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Othello

Othello Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA

OTHELLO

You have seen nothing then?

OTHELLO

You haven't seen anything, then?

EMILIA

Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.

EMILIA

I haven't heard anything either, and I haven't suspected anything.

OTHELLO

Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.

OTHELLO

But you've seen Desdemona and Cassio together. 

EMILIA

But then I saw no harm, and then I heard Each syllable that breath made up between them.

EMILIA

But I didn't see anything wrong then, and I heard every syllable they uttered to each other.

OTHELLO

What, did they never whisper?

OTHELLO

What, did they never whisper so you couldn't hear?

EMILIA

Never, my lord.

EMILIA

Never, my lord.

OTHELLO

Nor send you out o' th' way?

OTHELLO

And they never sent you away?

EMILIA

Never.

EMILIA

Never.

OTHELLO

To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?

OTHELLO

She didn't send you away to go get her fan, her gloves, her mask? Nothing?

EMILIA

Never, my lord.

EMILIA

Never, my lord.

OTHELLO

That’s strange.

OTHELLO

That's strange.

EMILIA

I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest, Lay down my soul at stake. If you think other Remove your thought, it doth abuse your bosom. If any wretch have put this in your head Let heaven requite it with the serpent’s curse For if she be not honest, chaste, and true There’s no man happy. The purest of their wives Is foul as slander.

EMILIA

I would bet that Desdemona is honest, my lord. I'd bet my soul on it. If you think otherwise, throw away this suspicion—it is poisoning your heart. If any wretch has put the idea in your head, may God curse him the way he cursed the snake. If Desdemona is not honest, chaste, and true, then no woman is, and no man is happy with his wife.

OTHELLO

Bid her come hither. Go.

OTHELLO

Tell her to come here. Go. 

Exit EMILIA

She says enough, yet she’s a simple bawd That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore, A closet, lock and key, of villainous secrets. And yet she’ll kneel and pray, I have seen her do ’t.

She says Desdemona is faithful, but the stupidest girl could say as much. Desdemona is a sneaky whore, a locked closet full of villainous secrets. And the whole time she'll kneel and pray like a good woman. I have seen her do it.

Enter DESDEMONA with EMILIA

DESDEMONA

My lord, what is your will?

DESDEMONA

My lord, what do you want?

OTHELLO

Pray you, chuck, come hither.

OTHELLO

Please, dear, come here.

DESDEMONA

What is your pleasure?

DESDEMONA

What would you like?

OTHELLO

Let me see your eyes.Look in my face.

OTHELLO

Let me see your eyes. Look into my face.

DESDEMONA

What horrible fancy’s this?

DESDEMONA

What horrible things are you imagining?

OTHELLO

(to EMILIA) Some of your function, mistress, Leave procreants alone and shut the door. Cough or cry “hem” if any body come. Your mystery, your mystery! Nay, dispatch!

OTHELLO

[To EMILIA] Do your job, mistress, and leave us lovers alone. Shut the door. Cough or say "ahem" if anyone comes. That's your job, your job! Go!

Exit EMILIA

DESDEMONA

Upon my knee, what doth your speech import?I understand a fury in your words,But not the words.

DESDEMONA

I beg you here on my knees—tell me, what do you mean by your speech? I can see that you are angry, but I don't understand what you mean.

OTHELLO

Why, what art thou?

OTHELLO

Well, what are you?

DESDEMONA

Your wife, my lord. Your true and loyal wife.

DESDEMONA

I am your wife, my lord. Your true and loyal wife.

OTHELLO

Come, swear it, damn thyself. Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double damned, Swear thou art honest!

OTHELLO

Come and swear that's true, damn yourself by making a false oath. Otherwise, since you look so angelic, the devils themselves would be afraid to seize you. So doubly damn yourself by swearing falsely that you are honest!

DESDEMONA

Heaven doth truly know it.

DESDEMONA

Heaven knows the truth.

OTHELLO

Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.

OTHELLO

Heaven knows the truth: that you are false as hell.

DESDEMONA

To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?

DESDEMONA

To whom, my lord? With whom have I been unfaithful? How am I false?

OTHELLO

Ah, Desdemona, away, away, away!

OTHELLO

Ah, Desdemona, go away, away, away!

