Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Anthony and Cleopatra (Modern)
  • Editor: Randall Martin
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-433-2

    Copyright Randall Martin. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Randall Martin
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Anthony and Cleopatra (Modern)

    Enter Demetrius and Philo.
    Nay, but this dotage of our general's
    5O'er-flows the measure. Those his goodly eyes,
    That o'er the files and musters of the war
    Have glowed like plated Mars now bend, now turn
    The office and devotion of their view
    10Upon a tawny front. His captain's heart,
    Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
    The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
    And is become the bellows and the fan
    To cool a gypsy's lust.
    Enter Antony, Cleopatra, her ladies [Charmian and Iras, Mardian and] the train, with eunuchs fanning her.
    Look where they come.
    Take but good note, and you shall see in him
    The triple pillar of the world transformed
    20Into a strumpet's fool. Behold and see.
    If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
    There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.
    I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved.
    Then must thou needs find out new heaven, 25new earth.
    Enter a Messenger.
    News, my good lord, from Rome.
    Grates me; the sum.
    Nay, hear them, Antony.
    30Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
    If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
    His powerful mandate to you: "Do this, or this;
    Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
    Perform't, or else we damn thee."
    How, my love?
    Perchance? Nay, and most like.
    You must not stay here longer. Your dismission
    Is come from Caesar. Therefore hear it, Antony.
    Where's Fulvia's process?--Caesar's, I would say. Both?
    40Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen,
    Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine
    Is Caesar's homager; else so thy cheek pays shame
    When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
    Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
    45Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.
    Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
    Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
    Is to do thus [embracing Cleopatra], when such a mutual pair
    And such a twain can do't--in which I bind,
    50On pain of punishment, the world to weet,
    We stand up peerless.
    Excellent falsehood!
    Why did he marry Fulvia and not love her?
    I'll seem the fool I am not. Antony
    Will be himself.
    But stirred 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 stretch
    Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?
    Hear the ambassadors.
    Fie, wrangling queen
    Whom everything becomes--to chide, to laugh,
    To weep. How every passion fully strives
    To make itself in thee fair and admired.
    65No messenger but thine; and all alone,
    Tonight we'll wander through the streets and note
    The qualities of people. Come, my queen,
    Last night you did desire it. [To the Messenger] Speak not to us.
    Exeunt [Antony and Cleopatra] with [Charmian, Iras, Mardian, eunuchs and] the train, [and the Messenger by another door], [Philo and Demetrius remain].
    Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
    Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony
    He comes too short of that great property
    Which still should go with Antony.
    I am full sorry,
    That he approves the common 75liar who
    Thus speaks of him at Rome. But I will hope
    Of better deeds tomorrow. Rest you happy.