Script of Act II Othello The play by William Shakespeare Introduction This section contains the script of Act II of Othello the play by William Shakespeare. The enduring works of William Shakespeare feature many famous and well loved characters. Make a note of any unusual words that you encounter whilst reading the script of Othello and check their definition in the Shakespeare Dictionary The script of Othello is extremely long. To reduce the time to load the script of the play, and for ease in accessing specific sections of the script, we have separated the text of Othello into Acts. Please click Othello Script to access further Acts. Script / Text of Act II Othello ACT II SCENE I. A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay. Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen MONTANO What from the cape can you discern at sea? First Gentleman Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood; I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main, Descry a sail. MONTANO Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land; A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements: If it hath ruffian'd so upon the sea, What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them, Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this? Second Gentleman A segregation of the Turkish fleet: For do but stand upon the foaming shore, The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds; The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane, seems to cast water on the burning bear, And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole: I never did like molestation view On the enchafed flood. MONTANO If that the Turkish fleet Be not enshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd: It is impossible they bear it out. Enter a third Gentleman Third Gentleman News, lads! our wars are done. The desperate tempest hath so bang'd the Turks, That their designment halts: a noble ship of Venice Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance On most part of their fleet. MONTANO How! is this true? Third Gentleman The ship is here put in, A Veronesa; Michael Cassio, Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello, Is come on shore: the Moor himself at sea, And is in full commission here for Cyprus. MONTANO I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor. Third Gentleman But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly, And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted With foul and violent tempest. MONTANO Pray heavens he be; For I have served him, and the man commands Like a full soldier. Let's to the seaside, ho! As well to see the vessel that's come in As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello, Even till we make the main and the aerial blue An indistinct regard. Third Gentleman Come, let's do so: For every minute is expectancy Of more arrivance. Enter CASSIO CASSIO Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle, That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens Give him defence against the elements, For I have lost us him on a dangerous sea. MONTANO Is he well shipp'd? CASSIO His bark is stoutly timber'd, his pilot Of very expert and approved allowance; Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death, Stand in bold cure. A cry within 'A sail, a sail, a sail!' Enter a fourth Gentleman CASSIO What noise? Fourth Gentleman The town is empty; on the brow o' the sea Stand ranks of people, and they cry 'A sail!' CASSIO My hopes do shape him for the governor. Guns heard Second Gentlemen They do discharge their shot of courtesy: Our friends at least. CASSIO I pray you, sir, go forth, And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived. Second Gentleman I shall. Exit MONTANO But, good lieutenant, is your general wived? CASSIO Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid That paragons description and wild fame; One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens, And in the essential vesture of creation Does tire the ingener. Re-enter second Gentleman How now! who has put in? Second Gentleman 'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general. CASSIO Has had most favourable and happy speed: Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds, The gutter'd rocks and congregated sands-- Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,-- As having sense of beauty, do omit Their mortal natures, letting go safely by The divine Desdemona. MONTANO What is she? CASSIO She that I spake of, our great captain's captain, Left in the conduct of the bold Iago, Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts A se'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard, And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath, That he may bless this bay with his tall ship, Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms, Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits And bring all Cyprus comfort! Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Attendants O, behold, The riches of the ship is come on shore! Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees. Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven, Before, behind thee, and on every hand, Enwheel thee round! DESDEMONA I thank you, valiant Cassio. What tidings can you tell me of my lord? CASSIO He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught But that he's well and will be shortly here. DESDEMONA O, but I fear--How lost you company? CASSIO The great contention of the sea and skies Parted our fellowship--But, hark! a sail. Within 'A sail, a sail!' Guns heard Second Gentleman They give their greeting to the citadel; This likewise is a friend. CASSIO See for the news. Exit Gentleman Good ancient, you are welcome. To EMILIA Welcome, mistress. Let it not gall your patience, good Iago, That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding That gives me this bold show of courtesy. Kissing her IAGO Sir, would she give you so much of her lips As of her tongue she oft bestows on me, You'll have enough. DESDEMONA Alas, she has no speech. IAGO In faith, too much; I find it still, when I have list to sleep: Marry, before your ladyship, I grant, She puts her tongue a little in her heart, And chides with thinking. EMILIA You have little cause to say so. IAGO Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors, Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens, Saints m your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your housewifery, and housewives' in your beds. DESDEMONA O, fie upon thee, slanderer! IAGO Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk: You rise to play and go to bed to work. EMILIA You shall not write my praise. IAGO No, let me not. DESDEMONA What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me? IAGO O gentle lady, do not put me to't; For I am nothing, if not critical. DESDEMONA Come on assay. There's one gone to the harbour? IAGO Ay, madam. DESDEMONA I am not merry; but I do beguile The thing I am, by seeming otherwise. Come, how wouldst thou praise me? IAGO I am about it; but indeed my invention Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize; It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours, And thus she is deliver'd. If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit, The one's for use, the other useth it. DESDEMONA Well praised! How if she be black and witty? IAGO If she be black, and thereto have a wit, She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit. DESDEMONA Worse and worse. EMILIA How if fair and foolish? IAGO She never yet was foolish that was fair; For even her folly help'd her to an heir. DESDEMONA These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul and foolish? IAGO There's none so foul and foolish thereunto, But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do. DESDEMONA O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best. But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed, one that, in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself? IAGO She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will and yet was never loud, Never lack'd gold and yet went never gay, Fled from her wish and yet said 'Now I may,' She that being anger'd, her revenge being nigh, Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly, She that in wisdom never was so frail To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail; She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind, See suitors following and not look behind, She was a wight, if ever such wight were,-- DESDEMONA To do what? IAGO To suckle fools and chronicle small beer. DESDEMONA O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor? CASSIO He speaks home, madam: You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar. IAGO [Aside] He takes her by the palm: ay, well said, whisper: with as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true; 'tis so, indeed: if such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in. Very good; well kissed! an excellent courtesy! 'tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake! Trumpet within The Moor! I know his trumpet. CASSIO 'Tis truly so. DESDEMONA Let's meet him and receive him. CASSIO Lo, where he comes! Enter OTHELLO and Attendants OTHELLO O my fair warrior! DESDEMONA My dear Othello! OTHELLO It gives me wonder great as my content To see you here before me. O my soul's joy! If after every tempest come such calms, May the winds blow till they have waken'd death! And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas Olympus-high and duck again as low As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear, My soul hath her content so absolute That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate. DESDEMONA The heavens forbid
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