DESDEMONA

Alas the heavy day, why do you weep? Am I the motive of these tears, my lord? If haply you my father do suspect An instrument of this your calling back, Lay not your blame on me. If you have lost him, Why, I have lost him too.

DESDEMONA

Alas, this is a sad day. Why are you crying? Am I the cause of these tears, my lord? If you suspect that my father has something to do with your being called back home, don't blame me for it. If he has cut ties with you, well then he has cut ties with me, too.

OTHELLO

Had it pleased heaven To try me with affliction, had they rained All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head, Steeped me in poverty to the very lips, Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes, I should have found in some place of my soul A drop of patience. But, alas, to make me The fixèd figure for the time of scorn To point his slow and moving finger at! Yet could I bear that too, well, very well. But there where I have garnered up my heart, Where either I must live or bear no life, The fountain from the which my current runs Or else dries up—to be discarded thence! Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there, Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin,— Ay, there, look grim as hell!

OTHELLO

If God had decided to give me some affliction, if he had put all kinds of shameful sores on my bare head, had made me extremely poor, and made me a prisoner with no hope, I would have found a way to endure it. But, alas, to make me a laughing-stock forever, and an object of scorn! And yet, I could even endure that too, very well. But to do something to my heart, on which my life depends, which pumps all the blood through my veins, to dry it up and turn into a basin for foul toads to wallow and couple in! The very god of Patience could look at my heart with her young, rosy lips, and her complexion would turn grim as hell!

DESDEMONA

I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.

DESDEMONA

I hope my noble lord thinks I am honest.

OTHELLO

Oh, ay, as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed, Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne'er been born!

OTHELLO

Oh yes, as honest as a swarm of flies all reproducing together in the blowing wind. Oh, you weed, you are so lovely and smell so sweet that it hurts to look at you. I wish you had never been born!

DESDEMONA

Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?

DESDEMONA

Alas, what sin have I committed without knowing about it?

OTHELLO

Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, Made to write “whore” upon? What committed? Committed? O thou public commoner! I should make very forges of my cheeks That would to cinders burn up modesty Did I but speak thy deeds. What committed? Heaven stops the nose at it and the moon winks, The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets Is hushed within the hollow mine of earth And will not hear ’t. What committed! Impudent strumpet!

OTHELLO

Did God create in you a beautiful blank slate just to write "whore" on it? What sin did you commit? Commit? Oh, you public prostitute! If I even spoke of what you did, my mouth would burn up modesty itself just by uttering the words. What sin have you committed? Heaven and the moon itself, the wind and the depths of the earth all turn away and don't want to hear about it. What sin have you committed? You shameless whore!

DESDEMONA

By heaven, you do me wrong!

DESDEMONA

By heaven, you accuse me wrongly!

OTHELLO

Are you not a strumpet?

OTHELLO

Are you not a whore? 

DESDEMONA

No, as I am a Christian. If to preserve this vessel for my lord From any other foul unlawful touch Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.

DESDEMONA

No, I swear on my Christianity. If the definition of not being a whore is to preserve my virginity for my husband and not let any other foul man unlawfully touch me, then I am not one.

OTHELLO

What, not a whore?

OTHELLO

What, not a whore?

DESDEMONA

No, as I shall be saved.

DESDEMONA

No I am not, on my word as a good Christian.

OTHELLO

Is ’t possible?

OTHELLO

Can this be true?

DESDEMONA

Oh, heaven forgive us!

DESDEMONA

Oh, God forgive us!

OTHELLO

I cry you mercy, then, I took you for that cunning whore of Venice That married with Othello.— You, mistress, That have the office opposite to Saint Peter And keep the gate of hell!

OTHELLO

I beg your pardon, then. I mixed you up with that cunning whore from Venice who married that man Othello. You, madam, must be Saint Peter's diabolical counterpart, the gate-keeper of hell!

Enter EMILIA

You, you, ay, you!We have done our course. There’s money for your pains.I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.

Oh, you now! We're all done in here. Here's the money I owe you for it. Please now, keep this little rendezvous a secret.

Exit

EMILIA

Alas, what does this gentleman conceive? How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?

EMILIA

Alas, what is this gentleman talking about? How are you doing, madam? My good lady, are you okay?

