO

Is he well shipped?

MONTANO

Does he have a good ship?

CASSIO

His bark is stoutly timbered and his pilot Of very expert and approved allowance Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death, Stand in bold cure.

CASSIO

His ship is strongly put together, and the captain is an expert. Therefore I have hope that he will be okay, and haven't resigned myself to thinking he's dead.

A VOICE

[within] A sail, a sail, a sail!

A VOICE

[Offstage] A sail, a sail, a sail!

Enter a MESSENGER

CASSIO

What noise?

CASSIO

What's this noise?

MESSENGER

The town is empty. On the brow o' th' sea Stand ranks of people, and they cry “A sail!”

MESSENGER

The town is empty. Everyone is standing on the shoreline, and they're crying out, "A sail!"

CASSIO

My hopes do shape him for the governor.

CASSIO

I hope the ship they see is the one carrying Othello.

A shot

SECOND GENTLEMAN

They do discharge their shot of courtesy.Our friends at least.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

They've fired their shot of courtesy. We at least know it's a friendly ship.

CASSIO

I pray you sir, go forthAnd give us truth who ’tis that is arrived.

CASSIO

Please sir, go out and then let us know who has arrived.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I shall.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I will.

Exit

MONTANO

But good lieutenant, is your general wived?

MONTANO

Good lieutenant, is your general married?

CASSIO

Most fortunately. He hath achieved a maid That paragons description and wild fame, One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens, And in th' essential vesture of creation Does tire the ingener.

CASSIO

Yes, and it's a good marriage. He's married to a woman that surpasses description and exceeds her reputation. Words can't express how great she is, and no artist could capture her natural beauty.

Enter SECOND GENTLEMAN

How now? Who has put in?

What's the news? Who has arrived?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

It's someone named Iago, the general's flag-bearer.

CASSIO

He’s had most favorable and happy speed. Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds, The guttered rocks and congregated sands, Traitors ensteeped to enclog the guiltless keel, As having sense of beauty, do omit Their mortal natures, letting go safely by The divine Desdemona.

CASSIO

He's been fortunate to have such a speedy trip. It's as if the storms themselves—the high seas, the howling winds, the jagged rocks, and the heaped up sands—normally bent on wrecking ships, have recognized the beauty of the divine Desdemona and went easy on her ship, letting her travel safely.

MONTANO

What is she?

MONTANO

Who is she?

CASSIO

She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain, Left in the conduct of the bold Iago, Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts A se'nnight’s speed. Great Jove, Othello guard, And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath, That he may bless this bay with his tall ship, Make love’s quick pants in Desdemona’s arms, Give renewed fire to our extincted spirits And bring all Cyprus comfort!

CASSIO

The woman I told you about, our great captain's captain, left under bold Iago's watch. She's come here seven days earlier than I expected. May Jove guard Othello and send his ship quickly here, so that he may bless us with his arrival, embrace Desdemona in love, and rekindle the fire in our spirits, bringing comfort to all of Cyprus.

Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGO with attendants

Oh, behold, The riches of the ship is come on shore! You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees. Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven, Before, behind thee, and on every hand, Enwheel thee round!

Oh, look: the precious passengers of the ship have come on shore. You, men of Cyprus, kneel down. Hail, lady, and may the grace of God be all around you.


DESDEMONA

I thank you, valiant Cassio.What tidings can you tell me of my lord?

DESDEMONA

Thank you, brave Cassio. What news do you have of my husband?

CASSIO

He is not yet arrived. Nor know I aughtBut that he’s well and will be shortly here.

CASSIO

He hasn't arrived yet. And I don't know anything, but I'm sure he's all right and will be here soon

DESDEMONA

Oh, but I fear. How lost you company?

DESDEMONA

Oh, but I'm worried. How did you get separated from him?

CASSIO

The great contention of the sea and skiesParted our fellowship—

CASSIO

The great storm parted our ships.

A VOICE

[within] A sail, a sail!

A VOICE

[Offstage] A sail, a sail!

