From Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.
Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle
English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ;
Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ;
Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr.
Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt's invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.
4. 'Sblood, for God's blood, as 'swounds, or zounds, for
God's wounds. In 1606 the use of bad language on the stage
was checked by Act of Parliament.
10. Off-capped, took off their cap to him.
11. I am qualified to be at least lieutenant,
13. Them, lago's supporters. Bombast, cotton padding,
hence affected language. Circumstance, the opposite of a
14. The hemistich (half-line), as in line 18, enables the actor
to make a more effective pause.
20. The commercial tone of Florence is contrasted with
21. Cassio has almost decided to ruin himself by marrying
Bianca, a courtezan.
23. Battle, battalion.
24. Bookish theoric, object of knows. The theory of war,
learnt from reading treatises, opposed to practice.
25. Toged; the toga is symbolic of peace. Propose, speak.
27. He was chosen.
30. Be-le'd, having the wind taken out of the sails.
31. By a mere book-keeper, who adds up counters; i.e.,
33. God bless the mark, used to avert the evil omen in
using strong language. Ancient, corruption of ensign, a
35. sq. We cannot help it. Promotion goes not, as in former times, by seniority, but by influence and partiality.
39. In any reasonable way. Affin'd, related, so well disposed to.
41. lago would not serve Othello, but that he sees a chance
45. Knave, German Knabe, boy.
46. Doting on, growing foolish over.
49. Me. Ethic dative. More common in French. But cf.
sc. 2, 72; Hamlet, ii. 2, 601, "Who does me this?"
50. Visages. Like Latin visus, looks.
60. So, loving and duteous.
61, sq. For lago to give the key-note to his real character is
a touch of genius.
66. Owe, own.
68. The second him refers to Othello.
69. Proclaim him as an offender against the public peace.
71. Allusion to one of the plagues of Egypt.
72. Metaphor from the artist's mixmg colors.
73. As, for that.
91. Worser, the double comparative — common in Shakespeare. Three double superlatives — most unkindest, most worst, and most boldest — are also found.
96. Upon, for the purpose of.
99. I am annoyed at your joke, and have power to make you regret it.
102. Grange, a farm-house.
111. Odd-even and dull watch. Odd-even is interpreted
to mean the interval between midnight and one a.m. The hyphen not in earliest copies.
113. But, than or except.
115. Allowance, approval.
116. Saucy, insolent, outrageous. "Full of sauce, pungent." — Skeat.
117. I am sure you are wrong in abusing us.
119. From, away from.
137. Cast, dismiss.
141. In which regard, on account of which,
146. The name of the inn.
169. I am sure of aid almost everywhere.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1892. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello_1_1.html >.