Not Just Permissible, but Necessary1
I prithee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughtsThe worst of words.
—William Shakespeare, Othello, act III, scene 3
Because Othello cannot not see that Iago's diffidence is a conscious pose, he innocently urges him to reveal the secret that Iago pretends is too terrible to disclose but also too painful to contain. Pleading with Iago to share what is on his mind with complete honesty, Othello exhorts him to give his "worst of thoughts the worst of words." He thus, unwittingly, entangles himself in Iago's masquerade and falls victim to his friend's duplicity (Shakespeare, 1604). The fact is, however, that, even when a person ...