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Navigate this workOthello
Act 5, scene 2
Desdemona is asleep in bed when Othello enters. He kisses her and wakes her and once again charges her with infidelity. Over her protests of innocence, he smothers her. When Emilia comes to tell Othello about the violence in the streets, he acknowledges the killing, telling her that Iago had informed him of Desdemona’s infidelity. Emilia’s cries of “Murder” bring Iago, Montano, and Gratiano. Iago, under pressure, admits accusing Desdemona. When Emilia discloses the truth about the handkerchief, Othello tries, unsuccessfully, to kill Iago, and Iago kills Emilia. Othello, aware of his enormous error in regarding Desdemona as unfaithful, stabs himself, falling dead on the bed beside Emilia and Desdemona. Iago is taken away to be tortured and killed.Enter Othello ⟨with a light,⟩ and Desdemona in her bed.
3247 It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.
3248 Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars.
3249 It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood,
3250 Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
3251 5 And smooth as monumental alabaster.
3252 Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.
3253 Put out the light, and then put out the light.
3254 If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
3255 I can again thy former light restore
3256 10 Should I repent me. But once put out thy light,
3257 Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature,
3258 I know not where is that Promethean heat
3259 That can thy light relume. When I have plucked ⟨the⟩
3262 It needs must wither. I’ll smell ⟨it⟩ on the tree.
3263 O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
3264 Justice to break her sword! ⌜He kisses her.⌝ One
3265 more, one more.
3266 20 Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee
3267 And love thee after. One more, and ⟨this⟩ the last.
⟨He kisses her.⟩
3268 So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep,
3269 But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly:
3270 It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.
3271 25 Who’s there? Othello?
OTHELLO 3272 Ay, Desdemona.
DESDEMONA 3273 Will you come to bed, my lord?
3274 Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?
DESDEMONA 3275 Ay, my lord.
3276 30 If you bethink yourself of any crime
3277 Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
3278 Solicit for it straight.
DESDEMONA 3279 Alack, my lord,
3280 What may you mean by that?
3281 35 Well, do it, and be brief. I will walk by.
3282 I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit.
3283 No, ⟨heaven⟩ forfend! I would not kill thy soul.
DESDEMONA 3284 Talk you of killing?
3285 Ay, I do.
DESDEMONA 3286 40 Then heaven have mercy on me.
OTHELLO 3287 Amen, with all my heart.
3288 If you say ⟨so,⟩ I hope you will not kill me.
OTHELLO 3289 Humh.
3290 And yet I fear you, for you’re fatal then
3291 45 When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know
3293 Since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear.
3294 Think on thy sins.
DESDEMONA 3295 They are loves I bear to you.
OTHELLO 3296 50Ay, and for that thou diest.
3297 That death’s unnatural that kills for loving.
3298 Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
3299 Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
3300 These are portents, but yet I hope, I hope
3301 55 They do not point on me.
OTHELLO 3302 Peace, and be still.
3303 I will so. What’s the matter?
OTHELLO 3304 That handkerchief
3305 Which I so loved, and gave thee, thou gav’st to
3306 60 Cassio.
3307 No, by my life and soul! Send for the man
3308 And ask him.
3309 Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.
3310 Thou art on thy deathbed.
3311 65 Ay, but not yet to die.
OTHELLO 3312 ⟨Yes,⟩ presently.
3313 Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin.
3314 For to deny each article with oath
3315 Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
3316 70 That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.
3317 ⟨Then Lord⟩ have mercy on me!
3319 And have you mercy, too. I never did
3320 Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio
3321 75 But with such general warranty of heaven
3322 As I might love. I never gave him token.
3323 By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ’s hand!
3324 O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart
3325 And ⟨mak’st⟩ me call what I intend to do
3326 80 A murder, which I thought a sacrifice!
3327 I saw the handkerchief!
DESDEMONA 3328 He found it, then.
3329 I never gave it him. Send for him hither.
3330 Let him confess a truth.
OTHELLO 3331 85 He hath confessed.
DESDEMONA 3332 What, my lord?
3333 That he hath used thee.
DESDEMONA 3334 How? Unlawfully?
OTHELLO 3335 Ay.
3336 90 He will not say so.
OTHELLO 3337 No. His mouth is stopped.
3338 Honest Iago hath ta’en order for ’t.
3339 O, my fear interprets. What, is he dead?
3340 Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
3341 95 Had stomach for them all.
3342 Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.⌜She weeps.⌝
3343 Out, strumpet! Weep’st thou for him to my face?
3344 O banish me, my lord, but kill me not!
3346 100 Kill me tomorrow, let me live tonight.
OTHELLO 3347 Nay, if you strive—
3348 But half an hour!
[OTHELLO 3349 Being done, there is no pause.]
