Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DESDEMONA

They are loves I bear to you.

DESDEMONA

My only sin was loving you too much.

OTHELLO

45Ay, and for that thou diest.

OTHELLO

Yes, that’s why you have to die.

DESDEMONA

That death’s unnatural that kills for loving.
Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
These are portents, but yet I hope, I hope
50They do not point on me.

DESDEMONA

You’re wrong to kill me for loving you. Why are you chewing on your lower lip like that? You’re shaking with emotion. These are bad omens, but I hope, I hope, they don’t predict my future.

OTHELLO

    Peace, and be still.

OTHELLO

Quiet. Stay still.

DESDEMONA

I will so. What’s the matter?

DESDEMONA

I will. What’s this all about?

OTHELLO

That handkerchief
Which I so loved and gave thee, thou gav’st
To Cassio.

OTHELLO

You gave that handkerchief, the one I loved and gave to you, to Cassio.

DESDEMONA

55No, by my life and soul!
Send for the man and ask him.

DESDEMONA

No, I swear by my life and soul! Bring him here and ask him.

OTHELLO

Sweet soul, take heed, take heed of perjury.
Thou art on thy deathbed.

OTHELLO

My sweet darling, don’t lie. You’re on your deathbed.

DESDEMONA

Ay—but not yet to die!

DESDEMONA

I am? But I’m not dying yet!

OTHELLO

60Presently.
Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin,
For to deny each article with oath
Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.

OTHELLO

Yes, right now. So confess your sin freely now. Even if you swear you’re innocent of every accusation, you won’t change my mind or remove the thought that’s tormenting me. You’re going to die.

DESDEMONA

65Oh, heaven have mercy on me!

DESDEMONA

Then heaven have mercy on me!

OTHELLO

    I say “amen.”

OTHELLO

Amen to that.