Othello, by William Shakespeare

Act V

Scene I. Cyprus. A street.

Enter Iago and Roderigo

Iago Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will he come:
Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home:
Quick, quick; fear nothing; I’ll be at thy elbow:
It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,
And fix most firm thy resolution.

Roderigo Be near at hand; I may miscarry in’t.

Iago Here, at thy hand: be bold, and take thy stand.

Retires

Roderigo I have no great devotion to the deed;
And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons:
’Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.

Iago I have rubb’d this young quat almost to the sense,
And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,
Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
Every way makes my gain: live Roderigo,
He calls me to a restitution large
Of gold and jewels that I bobb’d from him,
As gifts to Desdemona;
It must not be: if Cassio do remain,
He hath a daily beauty in his life
That makes me ugly; and, besides, the Moor
May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril:
No, he must die. But so: I hear him coming.

Enter Cassio

Roderigo I know his gait, ’tis he. — Villain, thou diest!

Makes a pass at Cassio

Cassio That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,
But that my coat is better than thou know’st
I will make proof of thine.

Draws, and wounds Roderigo

Roderigo O, I am slain!

Iago from behind wounds Cassio in the leg, and exit

Cassio I am maim’d for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!

Falls

Enter Othello

Othello The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.

Roderigo O, villain that I am!

Othello It is even so.

Cassio O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!

Othello ’Tis he:— O brave Iago, honest and just,
That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong!
Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,
And your unblest fate hies: strumpet, I come.
Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted;
Thy bed, lust-stain’d, shall with lust’s blood be spotted.

Exit

Enter Lodovico and Gratiano

Cassio What, ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder!

Gratiano ’Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.

Cassio O, help!

Lodovico Hark!

Roderigo O wretched villain!

Lodovico Two or three groan: it is a heavy night:
These may be counterfeits: let’s think’t unsafe
To come in to the cry without more help.

Roderigo Nobody come? then shall I bleed to death.

Lodovico Hark!

Re-enter Iago, with a light

Gratiano Here’s one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.

Iago Who’s there? whose noise is this that ones on murder?

Lodovico We do not know.

Iago   Did not you hear a cry?

Cassio Here, here! for heaven’s sake, help me!

Iago What’s the matter?

Gratiano This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.

Lodovico The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.

Iago What are you here that cry so grievously?

Cassio Iago? O, I am spoil’d, undone by villains!
Give me some help.

Iago O me, lieutenant! what villains have done this?

Cassio I think that one of them is hereabout,
And cannot make away.

Iago O treacherous villains!
What are you there? come in, and give some help.

To Lodovico and Gratiano

Roderigo O, help me here!

Cassio That’s one of them.

Iago O murderous slave! O villain!

Stabs Roderigo

Roderigo O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!

Iago Kill men i’ the dark! — Where be these bloody thieves? —
How silent is this town! — Ho! murder! murder! —
What may you be? are you of good or evil?

Lodovico As you shall prove us, praise us.

Iago Signior Lodovico?

Lodovico He, sir.

Iago I cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.

Gratiano Cassio!

Iago How is’t, brother!

Cassio My leg is cut in two.

Iago Marry, heaven forbid!
Light, gentlemen; I’ll bind it with my shirt.

Enter Bianca

Bianca What is the matter, ho? who is’t that cried?

Iago Who is’t that cried!

Bianca O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio,
Cassio, Cassio!

Iago O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect
Who they should be that have thus many led you?

Cassio No.

Gratiano I am to find you thus: I have been to seek you.

Iago Lend me a garter. So. O, for a chair,
To bear him easily hence!

Bianca Alas, he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!

Iago Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
To be a party in this injury.
Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come;
Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?
Alas my friend and my dear countryman
Roderigo! no:— yes, sure: O heaven! Roderigo.

Gratiano What, of Venice?

Iago Even he, sir; did you know him?

Gratiano Know him! ay.

Iago Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon;
These bloody accidents must excuse my manners,
That so neglected you.

Gratiano I am glad to see you.

Iago How do you, Cassio? O, a chair, a chair!

Gratiano Roderigo!

Iago He, he ’tis he.

A chair brought in

O, that’s well said; the chair!

Gratiano Some good man bear him carefully from hence;
I’ll fetch the general’s surgeon.

To Bianca

For you, mistress,
Save you your labour. He that lies slain here, Cassio,
Was my dear friend: what malice was between you?

Cassio None in the world; nor do I know the man.

Iago [To Bianca] What, look you pale? O, bear him out o’ the air.

Cassio and Roderigo are borne off

Stay you, good gentlemen. Look you pale, mistress?
Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?
Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.
Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her:
Do you see, gentlemen? nay, guiltiness will speak,
Though tongues were out of use.

