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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Antony and Cleopatra Scenes


Scene 3

Rome. Octavius Caesar’s house.

(Antony; Caesar; Octavia; Lamprius the Soothsayer; Ventidius)


Despite his marriage to Octavia, Antony decides to leave for Egypt, fearful of the Soothsayer’s warnings that Caesar shall overcome him. He sends Ventidius to fight in Parthia. (47 lines)

Enter Antony, Caesar, Octavia between them.

ANT.

The world and my great office will sometimes

Divide me from your bosom.

OCT.

All which time

Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers

To them for you.

ANT.

Good night, sir. My Octavia,

Read not my blemishes in the world’s report.

I have not kept my square, but that to come

Shall all be done by th’ rule. Good night, dear lady.

OCT.

Good night, sir.

CAES.

Good night.

Exit with Octavia.

Enter Soothsayer.

ANT.

Now, sirrah; you do wish yourself in Egypt?

SOOTH.

Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither.

ANT.

If you can, your reason?

SOOTH.

I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue;

But yet hie you to Egypt again.

ANT.

Say to me, whose fortunes shall rise higher,

Caesar’s or mine?

SOOTH.

Caesar’s.

Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side.

Thy daemon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is

Noble, courageous, high unmatchable,

Where Caesar’s is not; but near him, thy angel

Becomes a fear, as being o’erpow’r’d: therefore

Make space enough between you.

ANT.

Speak this no more.

SOOTH.

To none but thee; no more but when to thee.

If thou dost play with him at any game,

Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck,

He beats thee ’gainst the odds. Thy lustre thickens

When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit

Is all afraid to govern thee near him;

But he away, ’tis noble.

ANT.

Get thee gone.

Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.

Exit Soothsayer.

He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap,

He hath spoken true. The very dice obey him,

And in our sports my better cunning faints

Under his chance. If we draw lots, he speeds;

His cocks do win the battle still of mine,

When it is all to nought; and his quails ever

Beat mine, inhoop’d, at odds. I will to Egypt;

And though I make this marriage for my peace,

I’ th’ East my pleasure lies.

Enter Ventidius.

O, come, Ventidius,

You must to Parthia. Your commission’s ready;

Follow me, and receive’t.

Exeunt.

Shakespeare Pulse
 

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Left Edge Theatre