by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

IAGO and RODERIGO enter.
Here, stand behind this bulk, straight will he come.
Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.
Quick, quick! Fear nothing. I’ll be at thy elbow.
It makes us, or it mars us. Think on that,
5And fix most firm thy resolution.
Here, stand behind this wall; he’ll come right away. Keep your sword out, and then stick it in as far as it’ll go. Quick, quick. Don’t be afraid. I’ll be right next to you. This will either make us or break us. Keep that in mind, and be steady.
Be near at hand, I may miscarry in ’t.
Stay right near me. I may mess it up.
Here, at thy hand. Be bold, and take thy stand.
I’m right behind you. Be bold, and get ready.
IAGO moves aside.
I have no great devotion to the deed
And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons.
10'Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.
I don’t really want to do this, but he’s given me good reasons. I guess it’s only one man—no big deal. My sword comes out, and he dies.
(aside) I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,
And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio
Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,
15He calls me to a restitution large
Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him
As gifts to Desdemona.
It must not be. If Cassio do remain
He hath a daily beauty in his life
20That makes me ugly. And besides, the Moor
May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.
No, he must die. But so, I hear him coming.
(to himself) I’ve rubbed this young pimple until he’s ready to pop, and now he’s angry. Whether he kills Cassio, or Cassio kills him, or they kill each other, it all works in my favor. If Roderigo survives, though, he’ll ask me for all the gold and jewelry that I stole from him and said I gave to Desdemona. I can’t let that happen. If Cassio survives,he’s so handsome and well-spoken that he makes me look ugly. And besides, the Moor might tell him about my lies about him.—That would be very dangerous for me. No, he’s got to die. Let it be so. I hear him coming.