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Othello

Othello Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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DESDEMONA asleep in bed Enter OTHELLO with a light

OTHELLO

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul. Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars, It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood, Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow And smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light. If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, I can again thy former light restore Should I repent me. But once put out thy light, Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature, I know not where is that Promethean heat That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose I cannot give it vital growth again, It must needs wither. I’ll smell thee on the tree. Oh, balmy breath, that dost almost persuade Justice to break her sword! One more, one more. Be thus when thou art dead and I will kill thee And love thee after. (kissing her) One more, and that’sthe last. So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep, But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly, It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.

OTHELLO

That's the reason for this, that's the reason, my soul. I won't say the reason to the chaste stars in the sky, but it is the reason. But I won't shed her blood, or scar that skin of hers that is whiter than snow and as smooth as alabaster. Still, she must die or else she'll betray more men. Extinguish the light, and then extinguish her light. If I extinguish you, flame, I can light you again if I have second thoughts. But as for you—you most artfully, excellently fashioned woman—once I put out your light, I don't know of any magical fire that can bring your life back. When I have plucked the rose of your life, I can't re-plant it again—it must wither. I'll smell you while you're still alive. Oh, your gentle breath almost persuades Justice herself to put away her sword! One more, one more kiss. If you look like this when you are dead, I will kill you and love you after. [He kisses DESDEMONA] One more, and that's the last. There was never anything so sweet and yet so deadly as you. I can't help but weep, but that is not a sign of pity. This sorrow is like that of God, who must strike down the creatures he loves. She's waking up.

DESDEMONA

Who’s there? Othello?

DESDEMONA

Who's there? Othello?

OTHELLO

Ay, Desdemona.

OTHELLO

Yes, Desdemona.

DESDEMONA

Will you come to bed, my lord?

DESDEMONA

Will you come to bed, my lord?

OTHELLO

Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?

OTHELLO

Have you prayed tonight, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA

Ay, my lord.

DESDEMONA

Yes, my lord.

OTHELLO

If you bethink yourself of any crimeUnreconciled as yet to heaven and grace, Solicit for it straight.

OTHELLO

If you can think of any crime you haven't atoned for, make amends with God right now.

DESDEMONA

Alack, my lord, what do you mean by that?

DESDEMONA

My lord, what do you mean by that?

OTHELLO

Well, do it, and be brief. I will walk by. I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit. No, heavens forfend, I would not kill thy soul!

OTHELLO

Just do it. And quickly. I will walk around. I would not want to kill you when you haven't prepared your soul by confessing and repenting. No, heaven forbid it, I would not send your soul to hell.

DESDEMONA

Talk you of killing?

DESDEMONA

You're talking about killing?

OTHELLO

Ay, I do.

OTHELLO

Yes, I am.

DESDEMONA

Then heavenHave mercy on me!

DESDEMONA

Then heaven have mercy on me!

OTHELLO

Amen, with all my heart.

OTHELLO

Amen, I wholeheartedly agree.

DESDEMONA

If you say, I hope you will not kill me.

DESDEMONA

Then I hope you will not kill me.

OTHELLO

Humh!

OTHELLO

Hmph!

DESDEMONA

And yet I fear you, for you’re fatal then When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not, Since guiltiness I know not. But yet I feel I fear.

DESDEMONA

And yet I fear you, because when your eyes roll like that I know you're in a deadly mood. I don't know why I should be afraid, since I am not guilty of anything. But I am afraid nonetheless.

OTHELLO

Think on thy sins.

OTHELLO

Think about your sins.

DESDEMONA

They are loves I bear to you.

DESDEMONA

My only sin is my love for you.

OTHELLO

Ay, and for that thou diest.

OTHELLO

Yes, and that's why you're going to die.

DESDEMONA

That death’s unnatural that kills for loving. Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip? Some bloody passion shakes your very frame. These are portents, but yet I hope, I hope They do not point on me.

DESDEMONA

It's not a natural thing to kill someone for loving. Alas, why are you biting your lower lip? Some bloodthirsty passion is shaking your whole body. These are bad signs, but I hope they do not point to something that is going to happen to me.

OTHELLO

Peace, and be still.

OTHELLO

Be quiet, and stay still.

DESDEMONA

I will so. What’s the matter?

