Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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pg 21825.1Sc. 14

Enter Iago and Rodorigo
Editor’s Note1

iago Here, stand behind this bulk. Straight will he come.

Editor’s Note2Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.

3Quick, quick, fear nothing. I'll be at thy elbow.

4It makes us or it mars us. Think on that,

5And fix most firm thy resolutïon.

Editor’s Note6

rodorigo Be near at hand. I may miscarry in't.


iago Here at thy hand. Be bold, and take thy stand.


rodorigo [aside] I have no great devotion to the deed,

9And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons.

10'Tis but a man gone. Forth my sword—he dies!

Editor’s Note11

iago [aside] I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,

12And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio

13Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Editor’s Note14Every way makes my gain. Live Rodorigo,

15He calls me to a restitution large

Editor’s Note16Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him

17As gifts to Desdemona.

18It must not be. If Cassio do remain,

19He hath a daily beauty in his life

20That makes me ugly; and besides, the Moor

Editor’s Note21May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.

22No, he must die. But so, I hear him coming.

Enter Cassio

rodorigo I know his gait, 'tis he. [Attacking Cassio] Villain, thou diest!


cassio That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,

Editor’s Note25But that my coat is better than thou know'st.

Editor’s Note26I will make proof of thine.

[He stabs Rodorigo, who falls]

rodorigo O, I am slain!

Editor’s Note[Iago wounds Cassio in the leg from behind. Exit Iago]

cassio [falling] I am maimed for ever. Help, ho, murder, murder!

Enter Othello [above]

othello The voice of Cassio. Iago keeps his word.


rodorigo 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,

33That hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong—

Editor’s Note34Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,

Editor’s Note35And your unblessed fate hies. Strumpet, I come.

36Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted.

37Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust's blood be spotted.

Exit Othello pg 2183Editor’s NoteEnter Lodovico and Graziano
Editor’s Note38

cassio What ho, no watch, no passage? Murder, murder!


graziano 'Tis some mischance. The voice is very direful.


cassio O, help!

lodovico Hark.

rodorigo O wretched villain!

Editor’s Note41

lodovico Two or three groan. 'Tis heavy night.

42These may be counterfeits. Let's think't unsafe

Editor’s Note43To come into the cry without more help.


rodorigo Nobody come? Then shall I bleed to death.

Editor’s NoteEnter Iago [with a light, and his sword drawn]

lodovico Hark.


graziano Here's one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.

Editor’s Note47

iago Who's there? Whose noise is this that cries on murder?


lodovico We do not know.

iago Do not you hear a cry?


cassio Here, here. For God's sake, help me.

iago What's the matter?


graziano [to Lodovico] This is Othello's ensign, as I take it.


lodovico The same indeed, a very valiant fellow.


iago [to Cassio] What are you here that cry so grievously?

Editor’s Note53

cassio Iago—O, I am spoiled, undone by villains.

54Give me some help.


iago O me, lieutenant, what villains have done this?


cassio I think that one of them is hereabout

Link 57And cannot make away.

iago O treacherous villains!

58[To Lodovico and Graziano] What are you there? Come in and give some help.


rodorigo O, help me there!


cassio That's one of them.

iago Editor’s Note[stabbing Rodorigo] O murderous slave! O villain!


rodorigo O damned Iago! O inhuman dog!


iago Kill men i'th' dark? Where be these bloody thieves?

63How silent is this town! Ho, murder, murder!

[To Lodovico and Graziano]

64What may you be? Are you of good or evil?


lodovico As you shall prove us, praise us.

iago Signor Lodovico.


lodovico He, sir.


iago I cry you mercy. Here's Cassio hurt by villains.


graziano Cassio?


iago How is't, brother?


cassio My leg is cut in two.


iago Marry, God forbid!

Editor’s Note72Light, gentlemen. I'll bind it with my shirt.

Enter Bianca
pg 2184 73

bianca What is the matter, ho? Who is't that cried?

Editor’s Note74

iago Who is't that cried?

bianca O, my dear Cassio,

75My sweet Cassio, O, Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!


iago O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect

77Who they should be that have thus mangled you?


cassio No.


graziano I am sorry to find you thus. I have been to seek you.

Editor’s Note80

iago Lend me a garter. So. O for a chair,

81To bear him easily hence!


bianca Alas, he faints. O, Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!


iago Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash

84To be a party in this injury.

85Patience a while, good Cassio. Come, come,

Editor’s Note86Lend me a light. [Going to Rodorigo] Know we this face or no?

87Alas, my friend, and my dear countryman.

88Rodorigo? No—yes, sure—O God, Rodorigo!


graziano What, of Venice?


iago Even he, sir. Did you know him?


graziano Know him? Ay.

Editor’s Note92

iago Signor Graziano, I cry your gentle pardon.

93These bloody accidents must excuse my manners

94That so neglected you.

graziano I am glad to see you.


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


graziano Rodorigo?

