Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egypt, and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome.
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Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Octavius Caesar, Triumvir
M. Aemil. Lepidus, Triumvir
Sextus Pompeius Triumvir
Domitius Enobarbus, Friend To Antony
Ventidius, Friend To Antony
Eros, Friend To Antony
Scarus, Friend To Antony
Dercetas, Friend To Antony
Demetrius, Friend To Antony
Philo, Friend To Antony
Maecenas, Friend To Caesar
Agrippa, Friend To Caesar
Dolabella, Friend To Caesar
Proculeius, Friend To Caesar
Thyreus, Friend To Caesar
Gallus, Friend To Caesar
Menas, Friend To Pompey
Menecrates, Friend To Pompey
Varrius, Friend To Pompey
Taurus, Lieutenant-General To Caesar
Canidius, Lieutenant-General To Antony
Silius, An Officer In Ventidius's Army
Euphronius, An Ambassador From Antony To Caesar
Alexas, Attendant On Cleopatra
Mardian, Attendant On Cleopatra
Seleucus, Attendant On Cleopatra
Diomedes, Attendant On Cleopatra
Cleopatra, Queen Of Egypt
Octavia, Sister To Caesar And Wife To Antony
Charmian, Attendant On Cleopatra
Iras, Attendant On Cleopatra
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, And Other Attendants
SCENE: DISPERSED, IN SEVERAL PARTS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.]
PHILO.Nay, but this dotage of our general'sO'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,That o'er the files and musters of the warHave glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,The office and devotion of their viewUpon a tawny front: his captain's heart,Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burstThe buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,And is become the bellows and the fanTo cool a gipsy's lust.
Look where they come:Take but good note, and you shall see in himThe triple pillar of the world transform'dInto a strumpet's fool: behold and see.
[Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their trains; Eunuchs fanning her.]
CLEOPATRA.If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
ANTONY.There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
CLEOPATRA.I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
ANTONY.Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
[Enter an Attendant.]
ATTENDANT.News, my good lord, from Rome.
ANTONY.Grates me:--the sum.
CLEOPATRA.Nay, hear them, Antony:Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knowsIf the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sentHis powerful mandate to you: 'Do this or this;Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that;Perform't, or else we damn thee.'
ANTONY.How, my love!
CLEOPATRA.Perchance! Nay, and most like:--You must not stay here longer,--your dismissionIs come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. --Where's Fulvia's process?--Caesar's I would say?--Both?--Call in the messengers.--As I am Egypt's queen,Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thineIs Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shameWhen shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.--The messengers!
ANTONY.Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide archOf the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alikeFeeds beast as man: the nobleness of lifeIs to do thus [Embracing]; when such a mutual pairAnd such a twain can do't, in which I bind,On pain of punishment, the world to weetWe stand up peerless.
CLEOPATRA.Excellent falsehood!Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?--I'll seem the fool I am not; AntonyWill be himself.
ANTONY.But stirr'd by Cleopatra.--Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:There's not a minute of our lives should stretchWithout some pleasure now:--what sport to-night?
CLEOPATRA.Hear the ambassadors.
ANTONY.Fie, wrangling queen!Whom everything becomes,--to chide, to laugh,To weep; whose every passion fully strivesTo make itself in thee fair and admir'd!No messenger; but thine, and all aloneTo-night we'll wander through the streets and noteThe qualities of people. Come, my queen;Last night you did desire it:--speak not to us.
[Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their Train.]
DEMETRIUS.Is Caesar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
PHILO.Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony,He comes too short of that great propertyWhich still should go with Antony.
DEMETRIUS.I am full sorryThat he approves the common liar, whoThus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hopeOf better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!
Alexandria. Another Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.]
CHARMIAN.Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almostmost absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must charge his horns with garlands!
CHARMIAN.Is this the man?--Is't you, sir, that know things?
SOOTHSAYER.In nature's infinite book of secrecyA little I can read.
ALEXAS.Show him your hand.
ENOBARBUS.Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enoughCleopatra's health to drink.
CHARMIAN.Good, sir, give me good fortune.
SOOTHSAYER.I make not, but foresee.
CHARMIAN.Pray, then, foresee me one.
SOOTHSAYER.You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
CHARMIAN.He means in flesh.
IRAS.No, you shall paint when you are old.
ALEXAS.Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
SOOTHSAYER.You shall be more beloving than beloved.
CHARMIAN.I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
ALEXAS.Nay, hear him.
CHARMIAN.Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.
SOOTHSAYER.You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
CHARMIAN.O, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
SOOTHSAYER.You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortuneThan that which is to approach.
CHARMIAN.Then belike my children shall have no names:--pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
SOOTHSAYER.If every of your wishes had a womb,And fertile every wish, a million.
CHARMIAN.Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
ALEXAS.You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
CHARMIAN.Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
ALEXAS.We'll know all our fortunes.
ENOBARBUS.Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be--drunk to bed.
IRAS.There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
CHARMIAN.E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
IRAS.Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
CHARMIAN.Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.--Pr'ythee, tell her but worky-day fortune.
