Antony and Cleopatra

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Alexas, and Iras
since (adv.) 1 recently, of late


Where is he?


                         I did not see him since.


(to Alexas)

See where he is, who's with him, what he does.

I did not send you. If you find him sad,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report

That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

Exit Alexas


Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

You do not hold the method to enforce

The like from him.
like, the the same


                         What should I do I do not?


In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against


Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him.


Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear.
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count
tempt (v.) 1 try, test, make trial of

In time we hate that which we often fear.

Enter Antony

But here comes Antony.


                         I am sick and sullen.


I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose –
breathing (n.) 1 words, utterance, expression
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.

It cannot be thus long; the sides of nature
nature (n.) 3 human nature
side (n.) frame, compass, limit

Will not sustain it.
sustain (v.) 2 endure, withstand, support


                         Now, my dearest queen –


Pray you, stand farther from me.


                         What's the matter?


I know by that same eye there's some good news.

What says the married woman – you may go?

Would she had never given you leave to come!

Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here.

I have no power upon you. Hers you are.
power (n.) 7 control, influence, sway


The gods best know –


                         O, never was there queen

So mightily betrayed! Yet at the first

I saw the treasons planted.
plant (v.) 1 set up, establish, introduce


                         Cleopatra –


Why should I think you can be mine, and true –

Though you in swearing shake the throned gods –

Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

To be entangled with those mouth-made vows

Which break themselves in swearing!
swearing (n.) act of swearing, moment of oath-taking


                         Most sweet queen –


Nay, pray you seek no colour for your going,
colour (n.) 1 pretext, pretence

But bid farewell, and go. When you sued staying,
sue (v.) 1 beg, plead, beseech

Then was the time for words. No going then!

Eternity was in our lips and eyes,

Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor
bent (n.) 4 curve, bend, arch
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

But was a race of heaven. They are so still,
race (n.) 2 origin, stock, ancestry

Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,

Art turned the greatest liar.


                         How now, lady!


I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know

There were a heart in Egypt.


                         Hear me, Queen.

The strong necessity of time commands

Our services awhile; but my full heart

Remains in use with you. Our Italy
use (n.) 6 trust, possession, tenure

Shines o'er with civil swords. Sextus Pompeius
civil (adj.) 3 of civil war

Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.

Equality of two domestic powers

Breed scrupulous faction; the hated, grown to strength,
faction (n.) 3 quarrel, squabble, dissension
scrupulous (adj.) 1 quibbling, cavilling, distrustful

Are newly grown to love. The condemned Pompey,

Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate See Topics: Frequency count

Into the hearts of such as have not thrived

Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;

And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
purge (v.) 1 cleanse, purify, get rid of impurities [in]
rest (n.) 1 [period of] peace, calm, repose

By any desperate change. My more particular,
particular (n.) 3 private matter, personal business

And that which most with you should safe my going,
safe (v.) 1 remove danger from, make one feel secure about

Is Fulvia's death.


Though age from folly could not give me freedom,

It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?


She's dead, my queen.

Look here,

(He gives her the letter)

                         and at thy sovereign leisure read

The garboils she awaked. At the last, best,
garboil (n.) trouble, disturbance, commotion

See when and where she died.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial


                         O most false love!

Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill

With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
vial (n.) phial, small bottle, flask

In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.


Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know

The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

As you shall give th' advice. By the fire

That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]
slime (n.) rich earth, mud, soil

Thy soldier-servant, making peace or war

As thou affects.
affect (v.) 1 incline to, like, favour, be drawn to
lace (n.) lacing of stays, bodice-string


                         Cut my lace, Charmian, come.

But let it be. I am quickly ill and well,
ill (adj.) 4 sick, indisposed, unwell

So Antony loves.
forbear (v.) 3 control oneself, have patience [for]


                         My precious queen, forbear,

And give true evidence to his love, which stands
evidence (n.) 1 witness, testimony, avowal
stand (v.) 14 withstand, endure, stand up to

An honourable trial.


                         So Fulvia told me.

I prithee turn aside and weep for her;

Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears

Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene

Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
dissembling (n.) pretence, deceit, dissimulation

Like perfect honour.


                         You'll heat my blood; no more.


You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
meetly (adj.) quite good, moderate, reasonable


Now by my sword –
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right
target (n.) light round shield See Topics: Weapons


                         And target. Still he mends.

But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,

How this Herculean Roman does become
become (v.) 4 bear, handle, present

The carriage of his chafe.
carriage (n.) 1 bearing, demeanour, manner of behaviour
chafe (n.) temper, rage, fury


                         I'll leave you, lady.


Courteous lord, one word.

Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it.

Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it.

That you know well. Something it is I would –

O, my oblivion is a very Antony,

And I am all forgotten.
royalty (n.) 1 majesty, royal highness


                         But that your royalty

Holds idleness your subject, I should take you

For idleness itself.


                         'Tis sweating labour

To bear such idleness so near the heart

As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me,

Since my becomings kill me when they do not
becoming (n.) grace, quality, befitting action

Eye well to you. Your honour calls you hence.
eye (v.) 1 look, appear, seem

Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,

And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword

Sit laurel victory, and smooth success

Be strewed before your feet!


                         Let us go. Come.

Our separation so abides and flies

That thou residing here goes yet with me,

And I hence fleeting here remain with thee.



  Previous scene     Next scene