Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Enter Othello [with a light] and Desdemona [asleep] in her bedEditor’s Note1
othello It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.
2Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars.
3It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,
4Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
Editor’s Note5And smooth as monumental alabaster.
6Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
7Put out the light, and then put out the light.
Editor’s Note8If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
9I can again thy former light restore
Editor’s Note10Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,
Editor’s Note11Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
Editor’s Note12I know not where is that Promethean heat
Editor’s Note13That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose
14I cannot give it vital growth again.
15It needs must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree.[He kisses her]
16O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
17Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.
18Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee
19And love thee after. One more, and that's the last.Editor’s Note[He kisses her]
20So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep,
Editor’s Note21But they are cruel tears. This sorrow's heavenly,
22It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.23
desdemona Who's there? Othello?
othello Ay, Desdemona.25
othello Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?
desdemona Ay, my lord.26
othello If you bethink yourself of any crime
Editor’s Note27Unreconciled as yet to God and grace,
Editor’s Note28Solicit for it straight.29
desdemona Alack, my lord, what may you mean by that?Editor’s Note30
othello Well, do it, and be brief. I will walk by.
31I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit.
Editor’s Note32No, heavens forfend! I would not kill thy soul.33
desdemona Talk you of killing?
othello Ay, I do.
desdemona Then God
Link 34Have mercy on me.
othello Amen, with all my heart.35
desdemona If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.36
desdemona And yet I fear you, for you're fatal then
38When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not,
39Since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear.40
othello Think on thy sins.41
desdemona They are loves I bear to you.42
othello Ay, and for that thou diest.43
desdemona That death's unnatural that kills for loving.
44Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
45Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
46These are portents, but yet I hope, I hope
47They do not point on me.
othello Peace, and be still.48
desdemona I will so. What's the matter?
othello That handkerchief
49Which I so loved and gave thee, thou gav'st to Cassio.50
desdemona No, by my life and soul. Send for the man and ask him.51
othello Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.
52Thou art on thy deathbed.
desdemona Ay, but not yet to die.53
54Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin,
55For to deny each article with oath
Editor’s Note56Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
57That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.58
desdemona O Lord have mercy on me!
othello I say amen.59
desdemona And have you mercy, too! I never did
Editor’s Note60Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio
61But with such general warranty of God
62As I might love. I never gave him token.pg 218763
othello By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand.
Editor’s Note64O, perjured woman! Thou dost stone my heart,
65And makes me call what I intend to do
66A murder, which I thought a sacrifice.
67I saw the handkerchief.
desdemona He found it, then.
Editor’s Note68I never gave it him. Send for him hither.
69Let him confess a truth.
othello He hath confessed.70
desdemona What, my lord?71
othello That he hath—God's death!— used thee.
desdemona How, unlawfully?72
desdemona He will not say so.
othello No, his mouth is stopped.
Editor’s Note74Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.75
desdemona O, my fear interprets! What, is he dead?76
othello Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Editor’s Note77Had stomach for them all.78
desdemona [weeping] Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.79
othello Out, strumpet! Weep'st thou for him to my face?80
desdemona O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not.81
othello Editor’s Note[attacking her] Down, strumpet.82
desdemona Kill me tomorrow; let me live tonight.83
othello Nay, if you strive—Editor’s Note84
desdemona But half an hour.
othello Being done, there is no pause.85
desdemona But while I say one prayer.
othello It is too late.86Emilia at the door
desdemona O Lord, Lord, Lord!Editor’s Note[He] smothers her87
emilia [within] My lord, my lord, what ho, my lord, my lord!Editor’s Note88
othello What noise is this? Not dead? Not yet quite dead?
89I that am cruel am yet merciful.
90I would not have thee linger in thy pain.
Editor’s Note91So, so.
emilia [within] What ho, my lord, my lord!
othello [calling] Who's there?92
emilia [within] O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you.93
othello [calling] Yes. —'Tis Emilia. [Calling] By and by!—She's dead.
94'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.
95The noise was high. Ha! No more moving.
96Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were't good?
97I think she stirs again. No. What's best to do?
98If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife.