DESDEMONA

I will. What's the matter?

OTHELLO

That handkerchiefWhich I so loved and gave thee, thou gav’stTo Cassio.

OTHELLO

That handkerchief that I loved so much and gave to you, you gave to Cassio.

DESDEMONA

No, by my life and soul!Send for the man and ask him.

DESDEMONA

No, I swear on my life and soul! Send for him and ask him.

OTHELLO

Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury. Thou art on thy deathbed.

OTHELLO

You sweet soul, careful now, be careful about lying. You are on your deathbed.

DESDEMONA

Ay—but not yet to die!

DESDEMONA

Yes, but it's not yet time for me to die!

OTHELLO

Presently. Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin, For to deny each article with oath Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.

OTHELLO

It will be soon. Therefore confess your sin openly. Your denial of every part of it can do nothing to remove the horrible idea that I have in my head. You are about to die.

DESDEMONA

Oh, heaven have mercy on me!

DESDEMONA

Oh, heaven have mercy on me!

OTHELLO

I say “amen.”

OTHELLO

I say amen to that.

DESDEMONA

And have you mercy too! I never did Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio But with such general warranty of heaven As I might love. I never gave him token.

DESDEMONA

And you have mercy, too! I never did anything to offend you in my life. I never loved Cassio except in a general way, as a friend. I never gave him a token of my affection.

OTHELLO

By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ’s hand. O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart, And mak’st me call what I intend to do A murder, which I thought a sacrifice! I saw the handkerchief.

OTHELLO

By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in his hand. Oh, you lying woman! You turn my heart to stone and make me call what I intend to do a murder, instead of a sacrifice! I saw the handkerchief.

DESDEMONA

He found it then,I never gave it him. Send for him hither,Let him confess a truth.

DESDEMONA

Then he must have found it. I never gave it to him. Send for him to come here, and let him tell you the truth.

OTHELLO

He hath confessed.

OTHELLO

He has confessed.

DESDEMONA

What, my lord?

DESDEMONA

What, my lord?

OTHELLO

That he hath usèd thee.

OTHELLO

He has confessed that he has had sex with you.

DESDEMONA

How? Unlawfully?

DESDEMONA

What? Adulterous sex with me?

OTHELLO

Ay.

OTHELLO

Yes.

DESDEMONA

He will not say so.

DESDEMONA

He would not say that.

OTHELLO

No, his mouth is stopped. Honest IagoHath ta'en order for ’t.

OTHELLO

No, he cannot speak. Honest Iago has taken care of that.

DESDEMONA

Oh! My fear interprets. What, is he dead?

DESDEMONA

Oh! I am afraid I know what you mean by that. What, is he dead?

OTHELLO

Had all his hairs been livesMy great revenge had stomach for them all.

OTHELLO

If he had had as many lives as hairs on his head, I would have had enough revenge for each one of them.

DESDEMONA

Alas, he is betrayed and I undone.

DESDEMONA

Alas, he has been betrayed, and now I am ruined.

OTHELLO

Out, strumpet! weep’st thou for him to my face?

OTHELLO

Enough, whore! Do you dare to weep for him in front of me?

DESDEMONA

Oh, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

DESDEMONA

Oh, my lord, banish me, but do not kill me.

OTHELLO

Down, strumpet!

OTHELLO

Get down, whore!

DESDEMONA

Kill me tomorrow—let me live tonight!

DESDEMONA

Kill me tomorrow—let me live tonight!

OTHELLO

Nay, if you strive—

OTHELLO

No, if you struggle—

DESDEMONA

But half an hour!

DESDEMONA

Just half an hour!

OTHELLO

Being done, there is no pause.

OTHELLO

Once I've started this, I cannot stop.

DESDEMONA

But while I say one prayer!

DESDEMONA

Let me say just one prayer!

OTHELLO

It is too late. [he smothers her]

OTHELLO

It is too late. [OTHELLO smothers DESDEMONA]

EMILIA

[within] My lord , my lord! What, ho! My lord, my lord!

EMILIA

[Offstage] My lord, my lord! What is going on? My lord, my lord!

OTHELLO

What noise is this?—Not dead? Not yet quite dead? I that am cruel am yet merciful, I would not have thee linger in thy pain. So, so.

