Below is a selection of quotes from Othello that NoSweatShakespeare readers have asked us to translate into plain English.

Shakespeare’s Othello Quote

I’m currently performing Othello for AS Drama at college. Since I am playing Iago I was wondering if you could help explain the rude comments he is making about Emilia in Act 2 Scene 1:

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

Come on, come on; you are you pictures out of doors,
Bells in your parlours, wild cats in your kitchens,
Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,
Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds and this aside about Othello and Desdemona:

[Aside.] O, you are well tun’d now!
But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music, As honest as I am.

Othello Quote Translated to Modern English

Here is our translation of your two passages, taken from our modern English version of Othello. In the first they are all waiting at the harbour for Othello and Iago is chatting Desdemona up. I’ve put a bit of context in.
‘Go,’ said Cassio. ‘Find out.’ He turned back to the arrivals and shook hands with Iago. ‘Good Ensign, you are welcome.’ And to Emilia: ‘Welcome mistress. I beg your pardon, good Iago. I hope you won’t mind if I extend my courtesy..’ planting a kiss on Emilia’s cheek . ‘The way I was brought up makes me greet her like this.’
Iago laughed loudly. ‘Sir, if she gave you as much of her lips as she gives me of her tongue you’d have enough!’

Desdemona laughed. ‘Alas,’ she said, ‘she’s speechless.’

‘Unusual,’ said Iago. ‘She usually talks too much. I find that mainly when I’m trying to sleep. Of course, in front of your ladyship she holds her tongue somewhat and reprimands with her thoughts instead.’

Emilia pulled a face at him. ‘That’s not true.’

‘Come on, come on,’ said Iago. ‘You women are silent in company, noisy in your own homes, saints when you’re injured, devils when offended, idle in your housewifery and hussies in your beds.’

‘Shame on you, slanderer!’ said Desdemona, laughing.

In the second passage Iago watches Othello and Desdemona greeting each other on Othello’s arrival in Cyprus. Othello kisses her.

Iago sneered inwardly. They were in harmony now. But he would slacken the strings of the lute that was making that music, as ‘honest’ as he was.

Shakespeare’s Othello Quote

Please translate from Act IV, Scene 3 when Emilia is talking to Desdemona.

Yes, a dozen; and as many to the vantage as would store the world
they l payed for. But I do think it is their husbands’ faults If wives
fo fall: say that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into
foreign laps.

Thank You

Othello Quote Translated To Modern English

Here is and extract from our No Sweat Shakespeare Modern English Othello Ebook
that will give you the context and your translation:

Tell me Emilia – are there women who abuse their husbands in that
terrible way?’
‘There’s no question, there are some.’
‘Would you do such a thing for all the world?’
Emilia laughed. ‘Wouldn’t you?’
‘No! By this heavenly light.’
‘Nor would I by this heavenly light. I might do it in the dark,
‘But would you do such a thing for all the world?’
‘The world’s a huge thing: it’s a great price for such a small vice.’
‘I don’t believe you,’ said Desdemona. ‘I don’t think you would.’
‘I think I would, and immediately undo it. But seriously, I wouldn’t
do such a thing for a ring, or property, or dresses or petticoats, nor
hats, nor any objects of vanity. But for all the whole world! For
pity’s sake, who wouldn’t make her husband a cuckold to make him a
monarch? I would risk purgatory for it.’
‘Shame on me if I would do such a wrong for the whole world!’ cried
Emilia laughed. ‘Why, a wrong of that kind is only a wrong in the
world, and getting the whole world for your trouble it would be a
wrong in a world that’s your own and so you could very quickly make it
‘I don’t think there is any such woman,’ said Desdemona.
‘Oh, there are dozens,’ said Emilia. ‘But I really do think it’s their
husbands’ fault if a wife falls. What if they neglect their duty and
allow their treasure to be poured into the laps of other men? Or have
peevish outbursts of jealousy, restricting us? Or let’s say they hit
us or look down on what they used to like?

Shakespeare’s Othello Quote

1. Good faith, a little one not past a pint as I am a soldier
2. I am for it lieutenant and I’ll do you justice
3. To th’platform masters come lets set the watch, But is he often thus?

Othello Quote Translated To Modern English

1. Iago says: Believe me, a little drink, not more than a pint. I swear by my good name as a soldier.

2. Montano says: I’m for drinkin Lieutenant and I’ll drink as much as you.

3. When Cassius gets drunk Montano asks Iago: But does he often get drunk?

Shakespeare’s Othello Quote

I know it’s a lot but I am really desperate because it is homework and I
have spent hours looking at it and trying to pick things out!! It is absolutely
impossible! I admire what you are doing and would be very grateful if you
could translate it into modern day English for me! Many thanks,

Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;
For I mine own gained 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’s done my office. I know not if’t be true
Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well:
The better shall my prupose 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 engendered. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light

Othello Quote Translated To Modern English

We don’t do such long passages but in this case, as an exception, we are giving you the relevant extract from our Othello novel

Iago waited a moment and then began walking home. He smiled grimly. As usual he was getting money out of fools. As if he would lower himself to spend time with such a pathetic individual unless he was having some fun and getting money out of it as well. As he walked he felt his hatred of the Moor well up. And he had heard that the Moor had been with his wife Emilia. He didn’t know whether it was true but he would take that hint of suspicion as a fact. He stood in high regard with the General and that would help his purpose. He began to plan his revenge. Cassio was a good looking man. He thought about that. How could he get Cassio’s position of Lieutenant and get his revenge on the Moor at the same time? How?…How? … A strategy was developing in his mind. After a while, when they were settled in, be would make Othello think that Cassio was too familiar with Desdemona. Cassio was a handsome man with the charm and personality that could easily make women unfaithful. On the other hand the Moor had an open and trusting nature, thinking men are honest when they only seem to be so, and could be led by the nose as easily as a donkey.

Just as he got to his door he realised that he had his plan. It was born. He realised, too, that he had deliberately chosen evil.

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