(Our Pardons to Shakespeare)
21 November 2015
IAGO- Advisor to Othello - played by Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton
CASSIO- Lieutenant to Othello, husband of Iago – played by Bill Clinton
OTHELLO- A noble Moor leader – played by President Barack Obama
DESDEMONA- Wife to Othello – played by Michelle Obama
SERVANT- played by Joe Biden
The Garden of the White House
CASSIO- Bounteous madam, what's gonna become o' me? I
was always Othello's true servant, but I surelyeth screwed up.
DESDEMONA- I know't. You do love my lord. But you
should never have fiddled with the scullery maid.
CASSIO- In truth my hand willed it not, but other
organs bemoaned the abstinence.
DESDEMONA- T'would be better to pluck the offending
organ from thyself than to share it with every harlot that eye doth take hold
of. But, forthwith! I will take thy cause as t'were my own and plead
forgiveness for transgressions we hope will ne'er pass this way again! (She
eyes him severely)
CASSIO- (He takes her hand and kneels) Would
that I never look again upon beauty that only serves to tempt me Would that I
remain chaste and pure as thee.
DESDEMONA- That would take some doing! But, hark, my
lord does come!
CASSIO- Madam, I will get me hence through the yard
and o'er the fence!
Exeunt CASSIO; Enter OTHELLO and IAGO
IAGO- (had seen Cassio kneeling) I don't like
the looks of that!
OTHELLO- Was that not Cassio, thy husband, with my
IAGO- (being sly) Cassio? Hmm...I don't know
sir! What reason would he have for sneaking away so guilty-like?
OTHELLO- I do believe it was him!
DESDEMONA- How now, my lord! I have been talking
with a man in your employ. He languishes greatly in your displeasure.
OTHELLO- Who is it you mean?
DESDEMONA- Why, your lieutenant, Cassio!
OTHELLO- He who had scuttled the scullery maid?
DESDEMONA- Aye, sir, he. If I have any grace or
power to move you, I employ it now to get your forgiveness for his
OTHELLO- (finding it distasteful) Humph! Is
he worthy of it?
DESDEMONA- Oh, sir, he truly loves you is loyal and
true to your cause. And he has a wit about him, unfortunately it is not always
in his head, but (this distastes her) rather somewhere below instead.
OTHELLO- Prithee, no more: let him come when he
will; I will deny thee nothing.
DESDEMONA- Oh, thank you lord! (kisses him) The
Fates smile on those who show grace!
OTHELLO- Excellent woman! How I do love her!
IAGO- My noble lord...
OTHELLO- What dost thou say, Iago?
IAGO- Did Cassio, when you wooed Desdemona, know of
thy love for her?
OTHELLO- He did, from first to last: why do you ask?
IAGO- (looking askance slyly) Oh, perchance
nothing! I judged him seemly to have been holding her hand. But, that doesn't
necessarily mean that any PASSION lay between them. (she stops to let this
sink in) I have seen him hold many a hand...many of them female. (she
stops to let this sink in) Who knows wence other places those hands have
been! (she looks slyly heavenward, satisfied with herself)
OTHELLO- (eyes bulging) What means you? (to
himself) By Heaven! As if there were some monster in her thought too
hideous to be shown! (out loud) If thou dost respect me, show me thy
IAGO- My lord, you know I respect you and have great
love too for my husband Cassio....
OTHELLO- I think thou dost; for I know thou art full
of love and honesty. I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings and give me
the worst of thy thoughts.
IAGO- O, beware, my lord, of jealously; it is the
green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon. Of course, it would
be damning too, should he of thee a fool, a cuckold, be making!
OTHELLO- (his anger rising) A fool! A
IAGO- (playing him) Oh, but sire, perhaps
they are but fantasies that will fade in the light of day. Quiet, sir, quiet! As
in all games of high stakes lay the cards softly!
OTHELLO- Oh, misery! (he hears something) But
soft, Desdemona returns...
DESDEMONA- How now, my dear husband! Your dinner and
your subjects await thee!
OTHELLO- Oh, but...but... I have a headache.
DESDEMONA- Oh, but let me bind it with this
handkerchief (she attempts to put it on him)
OTHELLO- (he snatches it off and drops it to the
floor) It is too small. Oh, I'll go say my greetings to them and depart!
Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA
IAGO- (picks up the handkerchief) I will this
handkerchief in Cassio's bed drop. Trifles like this can seem as much proof as
the Bible. The Moor has already begun to sample my poison when it reacts upon
his blood it will burn within like mines of sulfur. Here he comes!
Exeunt IAGO. Re-enter OTHELLO.
OTHELLO- Why did I ever marry? That we can call
these womanly creatures ours and not know their dark, secret appetites. This
honest Iago doubtless sees and knows more, much more than she unfolds.
Good Iago, for all you have said I would need proof
of her ill deed. Give me a living reason she's disloyal!
IAGO- (pretends to think) My lord, were
evidence enough to break hearts, then this were then a baseball bat: Does
Desdemona not possess a handkerchief spotted with strawberries?
OTHELLO- Aye, I gave her one; 'twas my first gift to
IAGO- Upon Cassio's bed I did perceive such a cloth
OTHELLO- Oh monstrous! Monstrous!
IAGO- And it had her shade of lipstick upon it!
OTHELLO- Oh, blood, blood, blood!
IAGO- Pray, lord. Have thy servant seek for it!
OTHELLO- (intrigued by this) Biden! Biden!
Come thee hence!
SERVANT- (enters hurriedly, bows ridiculously and
formally deep) Yes, squire!
OTHELLO- (Offended) That's sire, not squire!
Go to Cassio's chambers and see if a handkerchief lies alone and forlorn upon
SERVANT- Yes, sire.
IAGO- (half to herself as she watches him leave)
That's the least I've ever heard him say!
SERVANT- (returns with handkerchief in hand)
Here Milady! It's a nice one. With strawberries on it!
OTHELLO- (snatches it from him somewhat irritated)
That's my lord, not milady!
SERVANT- (curtsies) Oh....sorry!
OTHELLO- (angrily roles handkerchief in hand,
glowering) Damn her, lewd minx! Oh damn her!
IAGO- (going for the full effect) I did not
want to get into this, but since I am in so deep already, this I will say- I
lay with Cassio recently, I could not sleep. There are a kind of men so loose
of soul, that in their sleeps will mutter their affairs: one of this kind is
Cassio. (aside, to herself, “I could write a book about it!”) In sleep I
heard him say “Sweet Desdemona, Let us be wary, let us hide our loves;” And
then, sir, would he grip and wring my hand, cry “Oh sweet creature!” and then
kiss me hard, then laid his leg over my thigh, and sighed, and kissed; and
then cried “Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!”
OTHELLO- (totally enraged) Death and
damnation! O! I will avenge of this, even though it might bring me to prison,
or even to death. Cassio, I will quarter thee!
IAGO- (smiles broadly and gives thumbs up to the
audience.) Ha! I am rid of BOTH of these usurping men! This is what you
call killing two birds with one stone! (she stops and thinks)
Hmmm....Oh, Biden! Come thee hence, please!
SERVANT- (comes out on stage) What do you
IAGO- Could you go and find Othello? I believe that
Desdemona had another handkerchief to give you as a present. Ask him for it!
SERVANT- Oh, a present! I like that. (He shuffles
IAGO- Make that three birds! Presidency, here I
come! (She claps with glee and runs after them)
Rfreed: "My humor has been published in small magazines in the U.S. and Germany and on various American and English websites. For something different check out my book 9-12-2001. Sometimes I sleep too."