Shakespeare Quotes

How poor are they that have not patience!

Iago:
"How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft;
And wit depends on dilatory time."

Othello (II, iii, 376-379)

The tragedy of the heroic but misguided Othello and his charming, innocent wife Desdemona has haunted the literary world since the play's composition. Iago remains the most complex and psychologically intriguing character in the play, an incomparable villain. In this scene, Iago tries to convince Roderigo to remain in Cypress where his evil, multi-faceted plot is in force. Roderigo undermines Othello's faithful lieutenant Cassio, whom Iago despises. Roderigo loves Desdemona, who eloped with Othello. Iago pretends that he will help Roderigo win Desdemona from Othello, and at the same time, bilks him of money. But Roderigo is impatient, and plans to return to Venice. Impatience is the undoing of many of Shakespeare's characters.

Themes: patience

Speakers: Iago