List iconAntony and Cleopatra:
Act 1, scene 2
List icon

Antony and Cleopatra
Act 1, scene 2



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Antony and Cleopatra tells the story of a romance between two powerful lovers: Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, and Mark Antony,…

Act 1, scene 1

Antony refuses to hear the messengers from Rome and declares that nothing matters but his love for Cleopatra.

Act 1, scene 2

Antony learns that Fulvia, his wife, has died. That and other news, especially news of Pompey’s threat to Caesar, make…

Act 1, scene 3

Cleopatra, after accusing Antony of hypocrisy and betrayal, gives him leave to depart from Egypt.

Act 1, scene 4

Octavius Caesar condemns Antony’s behavior in Egypt, and, in the face of attacks by Pompey, Menas, and Menecrates, he wishes…

Act 1, scene 5

Cleopatra receives a pearl and a message from Antony and resolves to send him a letter each day that he’s…

Act 2, scene 1

Pompey learns that Antony has left Egypt for Rome, and fears that Antony and Caesar will unite against him.

Act 2, scene 2

Antony agrees to marry Caesar’s sister Octavia as a way of cementing the newly reestablished bond between the men. Enobarbus…

Act 2, scene 3

Antony promises Octavia that he will henceforth live according to the rule. A Soothsayer advises Antony to keep his distance…

Act 2, scene 4

Lepidus sets off to do battle with Pompey, urging Maecenas and Agrippa to hasten the departures of Antony and Caesar.

Act 2, scene 5

Cleopatra learns of Antony’s marriage and, in her fury, beats the messenger who brought the news.

Act 2, scene 6

In a prebattle conference, Pompey is offered terms by Caesar, Antony, and Lepidus. After Antony thanks Pompey for his earlier…

Act 2, scene 7

At the feast on Pompey’s galley, Pompey refuses the suggestion that he kill his guests and thus become “lord of…

Act 3, scene 1

Having won a victory for Antony, Ventidius explains why it would be politically unwise to achieve further success. We learn…

Act 3, scene 2

Caesar and Octavia take a tearful farewell of each other, and Antony and Octavia depart for Athens.

Act 3, scene 3

Cleopatra is reassured by further description of Octavia.

Act 3, scene 4

At the news of Caesar’s hostile actions, Antony begins to prepare for war, but gives Octavia permission to go to…

Act 3, scene 5

With Caesar having imprisoned Lepidus, Caesar and Antony now divide the rulership of their world. Antony’s navy is prepared to…

Act 3, scene 6

Octavia arrives in Rome, to be told that Antony has left Athens for Egypt.

Act 3, scene 7

Over the pleading of his soldiers and officers and encouraged by Cleopatra, Antony decides to fight Caesar by sea.

Act 3, scene 8

Caesar orders his army to provoke no battle by land.

Act 3, scene 9

Antony sets his squadrons.

Act 3, scene 10

Antony turns his ship in mid-battle to follow Cleopatra’s flight. His officers begin to desert.

Act 3, scene 11

Antony, in despair over his action, accuses Cleopatra but then forgives her.

Act 3, scene 12

Caesar refuses to grant Antony’s petition for clemency, but he agrees to hear Cleopatra’s suit if she will banish or…

Act 3, scene 13

Antony has Thidias whipped for kissing Cleopatra’s hand, then makes plans to renew his battle with Caesar. Enobarbus decides to…

Act 4, scene 1

Caesar mocks Antony’s challenge to single combat and prepares for battle.

Act 4, scene 2

Antony asks his servants to tend him for a few more hours.

Act 4, scene 3

Antony’s soldiers standing guard hear music indicating that the god Hercules is leaving Antony.

Act 4, scene 4

Cleopatra and Eros arm Antony for battle.

Act 4, scene 5

Antony learns that Enobarbus has left, and sends Enobarbus’ chest and treasure to him in Caesar’s camp.

Act 4, scene 6

Enobarbus, faced with Caesar’s callousness and Antony’s generosity, realizes the magnitude of his fault in deserting Antony.

Act 4, scene 7

Antony and his soldiers rejoice in a victory.

Act 4, scene 8

Antony orders a march through Alexandria to celebrate their victory.

Act 4, scene 9

Enobarbus dies expressing his remorse for turning his back on Antony.