OTHELLO

What is this noise? Is she not dead? Not quite dead yet? I may be cruel, but I am merciful too: I don't want you to die slowly and painfully. So here.

EMILIA

[within] What, ho! My lord, my lord!

EMILIA

[Offstage] Hey! My lord, my lord!

OTHELLO

Who’s there?

OTHELLO

Who's there?

EMILIA

[within] O good my lord, I would speak a word with you!

EMILIA

[Offstage] Oh, my good lord, I want to have a word with you!

OTHELLO

Yes, ’tis Emilia.— (to EMILIA) By and by.— She’s dead.— 'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death, The noise was high. Ha! No more moving? Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were ’t good? I think she stirs again—No. What’s best to do? If she come in, she’ll sure speak to my wife— My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife. Oh, insupportable! Oh, heavy hour! Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse Of sun and moon, and that th' affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration.

OTHELLO

Yes, it is Emilia. 

[To EMILIA]  One minute. 

[To himself] She's dead. Emilia is likely coming to tell me about Cassio's death.  There was a lot of noise outside. Ha! Not moving anymore, Desdemona? Still as the grave. Should Emilia come in here? Would that be good? Is Desdemona moving again? No. What should I do? If she comes in, she'll definitely want to speak to my wife. My wife! My wife! What wife? I have no wife. Oh, this is unbearable! Oh, what a terrible time! I think there should be a huge eclipse now of both the sun and the moon, and the ground itself should break open at what has happened.

EMILIA

[within] I do beseech youThat I may speak with you, O good my lord!

EMILIA

[Offstage] I beg you to let me speak with you, my good lord!

OTHELLO

I had forgot thee—Oh, come in, Emilia.Soft, by and by. Let me the curtains draw.Where art thou?

OTHELLO

I forgot you were out there. Come in, Emilia. Quietly, now. Let me draw the bed curtains. Where are you?

Unlocks the door. Enter EMILIA

What’s the matter with thee now?

What's the matter with you now?

EMILIA

O my good lord, yonder’s foul murders done!

EMILIA

Oh, my good lord, foul murders have been committed outside!

OTHELLO

What, now?

OTHELLO

What? Just now?

EMILIA

But now, my lord.

EMILIA

Just now, my lord.

OTHELLO

It is the very error of the moon,She comes more nearer earth than she was wont And makes men mad.

OTHELLO

This has something to do with the odd path of the moon. It is closer to the earth than normal, and this makes men crazy.

EMILIA

Cassio, my lord, hath killed a young VenetianCalled Roderigo.

EMILIA

My lord, Cassio has killed a young Venetian named Roderigo.

OTHELLO

Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed!

OTHELLO

Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed!

EMILIA

No, Cassio is not killed.

EMILIA

No, Cassio is not killed.

OTHELLO

Not Cassio killed! Then murder’s out of tune, And sweet revenge grows harsh.

OTHELLO

Cassio isn't killed? Then the murder was botched, and sweet revenge hasn't gone as planned.

DESDEMONA

Oh, falsely, falsely murdered!

DESDEMONA

Oh, I have been unjustly murdered!

EMILIA

Alas, what cry is that?

EMILIA

Alas, what is that cry?

OTHELLO

That? What?

OTHELLO

That? What?

EMILIA

Out and alas, that was my lady’s voice.

EMILIA

Oh no, that was my lady's voice.

Opens the bedcurtains

Help! Help, ho, help! O lady, speak again!Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!

Help! Hey, help, help! Oh, my lady, say something! Sweet Desdemona! Oh, sweet mistress, say something!

DESDEMONA

A guiltless death I die.

DESDEMONA

I die as an innocent.

EMILIA

Oh, who hath done this deed?

EMILIA

Oh, who has done this to you?

DESDEMONA

Nobody. I myself. Farewell.Commend me to my kind lord. Oh, farewell!

DESDEMONA

Nobody. I did it to myself. Farewell. Send my love to my kind lord. Oh, farewell!

Dies

OTHELLO

Why, how should she be murdered?

OTHELLO

Why, how could she have been murdered?

EMILIA

Alas, who knows?

EMILIA

Alas, who knows?

OTHELLO

You heard her say herself it was not I.

OTHELLO

You heard her say herself that it wasn't me.