CASSIO

But, hark! a sail.

CASSIO

But look! A sail.

A shot

SECOND GENTLEMAN

They give this greeting to the citadel.This likewise is a friend.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

They've fired a shot as a greeting. This ship is also friendly.

CASSIO

See for the news.

CASSIO

Go see what's going on.

Exit a SECOND GENTLEMEN

Good ancient, you are welcome.—Welcome, mistress. (kisses EMILIA) Let it not gall your patience, good Iago, That I extend my manners. 'Tis my breeding That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

Good flag-bearer, welcome. And welcome, ma'am. [He kisses EMILIA] Now, good Iago, don't get mad that I'm kissing your wife hello. I was brought up to show courtesy that way. 

IAGO

Sir, would she give you so much of her lipsAs of her tongue she oft bestows on me, You would have have enough.

IAGO

Sir, if she gave you as much of her lips as she gives me of her talkative tongue, you'd have had enough.

DESDEMONA

Alas, she has no speech!

DESDEMONA

No, she doesn't talk that much!

IAGO

In faith, too much. I find it still, when I have leave to sleep. Marry, before your ladyship, I grant, She puts her tongue a little in her heart And chides with thinking.

IAGO

Really, she talks too much. She even talks when I'm trying to sleep. I admit that maybe she talks less in front of you, and thinks before she speaks.

EMILIA

You have little cause to say so.

EMILIA

You have little reason to say that.

IAGO

Come on, come on. You are pictures out of door, Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens, Saints in your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your housewifery, and hussies in your beds.

IAGO

Come on, come on. You women are the picture of perfection out in public, but annoying as ringing bells in your parlors and like wild-cats in your kitchens. When you've been hurt, you act like saints, but when you're offended you act like devils. You all fool around when you should be doing your housewife duties, and you are hussies in bed.

DESDEMONA

Oh, fie upon thee, slanderer!

DESDEMONA

Oh, curses upon you, you slandering women!

IAGO

Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk.You rise to play and go to bed to work.

IAGO

But it's true. I swear it's true, or else I'm a Turk. You get up in the morning to play around and only work when you go to bed.

EMILIA

You shall not write my praise.

EMILIA

You're not going to say anything good about me, are you?

IAGO

No, let me not.

IAGO

No, I won't.

DESDEMONA

What wouldst thou write of me, if thou should’st praise me?

DESDEMONA

What would you say about me, if you had to praise me?

IAGO

O gentle lady, do not put me to ’t,For I am nothing, if not critical.

IAGO

Oh, dear lady, don't put me on the spot. I'm nothing if not overly critical.

DESDEMONA

Come on, assay. There’s one gone to the harbor?

DESDEMONA

Come on, give it a try. Has someone gone to the harbor?

IAGO

Ay, madam.

IAGO

Yes, madam.

DESDEMONA

I am not merry, but I do beguileThe thing I am by seeming otherwise.Come, how wouldst thou praise me?

DESDEMONA

I'm not in a good mood, but I'm putting on an act and pretending to be jovial. Tell me, Iago, how would you praise me?

IAGO

I am about it, but indeed my invention Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frieze, It plucks out brains and all. But my Muse labors And thus she is delivered: If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit, The one’s for use, the other useth it.

IAGO

I'm thinking. But I'm finding it hard to come up with something. Nonetheless, I've found some inspiration. Here: if she is beautiful and wise, she'll use her wisdom to make use of her beauty.

DESDEMONA

Well praised! How if she be black and witty?

DESDEMONA

Clever praise! And what if she's unattractive and smart?

IAGO

If she be black, and thereto have a wit,She’ll find a white that shall her blackness fit.

IAGO

If she is unattractive, but has some wits, she'll find a man suitable for her appearance.

DESDEMONA

Worse and worse!

DESDEMONA

That one's worse.

EMILIA

How if fair and foolish?

EMILIA

What if she's pretty and foolish?

IAGO

She never yet was foolish that was fair,For even her folly helped her to an heir.

