home contact


Please see the bottom of this page for full explanatory notes.

ACT III SCENE I Before the castle. 
 Enter CASSIO and some Musicians. 
CASSIO Masters, play here; I will content your pains; 
 Something that's brief; and bid 'Good morrow, general.' 
 Enter Clown. 
Clown Why masters, have your instruments been in Naples, 
 that they speak i' the nose thus? 5
First Musician How, sir, how! 
Clown Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments? 
First Musician Ay, marry, are they, sir. 
Clown O, thereby hangs a tail. 
First Musician Whereby hangs a tale, sir? 10
Clown Marry. sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know. 
 But, masters, here's money for you: and the general 
 so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's 
 sake, to make no more noise with it. 
First Musician Well, sir, we will not. 15
Clown If you have any music that may not be heard, to't 
 again: but, as they say to hear music the general 
 does not greatly care. 
First Musician We have none such, sir. 
Clown Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away: 20
 go; vanish into air; away! 
 Exeunt Musicians. 
CASSIO Dost thou hear, my honest friend? 
Clown No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you. 
CASSIO Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece 
 of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends 25
 the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's 
 one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech: 
 wilt thou do this? 
Clown She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I 
 shall seem to notify unto her. 30
CASSIO Do, good my friend. 
 Exit Clown. 
 Enter IAGO. 
 In happy time, Iago. 
IAGO You have not been a-bed, then? 
CASSIO Why, no; the day had broke 
 Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago, 35
 To send in to your wife: my suit to her 
 Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona 
 Procure me some access. 
IAGO I'll send her to you presently; 
 And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor 40
 Out of the way, that your converse and business 
 May be more free. 
CASSIO I humbly thank you for't. 
 Exit IAGO. 
 I never knew 
 A Florentine more kind and honest. 45
 Enter EMILIA 
EMILIA Good morrow, good Lieutenant: I am sorry 
 For your displeasure; but all will sure be well. 
 The general and his wife are talking of it; 
 And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies, 
 That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus, 50
 And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom 
 He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you 
 And needs no other suitor but his likings 
 To take the safest occasion by the front 
 To bring you in again. 55
CASSIO Yet, I beseech you, 
 If you think fit, or that it may be done, 
 Give me advantage of some brief discourse 
 With Desdemona alone. 
EMILIA Pray you, come in; 60
 I will bestow you where you shall have time 
 To speak your bosom freely. 
CASSIO I am much bound to you. 

Othello, Act 3, Scene 2


Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 1

From Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.

Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt's invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.


24. Quillets, short for quidlibet, anything; you choose.

45. Iago was a Venetian, and Cassio a Florentine.
{Additional Note: This line has prompted some needless debate over Iago's place of origin. Iago is identified as Venetian in two separate scenes in Acts 3 and 5. Cassio here is stating that he has never met someone -- not even a fellow Florentine -- as kind and honest as this Venetian Iago.}

47. Displeasure, the disfavor you are in.

61. Bestow, stow, place in secrecy.

How to cite the explanatory notes:

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1892. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


Related Articles

 Lectures on Othello: Play Construction and the Suffering and Murder of Desdemona
 Lectures on Othello: Othello's Jealousy
 The Moral Enigma of Shakespeare's Othello
 Othello as Tragic Hero
 Stage History of Othello
 Othello: Plot Summary
 Othello: Q & A
 Quotes from Othello

 How to Pronounce the Names in Othello
 Iago Character Introduction
 Othello Character Introduction
 Desdemona Character Introduction
 Iago's Motives: The Relationship Between Othello and Iago
 Shakespeare and Race: The Relationship Between Othello and Desdemona

 Othello: Essay Topics
 Shakespeare's Sources for Othello
 The Problem of Time in Othello