A halter pardon him! and hell gnaw his bones!
Why should he call her whore? who keeps her company?
What place? what time? what form? what likelihood?
The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave,
Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
O heaven, that such companions thou’ldst unfold,
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world
Even from the east to the west!
Why would he call Desdemona a whore? Who sleeps with her?
Where, when, how?
Othello must be tricked by the most cunning knave
Some notorious trickster.
Oh heaven, reveal these companions,
And put a whip in the hands of good people to whip them
From the east of the world to the west.
Leading up to these lines were the beginnings of the open fury of Othello. Be accuses Desdemona of dishonesty in their relationship, and he viciously questions Emilia. In this scene, Othello condemns Desdemona while Desdemona and Emilia attempt to reason why Othello acts so strangely now. In the meantime, Iago is attempting to misdirect any suspicion that could point towards him.
These lines demonstrate the gravity of the scene through imagery in hyperbole. These lines are relatively straightforward, condemning whoever is causing Othello grief. Ironically, Iago stands with them in the very same room.
O good Iago,
What shall I do to win my lord again?
Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven,
I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel:
If e’er my will did trespass ‘gainst his love,
Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,
Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,
Delighted them in any other form;
Or that I do not yet, and ever did.
And ever will–though he do shake me off
To beggarly divorcement–love him dearly,
Comfort forswear me!
Oh good Iago,
How can I improve my relationship with Othello again?
You are his good friend. Go to him. By heaven,
I do not know how I frustrated him. Here, I swear:
If I have ever betrayed his love
Either through any unfaithful thoughts or deeds,
Of if my eyes, ears, or anything
Delighted anyone else in any way,
Or if I will or ever did falsely love,
Even if he were
To divorce me, I will love him
Or else all comfort abandons me.
Immediately following her, Iago, and Emilia’s conversation, Iago ushers Emilia out of the room so as to stop her from further perpetuating her conclusion that someone close to Othello was manipulating him to either take his power or simply commit an act of vengeance. Again, this is a scene plagued by irony.