Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Swords out, and tilting one at other’s breasts
In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
Any beginning to this peevish odds,
And would in action glorious I had lost
150Those legs that brought me to a part of it.
know what could have started this. I’d rather have lost my legs in battle than be a part of this!

OTHELLO

How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?

OTHELLO

How did you manage to lose your self-control like this, Michael?

CASSIO

I pray you pardon me, I cannot speak.

CASSIO

Please, excuse me, sir. I can’t speak.

OTHELLO

Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil.
The gravity and stillness of your youth
155The world hath noted, and your name is great
In mouths of wisest censure. What’s the matter
That you unlace your reputation thus
And spend your rich opinion for the name
Of a night-brawler? Give me answer to it.

OTHELLO

Montano, you’re supposed to be calm and collected. You’re famous for it. Wise people respect you. What in the world made you risk your reputation like this and become a street brawler? Tell me.

MONTANO

160Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
Your officer Iago can inform you,
While I spare speech, which something now offends me,
Of all that I do know. Nor know I aught
By me that’s said or done amiss this night,
165Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
And to defend ourselves it be a sin
When violence assails us.

MONTANO

Othello, I’ve been seriously hurt. Your officer Iago can tell you what happened. I should save my breath, since it hurts to talk. I didn’t do anything wrong that I know of, unless it was a sin to defend myself when someone attacked me.

OTHELLO

    Now, by heaven,
My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
170Assays to lead the way. If I once stir,

OTHELLO

All right, now I’m starting to lose my cool. By God, if you don’t tell me what happened you’ll all suffer. Tell me how this fight began, who started it. Whoever is guilty, even if he were my twin brother, I swear I’m through with him. We’re in a town that’s just