William Shakespeare's Othello is the tale of the green-eyed monster.
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HOME > Plays > Othello, the Moor of Venice > Act IV. Scene II.

Othello, the Moor of Venice

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Act IV. Scene II.

Scene II.—A Room in the Castle.


Oth. You have seen nothing, then?
Emil. Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.
Oth. Yes, you have seen Cassio and her to-
Emil. But then I saw no harm, and then I
Each syllable that breath made up between
Oth. What! did they never whisper?
Emil. Never, my lord.
Oth. Nor send you out o' the way?
Emil. Never.
Oth. To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask,
nor nothing?
Emil. Never, my lord.
Oth. That's strange.
Emil. 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.
Oth. Bid her come hither; go.
She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
That cannot say as much. This is a subtle
A closet lock and key of villanous secrets;
And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her

Des. My lord, what is your will?
Oth. Pray, chuck, come hither.
Des. What is your pleasure?
Oth. Let me see your eyes;
Look in my face.
Des. What horrible fancy's this?
Oth. [To EMILIA.] Some of your function,
Leave procreants alone and shut the door;
Cough or cry 'hem' if any body come;
Your mystery, your mystery; nay, dispatch.
Des. Upon my knees, what doth your speech
I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.
Oth. Why, what art thou?
Des. Your wife, my lord; your true
And loyal wife.
Oth. Come, swear it, damn thyself;
Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils them-
Should fear to seize thee; therefore be double-
Swear thou art honest.
Des. Heaven doth truly know it.
Oth. Heaven truly knows that thou art false
as hell.
Des. To whom, my lord? with whom? how
am I false?
Oth. All! Desdemona; away, away, away!
Des. Alas, the heavy day!—Why do you
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
Why, I have lost him too.
Oth. Had it pleas'd heaven
To try me with affliction, had he rain'd
All kinds of sores, and shames, on my bare head,
Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips,
Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,
I should have found in some part of my soul
A drop of patience; but, alas! to make me
The fixed 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 garner'd 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
Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin;
Ay, there, look grim as hell!
Des. I hope my noble lord esteems me
Oth. O! ay; as summer flies are in the
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.
Des. Alas! what ignorant sin have I com-
Oth. Was this fair paper, this most goodly
Made to write 'whore' upon? What committed!
Committed! O thou public commoner!
I should make very forges of my cheeks,
That would to cinders bum 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 hush'd within the hollow mine of earth,
And will not hear it. What committed!
Impudent strumpet!
Des. By heaven, you do me wrong.
Oth. Are not you a strumpet?
Des. 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.
Oth. What! not a whore?
Des. No, as I shall be saved.
Oth. Is it possible?
Des. O! heaven forgive us.
Oth. 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 bell!

Re-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.
Emil. Alas! what does this gentleman cor-
How do you, madam? how do you, my good
Des. Faith, half asleep.
Emil. Good madam, what's the matter with
my lord?
Des. With who?
Emil. Why, with my lord, madam.
Des. Who is thy lord?
Emil. He that is yours, sweet lady.
Des. I have none; do not talk to me, Emilia;
I cannot weep, nor answer have I none,
But what should go by water. Prithee, to-night
Lay on my bed my wedding sheets: remember:
And call thy husband hither.
Emil. Here's a change indeed!
Des. 'Tis meet I should be us'd so, very meet.
How have I been behav'd, that he might stick
The small'st opinion on my least misuse?

