Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

IAGO

    With her, on her, what you will.

IAGO

With her, on top of her—however you want to say it.

OTHELLO

Lie with her? lie on her? We say “lie on her” when they belie her! Lie with her—that’s fulsome. Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labor. First to be hanged, and then to confess—I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not words that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is ’t possible? Confess!—Handkerchief!—Oh, devil!—

OTHELLO

In bed with her? On top of her? I would have thought people were telling lies about her rather than believe he was lying on her. My God, it’s nauseating! Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! I’ll kill him first, and then let him confess—I’m trembling with rage. I wouldn’t be trembling like this if I didn’t know deep down this was all true. Noses, ears, lips. Is it possible? Tell me the truth—Handkerchief—Damn it!
(falls in a trance)
(he falls into a trance)

IAGO

35Work on, My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught,
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach.—What, ho! My lord!
My lord, I say! Othello!

IAGO

Keep working, poison! This is the way to trick gullible fools. Many good and innocent women are punished for reasons like this.—My lord? My lord, Othello!
Enter CASSIO
CASSIO enters.
    How now, Cassio!
Hey, Cassio!

CASSIO

What’s the matter?

CASSIO

What’s the matter?

IAGO

40My lord is fall'n into an epilepsy.
This is his second fit. He had one yesterday.

IAGO

Othello’s having some kind of epileptic fit. This is his second fit like this. He had one yesterday.

CASSIO

Rub him about the temples.

CASSIO

Rub his temples.

IAGO

    No, forbear.
The lethargy must have his quiet course.
If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
45Breaks out to savage madness. Look, he stirs.
Do you withdraw yourself a little while,

IAGO

No, don’t. This fit has to run its course. If you interrupt it, he’ll foam at the mouth and go crazy. Look, he’s moving. Why don’t you go away for a bit? He’ll get