IAGO

There's never been a woman that was foolish and pretty. For even the stupidity of such a woman would help her find a man.

DESDEMONA

These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' th' alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for herThat’s foul and foolish?

DESDEMONA

These are old sayings to make fools laugh in the bars. What saying do you have for a woman that's both ugly and foolish?

IAGO

There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.

IAGO

The ugly, foolish women play the same tricks the pretty, wise ones do.

DESDEMONA

Oh, heavy ignorance! Thou praisest the worst best. But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed, one that in the authority of her merit did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?

DESDEMONA

Oh, you're ignorant! You give the best praise to the worst women. But what would you say about a truly virtuous woman, one that even malicious people would have to admit was a good person?

IAGO

She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will and yet was never loud, Never lacked gold and yet went never gay, Fled from her wish and yet said “Now I may,” She that being angered, her revenge being nigh, Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly, She that in wisdom never was so frail To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail, She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind, See suitors following and not look behind, She was a wight, if ever such wights were—

IAGO

The woman who was beautiful but not too proud, who was eloquent but not too loud, who never lacked gold but never dressed too extravagantly, who held back her desires even when she could fulfill them, the woman who, when angry and able to get revenge nonetheless endured her misfortune and turned the other cheek, who was wise enough not to make foolish decisions, who could think and not share her thoughts, who could see men pursuing her but not pay them any attention . . . that's the sort of woman

DESDEMONA

To do what?

DESDEMONA

The sort of woman to do what?

IAGO

To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.

IAGO

To raise foolish children and tally household expenditures.

DESDEMONA

Oh, most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say you, Cassio? Is he not a most profane and liberal counselor?

DESDEMONA

Oh, what a lame, bad punchline! Emilia, don't listen to him, even though he's your husband. What do you think, Cassio? Doesn't he give profane, poor advice?

CASSIO

He speaks home, madam. You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.

CASSIO

He speaks bluntly, madam. He's a better soldier than a scholar.

CASSIO takes DESDEMONA'S hand

IAGO

( aside ) He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said, whisper! With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do, I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true, 'Tis so,indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are mostapt to play the sir in. Very good, well kissed, and excellent courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers to your lips? Would they were clyster-pipes foryour sake!

IAGO

[To himself] He takes her hand. Ah, yes, whisper together. This is all I need to trap Cassio like a fly in my web. Yes, smile at her. I will use your own politeness against you. You tell her, "Yes, you're right." If these little gestures end up taking away your office of lieutenant, you'll wish you hadn't been so flirtatious and gentlemanly to her. Very good, you kissed her well—keep showing such courtesy to her! Yes, that's right. Are you kissing your fingers again? It would be better, for your sake, if those fingers were enema tubes, to get rid of your B.S.

Trumpet within

The Moor! I know his trumpet.

I know that trumpet! It's the Moor.

CASSIO

'Tis truly so.

CASSIO

Indeed it is.

DESDEMONA

Let’s meet him and receive him.

DESDEMONA

Let's go meet and welcome him.

CASSIO

Lo, where he comes!

CASSIO

Look, he's coming!

Enter OTHELLO and attendants

OTHELLO

Oh my fair warrior!

OTHELLO

Oh, my beautiful warrior!

DESDEMONA

My dear Othello!

DESDEMONA

My dear Othello!

OTHELLO

It gives me wonder great as my content To see you here before me. Oh, my soul’s joy! If after every tempest come such calms, May the winds blow till they have wakened death, And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas Olympus-high, and duck again as low As hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy, for I fear My soul hath her content so absolute That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate.

OTHELLO

I'm surprised, but happy to see that you made it here before me. Oh, my soul is overjoyed! If this is my reward for every sea-storm, then let the winds rage and blow all they can, and let my ships have to climb up mountainous waves and drop down from their crests as if falling from heaven to hell! If I were to die now, I'd die at my happiest moment. I don't think my soul will ever be as happy as this again.