DESDEMONA

Faith, half asleep.

DESDEMONA

I've practically fainted, to tell the truth.

EMILIA

Good madam, what’s the matter with my lord?

EMILIA

Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?

DESDEMONA

With who?

DESDEMONA

With who?

EMILIA

Why, with my lord, madam.

EMILIA

With my lord, madam.

DESDEMONA

Who is thy lord?

DESDEMONA

Who is your lord?

EMILIA

He that is yours, sweet lady.

EMILIA

Your husband, sweet lady.

DESDEMONA

I have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia. I cannot weep, nor answers have I none, But what should go by water. Prithee, tonight Lay on my bed my wedding sheets. Remember, And call thy husband hither.

DESDEMONA

I have no husband. Do not talk to me, Emilia. I cannot weep, and I have nothing to say besides what could be expressed by tears. Please, make my bed tonight with the sheets from my wedding night. Remember to do this, and call your husband here.

EMILIA

Here’s a change indeed!

EMILIA

Everything has changed so much!

Exit

DESDEMONA

'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet. How have I been behaved that he might stick The small’st opinion on my least misuse?

DESDEMONA

It's appropriate that I am treated like this, very appropriate. What have I ever done to make him find the smallest thing to complain about?

Enter EMILIA with IAGO

IAGO

What is your pleasure, madam? How is ’t with you?

IAGO

What do you want, madam? How are things going with you?

DESDEMONA

I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes Do it with gentle means and easy tasks. He might have chid me so, for, in good faith, I am a child to chiding.

DESDEMONA

I can't tell. Those who teach young children do it in a gentle way with easy tasks. He should have scolded me in this kind of a gentle way, for I am truly like a child who has been scolded. 

IAGO

What is the matter, lady?

IAGO

What is the matter, lady?

EMILIA

Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her,Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her, That true hearts cannot bear it.

EMILIA

Alas, Iago, my lord has called her a whore, and called her such serious, spiteful names that someone with a true heart couldn't bear to hear them.

DESDEMONA

Am I that name, Iago?

DESDEMONA

Am I that name, Iago?

IAGO

What name, fair lady?

IAGO

What name, fair lady?

DESDEMONA

Such as she says my lord did say I was.

DESDEMONA

The one my lord called me.

EMILIA

He called her “whore.” A beggar in his drink Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.

EMILIA

He called her "whore." A drunken beggar wouldn't call his girl such a name. 

IAGO

Why did he so?

IAGO

Why did he call you this?

DESDEMONA

I do not know. I am sure I am none such.

DESDEMONA

I do not know. I am sure I am not such a thing.

IAGO

Do not weep, do not weep. Alas the day!

IAGO

Do not weep, do not weep. Alas, what a terrible day!

EMILIA

Hath she forsook so many noble matches, Her father and her country, and her friends, To be called “whore”? Would it not make one weep?

EMILIA

Did she reject so many noble suitors and turn her back on her father, her country, and her friends just to be called a whore? Wouldn't that make anyone weep?

DESDEMONA

It is my wretched fortune.

DESDEMONA

It is my wretched fate.

IAGO

Beshrew him for ’t!How comes this trick upon him?

IAGO

Damn him for this! What has happened to him?

DESDEMONA

Nay, heaven doth know.

DESDEMONA

Only God knows.

EMILIA

I will be hanged, if some eternal villain, Some busy and insinuating rogue, Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office, Have not devised this slander. I will be hanged else!

EMILIA

I would bet my life that some villain—some scheming, insinuating rogue, some deceitful, double-crossing rogue—has slandered Desdemona in order to get some military position. If I'm wrong, let me be hanged!

IAGO

Fie, there is no such man. It is impossible.

IAGO

But there is no man who would do such a thing. It is impossible.

DESDEMONA

If any such there be, heaven pardon him!

DESDEMONA

If there is any such man, may God have mercy on him!

EMILIA

A halter pardon him and hell gnaw his bones! Why should he call her “whore?” Who keeps her company? What place? What time? What form? What likelihood? The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave, Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow. O heavens, that such companions thou’dst unfold, And put in every honest hand a whip To lash the rascals naked through the world Even from the east to th' west!

