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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Cleopatra and her Maids aloft, with Charmian and Iras.
    Oh Charmian, I will never go from hence.
    Be comforted, dear madam.
    No, I will not.
    All strange and terrible events are welcome,
    But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
    Proportioned to our cause, must be as great
    As that which makes it.
    3005Enter Diomedes [below].
    How now? Is he dead?
    His death's upon him, but not dead.
    Look out o'th'other side your monument:
    His guard have brought him thither.
    3010Enter below the Guard bearing Antony.
    O sun,
    Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in! Darkling stand
    The varying shore o'th'world! O Antony,
    Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian,
    Help, Iras, help! Help, friends 3015below!
    Let's draw him hither.
    Not Caesar's valor hath o'erthrown Antony,
    But Antony's hath triumphed on itself.
    So it should be, 3020that none but Antony
    Should conquer Antony, but woe 'tis so.
    I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
    I here importune death awhile, until
    Of many thousand kisses the poor last
    3025I lay upon thy lips.
    I dare not, dear--
    Dear my lord, pardon--I dare not
    Lest I be taken. Not th'imperious show
    Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall
    3030Be brooched with me, if knife, drugs, serpents have
    Edge, sting, or operation. I am safe:
    Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
    And still conclusion, shall acquire no honor
    Demuring upon me. But come, come Antony--
    3035Help me my women--we must draw thee up.
    Assist, good friends.
    [They begin lifting Antony.]
    Oh quick, or I am gone.
    Here's sport indeed--how heavy weighs my lord!
    3040Our strength is all gone into heaviness,
    That makes the weight. Had I great Juno's power,
    The strong-winged Mercury should fetch thee up
    And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little--
    Wishers were ever fools--oh come, come, come,
    3045They heave Antony aloft to Cleopatra.
    And welcome, welcome. Die when thou hast lived!
    Quicken with kissing! Had my lips that power,
    Thus would I wear them out. [She kisses him].
    All the Guards
    A heavy sight.
    I am dying, Egypt, dying.
    Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
    No, let me speak, and let me rail so high,
    That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
    Provoked by my offence.
    One word, sweet queen:
    Of Caesar seek your honor with your safety.--Oh!
    They do not go together.
    Gentle, hear me,
    None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.
    My resolution and my hands I'll trust,
    None about Caesar.
    The miserable change now at my end
    Lament nor sorrow at, but please your thoughts
    In feeding them with those my former fortunes
    3065Wherein I lived the greatest prince o'th'world,
    The noblest; and do now not basely die,
    Not cowardly put off my helmet to
    My countryman--a Roman by a Roman
    Valiantly vanquished. Now my spirit is going,
    3070I can no more.
    Noblest of men, woot die?
    Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide
    In this dull world, which in thy absence is
    No better than a sty? O see my women:
    3075The crown o'th'earth doth melt.
    [Antony dies.]
    My lord!
    Oh, withered is the garland of the war,
    The soldier's pole is fall'n; young boys and girls
    Are level now with men. The odds is gone,
    And there is nothing left remarkable
    3080Beneath the visiting moon.
    O quietness, lady!
    [Cleopatra faints.]
    She's dead too, our sovereign.
    Oh madam, madam, madam!
    Royal Egypt! Empress!
    [Cleopatra stirs.]
    Peace, peace, Iras.
    No more but e'en a woman, and commanded
    By such poor passion as the maid that milks
    3090And does the meanest chares. It were for me
    To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods,
    To tell them that this world did equal theirs
    Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but naught;
    Patience is sottish, and impatience does
    3095Become a dog that's mad; then is it sin
    To rush into the secret house of death
    Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
    What, what, good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian?
    My noble girls? Ah women, women! Look,
    3100Our lamp is spent, it's out. Good sirs, take heart,
    We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble.
    Let's do't after the high Roman fashion,
    And make death proud to take us. Come, away.
    This case of that huge spirit now is cold.
    3105Ah women, women! Come, we have no friend
    But resolution, and the briefest end.
    Exeunt; [those above] bearing off Antony's body.