Re-enter EMILIA, with IAGO.
Iago. What is your pleasure, madam? How
is it with you?
Des. 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.
Iago. What's the matter, lady?
Emil. Alas! Iago, my lord hath so bewhor'd
Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her,
As true hearts cannot bear.
Des. Am I that name, Iago?
Iago. What name, fair lady?
Des. Such as she says my lord did say I was.
Emil. He call'd her whore; a beggar in his
Could not have laid such terms upon his callat.
Iago. Why did he so?
Des. I do not know; I am sure I am none
Iago. Do not weep, do not weep. Alas the
Emil. Has she forsook so many noble
Her father and her country and her friends,
To be call'd whore? would it not make one
Des. It is my wretched fortune.
Iago. Beshrew him for it!
How comes this trick upon him?
Des. Nay, heaven doth know.
Emil. I will be hang'd, if some eternal villain,
Some busy and insinuating rogue,
Some cogging cozening slave, to get some office,
Have not devis'd this slander; I'll be hang'd else.
Iago. Fie! there is no such man; it is im-
Des. If any such there be, heaven pardon
Emil. A halter pardon him, and hell gnaw
his bones!
Why should he call her whore? who keeps her
What place? what time? what form? what
The Moor's abused by some most villanous
Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
O heaven! that such companions thou'dst un-
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world,
Even from the east to the west!
Iago. Speak within door.
Emil. O! fie upon them. Some such squire
he was
That turn'd your wit the seamy side without,
And made you to suspect me with the Moor.
Iago. You are a fool; go to.
Des. O good Iago,
What shall I do to win my lord again?
Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of
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 in 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
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.
Iago. I pray you be content, 'tis but his
The business of the state does him offence,
And he does chide with you.
Des. If 'twere no other,—
Iago. 'Tis but so, I warrant. [Trumpets.
Hark! how these instruments summon to sup-
The messengers of Venice stay the meat:
Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.

How now, Roderigo!
Rod. I do not find that thou dealest justly
with me.
Iago. What in the contrary?
Rod. Every day thou daffest me with some
device, Iago; and rather, as it seems to me now,
keepest from me all conveniency, than suppliest
me with the least advantage of hope. I will in-
deed no longer endure it, nor am I yet persuaded
to put up in peace what already I have foolishly
Iago. Will you hear me, Roderigo?
Rod. Faith, I have heard too much, for your
words and performances are no kin together.
Iago. You charge me most unjustly.
Rod. With nought but truth. I have wasted
myself out of my means The jewels you have
had from me to deliver to Desdemona would
half have corrupted a votarist; you have told
me she has received them, and returned me
expectations and comforts of sudden respect
and acquaintance, but I find none.
Iago. Well; go to; very well.
Rod. Very well! go to! I cannot go to, man;
nor 'tis not very well: by this hand, I say, it is
very scurvy, and begin to find myself fobbed in it.
Iago. Very well.
Hod. I tell you 'tis not very well. I will make
myself known to Desdemona; if she will return
me my jewels, I will give over my suit and re-
pent my unlawful solicitation; if not, assure
yourself I will seek satisfaction of you.
Iago. You have said now.
Rod. Ay, and I have said nothing, but what
I protest intendment of doing.
Iago. Why, now I see there's mettle in thee,
and even from this instant do build on thee a
better opinion than ever before. 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.
Rod. It hath not appeared.
Iago. I grant indeed it hath not appeared,
and your suspicion is not without wit and judg-
ment. But, Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee
indeed, which I have greater reason to believe
now than ever, I mean purpose, courage, and
valour, 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.
Rod. Well, what is it? is it within reason and
Iago. Sir, there is especial commission come
from Venice to depute Cassio in Othello's place.
Rod. Is that true? why, then Othello and
Desdemona return again to Venice.
Iago. O, no! he goes into Mauritania, and
takes away with him the fair Desdemona, unless
his abode be lingered here by some accident;
wherein none can be so determinate as the re-
moving of Cassio.
Rod. How do you mean, removing of him?
Iago. Why, by making him uncapable of
Othello's place; knocking out his brains.
Rod. And that you would have me do?
Iago. Ay; if you dare do yourself a profit
and a right. He sups to-night with a harlotry,
and thither will I go to him; he knows not yet
of his honourable 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 supper-time, and the night
grows to waste; about it.
Rod. I will hear further reason for this.
Iago. And you shall be satisfied. [Exeunt.
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