DESDEMONA

The heavens forbidBut that our loves and comforts should increase,Even as our days do grow.

DESDEMONA

May heaven give us even more love and comfort as we get older.

OTHELLO

Amen to that, sweet powers! I cannot speak enough of this content. It stops me here, it is too much of joy. And this, and this, the greatest discords be (kissing her) That e'er our hearts shall make!

OTHELLO

Amen to that, oh heavenly powers! I can't speak enough about how happy I am. It's too much joy. [He kisses DESDEMONA] And let this, and this, be the only quarrels we have.

IAGO

[aside] Oh, you are well tuned now,But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,As honest as I am.

IAGO

[To himself] You are happy now, but I'll ruin your happiness, no matter how honest you may think I am.

OTHELLO

Come, let us to the castle. News, friends! Our wars are done, the Turks are drowned. How does my old acquaintance of this isle?— Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus, I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet, I prattle out of fashion, and I dote In mine own comforts.— I prithee, good Iago, Go to the bay and disembark my coffers. Bring thou the master to the citadel. He is a good one, and his worthiness Does challenge much respect.— Come, Desdemona, Once more, well met at Cyprus.

OTHELLO

Come on, let's go to the castle. I have good news, friends! The war is over, and the Turks are all drowned. How is my old friend on this island doing? 

[To DESDEMONA] Honey, you will be well loved in Cyprus. They've shown nothing but love to me. Oh, my sweet lady, I keep on chattering on and going on and on about my happiness.

[To IAGO] Iago, if you don't mind, go to the bay and unload my chests from the ship. Bring the ship captain to the castle. He's a good man, and his virtue demands respect.

[To DESDEMONA] Come with me Desdemona.  One more time: it's so nice to see you at Cyprus.

Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and attendants

IAGO

(to the attendant) Do thou meet me presently at the harbor. (to RODERIGO) Come hither. If thou be’st valiant, as they say base men being in love have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them, list me. The lieutenant tonight watches on the court of guard. First, I must tell thee this: Desdemona is directly in love with him.

IAGO

[To an attendant] Meet me in a minute at the harbor.

[To RODERIGO] Come here. If you are brave—for after all, they say that lousy men acquire more nobility than they naturally have when they are in love—listen to me. Tonight, the lieutenant Cassio will be on guard. First of all, I have to tell you this: Desdemona is in love with him.

RODERIGO

With him? Why, ’tis not possible.

RODERIGO

With him? But that's not possible.

IAGO

Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, butfor bragging and telling her fantastical lies. To love him still for prating? Let not thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed, and what delight shall she haveto look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be a game to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years, manners and beauties. All which the Moor is defective in. Now for want of these required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will finditself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor. Very nature will instruct her in it and compel her to some second choice. Now sir, this granted—as it is a most pregnant and unforced position—who stands so eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does? A knave very voluble, no furtherconscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection. Why, none, why, none! A slipper and subtle knave, a finder of occasions that has an eye, can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself. A devilish knave. Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after. A pestilent complete knave, and the woman hath found him already.

IAGO

Quiet for a second, and listen up. Remember how quickly she fell in love with the Moor, all over some bragging and made-up fantastical stories. Do you think she still loves him now for talking? Don't think this for a second. She wants something nice to look at, and she won't get that with the devil Othello. When she gets bored with having sex, she'll need to find something to inflame her passion again—someone good-looking, closer to her age, and more like her in behavior and appearance. She'll find none of this in the Moor. Without any of these desirable things, she'll get so sick of the Moor she'll want to throw up. Her very nature will compel her to find a second man. Now, sir, given all this obvious information, who do you think she will turn to if not Cassio? He's eloquent, and puts up a facade of good manners to hide his real desires. She'll choose no one but him. He's a tricky, opportunistic villain, who takes advantage of situations. He's a devilish fool. And besides, this scoundrel is handsome, young, and has everything that foolish young women look for in a man. He's an awful and complete rascal, and Desdemona's already found him.

