Othello (Fishburne version)

othello bbc.mp4








 Video: Act I Scene i

BBC Othello act one scene one.mp4

 Passage #1 Act One Scene 1(I.i.106-181)  

RODERIGO Most grave Brabantio,

In simple and pure soul I come to you.

IAGO 'Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not
serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to
do you service and you think we are ruffians, you'll
have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;
you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have
coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.    (112)

BRABANTIO What profane wretch art thou?

IAGO I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

BRABANTIO Thou art a villain.

IAGO You are--a senator.

BRABANTIO This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo.

RODERIGO Sir, I will answer any thing. But, I beseech you,
If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,          (120)
At this odd-even and dull watch o' the night,
Transported, with no worse nor better guard
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor--
If this be known to you and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;
But if you know not this, my manners tell me

We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
That, from the sense of all civility,
I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes
In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
Of here and every where. Straight satisfy yourself:
If she be in her chamber or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.

BRABANTIO Strike on the tinder, ho!

Give me a taper! call up all my people!
This accident is not unlike my dream:           (140)
Belief of it oppresses me already.
Light, I say! light!

IAGO Farewell; for I must leave you:
It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produced -- as, if I stay, I shall -- 
Against the Moor: for, I do know, the state,
However this may gall him with some cheque,
Cannot with safety cast him, for he's embark'd
With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
Which even now stand in act, that, for their souls,
Another of his fathom they have none,
To lead their business: in which regard,          (150)
Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains.
Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,
Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
And there will I be with him. So, farewell.[Exit]  

 Video: Act I Scene ii

BBC Othello Put Up Your Bright Swords.mp4

 PASSAGE #2(I.ii.59-61)

Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers with torches and weapons

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 shunned
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 practised on her with foul charms,
Abused 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.

Act I
"Iago's speech"

iago speech end of act one.wmv

IAGO Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:
For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane,
If I would time expend with such a snipe.
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio's a proper man: let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
In double knavery--How, how? Let's see:--
After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.

I have't. It is engender'd. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.

Plume up: glorify.  He…suspected: and easy way with him that is naturally suspected.

Act II Scene i

Iago's Speech


Act II Scene iii

Othello rebukes Cassio



Now, by heaven, 
My blood begins my safer guides to rule; 
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
Assays to lead the way: if I once stir, 
Or do but lift this arm, the best of you 
Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know 
How this foul rout began, who set it on; 
And he that is approved in this offence,
Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth, 
Shall lose me. What! in a town of war, 
Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear, 
To manage private and domestic quarrel, 
In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't? 



BBC Iago I Play The Villan.mp4

Iago: And what's he then that says I play the villain?     (255)

When this advice is free I give and honest,
Probal to thinking and indeed the course
To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
The inclining Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit: she's framed as fruitful
As the free elements. And then for her
To win the Moor--were't to renounce his baptism,
All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,
That she may make, unmake, do what she list,     (265)
Even as her appetite shall play the god
With his weak function. How am I then a villain
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now: for whiles this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
I'll pour this pestilence into his ear,                         (275)
That she repeals him for her body's lust;
And by how much she strives to do him good,
She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
And out of her own goodness make the net
That shall enmesh them all.


Act III "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy"
 Act III passage #1


"Othello's Jealousy"

othello act three this fellow speech.mp4

© Time-Life Television Productions Inc

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

O misery!

Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

Why, why is this?
Think'st thou I'ld make a lie of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt
Is once to be resolved: exchange me for a goat,
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays and dances well;
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous:
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt;
For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago;
I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this,--
Away at once with love or jealousy!

I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason
To show the love and duty that I bear you
With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:
I would not have your free and noble nature,
Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.

Dost thou say so?

She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,
She loved them most.

I once more take my leave. Exit

This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, 

Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years,--yet that's not much--
She's gone. I am abused; and my relief
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base;
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
Even then this forked plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:
If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!
I'll not believe't

 Act IV (The Seizure)

Othello's seizure in act IV

OTHELLO: Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when 
they belie her. Lie with her! that's fulsome. 
confess, and be hanged for his labour;--first, to be 
hanged, and then to confess.--I tremble at it. 
Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing 
passion without some instruction. It is not words 
that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. 
--Is't possible?--Confess--handkerchief!--O devil!-- [Falls in a trance]

IAGO: Work on, 
My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught; 
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus, 
All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho! my lord! 
My lord, I say! Othello!

35. Lie…devil: Othello breaks into incoherent muttering before he falls down in a fit.
36. fulsome: disgusting.

38-39. Nature…instruction: Nature would not fill me with such overwhelming emotion unless there was some cause.


Othello Slap scene BBC version.mp4

Slap Scene (Fishburne version)

Act V (Passage #1) Othello's final speech to Desdemona 

ACT V SCENE ii (BBC version)

Othello's final speech to Desdemona (ACT V)

[Enter OTHELLO] 

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,-- 
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!-- 
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood; 
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, 
And smooth as monumental alabaster. 
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men. 
Put out the light, and then put out the light: 
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, 
I can again thy former light restore, 
Should I repent me: but once put out thy light, 
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature, 
I know not where is that Promethean heat 
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose, 
I cannot give it vital growth again. 
It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree. [Kissing her] 
Ah balmy breath, that dost almost persuade 
Justice to break her sword! One more, one more. 
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, 
And love thee after. One more, and this the last: 
So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep, 
But they are cruel tears: this sorrow's heavenly; 
It strikes where it doth love. She wakes. 

1. It…cause: The meaning of the opening lines of this speech has been much dicussed.  The cause is Desdemona’s supposed faithlessness; Othello, at this moment, sees himself as embodied vengeance, the avenger of man betrayed by woman.
8. minister: servant.
11. cunning’st: most skillfully made.

Act V (passage #2)  Othello's final speech (BBC version)

Othello's final speech Hopkins version

Soft you; a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know't.
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus.
[Stabs himself]

Which Version is the Best?
Use the videos posted below to complete your analysis of Othello's final speech.

Othello's final speech
(Orsen Welles version)

Directed by Orson Welles. Actors include Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Suzanne Cloutier, Robert Coote. 1952

Othello's final speech
(Fishburne version)

Directed by Alan Parker. Actors include Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh and Irène Jacobs. 1995

Othello's final speech
(Nunn Version)

Directed by Trevor Nunn. Actors include Ian McKellen, Imogen Stubbs and Willard White. 1989

Which Version is the Best?
Use the video clips posted below to evaluate the infamous "Slap Scene" from act IV of Othello.
Act IV "The Slap Scene" (BBC version)  

othello bbc.mp4

© Time-Life Television Productions Inc.
Act IV "The Slap Scene" (Welles version)
© United Artists
Act IV "The Slap Scene" (Fishburne version)

© Sony Pictures Entertainment
Slam Dunk Scene from the film "O"

© Lions Gate Home Entertainment

How Am I The Villain?

Put Money In Thy Purse (Fishburne version)


Iago stokes the flames of Jealousy (Welles version)

Put Money In Thy Purse ‎‎(Welles version)‎‎