Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DESDEMONA

Your wife, my lord. Your true and loyal wife.

DESDEMONA

I’m your wife, your true and loyal wife.

OTHELLO

Come, swear it, damn thyself.
Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double damned,
40Swear thou art honest!

OTHELLO

Go ahead, swear to that, so you’ll be damned to hell for lying. Otherwise the devils will mistake you for an angel and be too scared to grab you. Go ahead, make sure you damn yourself by swearing you’ve been faithful to me.

DESDEMONA

    Heaven doth truly know it.

DESDEMONA

Heaven knows I am.

OTHELLO

Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.

OTHELLO

Heaven knows you’re as unfaithful as hell.

DESDEMONA

To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?

DESDEMONA

Unfaithful, my lord? With whom? How am I unfaithful?

OTHELLO

Ah, Desdemona, away, away, away!

OTHELLO

Leave me alone, Desdemona, go away!

DESDEMONA

Alas the heavy day, why do you weep?
45Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?
If haply you my father do suspect
An instrument of this your calling back,
Lay not your blame on me. If you have lost him,
Why, I have lost him too.

DESDEMONA

Oh, what a horrible day! Why are you crying? Because of me? If you’ve been ordered back to Venice because of my father, don’t blame me. You may have lost his respect, but so have I.

OTHELLO

    Had it pleased heaven
50To try me with affliction, had they rained
All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head,
Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,
Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,
I should have found in some place of my soul
55A drop of patience. But, alas, to make me

OTHELLO

If God had decided to treat me like Job, making me sick and covered with sores, reducing me to abject poverty, selling me into slavery and destroying all my hopes, I would have found some way to accept it with patience. But instead He’s made me a laughingstock for everyone in our time to point at and scorn! Even that I could put up with. But instead, my wife, who’s supposed to