3350 But while I say one prayer!
OTHELLO 3351 105 It is too late.
⟨He⟩ smothers her.
3352 My lord, my lord? What ho! My lord, my lord!
3353 What noise is this?—Not dead? Not yet quite dead?
3354 I that am cruel am yet merciful.
3355 I would not have thee linger in thy pain.
3356 110 So, so.
EMILIA, within 3357 What, ho! My lord, my lord!
OTHELLO 3358 Who’s
3360 O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you.
3361 115 Yes. ’Tis Emilia.—By and by.—She’s dead.
3362 ’Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio’s death.
3363 The noise was ⟨here.⟩ Ha, no more moving?
3364 Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were ’t good?
3365 I think she stirs again. No. What’s best to do?
3366 120 If she come in, she’ll sure speak to my wife.
3367 My wife, my wife! What wife? I have no wife.
3368 O insupportable! O heavy hour!
3369 Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
3370 Of sun and moon, and that th’ affrighted globe
3371 125 ⟨Should⟩ yawn at alteration.
EMILIA, ⌜within⌝ 3372 I do beseech you
3373 That I may speak with you. O, good my lord—
3374 I had forgot thee. O, come in, Emilia.—
3375 Soft, by and by, let me the curtains draw.—
3376 130 Where art thou?
3377 What’s the matter with thee now?
3378 O, my good lord, yonder’s foul murders done.
OTHELLO 3379 What? Now?
EMILIA 3380 But now, my lord.
3381 135 It is the very error of the moon.
3382 She comes more nearer Earth than she was wont
3383 And makes men mad.
EMILIA 3384 Cassio, my lord, hath killed
3385 A young Venetian called Roderigo.
3386 140 Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed?
EMILIA 3387 No, Cassio is not killed.
3388 Not Cassio killed? Then murder’s out of tune,
3389 And sweet revenge grows harsh.
DESDEMONA 3390 O falsely, falsely murdered.
3391 145 ⟨O Lord,⟩ what cry is that?
OTHELLO 3392 That? What?
3393 Out, and alas, that was my lady’s voice!
3394 Help! Help ho! Help! O lady, speak again!
3395 Sweet Desdemona, O sweet mistress, speak!
DESDEMONA 3396 150A guiltless death I die.
EMILIA 3397 O, who hath done this deed?
DESDEMONA 3398 Nobody. I myself. Farewell.
3399 Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell.
3400 Why, how should she be murdered?
EMILIA 3401 155 Alas, who
3403 You ⟨heard⟩ her say herself, it was not I.
3404 She said so. I must needs report the truth.
3405 She’s like a liar gone to burning hell!
3406 160 ’Twas I that killed her.
3407 O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!
3408 She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
3409 Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil!
OTHELLO 3410 She was false as water.
EMILIA 3411 165Thou art rash as fire to say
3412 That she was false. O, she was heavenly true!
3413 Cassio did top her. Ask thy husband else.
3414 O, I were damned beneath all depth in hell
3415 But that I did proceed upon just grounds
3416 170 To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.
EMILIA 3417 My husband?
OTHELLO 3418 Thy husband.
EMILIA 3419 That she was false to wedlock?
3420 Ay, with Cassio. Had she been true,
3421 175 If heaven would make me such another world
3422 Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
3423 I’d not have sold her for it.
EMILIA 3424 My husband?
3425 Ay, ’twas he that told me on her first.
3427 That sticks on filthy deeds.
EMILIA 3428 My husband?
3429 What needs this iterance, woman? I say, thy
3431 185 O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love!—
3432 My husband say she was false?
OTHELLO 3433 He, woman.
3434 I say thy husband. Dost understand the word?
3435 My friend, thy husband; honest, honest Iago.]
3436 190 If he say so, may his pernicious soul
3437 Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th’ heart!
3438 She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
OTHELLO 3439 Hah?
EMILIA 3440 Do thy worst!
3441 195 This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
3442 Than thou wast worthy her.
OTHELLO 3443 Peace, you were best!
3444 Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
3445 As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt,
3446 200 As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed—
3447 I care not for thy sword. I’ll make thee known,
3448 Though I lost twenty lives. Help! Help, ho! Help!
3449 The Moor hath killed my mistress! Murder, murder!
Enter Montano, Gratiano, and Iago.
3450 What is the matter? How now, general?
3451 205 O, are you come, Iago? You have done well,
3452 That men must lay their murders on your neck.
EMILIA, ⌜to Iago⌝
3454 Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man.
3455 He says thou told’st him that his wife was false.
3456 210 I know thou didst not. Thou ’rt not such a villain.
