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

Antony and Cleopatra
Act 2, 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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Scene 2
Enter Enobarbus and Lepidus.

 Good Enobarbus, ’tis a worthy deed,
 And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
 To soft and gentle speech.
ENOBARBUS  I shall entreat him
5 To answer like himself. If Caesar move him,
 Let Antony look over Caesar’s head
 And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
 Were I the wearer of Antonio’s beard,
 I would not shave ’t today.
10 ’Tis not a time for private stomaching.
ENOBARBUS Every time serves for the matter that is
 then born in ’t.
 But small to greater matters must give way.
ENOBARBUS Not if the small come first.
15 Your speech is passion; but pray you stir
 No embers up. Here comes the noble Antony.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

Enter, at one door, Antony and Ventidius.

ENOBARBUS And yonder Caesar.

Enter, at another door, Caesar,
Maecenas, and Agrippa.

ANTONY, to Ventidius 
 If we compose well here, to Parthia.
 Hark, Ventidius.They talk aside.
CAESAR, to Maecenas 
20 I do not know, Maecenas. Ask Agrippa.
LEPIDUS, to Caesar and Antony Noble friends,
 That which combined us was most great, and let not
 A leaner action rend us. What’s amiss,
 May it be gently heard. When we debate
25 Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
 Murder in healing wounds. Then, noble partners,
 The rather for I earnestly beseech,
 Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
 Nor curstness grow to th’ matter.
ANTONY 30 ’Tis spoken well.
 Were we before our armies, and to fight,
 I should do thus.Flourish.
CAESAR Welcome to Rome.
ANTONY Thank you.
ANTONY Sit, sir.
CAESAR Nay, then.They sit.
 I learn you take things ill which are not so,
 Or, being, concern you not.
CAESAR 40 I must be laughed at
 If or for nothing or a little, I
 Should say myself offended, and with you
 Chiefly i’ th’ world; more laughed at, that I should

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Once name you derogately when to sound your
45 name
 It not concerned me.
 My being in Egypt, Caesar, what was ’t to you?
 No more than my residing here at Rome
 Might be to you in Egypt. Yet if you there
50 Did practice on my state, your being in Egypt
 Might be my question.
ANTONY  How intend you, practiced?
 You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
 By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother
55 Made wars upon me, and their contestation
 Was theme for you; you were the word of war.
 You do mistake your business. My brother never
 Did urge me in his act. I did inquire it,
 And have my learning from some true reports
60 That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
 Discredit my authority with yours,
 And make the wars alike against my stomach,
 Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
 Before did satisfy you. If you’ll patch a quarrel,
65 As matter whole you have to make it with,
 It must not be with this.
CAESAR  You praise yourself
 By laying defects of judgment to me; but
 You patched up your excuses.
ANTONY 70 Not so, not so.
 I know you could not lack—I am certain on ’t—
 Very necessity of this thought, that I,
 Your partner in the cause ’gainst which he fought,
 Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

75 Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
 I would you had her spirit in such another.
 The third o’ th’ world is yours, which with a snaffle
 You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
ENOBARBUS Would we had all such wives, that the men
80 might go to wars with the women!
 So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar,
 Made out of her impatience—which not wanted
 Shrewdness of policy too—I grieving grant
 Did you too much disquiet. For that you must
85 But say I could not help it.
CAESAR  I wrote to you
 When rioting in Alexandria; you
 Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
 Did gibe my missive out of audience.
ANTONY 90 Sir,
 He fell upon me ere admitted, then;
 Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
 Of what I was i’ th’ morning. But next day
 I told him of myself, which was as much
95 As to have asked him pardon. Let this fellow
 Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
 Out of our question wipe him.
CAESAR  You have broken
 The article of your oath, which you shall never
100 Have tongue to charge me with.
LEPIDUS Soft, Caesar!
ANTONY No, Lepidus, let him speak.
 The honor is sacred which he talks on now,
 Supposing that I lacked it.—But on, Caesar:
105 The article of my oath?
 To lend me arms and aid when I required them,
 The which you both denied.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

ANTONY  Neglected, rather;
 And then when poisoned hours had bound me up
110 From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may
 I’ll play the penitent to you. But mine honesty
 Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
 Work without it. Truth is that Fulvia,
 To have me out of Egypt, made wars here,
115 For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
 So far ask pardon as befits mine honor
 To stoop in such a case.
LEPIDUS  ’Tis noble spoken.
 If it might please you to enforce no further
120 The griefs between you, to forget them quite
 Were to remember that the present need
 Speaks to atone you.
LEPIDUS  Worthily spoken, Maecenas.
ENOBARBUS Or, if you borrow one another’s love for
125 the instant, you may, when you hear no more words
 of Pompey, return it again. You shall have time to
 wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.
 Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.
ENOBARBUS That truth should be silent I had almost
130 forgot.
 You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
ENOBARBUS Go to, then. Your considerate stone.
 I do not much dislike the matter, but
 The manner of his speech; for ’t cannot be
135 We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
 So diff’ring in their acts. Yet if I knew
 What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to
 O’ th’ world I would pursue it.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