EMILIA

She said so. I must needs report the truth.

EMILIA

She said so. I must tell the truth.

OTHELLO

She’s like a liar gone to burning hell.'Twas I that killed her.

OTHELLO

Then she's gone to hell as a liar. I'm the one who killed her.

EMILIA

Oh, the more angel she,And you the blacker devil!

EMILIA

Oh, this makes her even more of an angel, and you more of a devil!

OTHELLO

She turned to folly, and she was a whore.

OTHELLO

She strayed, and she was a whore.

EMILIA

Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.

EMILIA

You slander her, and you are a devil.

OTHELLO

She was false as water.

OTHELLO

She was as unfaithful as water is inconstant.

EMILIA

Thou art rash as fire,To say that she was false. Oh, she was heavenly true!

EMILIA

You are as impetuous as fire to say that she was unfaithful. She was heavenly faithful and honest!

OTHELLO

Cassio did top her, ask thy husband else. Oh, I were damned beneath all depth in hell, But that I did proceed upon just grounds To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.

OTHELLO

Cassio slept with her; you can ask your husband. I would be damned to hell if I didn't seek out just punishment to this end. Your husband knew all about this.

EMILIA

My husband!

EMILIA

My husband!

OTHELLO

Thy husband.

OTHELLO

Yes, your husband.

EMILIA

That she was false to wedlock?

EMILIA

He knew that she was unfaithful in her marriage?

OTHELLO

Ay, with Cassio. Had she been true, If heaven would make me such another world Of one entire and perfect chrysolite, I’d not have sold her for it.

OTHELLO

Yes, with Cassio. If she had been faithful, I wouldn't have traded her for an entire world made entirely of gemstones.

EMILIA

My husband?

EMILIA

My husband?

OTHELLO

Ay, ’twas he that told me on her first. An honest man he is, and hates the slimeThat sticks on filthy deeds.

OTHELLO

Yes, he was the one who told me about her first. He is an honest man, and hates the slime of filthy bad deeds.

EMILIA

My husband!

EMILIA

My husband!

OTHELLO

What needs this iterance, woman? I say thy husband.

OTHELLO

Why are you repeating yourself, woman? I said your husband.

EMILIA

O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love!My husband say that she was false!

EMILIA

Oh, my mistress—a villain has played tricks with love. My husband said she was unfaithful!

OTHELLO

He, woman. I say “thy husband”—dost understand the word?My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.

OTHELLO

Yes, him, woman. I said "your husband"—do you understand the words? My friend, your husband, the honest, honest Iago.

EMILIA

If he say so, may his pernicious soul Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th' heart. She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

EMILIA

If Iago said this, then let his malicious soul rot slowly day after day! He lies down to his heart. She was too attached to her filthy marriage to you to be unfaithful.

OTHELLO draws his sword

OTHELLO

Ha!

OTHELLO

Ha!

EMILIA

Do thy worst.This deed of thine is no more worthy heavenThan thou wast worthy her.

EMILIA

Do your worst. This deed you have done is not justified. It is no more worthy of heaven than you were worthy of her.

OTHELLO

Peace, you were best.

OTHELLO

You'd better be quiet.

EMILIA

Thou hast not half that power to do me harm As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt! As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed— I care not for thy sword, I’ll make thee known Though I lost twenty lives.— Help! Help, ho! Help! The Moor hath killed my mistress! Murder, murder!

EMILIA

You don't have enough strength to do me half as much harm as I can endure. Oh, you fool! You idiot! You are as ignorant as dirt! You've dome something so awful . . . I don't care about your sword. I'd spread the news of this even if I was killed twenty times. Help! Hey, help! The Moor has killed my mistress! Murder! Murder!

Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, and IAGO

MONTANO

What is the matter? How now, general?

MONTANO

What is the matter? What is going on, general?

EMILIA

Oh, are you come, Iago? You have done well,That men must lay their murders on your neck.

EMILIA

Oh, you've come, Iago? You've done really well, since other men credit you for their murders .

GRATIANO

What is the matter?

GRATIANO

What is the matter?

EMILIA

(to IAGO) Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man. He says thou told’st him that his wife was false. I know thou didst not, thou'rt not such a villain. Speak, for my heart is full.