Enter Emilia

Emilia ’Las, what’s the matter? what’s the matter, husband?

Iago Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:
He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.

Emilia Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio!

Iago This is the fruit of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
Go know of Cassio where he supp’d to-night.

To Bianca

What, do you shake at that?

Bianca He supp’d at my house; but I therefore shake not.

Iago O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.

Emilia Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!

Bianca I am no strumpet; but of life as honest
As you that thus abuse me.

Emilia As I! foh! fie upon thee!

Iago Kind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dress’d.
Come, mistress, you must tell’s another tale.
Emilia run you to the citadel,
And tell my lord and lady what hath happ’d.
Will you go on? I pray.

Aside

This is the night
That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

Exeunt

Scene II. A bedchamber in the castle: Desdemona in bed asleep;

a light burning.

Enter Othello

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 pluck’d the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again.
It must needs wither: I’ll smell it on the tree.

Kissing her

Ah 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. One more, and this the 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.

Desdemona Who’s there? Othello?

Othello Ay. Desdemona.

Desdemona Will you come to bed, my lord?

Othello Have you pray’d to-night, Desdemona?

Desdemona Ay, my lord.

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

Desdemona Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

Othello Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by:
I would not kill thy unprepared spirit;
No; heaven forfend! I would not kill thy soul.

Desdemona Talk you of killing?

Othello Ay, I do.

Desdemona Then heaven
Have mercy on me!

Othello   Amen, with all my heart!

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

Othello Hum!

Desdemona And yet I fear you; for you are 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.

Othello Think on thy sins.

Desdemona   They are loves I bear to you.

Othello Ay, and for that thou diest.

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.

Othello Peace, and be still!

Desdemona I will so. What’s the matter?

Othello That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee
Thou gavest to Cassio.

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

Othello Sweet soul, take heed,
Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy deathbed.

Desdemona Ay, but not yet to die.

Othello Yes, 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.

Desdemona Then Lord have mercy on me!

Othello I say, amen.

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.

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

Othello He hath confess’d.

Desdemona What, my lord?

Othello That he hath used thee.

Desdemona How? unlawfully?

Othello Ay.

Desdemona He will not say so.

Othello No, his mouth is stopp’d;
Honest Iago hath ta’en order for’t.

Desdemona O! my fear interprets: what, is he dead?

Othello Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all.

Desdemona Alas! he is betray’d and I undone.

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

Desdemona O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

Othello Down, strumpet!

Desdemona Kill me to-morrow: let me live to-night!

Othello Nay, if you strive  —

Desdemona But half an hour!

Othello   Being done, there is no pause.

Desdemona But while I say one prayer!

Othello It is too late.

He stifles her

Emilia [Within] My lord, my lord! what, ho! 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.

Emilia [Within] What, ho! my lord, my lord!

Othello Who’s there?

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

Othello Yes: ’tis Emilia. By and by. She’s dead.
’Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death. —
The noise was here. 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.
O insupportable! O heavy hour!
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe
Should yawn at alteration.

Emilia [Within] I do beseech you
That I may speak with you, O, good my lord!

Othello I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia;
Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.
Where art thou?

Unlocks the door

Enter Emilia

What’s the matter with thee now?

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

Othello What, now?

Emilia But 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.

Emilia Cassio, my lord, hath kill’d a young Venetian
Call’d Roderigo.

Othello   Roderigo kill’d!
And Cassio kill’d!

Emilia No, Cassio is not kill’d.

Othello Not Cassio kill’d! then murder’s out of tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh.

Desdemona O, falsely, falsely murder’d!

Emilia Alas, what cry is that?

Othello That! what?

Emilia Out, and alas! that was my lady’s voice.
Help! help, ho! help! O lady, speak again!
Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!

Desdemona A guiltless death I die.

Emilia O, who hath done this deed?

Desdemona Nobody; I myself. Farewell
Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!

Dies

Othello Why, how should she be murder’d?

Emilia Alas, who knows?

Othello You heard her say herself, it was not I.

Emilia She said so: I must needs report the truth.

Othello She’s, like a liar, gone to burning hell:
’Twas I that kill’d her.

Emilia O, the more angel she,
And you the blacker devil!

Othello She turn’d to folly, and she was a whore.

Emilia Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.

Othello She was false as water.

Emilia Thou art rash as fire, to say
That she was false: O, she was heavenly true!

Othello Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else.
O, I were damn’d beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed upon just grounds
To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.

Emilia My husband!

Othello Thy husband.

Emilia That she was false to wedlock?

