Othello

by: William Shakespeare

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Modern Text

RODERIGO

200With him? Why, ’tis not possible.

RODERIGO

With Cassio? That’s impossible.

IAGO

Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies. To love him still for prating? Let not thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed, and what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be a game to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years, manners and beauties. All which the Moor is defective in. Now for want of these required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor. Very nature will instruct her in it and compel her to some second choice. Now sir, this granted—as it is a most pregnant and unforced position—who stands so eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does? A knave very voluble, no further conscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection. Why, none, why, none! A slipper and subtle knave, a finder of occasions that has an eye, can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself. A devilish knave. Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after. A pestilent complete knave, and the woman hath found him already.

IAGO

Be quiet and listen to me. Remember how she fell madly in love with the Moor because he bragged and told her made-up stories? Did you expect her to keep on loving him for his chattering? You’re too smart to think that. No, she needs someone nice-looking. Othello’s ugly, what pleasure could she find in him? Lovemaking gets boring after a while. To keep things hot, she’ll need to see someone with a handsome face, someone close to her in age, someone who looks and acts like her. Othello isn’t any of those things. Since he doesn’t have these advantages to make him attractive to her, she’ll get sick of him until he makes her want to puke. She’ll start looking around for a second choice. Now, if that’s true—and it’s obviously true—who’s in a better position than Cassio? He’s a smooth talker, and uses sophistication and fine manners to hide his lust. Nobody’s as crafty as he is. Besides, he’s young and handsome, and he’s got all the qualities that naïve and silly girls go for. He’s a bad boy, and Desdemona’s got her eye on him already.

RODERIGO

I cannot believe that in her. She’s full of most blessed condition.

RODERIGO

I can’t believe that. She’s not that kind of woman. She’s very moral.

IAGO

Blessed fig’s-end! The wine she drinks is made of grapes. If she had been blessed, she would never have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? Didst not mark that?

IAGO

Like hell she is! She’s made of the same flesh and blood as everyone else. If she were so moral, she would never have fallen in love with the Moor in the first place. Good lord! Did you notice how she and Cassio were fondling each other’s hands? Did you see that?