EMILIA

[To IAGO] Refute what this villain has said, if you are a man. He says that you told him his wife was unfaithful. I know you did not; you aren't that much of a villain. Speak, for my heart can't bear your silence any longer.

IAGO

I told him what I thought, and told no moreThan what he found himself was apt and true.

IAGO

I told him what I thought, and said no more than that which he himself found out to be true.

EMILIA

But did you ever tell him she was false?

EMILIA

But did you ever tell him that she was unfaithful?

IAGO

I did.

IAGO

I did.

EMILIA

You told a lie, an odious, damnèd lie. Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie. She false with Cassio! Did you say with Cassio?

EMILIA

You told a lie—a horrible, damned lie. I swear by my soul, it was a lie, a wicked lie. Desdemona, unfaithful with Cassio! Did you say with Cassio?

IAGO

With Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue.

IAGO

Yes, with Cassio, mistress. Now come on, hold your tongue.

EMILIA

I will not charm my tongue, I am bound to speak.My mistress here lies murdered in her bed—

EMILIA

I will not hold my tongue. I must speak. My mistress lies here murdered in her bed—

ALL

Oh, heavens forfend!

ALL

Heaven forbid!

EMILIA

And your reports have set the murder on.

EMILIA

And the news you spread led to the murder.

OTHELLO

Nay, stare not, masters, it is true, indeed.

OTHELLO

Don't look so amazed, gentlemen. It is really true.

GRATIANO

'Tis a strange truth.

GRATIANO

It's a strange truth.

MONTANO

Oh, monstrous act!

MONTANO

What a monstrous act!

EMILIA

Villainy, villainy, villainy! I think upon ’t, I think I smell ’t, Oh, villainy! I thought so then, I’ll kill myself for grief. Oh, villainy, villainy!

EMILIA

Wickedness, wickedness, wickedness! I think about it, and I think I can smell it, oh wickedness! I suspected it earlier. I could kill myself out of grief. Oh, wickedness, wickedness!

IAGO

What, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.

IAGO

What, are you crazy? I order you to go back home.

EMILIA

Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak. 'Tis proper I obey him, but not now. Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.

EMILIA

Good gentlemen, give me permission to speak. It is proper for me to obey my husband, but not in this case. Maybe I will never go home, Iago.

OTHELLO

Oh! Oh! Oh!

OTHELLO

Oh! Oh! Oh!

EMILIA

Nay, lay thee down and roar,For thou hast killed the sweetest innocentThat e'er did lift up eye.

EMILIA

Yes, lie down and roar with grief, since you have killed the sweetest innocent girl that ever lived.

OTHELLO

Oh, she was foul!— I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece, Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopped. I know this act shows horrible and grim.

OTHELLO

Oh, she was foul! I barely knew you, Uncle Gratiano, but there lies your niece, whose life I have just recently stopped with these very hands. I know this act seems horrible and grim.

GRATIANO

Poor Desdemon! I am glad thy father’s dead, Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now, This sight would make him do a desperate turn, Yea, curse his better angel from his side And fall to reprobation.

GRATIANO

Poor Desdemona! I am glad your father is dead. Your marriage was painful to him, and his grief cut his life short. If he were alive now, this sight would put him in a downward spiral. Yes, he would curse his good conscience and stoop to damnation.

OTHELLO

'Tis pitiful, but yet Iago knows That she with Cassio hath the act of shame A thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it, And she did gratify his amorous works With that recognizance and pledge of love Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand, It was a handkerchief, an antique token My father gave my mother.

OTHELLO

It is pitiful, but Iago knows that Desdemona had shamefully cheated on me with Cassio a thousand times. Cassio confessed it, and she repaid his love with a token, the pledge of love that I first gave her. I saw it in his hand. It was a handkerchief, an antique my father gave to my mother.

EMILIA

Oh, heaven! Oh, heavenly powers!

EMILIA

Oh God! Oh heavenly powers!

IAGO

Zounds, hold your peace.

IAGO

Christ, keep quiet.

EMILIA

' Twill out, ’twill out.—I peace? No, I will speak as liberal as the north. Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.

EMILIA

The truth will come out, the truth will come out. Me, be quiet? No, I will speak as freely as the north wind blows. I don't care if all angels and devils and humans cry out that I am shameful for disobeying my husband, I will still speak out.