EMILIA

Let him get his mercy from a noose, and let devils in hell gnaw on his bones! Why should Othello call Desdemona a whore? Who does she sleep with? Where? When? How? What proof is there? The Moor has been tricked by some absolutely villainous lowlife—some base, well-known fool, some vile man. Oh God, if only you would reveal the evil people in the world and give every honest person a whip to lash the rascals with as they run naked east to west across the whole globe!

IAGO

Speak within door.

IAGO

Quiet down.

EMILIA

Oh, fie upon them! Some such squire he was That turned your wit the seamy side withoutAnd made you to suspect me with the Moor.

EMILIA

Oh, curse those evil people! It was a person like this who got inside your head and made you suspect that I cheated on you with the Moor. 

IAGO

You are a fool. Go to.

IAGO

You are a fool. Get out of here.

DESDEMONA

Alas Iago, What shall I do to win my lord again? Good friend, go to him. For, by this light of heaven, I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel: If e'er my will did trespass 'gainst his love, Either in discourse of thought or actual deed, Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense, Delighted them, or any other form, Or that I do not yet, and ever did, And ever will— though he do shake me off To beggarly divorcement—love him dearly, Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much, And his unkindness may defeat my life, But never taint my love. I cannot say “whore,” It does abhor me now I speak the word. To do the act that might the addition earn Not the world’s mass of vanity could make me.

DESDEMONA

Alas, Iago, what should I do to win back my husband? Good friend, go to him. For I swear by heaven, I do not know what I did to lose him. I kneel down here and swear it: if I ever betrayed his love, either by some actual deed or even by just thinking about doing something; if my eyes, ears, or anything else ever delighted in any other man; if I never really loved him or don't love him now, or won't continue to love him dearly (even as he tries to divorce me), then may I lose all comforts! Unkindness is powerful—and his unkindness could kill me—but it can never change my love for him. I cannot say "whore." The word catches in my throat even as I try to say it now. Not all the pleasures in the world could make me do the act that would earn me that name.

IAGO

I pray you, be content, ’tis but his humor. The business of the state does him offence,And he does chide with you.

IAGO

I beg you, don't get upset. Othello is just in a bad mood. State business has angered him, and he's just taking out his anger on you.

DESDEMONA

If ’twere no other—

DESDEMONA

If there were no other reason—

IAGO

'Tis but so, I warrant.

IAGO

That's it, I promise.

Trumpets sound

Hark, how these instruments summon to supper. The messengers of Venice stays the meat.Go in, and weep not. All things shall be well.

Listen, these trumpets announce that dinner is ready. The messenger from Venice is waiting on the food. Go inside, and don't cry. Everything will be okay.

Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA

Enter RODERIGO

How now, Roderigo!

How are things, Roderigo?

RODERIGO

I do not find that thou deal’st justly with me.

RODERIGO

I don't think you've been honest with me.

IAGO

What in the contrary?

IAGO

Why not?

RODERIGO

Every day thou daff’st me with some device, Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep’st from me all conveniency than suppliest me with the least advantage of hope. I will indeed no longer endure it, nor am I yetpersuaded to put up in peace what already I have foolishly suffered.

RODERIGO

Every day you play some trick on me, Iago. And it seems to me now that you are making things more difficult for me rather than giving me any advantage or hope of success. I won't tolerate this any longer, and as for what you've already done and what I've foolishly suffered because of you, I'm not just going to take it peacefully.

IAGO

Will you hear me, Roderigo?

IAGO

Will you listen to me, Roderigo?

RODERIGO

I have heard too much, and your words and performances are no kin together.

RODERIGO

I have heard you speak too much, and your actions and words don't match up.

IAGO

You charge me most unjustly.

IAGO

You accuse me unjustly.

RODERIGO

With naught but truth. I have wasted myself out of my means. The jewels you have had from me to deliver Desdemona would half have corrupted a votaress. You havetold me she hath received them and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.

RODERIGO

I accuse you with nothing but the truth. I have spent all my money. The jewels you took from me to send to Desdemona would have been enough to corrupt a nun. You told me she received them, and promised that, in return, I would see hope and encouragement by her immediate affection. But I have seen nothing.

IAGO

Well, go to. Very well.

IAGO

Well, fine.

