‘Honesty’ in Othello

Act 1: “Whip me such honest Knaves.” [1.1.50] (Iago); “in honest plain-ness thou hast heard me say,” [1.1.98] (Brabantio); “a man of honesty and trust,” [1.2.287] (Othello of Iago); honest Iago, [1.2.297] (Othello); “the Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that but seem to be so” [1.2.401] (Iago).

Act 2: “Honest as I am,” [2.1.201] (Iago); “Iago is most honest” [2.3.7] (Othello); Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving [2.3.171] (Othello); “Thy honesty and love do mince this matter,” [2.3.240] (Othello); “As I am an honest man” [2.3.260] (Iago); “Good night, honest Iago” [2.3.329]; “And what’s he then that says I play the villain? When this advice is free I give and honest, Probal to thinking, and indeed the course to win the Moor again?” [2.3.330-333] (Iago); “For while 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, that she repeals him for her body’s lust,” [2.3.347-351] (Iago).

Act 3: “Dost thou hear, mine honest friend? –No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you,” [3.1.22-23] (Cassio and Clown); “I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest,” [3.1.42-43] (Cassio of Iago); “O, that’s an honest fellow,” [3.3.5], (Desdemona of Cassio); “For if he be not one that truly loves you, that errs in ignorance and not in cunning, I have no judgment in an honest face,” [3.3.48-50] (Desdemona to Othello of Cassio); “Is he not honest? –honest, my lord? –Honest. Ay, honest. –My lord, for aught I know” [3.3.105-107] (discussion between Othello and Iago about Cassio); “Thou are full of love and honesty” [3.3.124] (Othello to Iago); “I dare be sworn I think that he is honest” [3.3.130] (Iago of Cassio); “Certain, men should be what they seem. — Why, then, I think Cassio’s an honest man,” [3.3.134-135] (Othello and Iago); “It were not for your quiet nor your good, nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom, let you know my thoughts,” [3.3.158] (Iago); “I do not think but Desdemona’s honest”, [3.3.232] (Othello); “Why did I marry? This honest creature doutless sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds,” [3.3.249-250] (Othello of Iago); “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty, and knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, of human dealings,” [3.3.264-266] (Othello of Iago); “O wretched fool thou liv’st to make thine honesty a vice! O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world, to be direct and honest is not safe,” [3.380-383] (Iago to Othello); “Nay, stay. Thou should be honest. –I should be wise, for honesty’s a fool and loses that it works for. — By the world, I think my wife be honest and think she is not; I think that thou are just and think thou art not. I’ll have some proof,” [3.3.386-390] (Othello and Iago); “I do not like the office. But sith I am ent’red in this cause so far, prick’d to ‘t by foolish honesty and love, I will go on” [3.3.415-418] (Iago); “Yet we see nothing done; she may be honest yet,” [3.3.437-438] (Iago of Desdemona).

Act 4: “It is not honesty in me to speak what I have seen and known,” [4.1.279-280] (Iago); “For if she be not honest, chaste and true, there’s no man happy,” [4.2.17-18] (Emilia of Desdemona); “I hope my lord esteems me honest” [4.2.65] (Desdemona to Othello); “The Moor’s abuse’d by some most villainous knave, some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow. O heaven that such companions thou’dst unfold, and put in every honest hand a whip to lash the rascals naked through the world even from the east to th’ west” [4.2.141-145] (Emilia).

Act 5: “Tis he. O brave Iago, honest and just, that has such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong!” [5.1.31-32] (Othello); “I am no strumpet, but of life as honest as you that thus abuse me,” [5.1.122-123] (Bianca to Emilia); Honest Iago, [5.2.75] (Othello to Desdemona); “Ay, ’twas he that told me on her first. An honest man he is, and hates the slime that sticks on filthy deeds” [5.2.153-155] (Othello to Emilia of Iago); “He, woman; I say thy husband. Dost thou understand the word? My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago” [5.2.162] (Othello to Emilia); “I am not valiant niether, but every puny whipster gets my sword. By why should honor outlive honesty? Let it go all.” [5.2.252-255] (Othello).

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