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Othello
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READ STUDY GUIDE: Act I, scenes i–ii

 
Act I, Scene ii:
Venice. Another street.
 
[Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants with torches.]
IAGO:
Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience
To do no contriv'd murder: I lack iniquity
Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times
I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.
OTHELLO:
'Tis better as it is.
IAGO:
Nay, but he prated,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honor,
That, with the little godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray you, sir,
Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
That the magnifico is much beloved;
And hath, in his effect, a voice potential
As double as the duke's: he will divorce you;
Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
The law,—with all his might to enforce it on,—
Will give him cable.
OTHELLO:
Let him do his spite:
My services which I have done the signiory
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,—
Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
I shall promulgate,—I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege; and my demerits
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?
IAGO:
Those are the raised father and his friends:
You were best go in.
OTHELLO:
Not I; I must be found;
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
IAGO:
By Janus, I think no.
[Enter Cassio and certain Officers with torches.]
OTHELLO:
The servants of the duke and my lieutenant.—
The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
What is the news?
CASSIO:
The duke does greet you, general;
And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance
Even on the instant.
OTHELLO:
What is the matter, think you?
CASSIO:
Something from Cyprus, as I may divine:
It is a business of some heat: the galleys
Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
This very night at one another's heels;
And many of the consuls, rais'd and met,
Are at the duke's already: you have been hotly call'd for;
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
The senate hath sent about three several quests
To search you out.
OTHELLO:
'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house,
And go with you.
[Exit.]
CASSIO:
Ancient, what makes he here?
IAGO:
Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carack:
If it prove lawful prize, he's made forever.
CASSIO:
I do not understand.
IAGO:
He's married.
CASSIO:
To who?
[Re-enter Othello.]
IAGO:
Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?
OTHELLO:
Have with you.
CASSIO:
Here comes another troop to seek for you.
IAGO:
It is Brabantio.—General, be advis'd;
He comes to bad intent.
[Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, and Officers with torches andweapons.]
OTHELLO:
Holla! stand there!
RODERIGO:
Signior, it is the Moor.
BRABANTIO:
Down with him, thief!
[They draw on both sides.]
IAGO:
You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.
OTHELLO:
Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.—
Good signior, you shall more command with years
Than with your weapons.
BRABANTIO:
O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter?
Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,
So opposite to marriage that she shunn'd
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou,—to fear, not to delight.
Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
That thou hast practis'd on her with foul charms;
Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion:—I'll have't disputed on;
'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.—
Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.
OTHELLO:
Hold your hands,
Both you of my inclining and the rest:
Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
Without a prompter.—Where will you that I go
To answer this your charge?
BRABANTIO:
To prison; till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.
OTHELLO:
What if I do obey?
How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
Whose messengers are here about my side,
Upon some present business of the state,
To bring me to him?
FIRST OFFICER:
'Tis true, most worthy signior;
The duke's in council, and your noble self,
I am sure, is sent for.
BRABANTIO:
How! the duke in council!
In this time of the night!—Bring him away:
Mine's not an idle cause: the duke himself,
Or any of my brothers of the state,
Cannot but feel this wrong as 'twere their own;
For if such actions may have passage free,
Bond slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.
[Exeunt.]
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