Othello Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been true,
If heaven would make me such another world
Of one entire and Perfect chrysolite,
I’ld not have sold her for it.

Emilia My husband!

Othello   Ay, ’twas he that told me first:
An honest man he is, and hates the slime
That sticks on filthy deeds.

Emilia My husband!

Othello What needs this iteration, woman? I say thy husband.

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

Othello He, woman;
I say thy husband: dost understand the word?
My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.

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

Othello Ha!

Emilia Do thy worst:
This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
Than thou wast worthy her.

Othello Peace, you were best.

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 kill’d my mistress! Murder! murder!

Enter Montano, Gratiano, Iago, and others

Montano What is the matter? How now, general!

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

Gratiano What is the matter?

Emilia 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.

Iago I told him what I thought, and told no more
Than what he found himself was apt and true.

Emilia But did you ever tell him she was false?

Iago I did.

Emilia You told a lie, an odious, damned lie;
Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
She false with Cassio! — did you say with Cassio?

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

Emilia I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak:
My mistress here lies murder’d in her bed  —

All O heavens forfend!

Emilia And your reports have set the murder on.

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

Gratiano ’Tis a strange truth.

Montano O monstrous act!

Emilia   Villany, villany, villany!
I think upon’t, I think: I smell’t: O villany! —
I thought so then:— I’ll kill myself for grief:—
O villany, villany!

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

Othello O! O! O!

He falls on the bed

Emilia   Nay, lay thee down and roar;
For thou hast kill’d the sweetest innocent
That e’er did lift up eye.

Othello [Rising] O, she was foul!
I scarce did know you, uncle: there lies your niece,
Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp’d:
I know this act shows horrible and grim.

Gratiano Poor Desdemona! 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.

Othello ’Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows
That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
A thousand times committed; Cassio confess’d 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.

Emilia O heaven! O heavenly powers!

Iago Come, hold your peace.

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.

Iago Be wise, and get you home.

Emilia I will not.

Iago offers to stab Emilia

Gratiano Fie!
Your sword upon 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 belong’d to such a trifle,
He begg’d of me to steal it.

Iago Villanous whore!

Emilia She give it Cassio! no, alas! I found it,
And I did give’t my husband.

Iago Filth, thou liest!

Emilia By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.
O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool
Do with so good a woman?

Othello Are there no stones in heaven
But what serve for the thunder? — Precious villain!

He runs at Iago Iago, from behind, stabs Emilia, and exit

Gratiano The woman falls; sure, he hath kill’d his wife.

Emilia Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress’ side.

Gratiano He’s gone, but his wife’s kill’d.

Montano ’Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,
Which I have here recover’d 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 damned slave.

Exeunt Montano and Gratiano

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

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, I die, I die.

Dies

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

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

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

Re-enter Gratiano

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, O vain boast!
Who can control his fate? ’tis not so now.
Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon’d;
Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt,
And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
Do you go back dismay’d? ’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-starr’d 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 slave!
Whip me, ye devils,
From the possession of this heavenly sight!
Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!
Oh! Oh! Oh!

Enter Lodovico. Montano, Cassio carried in a chair, and Officers with Iago, prisoner

Lodovico Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

Othello That’s he that was Othello: here I am.

Lodovico Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.

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

Wounds Iago

Lodovico Wrench his sword from him.

Iago I bleed, sir; but not kill’d.

Othello I am not sorry neither: I’ld have thee live;
For, in my sense, ’tis happiness to die.

Lodovico O thou Othello, thou wert once so good,
Fall’n in the practise of a damned slave,
What shall be said to thee?

Othello Why, any thing:
An honourable murderer, if you will;
For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.

Lodovico This wretch hath part confess’d his villany:
Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?

Othello Ay.

Cassio Dear general, I never gave you cause.

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?

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

Lodovico What, not to pray?

Gratiano   Torments will ope your lips.

Othello Well, thou dost best.

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.

Othello O villain!

Cassio Most heathenish and most gross!

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

Othello O the pernicious caitiff!
How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
That was my wife’s?

Cassio I found it in my chamber:
And he himself confess’d but even now
That there he dropp’d it for a special purpose
Which wrought to his desire.

Othello O fool! fool! 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.

Lodovico 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.

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
Perplex’d 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 turban’d Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus.

Stabs himself

Lodovico O bloody period!

Gratiano   All that’s spoke is marr’d.

Othello I kiss’d thee ere I kill’d thee: no way but this;
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

Falls on the bed, and dies

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

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. To you, lord governor,
Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
The time, the place, the torture: O, enforce it!
Myself will straight aboard: and to the state
This heavy act with heavy heart relate.

Exeunt

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Last updated Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 22:31