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ACT V SCENE ICyprus. A street.
IAGOHere, 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, 5
And fix most firm thy resolution.
RODERIGOBe near at hand; I may miscarry in’t.
IAGOHere, at thy hand: be bold, and take thy stand.
RODERIGOI have no great devotion to the deed;
And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons: 10
‘Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.
IAGOI 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, 15
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 20
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.
RODERIGOI know his gait, ’tis he.–Villain, thou diest!
Makes a pass at CASSIO.
CASSIOThat thrust had been mine enemy indeed, 25
But that my coat is better than thou know’st
I will make proof of thine.
Draws, and wounds RODERIGO.
RODERIGOO, I am slain!
IAGO from behind wounds CASSIO in the leg, and exits.
CASSIOI am maim’d for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!
OTHELLOThe voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word. 30
RODERIGOO, villain that I am!
OTHELLOIt is even so.
CASSIOO, help, ho! light! a surgeon!
OTHELLO‘Tis he: — O brave Iago, honest and just,
That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong! 35
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.
CASSIOWhat, ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder! 40
GRATIANO‘Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.
CASSIOO, help!
RODERIGOO wretched villain!
LODOVICOTwo or three groan: it is a heavy night: 45
These may be counterfeits: let’s think’t unsafe
To come in to the cry without more help.
RODERIGONobody come? then shall I bleed to death.
Re-enter IAGO, with a light.
GRATIANOHere’s one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons. 50
IAGOWho’s there? whose noise is this that ones on murder?
LODOVICOWe do not know.
IAGODid not you hear a cry?
CASSIOHere, here! for heaven’s sake, help me!
IAGOWhat’s the matter? 55
GRATIANOThis is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.
The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.
IAGOWhat are you here that cry so grievously?
CASSIOIago? O, I am spoil’d, undone by villains!
Give me some help. 60
IAGOO me, lieutenant! what villains have done this?
CASSIOI think that one of them is hereabout,
And cannot make away.
IAGOO treacherous villains!
What are you there? come in, and give some help. 65
RODERIGOO, help me here!
CASSIOThat’s one of them.
IAGOO murderous slave! O villain!
RODERIGOO damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!
IAGOKill men i’ the dark!–Where be these bloody thieves?– 70
How silent is this town!–Ho! murder! murder!–
What may you be? are you of good or evil?
LODOVICOAs you shall prove us, praise us.
IAGOSignior Lodovico?
LODOVICOHe, sir. 75
IAGOI cry you mercy. Here’s Cassio hurt by villains.
IAGOHow is’t, brother!
CASSIOMy leg is cut in two.
IAGOMarry, heaven forbid! 80
Light, gentlemen; I’ll bind it with my shirt.
BIANCAWhat is the matter, ho? who is’t that cried?
IAGOWho is’t that cried!
BIANCAO my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio,
Cassio, Cassio! 85
IAGOO notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect
Who they should be that have thus many led you?
GRATIANOI am to find you thus: I have been to seek you.
IAGOLend me a garter. So. O, for a chair, 90
To bear him easily hence!
BIANCAAlas, he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
IAGOGentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
To be a party in this injury.
Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come; 95
Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?
Alas my friend and my dear countryman
Roderigo! no:–yes, sure: O heaven! Roderigo.
GRATIANOWhat, of Venice?
IAGOEven he, sir; did you know him? 100
GRATIANOKnow him! ay.
IAGOSignior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon;
These bloody accidents must excuse my manners,
That so neglected you.
GRATIANOI am glad to see you. 105
IAGOHow do you, Cassio? O, a chair, a chair!
IAGOHe, he ’tis he.
A chair brought in
O, that’s well said; the chair!
GRATIANOSome good man bear him carefully from hence; 110
I’ll fetch the general’s surgeon.
For you, mistress,
Save you your labour. He that lies slain
here, Cassio,
Was my dear friend: what malice was between you? 115
CASSIONone in the world; nor do I know the man.
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. 120
Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her:
Do you see, gentlemen? nay, guiltiness will speak,
Though tongues were out of use.
EMILIA‘Las, what’s the matter? what’s the matter, husband?
IAGOCassio hath here been set on in the dark 125
By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:
He’s almost slain, and Roderigo dead.
EMILIAAlas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio!
IAGOThis is the fruit of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
Go know of Cassio where he supp’d to-night. 130
What, do you shake at that?
BIANCAHe supp’d at my house; but I therefore shake not.
IAGOO, did he so? I charge you, go with me.
EMILIAFie, fie upon thee, strumpet!
BIANCAI am no strumpet; but of life as honest 135
As you that thus abuse me.
EMILIAAs I! foh! fie upon thee!
IAGOKind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dress’d.
Come, mistress, you must tell’s another tale.
Emilia run you to the citadel, 140
And tell my lord and lady what hath happ’d.
Will you go on? I pray.
This is the night
That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

Othello, Act 5, Scene 2


Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 1

From Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.

Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt’s invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.


2. Bulk, the projecting portion of a building.

12. Quat, pimple, pustule. Sense, quick.

15. Live. Subjunctive, If Roderigo live.

17. bobb’d, cheated. Cf. “You shall not bob us out of our melody.” — Troilus and Cressida, iii. i, 75. The verb (intrans.) means to knock against, and (trans.) also to thump.

37. Hies, hastens.

40. Passage, a going to and fro of people.

45. Heavy, gloomy, cloudy. Lodovico’s feeling is that it may be a plot; that some one is pretending to be wounded in order to induce the unwary to give assistance, and render themselves an easy prey to confederates.

93. Trash, worthless woman.

119. Gastness, ghastliness.

145. Fordoes, undoes, ruins. Cf. Hamlet, v. i, 244: “The corse they follow did with desperate hand Fordo its own life.”


How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1892.