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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Caesar, Agrippa, [Thidias] and Dolabella, with others.
    Let him appear that's come from Antony.
    Know you him?
    Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster.
    An argument that he is plucked, when hither
    He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,
    Which had superfluous kings for messengers
    Not many moons gone by.
    2115Enter Ambassador from Antony.
    Approach, and speak.
    Such as I am, I come from Antony.
    I was of late as petty to his ends
    As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
    2120To his grand sea.
    Be't so. Declare thine office.
    Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
    Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted
    He lessens his requests, and to thee sues
    2125To let him breathe between the heavens and earth
    A private man in Athens. This for him.
    Next: Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,
    Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
    The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
    2130Now hazarded to thy grace.
    For Antony,
    I have no ears to his request. The queen
    Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
    From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend
    2135Or take his life there. This if she perform
    She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.
    Fortune pursue thee.
    Bring him through the bands.
    [Exit Ambassador, attended].
    [To Thidias] To try thy eloquence now 'tis time--dispatch.
    2140From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise--
    And in our name--what she requires. Add more--
    From thine invention--offers. Women are not
    In their best fortunes strong; but want will perjure
    The ne'er-touched vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias.
    2145Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
    Will answer as a law.
    Caesar, I go.
    Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
    And what thou think'st his very action speaks
    2150In every power that moves.
    Caesar, I shall.
    Exeunt [Thidias at one door and Caesar, Agrippa, Dolabella and others at another door].