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Scene Study (Male-Male)


Ha, ha, false to me?


Why, how now, general? No more of that.


Avaunt, be gone! thou hast set me on the rack.

I swear ’tis better to be much abus’d

Than but to know’t a little.


How now, my lord?


What sense had I in her stol’n hours of lust?

I saw’t not, thought it not; it harm’d not me.

I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and merry;

I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.

He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stol’n,

Let him not know’t, and he’s not robb’d at all.


I am sorry to hear this.


I had been happy, if the general camp,

Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,

So I had nothing known. O now, for ever

Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!

Farewell the plumed troops and the big wars

That makes ambition virtue! O, farewell!

Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,

The spirit-stirring drum, th’ ear-piercing fife,

The royal banner, and all quality,

Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!

And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats

Th’ immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit,

Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone.


Is’t possible, my lord?


Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore;

Taking him by the throat.

Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof,

Or by the worth of mine eternal soul,

Thou hadst been better have been born a dog

Than answer my wak’d wrath!


is’t come to this?


Make me to see’t; or (at the least) so prove it

That the probation bear no hinge nor loop

To hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life!


My noble lord—


If thou dost slander her and torture me,

Never pray more; abandon all remorse;

On horror’s head horrors accumulate;

Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amaz’d;

For nothing canst thou to damnation add

Greater than that.


O grace! O heaven forgive me!

Are you a man? Have you a soul? or sense?

God buy you; take mine office. O wretched fool,

That lov’st to make thine honesty a vice!

O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,

To be direct and honest is not safe.

I thank you for this profit, and from hence

I’ll love no friend, sith love breeds such offense.


Nay, stay. Thou shouldst be honest.


I should be wise—for honesty’s a fool

And loses that it works for.


By the world,

I think my wife be honest, and think she is not;

I think that thou art just, and think thou art not.

I’ll have some proof. Her name, that was as fresh

As Dian’s visage, is now begrim’d and black

As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,

Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,

I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!


I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion;

I do repent me that I put it to you.

You would be satisfied?


Would? nay, and I will.


And may; but how? How satisfied, my lord?

Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on?

Behold her topp’d?


Death and damnation! O!


It were a tedious difficulty, I think,

To bring them to that prospect; damn them then,

If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster

More than their own. What then? How then?

What shall I say? Where’s satisfaction?

It is impossible you should see this,

Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,

As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross

As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,

If imputation and strong circumstances

Which lead directly to the door of truth

Will give you satisfaction, you might have’t.


Give me a living reason she’s disloyal.


I do not like the office;

But sith I am ent’red in this cause so far

(Prick’d to’t by foolish honesty and love),

I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately,

And being troubled with a raging tooth,

I could not sleep.

There are a kind of men, so loose of soul,

That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs;

One of this kind is Cassio.

In sleep I heard him say, “Sweet Desdemona,

Let us be wary, let us hide our loves”;

And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand;

Cry, “O sweet creature!” then kiss me hard,

As if he pluck’d up kisses by the roots

That grew upon my lips; then laid his leg

Over my thigh, and sigh’d, and kiss’d, and then

Cried, “Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!”


O monstrous! monstrous!


Nay, this was but his dream.


But this denoted a foregone conclusion.


’Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream,

And this may help to thicken other proofs

That do demonstrate thinly.


I’ll tear her all to pieces.


Nay, yet be wise; yet we see nothing done;

She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,

Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief

Spotted with strawberries in your wive’s hand?


I gave her such a one; ’twas my first gift.


I know not that; but such a handkerchief

(I am sure it was your wive’s) did I today

See Cassio wipe his beard with.


If it be that—


If it be that, or any that was hers,

It speaks against her with the other proofs.


O that the slave had forty thousand lives!

One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.

Now do I see ’tis true. Look here, Iago,

All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.

’Tis gone.

Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!

Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne

To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,

For ’tis of aspics’ tongues!


Yet be content.


O blood, blood, blood!


Patience, I say; your mind perhaps may change.


Never, Iago. Like to the Pontic Sea,

Whose icy current and compulsive course

Nev’r feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on

To the Propontic and the Hellespont,

Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,

Shall nev’r look back, nev’r ebb to humble love,

Till that a capable and wide revenge

Swallow them up.

He kneels.

Now by yond marble heaven,

In the due reverence of a sacred vow

I here engage my words.


Do not rise yet.

Iago kneels.

Witness, you ever-burning lights above,

You elements that clip us round about,

Witness that here Iago doth give up

The execution of his wit, hands, heart,

To wrong’d Othello’s service! Let him command,

And to obey shall be in me remorse,

What bloody business ever.

They rise.


I greet thy love,

Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,

And will upon the instant put thee to’t:

Within these three days let me hear thee say

That Cassio’s not alive.


My friend is dead; ’tis done at your request.

But let her live.


Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her!

Come go with me apart, I will withdraw

To furnish me with some swift means of death

For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.


I am your own for ever.


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