Act 4, scene 10

Antony places himself so that he can watch his galleys doing battle at sea.

Act 4, scene 11

Caesar orders his land forces to remain quiet unless attacked.

Act 4, scene 12

Antony watches as his ships desert him and join Caesar’s. He vows to kill Cleopatra, on whom he blames this…

Act 4, scene 13

Cleopatra, in terror, flees to her monument and sends Antony word that she is dead.

Act 4, scene 14

Antony, receiving the news that Cleopatra has taken her own life, orders Eros to kill him. Eros instead kills himself….

Act 4, scene 15

Antony is pulled up into the monument, where he dies.

Act 5, scene 1

Caesar expresses grief for Antony’s death. Fearing that Cleopatra will kill herself and thus prevent his displaying her in his…

Act 5, scene 2

While Proculeius is delivering Caesar’s message of comfort to Cleopatra, other of Caesar’s soldiers surprise and capture her. Dolabella enters…

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Quill icon
Scene 2
Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius,
Lucillius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, Alexas,
and Servants.

CHARMIAN Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything
 Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where’s the

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

 soothsayer that you praised so to th’ Queen? O, that
 I knew this husband which you say must charge
5 his horns with garlands!
ALEXAS Soothsayer!
 Is this the man?—Is ’t you, sir, that know things?
 In nature’s infinite book of secrecy
10 A little I can read.
ALEXAS, to Charmian  Show him your hand.
ENOBARBUS, to Servants 
 Bring in the banquet quickly, wine enough
 Cleopatra’s health to drink.
CHARMIAN, giving her hand to the Soothsayer Good sir,
15 give me good fortune.
SOOTHSAYER I make not, but foresee.
CHARMIAN Pray then, foresee me one.
 You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
CHARMIAN He means in flesh.
IRAS 20No, you shall paint when you are old.
CHARMIAN Wrinkles forbid!
ALEXAS Vex not his prescience. Be attentive.
 You shall be more beloving than beloved.
CHARMIAN 25I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
ALEXAS Nay, hear him.
CHARMIAN Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me
 be married to three kings in a forenoon and widow
 them all. Let me have a child at fifty to whom Herod
30 of Jewry may do homage. Find me to marry me
 with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

 You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
CHARMIAN O, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
35 You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
 Than that which is to approach.
CHARMIAN Then belike my children shall have no
 names. Prithee, how many boys and wenches must
 I have?
40 If every of your wishes had a womb,
 And fertile every wish, a million.
CHARMIAN Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
ALEXAS You think none but your sheets are privy to
 your wishes.
CHARMIAN, to Soothsayer 45Nay, come. Tell Iras hers.
ALEXAS We’ll know all our fortunes.
ENOBARBUS Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight,
 shall be—drunk to bed.
IRAS, giving her hand to the Soothsayer There’s a palm
50 presages chastity, if nothing else.
CHARMIAN E’en as the o’erflowing Nilus presageth
IRAS Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
CHARMIAN Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication,
55 I cannot scratch mine ear.—Prithee
 tell her but a workaday fortune.
SOOTHSAYER Your fortunes are alike.
IRAS But how, but how? Give me particulars.
SOOTHSAYER I have said.
IRAS 60Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
CHARMIAN Well, if you were but an inch of fortune
 better than I, where would you choose it?
IRAS Not in my husband’s nose.
CHARMIAN Our worser thoughts heavens mend. Alexas—
65 come, his fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

 woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee, and
 let her die, too, and give him a worse, and let worse
 follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing
 to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold. Good Isis, hear me
70 this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more
 weight, good Isis, I beseech thee!
IRAS Amen, dear goddess, hear that prayer of the
 people. For, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome
 man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to
75 behold a foul knave uncuckolded. Therefore, dear
 Isis, keep decorum and fortune him accordingly.
ALEXAS Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a
 cuckold, they would make themselves whores but
80 they’d do ’t.
ENOBARBUS Hush, here comes Antony.
CHARMIAN Not he. The Queen.

Enter Cleopatra.

CLEOPATRA Saw you my lord?
CLEOPATRA 85Was he not here?
CHARMIAN No, madam.
 He was disposed to mirth, but on the sudden
 A Roman thought hath struck him.—Enobarbus!
90 Seek him and bring him hither.—Where’s Alexas?
 Here at your service. My lord approaches.