IAGO

Be wise, and get you home.

IAGO

Be smart and go back home.

Draws his sword

EMILIA

I will not.

EMILIA

I will not go.

GRATIANO

Fie! Your sword upon a woman?

GRATIANO

Shame! You draw your sword against a woman?

EMILIA

O thou dull Moor! That handkerchief thou speak’st of I found by fortune and did give my husband. For often, with a solemn earnestness— More than indeed belonged to such a trifle— He begged of me to steal it.

EMILIA

Oh, you stupid Moor!  I found the handkerchief you speak of by chance, and gave it to my husband. For he often eagerly and earnestly begged me to steal it. He was more concerned about it than one would expect for such a little thing.

IAGO

Villainous whore!

IAGO

Evil whore!

EMILIA

She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found itAnd I did give ’t my husband.

EMILIA

Did Desdemona give it to Cassio? No. I found it and gave it to my husband.

IAGO

Filth, thou liest!

IAGO

Filth, you are lying!

EMILIA

By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.— (to OTHELLO) O murderous coxcomb! What should such a fool Do with so good a wife?

EMILIA

I swear by heaven, I do not lie, I do not, gentlemen. 

[To OTHELLO] Oh, you murdering fool! How did such a fool as you get such a good wife?

OTHELLO

Are there no stones in heavenBut what serve for the thunder?—Precious villain!

OTHELLO

Doesn't Jove have any thunderbolts he can use to strike down this complete villain?

He runs at IAGO. IAGO stabs EMILIA

GRATIANO

The woman falls! Sure he hath killed his wife.

GRATIANO

The woman has fallen down! He's surely killed his own wife.

EMILIA

Ay, ay. Oh, lay me by my mistress' side.

EMILIA

Yes, yes. Oh, lay me down next to Desdemona.

Exit IAGO

GRATIANO

He’s gone, but his wife’s killed.

GRATIANO

He's run off, and his wife has been killed.

MONTANO

'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon, Which I have recovered from the Moor. Come, guard the door without. Let him not pass, But kill him rather. I’ll after that same villain, For ’tis a damnèd slave.

MONTANO

He is a terrible villain. Take this weapon that I have obtained from the Moor. Go, guard the outer door. Don't let Iago get out. Kill him instead. I'll chase after the same villain, for he is a damned scoundrel.

Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO

OTHELLO

I am not valiant neither, But ever puny whipster gets my sword. But why should honor outlive honesty? Let it go all.

OTHELLO

I'm not very strong if some puny little man can take my sword from me. But then again, why should my honor live on after my honesty is dead? I'll let it all go.

EMILIA

What did thy song bode, lady? Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan. And die in music. ( singing) Willow, willow, willow Moor, she was chaste, she loved thee, cruel Moor. So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true. So speaking as I think, alas, I die.

EMILIA

What did your song foretell, my lady? Listen, can you  hear me? I will be like a swan and die while singing. [Singing] Willow, willow, willow— Moor, she was chaste and she loved you, cruel Moor. I speak the truth, so my soul will go to heaven. And so, alas, I die—speaking my honest thoughts.

Dies

OTHELLO

I have another weapon in this chamber, It was a sword of Spain, the ice-brook’s temper. Oh, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.

OTHELLO

I have another weapon in this room. It is a sword from Spain, hardened in an icy stream. Oh, here it is. Uncle, I must come out of the room.

GRATIANO

[within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear.Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.

GRATIANO

[Offstage] If you try to get by, you'll pay for it. You have no weapon, and so you'll surely get hurt.

OTHELLO

Look in upon me then and speak with me, Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.

OTHELLO

Then come in here and speak with me. Or, unarmed as I am, I will attack you.

Enter GRATIANO

GRATIANO

What is the matter?

GRATIANO

What is the matter?

OTHELLO

Behold, I have a weapon. A better never did itself sustain Upon a soldier’s thigh. I have seen the day That with this little arm and this good sword I have made my way through more impediments Than twenty times your stop. But, oh, vain boast! Who can control his fate? ’tis not so now. Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed. Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt, And very sea-mark of my utmost sail. Do you go back dismayed? ’tis a lost fear. Man but a rush against Othello’s breast, And he retires. Where should Othello go?— Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench, Pale as thy smock! When we shall meet at compt This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl, Even like thy chastity. O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulfur, Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!— Oh, Desdemona! Desdemona! dead! Oh! Oh!

