Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Otho the Great: A Tragedy in Five Acts: Act V SCENE IV

  • A Cabinet, opening towards a Terrace.
  • OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, and a Physician, discovered.
  • Otho. O, my poor boy! My son! My son! My ludolph!
  • Have ye no comfort for me, ye physicians
  • Of the weak body and soul?
  • Ethelbert. ’Tis not the medicine,
  • Either of heaven or earth, can cure, unless
  • Fit time be chosen to administer.
  • Otho. A kind forbearance, holy abbot. Come,
  • Erminia; here, sit by me, gentle girl;
  • Give me thy hand; hast thou forgiven me?
  • Erminia. Would I were with the saints to pray for you!
  • Otho.Will ye keep me from my darling child?
  • Physician. Forgive me, but he must not see thy face.
  • Otho. Is then a father’s countenance a Gorgon?
  • Hath it not comfort in it? Would it not
  • Console my poor boy, cheer him, heal his spirits?
  • Let me embrace him; let me speak to him;
  • I will! Who hinders me? Who’s Emperor?
  • Physician. You may not, sire; ’twould overwhelm him quite,
  • He is so full of grief and passionate wrath;
  • Too heavy a sigh would kill him, or do worse.
  • He must be sav’d by fine contrivances;
  • And, most especially, we must keep clear
  • Out of his sight a father whom he loves;
  • His heart is full, it can contain no more,
  • And do its ruddy office.
  • Ethelbert. Sage advice;
  • We must endeavour how to ease and slacken
  • The tight-wound energies of his despair,
  • Not make them tenser.
  • Otho. Enough! I hear, I hear.
  • Yet you were about to advise more, — I listen.
  • Ethelbert. This learned doctor will agree with me,
  • That not in the smallest point should he be thwarted,
  • Or gainsaid by one word; his very motions,
  • Nods, becks, and hints, should be obey’d with care,
  • May cure itself.
  • Physician. There are no other means.
  • Otho. Open the door; let’s hear if all is quiet.
  • Physician. Beseech you, sire, forbear.
  • Erminia. Do, do.
  • Otho. I command!
  • Open it straight; — sh! — quiet! — my lost boy!
  • My miserable child!
  • Ludolph (indistinctly without.) Fill, fill my goblet — here’s a health!
  • Erminia.O, close the door!
  • Otho. Let, let me hear his voice; this cannot last;
  • And fain would I catch up his dying words,
  • Though my own knell they be! This cannot last!
  • O let me catch his voice — for lo! I hear
  • This silence whisper me that he is dead!
  • It is so! Gersa?
  • Enter GERSA.
  • Physician. Say, how fares the Prince?
  • Gersa. More calm; his features are less wild and flush’d;
  • Once he complain’d of weariness.
  • Physician. Indeed!
  • ’Tis good, — ’tis good; let him but fall asleep,
  • That saves him.
  • Otho. Gersa, watch him like a child;
  • Ward him from harm, — and bring me better news!
  • Physician. Humour him to the height. I fear to go;
  • For should he catch a glimpse of my dull garb,
  • It might affright him, fill him with suspicion
  • That we believe him sick, which must not be.
  • Gersa. I will invent what soothing means I can. Exit Gersa.
  • Physician. This should cheer up your Highness; weariness
  • Is a good symptom, and most favourable;
  • It gives me pleasant hopes. Please you, walk forth
  • Onto the terrace; the refreshing air
  • Will blow one half of your sad doubts away. Exeunt.

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “Otho the Great: A Tragedy in Five Acts: Act V SCENE IV.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.3 , University of Victoria, 5 September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_otho_act_v_scene_iv.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “Otho the Great: A Tragedy in Five Acts: Act V SCENE IV,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_otho_act_v_scene_iv.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “Otho the Great: A Tragedy in Five Acts: Act V SCENE IV.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_otho_act_v_scene_iv.html.