• Enter OTHELLO and IAGO

    IAGO

    Will you think so?

    OTHELLO

        Think so, Iago?

    IAGO

          What,
    To kiss in private?

    OTHELLO

      An unauthorized kiss!

    IAGO

    Or to be naked with her friend in bed
    An hour or more, not meaning any harm?

    OTHELLO

    5Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!
    It is hypocrisy against the devil.
    They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
    The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.

    IAGO

    So they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip.
    10But if I give my wife a handkerchief—

    OTHELLO

    What then?

    IAGO

    Why then ’tis hers, my lord, and, being hers,
    She may, I think, bestow ’t on any man.

    OTHELLO

    She is protectress of her honor too.
    15May she give that?
  • OTHELLO and IAGO enter.

    IAGO

    Do you really think so?

    OTHELLO

    What do you mean, do I think so?

    IAGO

    What, just because they kissed in private?

    OTHELLO

    An illicit kiss!

    IAGO

    Maybe she was just naked in bed with him for an hour or so, but they didn’t do anything.

    OTHELLO

    Naked in bed together, but without doing anything? Come on, Iago. That would be like playing a trick on the devil: they’d make him think they’re going to commit adultery, but then back off. Anyone who acted like that would be letting the devil tempt them, and tempting God to condemn them.

    IAGO

    As long as they didn’t do anything, it would only be a minor sin. But if I gave my wife a handkerchief—

    OTHELLO

    Then what?

    IAGO

    Then it’s hers. And if it’s hers, I guess she can give it to any man she wants.

    OTHELLO

    Her reputation is also her own. Can she give that away too?