3457 Speak, for my heart is full.
3458 I told him what I thought, and told no more
3459 Than what he found himself was apt and true.
3460 But did you ever tell him she was false?
IAGO 3461 215I did.
3462 You told a lie, an odious, damnèd lie!
3463 Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!
3464 She false with Cassio? Did you say with Cassio?
3465 With Cassio, mistress. Go to! Charm your tongue.
3466 220 I will not charm my tongue. I am bound to speak.
3467 [My mistress here lies murdered in her bed.
ALL 3468 O heavens forfend!
EMILIA, ⌜to Iago⌝
3469 And your reports have set the murder on!
3470 Nay, stare not, masters; it is true indeed.
GRATIANO 3471 225’Tis a strange truth.
3472 O monstrous act!
EMILIA 3473 Villainy, villainy, villainy!
3474 I think upon ’t, I think! I smell ’t! O villainy!
3475 I thought so then. I’ll kill myself for grief!
3476 230 O villainy! Villainy!]
3477 What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.
3478 Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.
3479 ’Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
3480 Perchance, Iago, I will ne’er go home.
3481 235 O, O, O!⟨Othello falls on the bed.⟩
EMILIA 3482 Nay, lay thee down, and roar!
3483 For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent
3484 That e’er did lift up eye.
OTHELLO, ⌜standing⌝ 3485 O, she was foul!—
3486 240 I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,
3487 Whose breath indeed these hands have newly
3489 I know this act shows horrible and grim.
3490 Poor Desdemon, I am glad thy father’s dead.
3491 245 Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
3492 Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now,
3493 This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
3494 Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
3495 And fall to reprobance.
3496 250 ’Tis pitiful. But yet Iago knows
3497 That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
3498 A thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it,
3499 And she did gratify his amorous works
3500 With that recognizance and pledge of love
3501 255 Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand.
3502 It was a handkerchief, an antique token
3503 My father gave my mother.
EMILIA 3504 O ⟨God!⟩ O heavenly ⟨God!⟩
3505 ⟨Zounds,⟩ hold your peace!
EMILIA 3506 260 ’Twill out, ’twill out. I peace?
3507 No, I will speak as liberal as the north.
3508 Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
3509 All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
IAGO 3510 Be wise, and get you home.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
3511 265 I will not.
GRATIANO 3512 Fie, your sword upon a woman!
3513 O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak’st
3515 I found by fortune, and did give my husband—
3516 270 For often, with a solemn earnestness
3517 (More than indeed belonged to such a trifle),
3518 He begged of me to steal ’t.
IAGO 3519 Villainous whore!
3520 She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it,
3521 275 And I did give ’t my husband.
IAGO 3522 Filth, thou liest!
3523 By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen!
3524 ⌜To Othello.⌝ O murd’rous coxcomb, what should
3525 such a fool
3526 280 Do with so good a wife?
OTHELLO 3527 Are there no stones in heaven
3528 But what serves for the thunder?—Precious villain!
⟨The Moor runs at Iago ⌜but is disarmed.⌝
Iago kills his wife.⟩
3529 The woman falls! Sure he hath killed his wife.
3530 Ay, ay! O, lay me by my mistress’ side.⟨Iago exits.⟩
GRATIANO 3531 285He’s gone, but his wife’s killed.
3532 ’Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon
3533 Which I have ⟨here⟩ recovered from the Moor.
3534 Come, guard the door without. Let him not pass,
3535 But kill him rather. I’ll after that same villain,
3536 290 For ’tis a damnèd slave.
⟨Montano and Gratiano⟩ exit.
OTHELLO 3537 I am not valiant neither,
3539 But why should honor outlive honesty?
3540 Let it go all.
[EMILIA 3541 295 What did thy song bode, lady?
3542 Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan
3543 And die in music.
⌜She sings.⌝ 3544 Willow, willow, willow.]
3545 Moor, she was chaste. She loved thee, cruel Moor.
3546 300 So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true.
3547 So speaking as I think, alas, I die. ⟨She dies.⟩
3548 I have another weapon in this chamber.
3549 It ⟨is⟩ a sword of Spain, the ice brook’s temper.
3550 O, here it is.—Uncle, I must come forth.
3551 305 If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear;
3552 Thou hast no weapon and perforce must suffer.
3553 Look in upon me, then, and speak with me,
3554 Or naked as I am I will assault thee.
3555 What is the matter?
OTHELLO 3556 310 Behold, I have a weapon.
3557 A better never did itself sustain
3558 Upon a soldier’s thigh. I have seen the day
3559 That with this little arm and this good sword
3560 I have made my way through more impediments
3561 315 Than twenty times your stop. But—O vain boast!—
3562 Who can control his fate? ’Tis not so now.
3563 [Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed.
