Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and CLOWN
DESDEMONA, EMILIA and the CLOWN enter.

DESDEMONA

Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?

DESDEMONA

Excuse me, do you know which room Lieutenant Cassio

lies in

lies in = sleeps in

lies in
?

CLOWN

I dare not say he lies anywhere.

CLOWN

I wouldn’t dare say he lies anywhere.

DESDEMONA

Why, man?

DESDEMONA

Why do you say that?

CLOWN

He’s a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies, ’tis stabbing.

CLOWN

He’s a soldier. If I accused a soldier of lying, he’d stab me.

DESDEMONA

5Go to. Where lodges he?

DESDEMONA

Oh, come on. Where does he sleep?

CLOWN

To tell you where he lodges is to tell you where I lie.

CLOWN

Telling you where he’s sleeping is like telling you where I’m lying.

DESDEMONA

Can anything be made of this?

DESDEMONA

What on earth does that mean?

CLOWN

I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a lodging and say he lies here, or he lies there, were to lie in mine own throat.

CLOWN

I don’t know where he’s staying, so if I told you he’s sleeping here or there, I’d be lying.

DESDEMONA

Can you inquire him out and be edified by report?

DESDEMONA

Can you ask around and find out?

CLOWN

10I will catechize the world for him, that is, make questions, and by them answer.

CLOWN

I’ll go ask questions everywhere.

DESDEMONA

Seek him, bid him come hither. Tell him I have moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.

DESDEMONA

Find him and tell him to come here. Tell him I’ve spoken to my husband on his behalf, and I think everything will be all right.

CLOWN

To do this is within the compass of man’s wit, and therefore I will attempt the doing it.

CLOWN

I think I can do that. It’s not too much to ask.
Exit
CLOWN exits.