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This content is taken from the University of Birmingham & Royal Shakespeare Company's online course, Othello: In Performance. Join the course to learn more.
4.13

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds OTHELLO: Have you prayed tonight, Desdemona?

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds DESDEMONA: Aye, my lord.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds OTHELLO: If you bethink yourself of any crime unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace, solicit for it straight.

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 seconds DESDEMONA: Alack, my lord, what may you mean by that?

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds OTHELLO: Well, do it and be brief. I will walk by. I would not kill thy unprepared spirit. No, heavens forfend, I would not kill thy soul.

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds DESDEMONA: Talk you of killing?

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds OTHELLO: I do.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds DESDEMONA: Then, heaven have mercy on me!

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds OTHELLO: Amen, with all my heart.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds DESDEMONA: If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds OTHELLO: Huh.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds DESDEMONA: And yet, I fear you. Why I should fear, I know not, since guiltiness I know not. But yet, I feel. I fear.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds OTHELLO: Think on thy sins.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second DESDEMONA: They are the loves I bear to you.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds OTHELLO: Aye, and for that, thou diest.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds [WHIMPERING, CRYING]

Skip to 1 minute and 15 seconds DESDEMONA: That death is unnatural that kills for loving!

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds OTHELLO: Peace!

Skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds And be still.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds DESDEMONA: I will so.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds What’s the matter?

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds OTHELLO: That handkerchief, which I so loved and gave thee, thou gav’st to Cassio.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds DESDEMONA: No, by life and soul! Send for the man and ask him!

Skip to 1 minute and 56 seconds OTHELLO: Sweet soul, take heed. Take heed of perjury. Thou art on thy deathbed!

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 second DESDEMONA: Ay, but not yet to die.

Performing Act 5 Scene 2

In this video you will see the RSC 2015 acting company performing part of Act 5 Scene 2 on stage.

As you watch consider:

  • How these final, domestic, moments are staged.

  • What choices have been made and what impact those have on how you see Desdemona and Othello in their final moments.

Having watched the video, share your thoughts on the following questions in the Comments:

  • Do you feel sympathy for Othello in this scene, as a tragic protagonist? Why or why not?

  • How has the tragedy been heightened?

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This video is from the free online course:

Othello: In Performance

University of Birmingham