SOOTHSAYER.Your fortunes are alike.
IRAS.But how, but how? give me particulars.
SOOTHSAYER.I have said.
IRAS.Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
CHARMIAN.Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?
IRAS.Not in my husband's nose.
CHARMIAN.Our worser thoughts heavens mend!--Alexas,--come, his fortune! his fortune!--O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
IRAS.Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
ALEXAS.Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores but they'd do't!
ENOBARBUS.Hush! Here comes Antony.
CHARMIAN.Not he; the queen.
CLEOPATRA.Saw you my lord?
CLEOPATRA.Was he not here?
CLEOPATRA.He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the suddenA Roman thought hath struck him.--Enobarbus,--
CLEOPATRA.Seek him, and bring him hither.--Where's Alexas?
ALEXAS.Here, at your service.--My lord approaches.
CLEOPATRA.We will not look upon him: go with us.
[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHAR., IRAS, ALEX., andSoothsayer.]
[Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and Attendants.]
MESSENGER.Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
ANTONY.Against my brother Lucius.
MESSENGER.Ay:But soon that war had end, and the time's stateMade friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Caesar;Whose better issue in the war, from ItalyUpon the first encounter, drave them.
ANTONY.Well, what worst?
MESSENGER.The nature of bad news infects the teller.
ANTONY.When it concerns the fool or coward.--On:--Things that are past are done with me.--'Tis thus;Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,I hear him as he flatter'd.
MESSENGER.Labienus,--This is stiff news,--hath, with his Parthian force,Extended Asia from Euphrates;His conquering banner shook from SyriaTo Lydia and to Ionia;Whilst,--
ANTONY.Antony, thou wouldst say,--
MESSENGER.O, my lord!
ANTONY.Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue:Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faultsWith such full licence as both truth and maliceHave power to utter. O, then we bring forth weedsWhen our quick minds lie still; and our ills told usIs as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.
MESSENGER.At your noble pleasure.
ANTONY.From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!
FIRST ATTENDANT.The man from Sicyon--is there such an one?
SECOND ATTENDANT.He stays upon your will.
ANTONY.Let him appear.--These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,Or lose myself in dotage.--
[Enter another MESSENGER.]
What are you?
SECOND MESSENGER.Fulvia thy wife is dead.
ANTONY.Where died she?
SECOND MESSENGER.In Sicyon:Her length of sickness, with what else more seriousImporteth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter.]
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:What our contempts doth often hurl from us,We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,By revolution lowering, does becomeThe opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her on.I must from this enchanting queen break off:Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,My idleness doth hatch--ho, Enobarbus!
ENOBARBUS.What's your pleasure, sir?
ANTONY.I must with haste from hence.
ENOBARBUS.Why, then we kill all our women: we see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
ANTONY.I must be gone.
ENOBARBUS.Under a compelling occasion, let women die: it were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
ANTONY.She is cunning past man's thought.
ENOBARBUS.Alack, sir, no: her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
ANTONY.Would I had never seen her!
ENOBARBUS.O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which not to have been blest withal would have discredited your travel.
ANTONY.Fulvia is dead.
ANTONY.Fulvia is dead.
ENOBARBUS.Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein that when old robes are worn out there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crown'd with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat:--and, indeed, the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
ANTONY.The business she hath broached in the stateCannot endure my absence.
ENOBARBUS.And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
ANTONY.No more light answers. Let our officersHave notice what we purpose. I shall breakThe cause of our expedience to the queen,And get her leave to part. For not aloneThe death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,Do strongly speak to us; but the letters tooOf many our contriving friends in RomePetition us at home: Sextus PompeiusHath given the dare to Caesar, and commandsThe empire of the sea; our slippery people,--Whose love is never link'd to the deserverTill his deserts are past,--begin to throwPompey the Great, and all his dignities,Upon his son; who, high in name and power,Higher than both in blood and life, stands upFor the main soldier: whose quality, going on,The sides o' the world may danger: much is breedingWhich, like the courser's hair, hath yet but lifeAnd not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasureTo such whose place is under us, requiresOur quick remove from hence.
ENOBARBUS.I shall do't.
Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA'S palace.
[Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.]
CLEOPATRA.Where is he?
CHARMIAN.I did not see him since.
CLEOPATRA.See where he is, who's with him, what he does:--I did not send you:--if you find him sad,Say I am dancing; if in mirth, reportThat I am sudden sick: quick, and return.
CHARMIAN.Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,You do not hold the method to enforceThe like from him.
CLEOPATRA.What should I do, I do not?
CHARMIAN.In each thing give him way; cross him in nothing.
CLEOPATRA.Thou teachest like a fool,--the way to lose him.
CHARMIAN.Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear;In time we hate that which we often fear.But here comes Antony.
CLEOPATRA.I am sick and sullen.
ANTONY.I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--
CLEOPATRA.Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall;It cannot be thus long, the sides of natureWill not sustain it.
ANTONY.Now, my dearest queen,--
CLEOPATRA.Pray you, stand farther from me.
ANTONY.What's the matter?
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