RODERIGO

“Very well,” “go to”! I cannot go to, man, nor ’tis not very well. Nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin to find myself fopped in it.

RODERIGO

"Fine!" Things aren't "fine," man. Things are not going very well. No, things are going horribly, and now I've been tricked into a big mess.

IAGO

Very well.

IAGO

Very well.

RODERIGO

I tell you ’tis not very well. I will make myself knownto Desdemona. If she will return me my jewels I will give over my suit and repent my unlawful solicitation. If not, assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you.

RODERIGO

It is not very well, I tell you. I will tell everything to Desdemona. If she will return my jewels, I will give up on courting her and take back my unlawful advances. If she doesn't, I'll seek repayment from you.

IAGO

You have said now.

IAGO

You've spoken your piece, now.

RODERIGO

Ay, and said nothing but what I protest intendment of doing.

RODERIGO

Yes, and I've said just what I intend to do.

IAGO

Why, now I see there’s mettle in thee, and even from this instant to build on thee a better opinion than everbefore. Give me thy hand, Roderigo. Thou hast taken against me a most just exception, but yet I protest I have dealt most directly in thy affair.

IAGO

Well, now I see you have a backbone, and I think more highly of you now than ever before. Give me your hand, Roderigo. Your accusation against me is understandable, but I still insist that I have behaved honestly in helping you with your situation.

RODERIGO

It hath not appeared.

RODERIGO

It doesn't appear that way.

IAGO

I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your suspicionis not without wit and judgment. But, Roderigo, if thouhast that in thee indeed, which I have greater reason to believe now than ever—I mean purpose, courage and valor—this night show it. If thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from this world with treachery and devise engines for my life.

IAGO

I admit it doesn't seem that way, and you are not stupid or unjustified to have suspicions. But, Roderigo, if you have courage, dedication, and bravery—which I now more than ever think you do—then prove it tonight. If you do not spend the next night with Desdemona, then feel free to take me away and devise ways to kill me.

RODERIGO

Well, what is it? Is it within reason and compass?

RODERIGO

Well, what is your plan? Is it reasonable?

IAGO

Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice to depute Cassio in Othello’s place.

IAGO

Sir, a special order has come from Venice to put Cassio in charge here, in Othello's place.

RODERIGO

Is that true? Why, then Othello and Desdemona return again to Venice.

RODERIGO

Is that true? Then Othello and Desdemona are returning to Venice.

IAGO

Oh, no, he goes into Mauritania and taketh away with him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be lingered here by some accident—wherein none can be so determinateas the removing of Cassio.

IAGO

Oh, no, he is going to Mauritania, and taking the fair Desdemona with him, unless some freak accident keeps him here. And nothing would serve this purpose more than the removal of Cassio.

RODERIGO

How do you mean, removing of him?

RODERIGO

What do you mean by "removal?"

IAGO

Why, by making him uncapable of Othello’s place: knocking out his brains.

IAGO

Well, I mean making him incapable of taking Othello's place. Knocking out his brains.

RODERIGO

And that you would have me to do!

RODERIGO

And you want me to do that!

IAGO

Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right. He sups tonight with a harlotry, and thither will I go to him. He knows not yet of his honorable fortune. If you will watch his going thence (which I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one) you may take him at your pleasure. I will be near to second your attempt, and he shall fall between us. Come, stand not amazed at it, but go along with me. I will show you such a necessity in his death that you shall think yourself bound to put it on him. It is now high suppertime, and the night grows to waste. About it!

IAGO

Yes, if you dare do something that would help yourself. Cassio is having dinner tonight with a prostitute, and I am going to go meet him there. He doesn't know yet about his good luck with this promotion. If you will be on the lookout for him there (and I'll make it so he is walking by between twelve and one o'clock) you can get him. I'll be nearby to help you, and he'll be surrounded by us. Come on, don't stand there dumbfounded. Go along with me. I will prove to you that you absolutely must kill Cassio, and you will realize you have no choice but to do it. It is now almost dinner time, and time is wasting. Go do it!

RODERIGO

I will hear further reason for this.

RODERIGO

I'll come and hear what reasons you have for doing this.

IAGO

And you shall be satisfied.

IAGO

You won't regret it.

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.