List iconAntony and CleopatraList icon

Antony and Cleopatra
Act 1, scene 4



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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Scene 4
Enter Octavius Caesar, reading a letter,
Lepidus, and their Train.

 You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
 It is not Caesar’s natural vice to hate
 Our great competitor. From Alexandria
 This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
5 The lamps of night in revel, is not more manlike
 Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy
 More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
 Vouchsafed to think he had partners. You shall
 find there
10 A man who is th’ abstract of all faults
 That all men follow.
LEPIDUS  I must not think there are
 Evils enough to darken all his goodness.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 4

 His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven,
15 More fiery by night’s blackness, hereditary
 Rather than purchased, what he cannot change
 Than what he chooses.
 You are too indulgent. Let’s grant it is not
 Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy,
20 To give a kingdom for a mirth, to sit
 And keep the turn of tippling with a slave,
 To reel the streets at noon and stand the buffet
 With knaves that smells of sweat. Say this becomes
25 As his composure must be rare indeed
 Whom these things cannot blemish—yet must
 No way excuse his foils when we do bear
 So great weight in his lightness. If he filled
30 His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
 Full surfeits and the dryness of his bones
 Call on him for ’t. But to confound such time
 That drums him from his sport and speaks as loud
 As his own state and ours, ’tis to be chid
35 As we rate boys who, being mature in knowledge,
 Pawn their experience to their present pleasure
 And so rebel to judgment.

Enter a Messenger.

LEPIDUS  Here’s more news.
 Thy biddings have been done, and every hour,
40 Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report
 How ’tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea,
 And it appears he is beloved of those
 That only have feared Caesar. To the ports
 The discontents repair, and men’s reports
45 Give him much wronged.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 4

CAESAR  I should have known no less.
 It hath been taught us from the primal state
 That he which is was wished until he were,
 And the ebbed man, ne’er loved till ne’er worth love,
50 Comes feared by being lacked. This common body,
 Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
 Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide
 To rot itself with motion.

Enter a Second Messenger.

SECOND MESSENGER Caesar, I bring thee word
55 Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
 Makes the sea serve them, which they ear and
 With keels of every kind. Many hot inroads
 They make in Italy—the borders maritime
60 Lack blood to think on ’t—and flush youth revolt.
 No vessel can peep forth but ’tis as soon
 Taken as seen, for Pompey’s name strikes more
 Than could his war resisted.
CAESAR  Antony,
65 Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
 Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew’st
 Hirsius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
 Did famine follow, whom thou fought’st against,
 Though daintily brought up, with patience more
70 Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink
 The stale of horses and the gilded puddle
 Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did
 The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.
75 Yea, like the stag when snow the pasture sheets,
 The barks of trees thou browsèd. On the Alps
 It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh
 Which some did die to look on. And all this—

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 1. SC. 5

 It wounds thine honor that I speak it now—
80 Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek
 So much as lanked not.
LEPIDUS ’Tis pity of him.
CAESAR Let his shames quickly
 Drive him to Rome. ’Tis time we twain
85 Did show ourselves i’ th’ field, and to that end
 Assemble we immediate council. Pompey
 Thrives in our idleness.
LEPIDUS  Tomorrow, Caesar,
 I shall be furnished to inform you rightly
90 Both what by sea and land I can be able
 To front this present time.
CAESAR  Till which encounter,
 It is my business too. Farewell.
 Farewell, my lord. What you shall know meantime
95 Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
 To let me be partaker.
 Doubt not, sir. I knew it for my bond.
They exit.