Othello

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 11

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OTHELLO

    No, not much moved.
I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.

OTHELLO

No, not too upset. I’m sure Desdemona would never cheat on me.

IAGO

Long live she so. And long live you to think so.

IAGO

I hope she never does! And I hope you keep on thinking she wouldn’t.

OTHELLO

And yet how nature, erring from itself—

OTHELLO

But still, it’s true that good things can go bad, away from their true natures—

IAGO

Ay, there’s the point. As, to be bold with you,
235Not to affect many proposèd matches
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
Whereto we see in all things nature tends—
Foh! One may smell in such a will most rank,
Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural.
240But—pardon me—I do not in position
Distinctly speak of her, though I may fear
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country forms,
And happily repent.

IAGO

That’s the point I’m trying to make. If I can be frank with you, she veered away from her own nature in turning down all those young men from her own country, with her skin color, with her status—everything her nature would have drawn her to—Ugh! You can almost smell the dark and ugly desires inside her, the unnatural thoughts—But—I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to refer to her specifically just now. I only worry that she might snap back to her natural taste in men one day, and compare you unfavorably to other Italians.

OTHELLO

    Farewell, farewell.
245If more thou dost perceive, let me know more.
Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.

OTHELLO

Goodbye, goodbye. If you see anything else, let me know. Tell your wife to watch her. Leave me alone now, Iago.

IAGO

My lord, I take my leave. (going)

IAGO

My lord, I’ll say goodbye now. (beginning to exit)

OTHELLO

(aside) Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.

OTHELLO

(to himself) Why did I ever get married? I’m sure this good and honest man sees and knows more, much more, than he’s telling me.

IAGO

250 (returns) My lord, I would I might entreat your honor
To scan this thing no farther. Leave it to time.
Although ’tis fit that Cassio have his place,
For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
255You shall by that perceive him and his means.
Note if your lady strain his entertainment

IAGO

(returning) My lord, please don’t think about this any more. Time will tell. It’s right for Cassio to have his lieutenancy back—he’s very talented. But keep him away for a while, and you’ll see how he goes about getting it back. Notice whether your wife insists on your