OTHELLO

Look, I have a weapon. A better sword has never graced a soldier's scabbard. I remember times when, with this little arm and good sword of mine, I made my way through obstacles more than twenty times as tough as you. But what a pointless boast that is! Who can control his fate? I can't now. Don't worry, even though I am carrying a weapon. This is the end of my journey, the end of the rope, and my final destination. Are you backing off, frightened? You have nothing to fear. You could strike at me with nothing more than a reed, and I'd draw back. Where could Othello run to? Do you see how you look now? Oh, you woman with an unlucky fate, as pale as your white nightgown! When we meet on Judgment Day, this look of yours will throw my soul out of heaven and into hell, where devils will snatch it. You are cold, my girl, cold like your chastity, which never gave in to the heat of desire. Oh cursed, cursed villain! Devils, whip me until I no longer see this horrible sight! Blow me around in winds, burn me in sulfur flames, wash me in gulfs of liquid fire! Oh, Desdemona! Desdemona! Dead! Oh! Oh!

Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair, and officers with IAGO, prisoner

LODOVICO

Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

LODOVICO

Where is this impulsive and most unfortunate man?

OTHELLO

That’s he that was Othello. Here I am.

OTHELLO

You speak of Othello. Here I am.

LODOVICO

Where is that viper? Bring the villain forth.

LODOVICO

And where is that poisonous snake? Bring the villain forward.

IAGO is brought forward

OTHELLO

I look down towards his feet, but that’s a fable.If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.

OTHELLO

I see his feet, so it must just be a fairy tale that the devil has hooves. If you are a devil, then I cannot kill you.

Stabs IAGO

LODOVICO

Wrench his sword from him.

LODOVICO

Take his sword away from him.

They take OTHELLO ’s sword

IAGO

I bleed, sir, but not killed.

IAGO

I am bleeding, but I haven't been killed, sir.

OTHELLO

I am not sorry neither. I’d have thee live,For in my sense ’tis happiness to die.

OTHELLO

Good. I want you to live, because for me death is sweet now.

LODOVICO

O thou Othello, thou was once so good,Fall'n in the practice of a cursèd slave,What shall be said to thee?

LODOVICO

Oh, Othello, you used to be so good, and now you've fallen under the control of a cursed villain. What can I say to you?

OTHELLO

Why, anything. An honorable murderer, if you will,For naught I did in hate, but all in honor.

OTHELLO

Anything. Call me an honorable murderer, if you wish, since I didn't do anything out of hate but instead out of a sense of honor.

LODOVICO

This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?

LODOVICO

This wretched man has confessed to some of his evil doings. Did you and he conspire to kill Cassio?

OTHELLO

Ay.

OTHELLO

Yes.

CASSIO

Dear general, I never gave you cause.

CASSIO

Dear general, I gave you no reason to kill me.

OTHELLO

I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?

OTHELLO

I believe you, and I ask for your forgiveness. Will you please ask that half-devil why he has tricked me and ruined my soul and body?

IAGO

Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word.

IAGO

Ask me nothing. You know what you know. From now on I will never speak again.

LODOVICO

What, not to pray?

LODOVICO

Not even to pray?

GRATIANO

Torments will ope your lips.

GRATIANO

We can make you speak with torture.

OTHELLO

Well, thou dost best.

OTHELLO

Do your best, then.

LODOVICO

Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n, Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo, And here another. The one of them imports The death of Cassio to be undertook By Roderigo.

LODOVICO

Sir, let me explain what has happened, which I don't think you know. Here is a letter that was found in dead Roderigo's pocket. And here is another. One of them says that Roderigo should kill Cassio.

OTHELLO

Oh, villain!

OTHELLO

Oh, you villain!

CASSIO

Most heathenish and most gross!

CASSIO

Filthiest heathen!

LODOVICO

Now here’s another discontented paper Found in his pocket too, and this, it seems, Roderigo meant to have sent this damnèd villain But that, belike, Iago in the interim Came in and satisfied him.

LODOVICO

And now here's the other paper from his pocket, an angry letter. It seems Roderigo meant to send it to Iago, but the damned villain likely killed him before he had the chance.

