Antony and Cleopatra


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Cleopatra and her maids, aloft, with Charmian

and Iras


CLEOPATRA

O, Charmian, I will never go from hence.


CHARMIAN

Be comforted, dear madam.


CLEOPATRA

                         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.

Enter Diomedes below

                         How now? Is he dead?


DIOMEDES

His death's upon him, but not dead.

Look out o'th' other side your monument;

His guard have brought him thither.

Enter, below, the Guard, bearing Antony


CLEOPATRA

                         O sun,

Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in; darkling stand
darkling (adv.) in the dark, in darkness
sphere (n.) 1 celestial globe in which a heavenly body was thought to move, orbit See Topics: Cosmos

The varying shore o'th' world! O Antony,

Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help!

Help, friends below! Let's draw him hither.


ANTONY

                         Peace!

Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,

But Antony's hath triumphed on itself.


CLEOPATRA

So it should be, that none but Antony

Should conquer Antony, but woe 'tis so!


ANTONY

I am dying, Egypt, dying; only

I here importune death awhile, until
importune (v.) 1 urge, press

Of many thousand kisses the poor last

I lay up thy lips.


CLEOPATRA

                         I dare not, dear;

Dear my lord, pardon. I dare not,

Lest I be taken. Not th' imperious show
imperious, emperious (adj.) imperial, majestic, sovereign

Of the full-fortuned Caesar ever shall
full-fortuned (adj.) replete with good fortune, full of success

Be brooched with me. If knife, drugs, serpents, have
brooch (v.) adorn, beautify, display as an ornament

Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe.
operation (n.) 1 effect, force, influence, power

Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes

And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
conclusion (n.) 4 judgement, opinion, power of appraisal
still (adj.) 3 impassive, inscrutable

Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony –
demure (v.) look demurely, gaze decorously

Help me, my women – we must draw thee up.

Assist, good friends.


ANTONY

                         O, quick, or I am gone.


CLEOPATRA

Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
sport (n.) 2 exercise, athletic pastime

Our strength is all gone into heaviness,
heaviness (n.) 1 sadness, grief, sorrow

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. O, come, come, come.

They heave Antony aloft to Cleopatra

And welcome, welcome! Die when thou hast lived;

Quicken with kissing. Had my lips that power,
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]

Thus would I wear them out.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


ALL THE GUARDS

                         A heavy sight!


ANTONY

I am dying, Egypt, dying.

Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.


CLEOPATRA

No, let me speak, and let me rail so high
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful
housewife, huswife (n.) [pron: 'husif] hussy, wanton, minx

Provoked by my offence.
offence (n.) 2 opposition, hostility, antagonism


ANTONY

                         One word, sweet queen.

Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!


CLEOPATRA

They do not go together.
gentle (n.) 1 [polite intimate address] dear one See Topics: Address forms


ANTONY

                          Gentle, hear me:

None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.


CLEOPATRA

My resolution and my hands I'll trust,

None about Caesar.


ANTONY

The miserable change now at my end

Lament nor sorrow at, but please your thoughts

In feeding them with those my former fortunes,

Wherein I lived; the greatest prince o'th' world,

The noblest; and do now not basely die,
basely (adv.) dishonourably, shamefully, ignominiously

Not cowardly put off my helmet to

My countryman; a Roman, by a Roman

Valiantly vanquished. Now my spirit is going;

I can no more.


CLEOPATRA

                         Noblest of men, woo't 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,

Antony dies

The crown o'th' earth doth melt. My lord!

O, withered is the garland of the war,
garland (n.) 2 pride, glory, hero

The soldier's pole is fall'n; young boys and girls
pole (n.) [unclear meaning] polestar, guiding star

Are level now with men. The odds is gone,
odds (n. plural) 3 differences, distinctions, inequalities

And there is nothing left remarkable
remarkable (adj.) wonderful, extraordinary, exceptional

Beneath the visiting moon.

She faints


CHARMIAN

                         O, quietness, lady!


IRAS

She's dead too, our sovereign.


CHARMIAN

                         Lady!


IRAS

                                                         Madam!


CHARMIAN

O madam, madam, madam!


IRAS

Royal Egypt! Empress!


CHARMIAN

                         Peace, peace, Iras!


CLEOPATRA

No more but e'en a woman, and commanded

By such poor passion as the maid that milks

And does the meanest chares. It were for me
chare (n.) chore, task, job
mean (adj.) 2 lowly, humble, poor

To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods,

To tell them that this world did equal theirs

Till they had stolen our jewel. All's but naught.
naught, nought (adj.) 1 worthless, useless, of no value

Patience is sottish, and impatience does
sottish (adj.) stupid, foolish, ludicrous

Become a dog that's mad; then is it sin
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

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,

Our lamp is spent, it's out. Good sirs, take heart.

We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble,
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

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.
case (n.) 9 holder, covering, receptacle

Ah, women, women! Come; we have no friend

But resolution, and the briefest end.
brief (adj.) 1 quick, speedy, swift, expeditious

Exeunt, bearing off Antony's body

 
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