Othello

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 12

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With any strong or vehement importunity.
Much will be seen in that. In the meantime,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears—
260As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
And hold her free, I do beseech your honor.
giving it back to him. That will tell you a lot. But in the meantime, just assume that I’m paranoid—as I’m pretty sure I am—and keep thinking she’s innocent, please.

OTHELLO

Fear not my government.

OTHELLO

Don’t worry about how I handle it.

IAGO

    I once more take my leave.

IAGO

I’ll say goodbye once more.
Exit
IAGO exits.

OTHELLO

This fellow’s of exceeding honesty
And knows all quantities, with a learnèd spirit,
265Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind
To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
270That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much—
She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief
Must be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriage
That we can call these delicate creatures ours
275And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet ’tis the plague to great ones,
Prerogatived are they less than the base.
280'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.
Even then this forkèd plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Look where she comes.

OTHELLO

This Iago is extremely honest and good, and he knows a lot about human behavior. If it turns out that she really is running around on me, I’ll send her away, even though it’ll break my heart. Maybe because I’m black, and I don’t have nice manners like courtiers do, or because I’m getting old—but that’s not much—She’s gone, and I’ve been cheated on. I have no choice but to hate her. Oh what a curse marriage is! We think our beautiful wives belong to us, but their desires are free! I’d rather be a toad in a moldy basement than to have only a part of someone I love, sharing the rest of her with others. This is the plague of important men—our wives betray us more than those of poor men. It’s our destiny, like death. We are destined to be betrayed when we are born. Oh, here she comes.
Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA
DESDEMONA and EMILIA enter.
If she be false, heaven mocked itself.
I’ll not believe ’t.
If she’s cheated on me, then heaven itself is a fake. I don’t believe it.