99My wife, my wife! What wife? I have no wife.
100O insupportable, O heavy hour!
102Of sun and moon, and that th'affrighted globe
Editor’s Note103Did yawn at alteration.
emilia [within] I do beseech you
104That I may speak with you. O, good my lord!105
othello I had forgot thee.—[Calling] O, come in, Emilia.—
106Soft, by and by. Let me the curtains draw.[He closes the bed-curtains]
107Where art thou?[He opens the door. Enter Emilia]
What's the matter with thee now?108
emilia O, my good lord, yonder's foul murder's done.109
othello What, now?110
emilia But now, my lord.Editor’s Note111
othello It is the very error of the moon,
112She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
113And makes men mad.
emilia Cassio, my lord, hath killed
114A young Venetian, called Rodorigo.115
othello Rodorigo killed? And Cassio killed?116
emilia No, Cassio is not killed.Editor’s Note117
othello Not Cassio killed? Then murder's out of tune,
118And sweet revenge grows harsh.
desdemona O, falsely, falsely murdered!119
emilia O Lord, what cry is that?
othello That? What?120
emilia Out and alas, that was my lady's voice![She opens the bed-curtains]
121Help, help, ho, help! O, lady, speak again!
122Sweet Desdemona, O, sweet mistress, speak!123
desdemona A guiltless death I die.
emilia O, who hath done this deed?124[She dies]
desdemona Nobody. I myself. Farewell.
125Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell!Editor’s Note126
othello Why, how should she be murdered?
emilia Alas, who knows?127
othello You heard her say herself it was not I.128
emilia She said so, I must needs report the truth.129
othello She's like a liar gone to burning hell.
130'Twas I that killed her.131
emilia O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!132
othello She turned to folly, and she was a whore.133
emilia Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.134
othello She was false as water.
emilia Thou art rash as fire, to say
135That she was false. O, she was heavenly true!136
othello Cassio did top her. Ask thy husband else.
137O, I were damned beneath all depth in hell
138But that I did proceed upon just grounds
Editor’s Note139To this extremity! Thy husband knew it all.
othello Thy husband.
emilia That she was false to wedlock?141
othello Ay, with Cassio. Had she been true,
142If God would make me such another world
Editor’s Note143Of one entire and perfect chrysolite
144I'd not have sold her for it.
emilia My husband?145
othello Ay, 'twas he that told me on her first.
146An honest man he is, and hates the slime
147That sticks on filthy deeds.
emilia My husband?Editor’s Note148
othello What needs this iterance? Woman, I say thy husband.Editor’s Note149
emilia O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love.
150My husband say she was false?
othello He, woman.
151I say thy husband. Dost understand the word?
152My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.153
emilia If he say so, may his pernicious soul
154Rot half a grain a day. He lies to th' heart.
155She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.Editor’s Note156
emilia Do thy worst.
157This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
158Than thou wast worthy her.
othello Peace, you were best.159Enter Montano, Graziano, and Iago
emilia Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
Editor’s Note160As I have to be hurt. O gull, O dolt,
161As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed—
162I care not for thy sword, I'll make thee known
163Though I lost twenty lives. Help, help, ho! Help!
164The Moor hath killed my mistress. Murder, murder!165
montano What is the matter? How now, general?166
emilia O, are you come, Iago? You have done well,
167That men must lay their murders on your neck.168
graziano What is the matter?169
emilia [to Iago] Disprove this villain if thou beest a man.
170He says thou told'st him that his wife was false.
171I know thou didst not. Thou'rt not such a villain.
172Speak, for my heart is full.173
iago I told him what I thought, and told no more
Editor’s Note174Than what he found himself was apt and true.175
emilia But did you ever tell him she was false?176
iago I did.177
emilia You told a lie, an odious, damnèd lie,
178Upon my soul a lie, a wicked lie.
179She false with Cassio? Did you say with Cassio?Editor’s Note180
iago With Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue.pg 2190181
emilia I will not charm my tongue. I am bound to speak.
