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I am no strumpet; but of life as honest As you that thus abuse me.



I have spent a lot of time with soldiers as I love their down-to-earth honesty and lack of airs and graces. As I always say, you know where you are with a soldier! Something has changed for me recently because I have met the wonderful Cassio. He is just the sort of soldier I really like, he is strong and so handsome, all the others are jealous that he prefers me. He has such wonderful manners, but he also likes a good time. When he has had a drink, he is just great company and is so kind to me. I know that he really loves me and we will live together for ever! I will follow him wherever he goes. Cassio is my one chance for happiness and I am desperate to be his wife.


Emilia >>




Most fair Bianca (Cassio 3.4.166) , Strumpet (Emilia 5.1.123)


Loves Cassio

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

Photo: Ellie Kurttz


  1. Cassio >>

    What make you from home? / How is't with you, my most fair Bianca? / I'faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
  2. Cassio >>

    What do you mean by this haunting of me? (4.1.148)
  3. Iago >>

    Behold her well, I pray you, look upon her. / Do you see gentlemen? Nay, guiltiness will speak / though tongues were out of use.


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Venetian Secret Service - Surveillance Report

Bianca is a well-known courtesan in Cyprus and is seen frequently in the company of Venetian soldiers there. This report has been commissioned because it has become known that she is Michael Cassio's lover.

Risk assessment
Cassio is a lieutenant in our army and a highly respected leader, so his liaison with Bianca is of concern. There are worries in Venice that a courtesan should have so much contact with a senior leader in the army who has access to confidential information. Given her proximity to the leadership of the army these concerns appear justified.

An informal interview with Bianca took place recently. She did not know that this interview was being noted down by another observer. She admitted that she has had liaisons with soldiers in Cyprus, but stated very firmly that she is now committed to her relationship with Cassio. She also stated that she would never interfere with his work in any way and that she can be trusted. She expressed a sincere hope that Cassio will marry her.

Action recommended
It is recommended that Army leaders posted to Cyprus are made fully aware of Bianca’s reputation and that they ensure that there is no risk to Venice’s security from her involvement with soldiers on the island. The situation should be monitored.