Editor’s Note97

iago He, he, 'tis he.

[Enter attendants with a chair]

O, that's well said, the chair!

98Some good man bear him carefully from hence.

99I'll fetch the general's surgeon. [To Bianca] For you, mistress,

Editor’s Note100Save you your labour. He that lies slain here, Cassio,

Editor’s Note101Was 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?

[To attendants]

O, bear him out o'th' air.

[Exeunt attendants with Cassio in the chair]

Editor’s Note104Stay you, good gentlemen.

[To Bianca]

Look you pale, mistress?

Editor’s Note105[To Lodovico and Graziano] Do you perceive the ghastness of her eye?

106[To Bianca] Nay, if you stare we shall hear more anon.

107[To Lodovico and Graziano] Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her.

108Do you see, gentlemen? Nay, guiltiness

Editor’s Note109Will speak, though tongues were out of use.

[Enter Emilia]

emilia Alas!

110What is the matter? What is the matter, husband?


iago Cassio hath here been set on in the dark

112By Rodorigo and fellows that are scaped.

pg 2185113He's almost slain, and Rodorigo quite dead.


emilia Alas, good gentleman! Alas, good Cassio!


iago This is the fruits of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,

116Go know of Cassio where he supped tonight.

117[To Bianca] What, do you shake at that?


bianca He supped at my house, but I therefore shake not.


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


emilia [to Bianca] O, fie upon thee, strumpet!


bianca I am no strumpet, but of life as honest

122As you that thus abuse me.

emilia As I? Fough, fie upon thee!


iago Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio dressed.

124[To Bianca] Come, mistress, you must tell's another tale.

125Emilia, run you to the citadel

126And tell my lord and lady what hath happed.

Editor’s Note127Will you go on afore?

[Exit Emilia] [Aside]

This is the night

Editor’s Note128That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

Editor’s NoteExeunt

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
5.1.1 bulk projecting part of a stall
Editor’s Note
5.1.1 this bulk on Shakespeare's stage, probably one of the pillars supporting the canopy over the stage, or something projecting from the back wall. Both men may have carried lanterns, to indicate that the scene takes place at night; they would then need to extinguish them, before Cassio enters.
Editor’s Note
5.1.2 put … home thrust it into its target
Editor’s Note
5.1.6 miscarry fail
Editor’s Note
5.1.11 quat pimple, pustule
Editor’s Note
5.1.11 sense quick
Editor’s Note
5.1.14 Live Rodorigo if Rodorigo survives (the subjunctive mood)
Editor’s Note
5.1.16 bobbed swindled
Editor’s Note
5.1.21 unfold expose
Editor’s Note
5.1.25 coat either reinforced clothing (worn for protection) or strongly made (perhaps well-stuffed) ordinary wear
Editor’s Note
5.1.26 proof trial
Editor’s Note Exit Iago alternatively, after Cassio calls for help, which might cue offstage sounds of others approaching
Editor’s Note
5.1.34 Minion hussy
Editor’s Note
5.1.35 hies hastens towards you
Editor’s Note Enter Lodovico and Graziano presumably without lights, miming their confusion in the darkness
Editor’s Note
5.1.38 passage passer-by
Editor’s Note
5.1.41 heavy gloomy, dark
Editor’s Note
5.1.43 come into the cry approach where the cries come from ('cry' also = 'pack of hounds')
Editor’s Note Iago may be dressed to suggest that he has just got out of bed
Editor’s Note
5.1.47 cries on calls out about
Editor’s Note
5.1.53 spoiled maimed
Editor’s Note stabbing Rodorigo Edmund Kean 'gave and repeated the murderous thrust till no life could be supposed to remain'. Henry Irving turned over the dead body with his foot.
Editor’s Note
5.1.72 my shirt (which he takes off, and possibly tears.)
Editor’s Note
5.1.74 Who … cried (mimicking Bianca)
Editor’s Note
5.1.80 Lend … garter Men wore garters in Shakespeare's time; Iago wants to use one to help bind the wound.
Editor’s Note
5.1.86 Lend … light Lodovico or Graziano may have picked up Iago's lantern.
Editor’s Note
5.1.92 cry beg
Editor’s Note
5.1.97 well said well done
Editor’s Note
5.1.100 labour of trying to help Cassio
Editor’s Note
5.1.101 malice enmity
Editor’s Note
5.1.104 Look … mistress (perhaps forcibly preventing her from leaving with Cassio)
Editor’s Note
5.1.105 ghastness terror
Editor’s Note
5.1.109 Alas She may be responding to the sight of Rodorigo's body, or Cassio's, being carried off through the same door at which she enters
Editor’s Note
5.1.127 Will … afore? (addressed to Emilia or to the men)
Editor’s Note
5.1.128 fordoes ruins
Editor’s Note Exeunt Iago is probably the last to exit. Bianca may be dragged off roughly, screaming or gagged, with a suggestion of impending torture or gang rape.
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