Octavius Caesar, history’s Augustus, is one of the triumvirs (three leaders) of Rome.
Lepidus is one of the triumvirs of Rome. Disregarded by the other two, Antony and Caesar, he is either a buffoon or a decent man caught in the wrong job, depending on how he is played.
Sextus Pompey is the son of Pompey the Great, whom Julius Caesar had defeated just before the opening of Julius Caesar.
Enobarbus is Antony’s friend and one of his followers, essentially his aide-de-camp.
Ventidius is one of Antony’s generals. Antony sends him to make war on the Parthians, and he wins a great victory in which Pacorus, the son of Parthian king Orades, is killed.
Eros is one of Antony’s attendants. He brings the news of Lepidus’s arrest by Caesar to Antony and also tells Enobarbus of it.
Scarus is one of Antony’s followers. He witnesses Cleopatra’s flight from the battle at Actium and curses her for it.
Decretas is one of Antony’s guards.
Demetrius is a Roman newly arrived in Egypt.
Philo is one of Antony's soldiers and our introduction to the play.
Canidius, a lieutenant-general, is one of Antony’s followers.
Maecenas is one of Caesar’s followers. He attempts to calm down Antony and Caesar at their first conference.
Agrippa is one of Caesar’s chief advisers and generals.
Dolabella is one of Caesar’s followers.
Proculeius is one of Caesar’s followers. Antony tells Cleopatra to trust him.
Thidias is one of Caesar’s servants.
Gallus is one of Caesar’s followers, and sent along with Proculeius when the latter is sent to keep Cleopatra from committing suicide.
Taurus is Caesar’s lieutenant, and commands his land forces at Actium.
Menas is one of the two pirates who join cause with Pompey, helping to give him the mastery of the seas.
Menecrates is one of the two pirates who join cause with Pompey, helping to give him the mastery of the seas.
Varrius is one of Pompey’s followers.
Silius is one of Antony’s soldiers, sent with Ventidius to fight the Parthians.
An ambassador from Antony to Caesar is in fact Antony’s Schoolmaster. His being sent either means that Antony is done for, and has few followers left, as Dolabella states, or is a calculated insult to Caesar.
Alexas is one of Cleopatra’s attendants, the rather long-suffering butt of Charmian and Iras’s jokes.
Mardian is Cleopatra’s chief eunuch. A singer, he entertains her at need.
Seleucus is Cleopatra’s treasurer. When she gives Caesar a scroll apparently containing an inventory of all her wealth, she calls on him to witness that it is complete.
Diomedes is one of Cleopatra’s followers. She sends him to Antony when she suddenly fears he may have killed himself, but he arrives too late.
Lamprius, the Soothsayer is, like the best of his kind, an enigmatic character.
Lucillius, a Roman appearing as a mute in I.ii
Rannius, a Roman appearing as a mute in I.ii
A Clown is one of the more curious characters.
Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt. Notoriously one of the most difficult characters to play in all of Shakespeare, she is deeply erotic, charismatic, theatrical, volatile, temperamental, and generally unclassifiable.
Octavia is Caesar’s sister. She is offered as a wife to Antony to seal a bond between him and Caesar.
Charmian is Cleopatra’s main lady-in-waiting. Saucy and given to making racy jokes on every available pretext, she is also deeply loyal to her mistress.
Iras is Cleopatra’s second lady-in-waiting. She is somewhat more subdued a character than Charmian, but is just as able to make a dirty pun.
The First Messenger brings Antony the news of how his wife, Fulvia, has made war on his brother Lucius.
The Second Messenger comes from Sicyon with the news that Fulvia is dead.
The First Egyptian Servant announces Thidias’s arrival to Cleopatra. He later takes Thidias to be whipped.
The Second Egyptian Servant [mute role] helps drag away Thidias to be whipped. He is later sent by Cleopatra to ask Caesar what his terms are.
The First Roman Soldier [mute role] accompanies Proculeius on his visit to Cleopatra, and sneaks up on the Queen while she is distracted.
The Second Roman Soldier [mute role] accompanies Proculeius on his visit to Cleopatra, and sneaks up on the Queen while she is distracted.
The First Roman Guard comes to tell Cleopatra about the Clown who insists on speaking to her, and lets him in.
The Second Roman Guard is called in by the first guard when the latter discovers Cleopatra dead, and suggests finding Dolabella.
Antony's First Guardsman is crestfallen at his flawed suicide, but refuse to give him the final blow to end his suffering, not being willing to be the one who ended his life.
Antony's Second Guardsman is crestfallen at his flawed suicide, but refuse to give him the final blow to end his suffering, not being willing to be the one who ended his life.
Antony’s Third Guardsman is crestfallen at his flawed suicide, but refuse to give him the final blow to end his suffering, not being willing to be the one who ended his life.
Caesar's First Watchman is aware that the last day’s battle was a closely run thing, and wants to talk to Enobarbus, but is prevented by the Sentry.
Caesar's Second Watchman thinks that Enobarbus is only sleeping, and after his death holds some hope that he may recover.
Caesar's Sentry is the commander of the Watch patrolling the camp.
Caesar's First Soldier brings Enobarbus the news that Antony has sent all of his treasure after him. Enobarbus does not believe him, but the soldier assures him that it is true.
Caesar's First Messenger brings Caesar the unwelcome news that Pompey has a strong sea force, and that the people who follow him do it out of love, while they merely obey Caesar from fear.
Caesar's Second Messenger brings the news that Menas and Menecrates have joined with Pompey, and that they have total mastery of the sea, prompting Caesar’s outburst at Antony.
Caesar's Third Messenger comes to tell him that Antony has advanced for battle. He is sent to have the soldiers who deserted Antony placed at the front of the troops, so that they’ll bear the brunt of the assault.
Captain of Antony’s Army is primed for battle the morning of the battle before Alexandria.
Antony's First Soldier at Antony’s camp believes that they may prevail over Caesar the next day.