182My mistress here lies murdered in her bed.183
[montano and graziano] O heavens forfend!184
emilia [to Iago] And your reports have set the murder on.185
othello Nay, stare not, masters. It is true indeed.186
graziano 'Tis a strange truth.
montano O monstrous act!187
emilia Villainy, villainy, villainy!
188I think upon't, I think. I smell't. O villainy!
Editor’s Note189I thought so then. I'll kill myself for grief.
Editor’s Note190O villainy, villainy!191
iago What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.192
emilia Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.
193'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
194Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.195[Othello falls on the bed]
othello O, O, O!
emilia Nay, lay thee down and roar,
196For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent
197That e'er did lift up eye.
othello [rising] O, she was foul!
198[To Graziano] I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,
199Whose breath indeed these hands have newly stopped.
200I know this act shows horrible and grim.201
graziano Poor Desdemon, I am glad thy father's dead.
202Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
Editor’s Note203Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now
Editor’s Note204This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
205Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
Editor’s Note206And fall to reprobance.207
othello 'Tis pitiful. But yet Iago knows
208That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
209A thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it,
Editor’s Note210And she did gratify his amorous works
Editor’s Note211With that recognizance and pledge of love
212Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand.
Editor’s Note213It was a handkerchief, an antique token
214My father gave my mother.
emilia O God! O heavenly God!215
iago 'Swounds! Hold your peace!
emilia 'Twill out, 'twill out. I peace?
Editor’s Note216No, I will speak as liberal as the north.
217Let God, and men, and devils, let them all,
218All, all cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.219
iago Be wise and get you home.220[Iago draws his sword]
emilia I will not.222
emilia O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak'st of
223I found by fortune and did give my husband,
224For often, with a solemn earnestness—
Editor’s Note225More than indeed belonged to such a trifle—
226He begged of me to steal't.
iago Villainous whore!227
emilia She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it,
228And I did give't my husband.
iago Filth, thou liest.229
emilia By heaven I do not, I do not, gentlemen.
Editor’s Note230O murderous coxcomb! What should such a fool
231Do with so good a wife?Editor’s Note[The Moor runs at Iago. Montano disarms Othello, Iago wounds his wife]
othello Are there no stones in heaven
Editor’s Note232But what serves for the thunder? Precious villain!233
graziano The woman falls. Sure he hath killed his wife.Editor’s Note234[Exit Iago]
emilia Ay, ay. O, lay me by my mistress' side!235
graziano He's gone, but his wife's killed.Editor’s Note236Exeunt Montano and Graziano
montano 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon
237Which I have here recovered from the Moor.
238Come, guard the door without. Let him not pass,
239But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain,
Link 240For 'tis a damnèd slave.
othello I am not valiant neither,
Editor’s Note241But every puny whipster gets my sword.
Editor’s Note242But why should honour outlive honesty?
243Let it go all.Editor’s Note[She dies]
emilia What did thy song bode, lady?
Editor’s Note244Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan,
245And die in music. [Sings] 'Willow, willow, willow.'—
246Moor, she was chaste. She loved thee, cruel Moor.
247So come my soul to bliss as I speak true.
248So, speaking as I think, alas, I die.249
othello I have another weapon in this chamber.
Editor’s Note250It was a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper.
251O, here it is. [Calling] Uncle, I must come forth.252
graziano [within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear.
253Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.254[Enter Graziano]
othello Look in upon me then, and speak with me,
Editor’s Note255Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.256
graziano What is the matter?Enter Lodovico, Cassio [in a chair], Montano, and Iago [guarded by] officers
othello Behold, I have a weapon;
257A better never did itself sustain
258Upon a soldier's thigh. I have seen the day
260I have made my way through more impediments
Editor’s Note261Than twenty times your stop. But O, vain boast!
262Who can control his fate? 'Tis not so now.
263Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed.
Editor’s Note264Here is my journey's end, here is my butt
Editor’s Note265And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
Editor’s Note266Do you go back dismayed? 'Tis a lost fear.
Editor’s Note267Man but a rush against Othello's breast
Editor’s Note268And he retires. Where should Othello go?