3564 Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt
3565 And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
3566 320 Do you go back dismayed? ’Tis a lost fear.
3567 Man but a rush against Othello’s breast,
⌜He looks toward the bed.⌝
3569 Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred wench,]
3570 Pale as thy smock, when we shall meet at compt,
3571 325 This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
3572 And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl?
3573 Even like thy chastity.—O cursèd, cursèd slave!—
3574 Whip me, you devils,
3575 From the possession of this heavenly sight!
3576 330 Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulfur,
3577 Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
3578 O Desdemon! Dead, Desdemon! Dead! O, O!
Enter Lodovico, Cassio ⟨in a chair,⟩ Montano, and Iago,
3579 Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?
3580 That’s he that was Othello. Here I am.
3581 335 Where is that viper? Bring the villain forth.
⌜Iago is brought forward.⌝
3582 I look down towards his feet; but that’s a fable.—
3583 If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
⌜He stabs Iago.⌝
3584 Wrench his sword from him.
⌜Othello is disarmed.⌝
IAGO 3585 I bleed, sir, but not killed.
3586 340 I am not sorry neither. I’d have thee live,
3587 For in my sense ’tis happiness to die.
3588 O thou Othello, that ⟨wert⟩ once so good,
3589 Fall’n in the practice of a ⟨damnèd⟩ slave,
3590 What shall be said to thee?
3592 An honorable murderer, if you will,
3593 For naught I did in hate, but all in honor.
3594 This wretch hath part confessed his villainy.
3595 Did you and he consent in Cassio’s death?
OTHELLO 3596 350Ay.
3597 Dear general, I never gave you cause.
3598 I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
3599 Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
3600 Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?
3601 355 Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.
3602 From this time forth I never will speak word.
LODOVICO 3603 What? Not to pray?
GRATIANO 3604 Torments will ope your lips.
OTHELLO 3605 Well, thou dost best.
LODOVICO 3606 360Sir,
3607 You shall understand what hath befall’n,
3608 Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter
3609 Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo,
3610 And here another. ⌜He shows papers.⌝ The one of
3611 365 them imports
3612 The death of Cassio, to be undertook
3613 By Roderigo.
3614 O villain!
CASSIO 3615 Most heathenish and most gross.
3616 370 Now here’s another discontented paper
3617 Found in his pocket, too; and this it seems
3618 Roderigo meant t’ have sent this damnèd villain,
3619 But that, belike, Iago in the interim
3620 Came in and satisfied him.
OTHELLO 3621 375O, thou pernicious caitiff!—
3623 That was my wife’s?
CASSIO 3624 I found it in my chamber.
3625 And he himself confessed it but even now,
3626 380 That there he dropped it for a special purpose
3627 Which wrought to his desire.
OTHELLO 3628 O fool, fool, fool!
3629 There is besides, in Roderigo’s letter,
3630 How he upbraids Iago, that he made him
3631 385 Brave me upon the watch, whereon it came
3632 That I was cast. And even but now he spake,
3633 After long seeming dead: Iago hurt him,
3634 Iago set him on.
LODOVICO, ⌜to Othello⌝
3635 You must forsake this room and go with us.
3636 390 Your power and your command is taken off,
3637 And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
3638 If there be any cunning cruelty
3639 That can torment him much and hold him long,
3640 It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest,
3641 395 Till that the nature of your fault be known
3642 To the Venetian state.—Come, bring away.
3643 Soft you. A word or two before you go.
3644 I have done the state some service, and they
3645 know ’t.
3646 400 No more of that. I pray you in your letters,
3647 When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
3648 Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
3649 Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
3650 Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;
3651 405 Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
3652 Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
3653 Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away
3654 Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued
3657 Drops tears as fast as the Arabian trees
3658 Their medicinable gum. Set you down this.
3659 And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
3660 Where a malignant and a turbanned Turk
3661 415 Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
3662 I took by th’ throat the circumcisèd dog,
3663 And smote him, thus.⟨He stabs himself.⟩
LODOVICO 3664 O bloody period!
GRATIANO 3665 All that is spoke is marred.
OTHELLO, ⌜to Desdemona⌝
3666 420 I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this,
3667 Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.⟨He⟩ dies.
3668 This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,
3669 For he was great of heart.
LODOVICO, ⌜to Iago⌝ 3670 O Spartan dog,
3671 425 More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
3672 Look on the tragic loading of this bed.
3673 This is thy work.—The object poisons sight.
3674 Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the house,
3675 And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
3676 430 For they succeed on you. ⌜To Cassio.⌝ To you, lord
3678 Remains the censure of this hellish villain.
3679 The time, the place, the torture, O, enforce it.
3680 Myself will straight aboard, and to the state
3681 435 This heavy act with heavy heart relate.