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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 11

Alexandria. Cleopatra’s palace.

(Antony; Antony’s First Attendant; Antony’s Second Attendant; Cleopatra; Charmian; Eros; Iras)


Antony is thoroughly ashamed of his weakness in fleeing after Cleopatra. The queen comes to beg his pardon. Though he rages at her, Antony loves Cleopatra too much not to. (81 lines)

Enter Antony with Attendants.

ANT.

Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon’t,

It is asham’d to bear me. Friends, come hither:

I am so lated in the world, that I

Have lost my way forever. I have a ship

Laden with gold, take that, divide it; fly,

And make your peace with Caesar.

ALL. ANT. ATT.

Fly? Not we.

ANT.

I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards

To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone,

I have myself resolv’d upon a course

Which has no need of you. Be gone.

My treasure’s in the harbor; take it. O,

I follow’d that I blush to look upon.

My very hairs do mutiny; for the white

Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them

For fear and doting. Friends, be gone, you shall

Have letters from me to some friends that will

Sweep your way for you. Pray you look not sad,

Nor make replies of loathness; take the hint

Which my despair proclaims: let that be left

Which leaves itself. To the sea-side straightway;

I will possess you of that ship and treasure.

Leave me, I pray, a little; pray you now,

Nay, do so; for indeed I have lost command,

Therefore I pray you. I’ll see you by and by.

Sits down.

Enter Cleopatra led by Charmian and Eros, Iras following.

EROS.

Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.

IRAS.

Do, most dear Queen.

CHAR.

Do? Why, what else?

CLEO.

Let me sit down. O Juno!

ANT.

No, no, no, no, no.

EROS.

See you here, sir?

ANT.

O fie, fie, fie!

CHAR.

Madam!

IRAS.

Madam, O good Empress!

EROS.

Sir, sir!

ANT.

Yes, my lord, yes; he at Philippi kept

His sword e’en like a dancer, while I strook

The lean and wrinkled Cassius, and ’twas I

That the mad Brutus ended. He alone

Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had

In the brave squares of war; yet now—No matter.

CLEO.

Ah, stand by.

EROS.

The Queen, my lord, the Queen.

IRAS.

Go to him, madam, speak to him,

He’s unqualited with very shame.

CLEO.

Well then, sustain me. O!

EROS.

Most noble sir, arise, the Queen approaches.

Her head’s declin’d, and death will seize her, but

Your comfort makes the rescue.

ANT.

I have offended reputation,

A most unnoble swerving.

EROS.

Sir, the Queen.

ANT.

O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See

How I convey my shame out of thine eyes

By looking back what I have left behind

’Stroy’d in dishonor.

CLEO.

O my lord, my lord,

Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought

You would have followed.

ANT.

Egypt, thou knew’st too well

My heart was to thy rudder tied by th’ strings,

And thou shouldst tow me after. O’er my spirit

Thy full supremacy thou knew’st, and that

Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods

Command me.

CLEO.

O, my pardon!

ANT.

Now I must

To the young man send humble treaties, dodge

And palter in the shifts of lowness, who

With half the bulk o’ th’ world play’d as I pleas’d,

Making and marring fortunes. You did know

How much you were my conqueror, and that

My sword, made weak by my affection, would

Obey it on all cause.

CLEO.

Pardon, pardon!

ANT.

Fall not a tear, I say, one of them rates

All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss.

Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster,

Is ’a come back? Love, I am full of lead.

Some wine, within there, and our viands! Fortune knows

We scorn her most when most she offers blows.

Exeunt.

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Left Edge Theatre