269Editor’s Note[To Desdemona] Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench,
Editor’s Note270Pale as thy smock! When we shall meet at count
271This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
272And fiends will snatch at it. [He touches her] Cold, cold, my girl,
273Even like thy chastity. O cursed, cursed slave!
274Whip me, ye devils,
275From the possession of this heavenly sight.
276Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulphur,
277Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
278O Desdemon! Dead Desdemon! Dead! O! O!279
lodovico Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?280
othello That's he that was Othello. Here I am.281
lodovico Where is that viper? Bring the villain forth.Editor’s Note282Editor’s Note[He wounds Iago]
othello I look down towards his feet, but that's a fable.
283[To Iago] If that thou beest a devil I cannot kill thee.284[Officers disarm Othello]
lodovico Wrench his sword from him.
iago I bleed, sir, but not killed.285
othello I am not sorry, neither. I'd have thee live,
286For in my sense 'tis happiness to die.287
lodovico O thou Othello, that was once so good,
Editor’s Note288Fall'n in the practice of a cursèd slave,
289What shall be said to thee?
othello Why, anything;
290An honourable murderer, if you will,
291For naught I did in hate, but all in honour.292
lodovico This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.
293Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?294
cassio Dear general, I never gave you cause.296
othello I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
297Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
298Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?pg 2193Editor’s Note299
iago Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.
300From this time forth I never will speak word.301
lodovico [to Iago] What, not to pray?302
graziano [to Iago] Torments will ope your lips.303
othello Well, thou dost best.304
lodovico Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n,
305Which as, I think, you know not. Here is a letter,
306Found in the pocket of the slain Rodorigo,
307And here another. The one of them imports
308The death of Cassio, to be undertook
othello O villain!Editor’s Note311
cassio Most heathenish and most gross.312
lodovico Now here's another discontented paper
313Found in his pocket too, and this it seems
314Rodorigo meant t'have sent this damnèd villain,
Editor’s Note315But that, belike, Iago in the interim
316Came in and satisfied him.
othello [to Iago] O thou pernicious caitiff!
317How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
318That was my wife's?
cassio I found it in my chamber,
319And he himself confessed it, but even now,
320That there he dropped it for a special purpose
Editor’s Note321Which wrought to his desire.
othello O fool, fool, fool!322
cassio There is besides in Rodorigo's letter
323How he upbraids Iago, that he made him
Editor’s Note324Brave me upon the watch, whereon it came
Editor’s Note325That I was cast; and even but now he spoke
326After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him,
327Iago set him on.328
lodovico [to Othello] You must forsake this room and go with us.
329Your power and your command is taken off,
330And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
331If there be any cunning cruelty
Editor’s Note332That can torment him much and hold him long,
333It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest
334Till that the nature of your fault be known
335To the Venetian state. [To officers] Come, bring away.336Editor’s Note[He stabs himself]
othello Soft you, a word or two before you go.
337I have done the state some service, and they know't.
338No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
339When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
340Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
341Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
342Of one that loved not wisely but too well,
Editor’s Note343Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought,
344Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
pg 2194Editor’s Note345Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away
346Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
347Albeit unusèd to the melting mood,
348Drops tears as fast as the Arabian trees
349Their medicinable gum. Set you down this,
350And say besides that in Aleppo once,
351Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk
352Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
353I took by th' throat the circumcisèd dog
354And smote him thus.Editor’s Note355
lodovico O bloody period!Editor’s Note356
graziano All that is spoke is marred.357Editor’s NoteHe kisses Desdemona and dies
othello [To Desdemona] I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this:
358Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.Link 359
cassio This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,
Editor’s Note360For he was great of heart.
lodovico [to Iago] O Spartan dog,
Editor’s Note361More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
Editor’s Note362Look on the tragic loading of this bed.
363This is thy work. The object poisons sight.
Editor’s Note364Let it be hid.[They close the bed-curtains]
Graziano, keep the house,
365And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
366For they succeed on you. [To Cassio] To you, Lord Governor,
Editor’s Note367Remains the censure of this hellish villain.
368The time, the place, the torture, O, enforce it!
369Myself will straight aboard, and to the state
370This heavy act with heavy heart relate.Exeunt