RODERIGO

I cannot believe that in her. She’s full of most blessed condition.

RODERIGO

I can't believe this about Desdemona. She's such a good, blessed woman.

IAGO

Blessed fig’s-end! The wine she drinks is made of grapes. If she had been blessed, she would never have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? Didst not mark that?

IAGO

Blessed? As if. She drinks the same wine we do. If she was really blessed, she never would have fallen in love with the Moor. Blessed? Nonsense! Didn't you see her playing with Cassio's hand? Didn't you notice that?

RODERIGO

Yes, that I did, but that was but courtesy.

RODERIGO

Yes, I did notice that. But it was just courtesy.

IAGO

Lechery, by this hand, an index and obscure prologue tothe history of lust and foul thoughts. They met so nearwith their lips that their breaths embraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo! When these mutabilities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, th' incorporate conclusion. Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me. I have brought you from Venice.Watch you tonight for the command, I’ll lay ’t upon you. Cassio knows you not. I’ll not be far from you. Do you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or tainting his discipline, or from what other course you please, which the time shall more favorably minister.

IAGO

It was flirtation, the sort of thing that leads to foul thoughts and lust. Their faces were so close to each other that they almost breathed the same breath. It's horrible to think about, Roderigo! When this kind of behavior happens, the main event isn't far away—the physical consummation. Psh! But, sir, let me tell you what to do. I've brought you here from Venice. Wait for my command tonight. Cassio doesn't know who you are. I won't be far away from you. Find some excuse to make Cassio angry, either by speaking too loudly, or mocking his discipline, or whatever way you want that seems like a good idea at the time.

RODERIGO

Well.

RODERIGO

Okay.

IAGO

Sir, he’s rash and very sudden in choler, and haply maystrike at you. Provoke him that he may. For even out ofthat will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny, whose qualification shall come into no true taste again but bythe displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I shall then have to prefer them, and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.

IAGO

Sir, Cassio has a bad temper, and maybe he'll try to hit you. Provoke him so that he will. Then, if he hits you, I'll use that as an excuse to stir up a riot of the inhabitants of Cyprus—a riot that won't die down until Cassio is stripped of his position as lieutenant. This will give you an easier path to getting what you want, with my help, and it will get Cassio out of your way. With him standing in the way, you would have no hope of getting what you want.

RODERIGO

I will do this, if you can bring it to any opportunity.

RODERIGO

I will do this, if you give me the chance.

IAGO

I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel. I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.

IAGO

I promise I will. Meet me later at the castle. I have to bring Othello's things in from the boat. Goodbye.

RODERIGO

Adieu.

RODERIGO

Goodbye.

Exit

IAGO

That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ’t. That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit. The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not, Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too, Not out of absolute lust—though peradventure I stand accountant for as great a sin— But partly led to diet my revenge, For that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leaped into my seat. The thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards, And nothing can or shall content my soul Till I am evened with him, wife for wife. Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do, If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip, Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb (For I fear Cassio with my night-cape too) Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me For making him egregiously an ass And practicing upon his peace and quiet Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused. Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used.

IAGO

I really do believe that Cassio loves Desdemona. And I think it's probable that she loves him. Although I hate the Moor, he really is steadfast, loving, and noble, and I think he'll be a good husband to Desdemona. Now, I love her too, but not just out of lust—though I'm guilty of that, too—but also in order to carry out my revenge. For I suspect the lusty Moor has slept with my wife. The thought of it gnaws my insides like a poison, and I won't be satisfied until I've gotten even with him—a wife for a wife. Or, failing that, I'll at least make the Moor so jealous that no good judgment can fix it. And I'll have Michael Cassio right where I want him to carry out that plan—as long as this piece of Venetian trash, Roderigo, does as I've told him. I'll speak ill of Cassio to Othello, and the Moor will love me and reward me for it, even though all I'll be doing is making an ass of him and destroying his peace and quiet. It's all doable, but I haven't worked out all the details yet. Evil plots never reveal themselves fully until they've worked.

Exit

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.