Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

EMILIA
Ay. Would you had never seen him!
EMILIA
Yes. I wish you’d never met him.
DESDEMONA
So would not I. My love doth so approve him
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns—
20Prithee, unpin me—have grace and favor.
DESDEMONA
That’s not what I wish. I love him even when he’s harsh and mean—Help me unpin this, would you?—I love even his stubbornness, his frowns, his bad moods.
EMILIA
I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.
EMILIA
I put those wedding sheets on your bed, as you asked.
DESDEMONA
All’s one. Good Father, how foolish are our minds!
If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me
In one of these same sheets.
DESDEMONA
It doesn’t matter. Oh, how silly we are! If I die before you do make sure I’m wrapped in those sheets in my coffin.
EMILIA
    Come, come! You talk!
EMILIA
Listen to you! Don’t be silly!
DESDEMONA
25My mother had a maid called Barbary,
She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
And did forsake her. She had a song of “Willow,”
An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortune
And she died singing it. That song tonight
30Will not go from my mind. I have much to do
But to go hang my head all at one side
And sing it like poor Barbary. Prithee, dispatch.
DESDEMONA
My mother had a maid named Barbary. She was in love, and her lover turned out to be wild and left her. She knew an old song called “Willow” that reminded her of her own story, and she died singing it. I can’t get that song out of my head tonight. It’s all I can do to keep myself from hanging my head down in despair and singing it like poor Barbary. Please, hurry up.
EMILIA
Shall I go fetch your nightgown?
EMILIA
Should I get your nightgown?
DESDEMONA
    No, unpin me here.
This Lodovico is a proper man.
DESDEMONA
No, just help me unpin this. That Lodovico is a good-looking man.
EMILIA
35A very handsome man.
EMILIA
He’s very handsome.
DESDEMONA
    He speaks well.
DESDEMONA
He speaks well.
EMILIA
I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.
EMILIA
I know a lady in Venice who’d walk all the way to Palestine for a kiss from him.