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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Antony and Eros.
    Eros, thou yet behold'st me?
    Ay, noble lord.
    Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish,
    A vapor sometime like a bear, or lion,
    A towered citadel, a pendant rock,
    A forked mountain, or blue promontory
    2830With trees upon't that nod unto the world,
    And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs;
    They are black vesper's pageants.
    Ay, my lord.
    That which is now a horse, even with a thought
    The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct
    As water is in water.
    It does, my lord.
    My good knave Eros, now thy captain is
    2840Even such a body. Here I am Antony,
    Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
    I made these wars for Egypt, and the queen
    Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine;
    Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto't
    2845A million more, now lost. She, Eros, has
    Packed cards with Caesar, and false played my glory
    Unto an enemy's triumph.
    Nay, weep not, gentle Eros. There is left us
    Ourselves to end ourselves.
    2850Enter Mardian.
    O thy vile lady,
    She has robbed me of my sword!
    No, Antony.
    My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingled
    With thine entirely.
    Hence, saucy eunuch! Peace!
    She hath betrayed me, and shall die the death.
    Death of one person can be paid but once,
    And that she has discharged. What thou wouldst do
    Is done unto thy hand. The last she spake
    2860Was "Antony, most noble Antony."
    Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
    The name of Antony; it was divided
    Between her heart and lips. She rendered life
    Thy name so buried in her.
    Dead then?
    Unarm, Eros. The long day's task is done,
    And we must sleep. [To Mardian] That thou depart'st hence safe
    Does pay thy labor richly. Go.
    Exit Mardian.
    2870Off, pluck off!
    [Eros unarms him.]
    The seven-fold shield of Ajax cannot keep
    The battery from my heart. Oh cleave my sides!
    Heart, once be stronger than thy continent;
    Crack thy frail case! Apace, Eros, apace;
    2875No more a soldier. Bruisèd pieces, go;
    You have been nobly borne.--From me awhile.
    Exit Eros.
    I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
    Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
    All length is torture. Since the torch is out,
    2880Lie down and stray no farther. Now all labor
    Mars what it does. Yea, very force entangles
    Itself with strength. Seal then, and all is done.--
    Eros!--I come, my queen.--Eros!--Stay for me;
    Where souls do couch on flowers we'll hand in hand,
    2885And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze.
    Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
    And all the haunt be ours.--Come, Eros! Eros!
    Enter Eros.
    What would my lord?
    Since Cleopatra died,
    I have lived in such dishonor that the gods
    Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
    Quartered the world, and o'er green Neptune's back
    With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
    2895The courage of a woman, less noble mind
    Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
    "I am conqueror of myself". Thou art sworn, Eros,
    That when the exigent should come which now
    Is come indeed--when I should see behind me
    2900Th'inevitable prosecution of
    Disgrace and horror--that on my command
    Thou then wouldst kill me. Do't. The time is come.
    Thou strik'st not me, 'tis Caesar thou defeat'st.
    Put color in thy cheek.
    The gods withhold me!
    2905Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
    Though enemy, lost aim and could not?
    Would'st thou be window'd in great Rome, and see
    Thy master thus, with pleached arms bending down
    2910His corrigible neck, his face subdued
    To penetrative shame whilst the wheeled seat
    Of fortunate Caesar drawn before him branded
    His baseness that ensued?
    I would not see't.
    Come then: for with a wound I must be cured.
    Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
    Most useful for thy country.
    Oh, sir, pardon me.
    When I did make thee free, swor'st you not then
    2920To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once,
    Or thy precedent services are all
    But accidents unpurposed. Draw, and come!
    Turn from me then that noble countenance,
    Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
    [Turning away from Eros] Lo, thee!
    My sword is drawn.
    Then let it do at once
    The thing why thou hast drawn it.
    My dear master,
    2930My captain and my emperor, let me say
    Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.
    'Tis said, man, and farewell.
    Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?
    Now, Eros.
    [Eros] kills himself..
    Why there then! Thus I do escape the sorrow
    Of Antony's death.
    [He dies.]
    Thrice-nobler than myself,
    Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
    I should and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros
    2940Have by their brave instruction got upon me
    A nobleness in record. But I will be
    A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
    As to a lovers' bed. Come then--and Eros,
    Thy master dies thy scholar; to do thus
    2945I learned of thee.
    [He runs on his sword.].
    How, not dead? Not dead?
    The guard ho! Oh, dispatch me.
    Enter a [company of the] Guard, [one of them Dercetus].
    First Guard
    What's the noise?
    I have done my work ill, friends.
    2950Oh make an end of what I have begun.
    Second Guard
    The star is fall'n.
    First Guard
    And time is at his period.
    All the Guards
    Alas, and woe!
    Let him that loves me strike me dead.
    2955First Guard
    Not I.
    Second Guard
    Nor I.
    Third Guard
    Nor any one.
    Exeunt [the Guard, Dercetus remains].
    Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
    This sword but shown to Caesar with this tidings
    2960Shall enter me with him.
    [He takes Antony's sword.].
    Enter Diomedes.
    Where's Antony?
    There, Diomed, there.
    Lives he? Wilt thou not answer, man?
    [Exit Dercetus].
    Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me
    Sufficing strokes for death.
    Most absolute lord,
    My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.
    When did she send thee?
    Now, my lord.
    Where is she?
    Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
    Of what hath come to pass, for when she saw,
    2975Which never shall be found, you did suspect
    She had disposed with Caesar and that your rage
    Would not be purged, she sent you word she was dead;
    But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent
    Me to proclaim the truth, and I am come,
    2980I dread, too late.
    Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.
    What ho! The emperor's guard! The guard, what ho!
    Come, your lord calls!
    Enter four or five of the Guard of Antony.
    Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides.
    'Tis the last service that I shall command you.
    First Guard
    Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
    All your true followers out.
    All the Guards
    Most heavy day!
    Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
    To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome
    Which comes to punish us, and we punish it
    Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up.
    I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends,
    2995And have my thanks for all.
    Exeunt bearing Antony [and the body of Eros].