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No Fear Act 1 Scene 3
No Fear Act 1 Scene 3 Page 13

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IAGO

If thou dost I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly gentleman!

IAGO

If you do that, I’ll never respect you again. Why, you silly man!

RODERIGO

It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

RODERIGO

It’s silly to live when life is torture. The only cure is death.

IAGO

Oh, villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury I never found man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say I would drown myself for the love of a guinea hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.

IAGO

Oh, how stupid! I’ve been alive for twenty-eight years, and I’ve never met a man who knew what was good for him. I’d rather be a baboon than kill myself out of love for some woman I can’t have.

RODERIGO

305What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond, but it is not in my virtue to amend it.

RODERIGO

What should I do? I know it’s foolish to be so much in love, but I can’t help it.

IAGO

Virtue? A fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many—either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry—why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most prepost'rous conclusions. But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts. Whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.

IAGO

Can’t help it? Nonsense! What we are is up to us. Our bodies are like gardens and our willpower is like the gardener. Depending on what we plant—weeds or lettuce, or one kind of herb rather than a variety, the garden will either be barren and useless, or rich and productive. If we didn’t have rational minds to counterbalance our emotions and desires, our bodily urges would take over. We’d end up in ridiculous situations. Thankfully, we have reason to cool our raging lusts. In my opinion, what you call love is just an offshoot of lust.

RODERIGO

It cannot be.

RODERIGO

I don’t believe it.

IAGO

It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself? Drown cats and blind puppies! I have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness.

IAGO

You feel love because you feel lust and you have no willpower. Come on, be a man. Drown yourself? Drowning is for cats or blind puppies—don’t drown yourself! I’ve told you I’m your friend, and I’ll stick by you.