AGRIPPA 140Give me leave, Caesar.
CAESAR Speak, Agrippa.
 Thou hast a sister by the mother’s side,
 Admired Octavia. Great Mark Antony
 Is now a widower.
CAESAR 145 Say not so, Agrippa.
 If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
 Were well deserved of rashness.
 I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear
 Agrippa further speak.
150 To hold you in perpetual amity,
 To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
 With an unslipping knot, take Antony
 Octavia to his wife, whose beauty claims
 No worse a husband than the best of men;
155 Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
 That which none else can utter. By this marriage
 All little jealousies, which now seem great,
 And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
 Would then be nothing. Truths would be tales,
160 Where now half-tales be truths. Her love to both
 Would each to other and all loves to both
 Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke,
 For ’tis a studied, not a present thought,
 By duty ruminated.
ANTONY 165 Will Caesar speak?
 Not till he hears how Antony is touched
 With what is spoke already.
ANTONY What power is in Agrippa,
 If I would say “Agrippa, be it so,”
170 To make this good?

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

CAESAR  The power of Caesar, and
 His power unto Octavia.
ANTONY  May I never
 To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
175 Dream of impediment. Let me have thy hand.
 Further this act of grace; and from this hour
 The heart of brothers govern in our loves
 And sway our great designs.
CAESAR  There’s my hand.
They clasp hands.
180 A sister I bequeath you whom no brother
 Did ever love so dearly. Let her live
 To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
 Fly off our loves again.
LEPIDUS  Happily, amen!
185 I did not think to draw my sword ’gainst Pompey,
 For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
 Of late upon me. I must thank him only,
 Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
 At heel of that, defy him.
LEPIDUS 190 Time calls upon ’s.
 Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
 Or else he seeks out us.
ANTONY Where lies he?
CAESAR About the Mount Misena.
ANTONY 195What is his strength by land?
CAESAR Great and increasing;
 But by sea he is an absolute master.
ANTONY So is the fame.
 Would we had spoke together. Haste we for it.
200 Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
 The business we have talked of.
CAESAR  With most gladness,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

 And do invite you to my sister’s view,
 Whither straight I’ll lead you.
205 Let us, Lepidus, not lack your company.
 Noble Antony, not sickness should detain me.
Flourish. All but Enobarbus, Agrippa, and
Maecenas exit.

MAECENAS, to Enobarbus Welcome from Egypt, sir.
ENOBARBUS Half the heart of Caesar, worthy
 Maecenas!—My honorable friend Agrippa!
AGRIPPA 210Good Enobarbus!
MAECENAS We have cause to be glad that matters are so
 well digested. You stayed well by ’t in Egypt.
ENOBARBUS Ay, sir, we did sleep day out of countenance
 and made the night light with drinking.
MAECENAS 215Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast,
 and but twelve persons there. Is this true?
ENOBARBUS This was but as a fly by an eagle. We had
 much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily
 deserved noting.
MAECENAS 220She’s a most triumphant lady, if report be
 square to her.
ENOBARBUS When she first met Mark Antony, she
 pursed up his heart upon the river of Cydnus.
AGRIPPA There she appeared indeed, or my reporter
225 devised well for her.
ENOBARBUS I will tell you.
 The barge she sat in like a burnished throne
 Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold,
 Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
230 The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were
 Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
 The water which they beat to follow faster,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 2

 As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
235 It beggared all description: she did lie
 In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue—
 O’erpicturing that Venus where we see
 The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
 Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
240 With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem
 To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
 And what they undid did.
AGRIPPA  O, rare for Antony!
 Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
245 So many mermaids, tended her i’ th’ eyes,
 And made their bends adornings. At the helm
 A seeming mermaid steers. The silken tackle
 Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
 That yarely frame the office. From the barge
250 A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
 Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
 Her people out upon her; and Antony,
 Enthroned i’ th’ market-place, did sit alone,
 Whistling to th’ air, which but for vacancy
255 Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too
 And made a gap in nature.
AGRIPPA  Rare Egyptian!
 Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
 Invited her to supper. She replied
260 It should be better he became her guest,
 Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
 Whom ne’er the word of “No” woman heard speak,
 Being barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast,
 And for his ordinary pays his heart
265 For what his eyes eat only.
AGRIPPA  Royal wench!

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 3

 She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed;
 He ploughed her, and she cropped.
ENOBARBUS  I saw her once
270 Hop forty paces through the public street,
 And having lost her breath, she spoke and panted,
 That she did make defect perfection,
 And breathless pour breath forth.
 Now Antony must leave her utterly.
ENOBARBUS 275Never. He will not.
 Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
 Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
 The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
 Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
280 Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
 Bless her when she is riggish.
 If beauty, wisdom, modesty can settle
 The heart of Antony, Octavia is
 A blessèd lottery to him.
AGRIPPA 285 Let us go.
 Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
 Whilst you abide here.
ENOBARBUS  Humbly, sir, I thank you.
They exit.