OTHELLO

O thou pernicious caitiff!How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchiefThat was my wife’s?

OTHELLO

Oh, you malicious wretch! Cassio, how did you come across my wife's handkerchief?

CASSIO

I found it in my chamber, And he himself confessed but even now That there he dropped it for a special purpose Which wrought to his desire.

CASSIO

I found it in my room, and Iago himself just confessed that he left it there on purpose as part of his plan.

OTHELLO

O fool! fool! fool!

OTHELLO

I'm a fool! A fool! A fool!

CASSIO

There is besides in Roderigo’s letter How he upbraids Iago, that he made him Brave me upon the watch, whereon it came That I was cast. And even but now he spake, After long seeming dead—Iago hurt him, Iago set him on.

CASSIO

Moreover, Roderigo's letter describes how Iago told him to offend me while I was on guard duty, the thing that made me lose my title of lieutenant. And just now, even though he seemed to be dead, Roderigo spoke and said that Iago tricked him and urged him to on.

LODOVICO

(to OTHELLO) You must forsake this room and go with us. Your power and your command is taken off And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave, If there be any cunning cruelty That can torment him much and hold him long, It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest Till that the nature of your fault be known To the Venetian state.—Come, bring him away.

LODOVICO

[To OTHELLO] You must leave this room and come with us. You have been stripped of your power and command, and Cassio now rules over Cyprus. As for this scoundrel, he will get whatever clever, cruel torture we can devise to cause him a lot of pain for a long time. You will stay a prisoner until the Venetian government hears of your crime. Come on, bring him away.

OTHELLO

Soft you, a word or two before you go. I have done the state some service, and they know ’t. No more of that. I pray you, in your letters, When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well. Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe. Of one whose subdued eyes, Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their medicinal gum. Set you down this, And say besides that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk Beat a Venetian and traduced the state, I took by the throat the circumcisèd dog, And smote him, thus.

OTHELLO

Wait, let me say a word or two before you go. I have served the government of Venice well, and they know it. But nothing more about that. I beg you, in your letters, when you relate the story of these unfortunate deeds, speak of me as I am. Don't downplay my crime, but don't exaggerate it maliciously. Speak of me as a man who loved not wisely, but too much; a man who was not easily made jealous, but was manipulated and tricked into extreme jealously; a man who behaved like a vile Indian that throws away a pearl worth more than his whole tribe. Speak of me as a man who is not used to crying, but whose eyes now drop tears like the Arabian trees that drip with medicinal sap. Write this, and also say that one time in Aleppo a malicious Turk wearing a turban beat a Venetian, flouting the Venetian state, and so I grabbed the circumcised Turkish dog by his throat and struck him down like this.

Stabs himself

LODOVICO

Oh, bloody period!

LODOVICO

What a bloody conclusion!

GRATIANO

All that is spoke is marred.

GRATIANO

Everything he said is tarnished by what he's done.

OTHELLO

[To DESDEMONA] I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this,Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

OTHELLO

[To DESDEMONA] I kissed you before I killed you. Now that I am killing myself, I must die with a kiss.

Kisses DESDEMONA, dies

CASSIO

This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,For he was great of heart.

CASSIO

I feared this would happen because he was a brave man, but I didn't think he had a weapon.

LODOVICO

(to IAGO) O Spartan dog, More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea, Look on the tragic loading of this bed. This is thy work. The object poisons sight, Let it be hid.— Gratiano, keep the house And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, For they succeed on you.— T o you, lord governor, Remains the censure of this hellish villain: The time, the place, the torture. Oh, enforce it! Myself will straight aboard, and to the state This heavy act with heavy heart relate.

LODOVICO

[To IAGO] You cruel dog, look at the tragic contents of this bed—worse than pain, starvation, or the tempestuous sea. This is your doing. It hurts to look at this. Cover the bodies. 

[To GRATIANO] Gratiano, guard the house and take the Moor's possessions, for you inherit them all. 

[To CASSIO] And you, my lord governor, will decide how to punish this hellish villain. You can pick the time, the place, and the kind of torture. And then enforce the punishment! I will go to a ship immediately, and tell the Venetian government about these tragic events with a heavy heart.

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.