Enter Antony with a Messenger.

 We will not look upon him. Go with us.
All but Antony and the Messenger exit.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
ANTONY Against my brother Lucius?
 But soon that war had end, and the time’s state
 Made friends of them, jointing their force ’gainst
 Whose better issue in the war from Italy
100 Upon the first encounter drave them.
ANTONY Well, what worst?
 The nature of bad news infects the teller.
 When it concerns the fool or coward. On.
 Things that are past are done, with me. ’Tis thus:
105 Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
 I hear him as he flattered.
MESSENGER  Labienus—
 This is stiff news—hath with his Parthian force
 Extended Asia: from Euphrates
110 His conquering banner shook, from Syria
 To Lydia and to Ionia,
ANTONY  “Antony,” thou wouldst say?
MESSENGER  O, my lord!
115 Speak to me home; mince not the general tongue.
 Name Cleopatra as she is called in Rome;
 Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults
 With such full license as both truth and malice
 Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds
120 When our quick winds lie still, and our ills told us
 Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.
MESSENGER At your noble pleasure.Messenger exits.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

Enter another Messenger.

 From Sicyon how the news? Speak there.
 The man from Sicyon—
ANTONY 125 Is there such an one?
 He stays upon your will.
ANTONY  Let him appear.
Second Messenger exits.
 These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
 Or lose myself in dotage.

Enter another Messenger with a letter.

130 What are you?
 Fulvia thy wife is dead.
ANTONY  Where died she?
 Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
135 Importeth thee to know, this bears.
He hands Antony the letter.
ANTONY  Forbear me.
Third Messenger exits.
 There’s a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it.
 What our contempts doth often hurl from us,
 We wish it ours again. The present pleasure,
140 By revolution lowering, does become
 The opposite of itself. She’s good, being gone.
 The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on.
 I must from this enchanting queen break off.
 Ten thousand harms more than the ills I know
145 My idleness doth hatch.—How now, Enobarbus!

Enter Enobarbus.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

ENOBARBUS What’s your pleasure, sir?
ANTONY I must with haste from hence.
ENOBARBUS Why then we kill all our women. We see
 how mortal an unkindness is to them. If they suffer
150 our departure, death’s the word.
ANTONY I must be gone.
ENOBARBUS Under a compelling occasion, let women
 die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing,
 though between them and a great cause, they
155 should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching
 but the least noise of this, dies instantly. I have seen
 her die twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do
 think there is mettle in death which commits some
 loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in
160 dying.
ANTONY She is cunning past man’s thought.
ENOBARBUS Alack, sir, no, her passions are made of
 nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot
 call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are
165 greater storms and tempests than almanacs can
 report. This cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she
 makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
ANTONY Would I had never seen her!
ENOBARBUS O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful
170 piece of work, which not to have been blest
 withal would have discredited your travel.
ANTONY Fulvia is dead.
ANTONY Fulvia is dead.
ENOBARBUS 175Fulvia?
ENOBARBUS Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice.
 When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a
 man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 2

180 Earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are
 worn out, there are members to make new. If there
 were no more women but Fulvia, then had you
 indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented. This grief
 is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings
185 forth a new petticoat, and indeed the tears live in an
 onion that should water this sorrow.
 The business she hath broachèd in the state
 Cannot endure my absence.
ENOBARBUS And the business you have broached here
190 cannot be without you, especially that of Cleopatra’s,
 which wholly depends on your abode.
 No more light answers. Let our officers
 Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
 The cause of our expedience to the Queen
195 And get her leave to part. For not alone
 The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
 Do strongly speak to us, but the letters too
 Of many our contriving friends in Rome
 Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
200 Hath given the dare to Caesar and commands
 The empire of the sea. Our slippery people,
 Whose love is never linked to the deserver
 Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
 Pompey the Great and all his dignities
205 Upon his son, who—high in name and power,
 Higher than both in blood and life—stands up
 For the main soldier; whose quality, going on,
 The sides o’ th’ world may danger. Much is
210 Which, like the courser’s hair, hath yet but life
 And not a serpent’s poison. Say our pleasure,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 3

 To such whose place is under us, requires
 Our quick remove from hence.
ENOBARBUS  I shall do ’t.
They exit.