List iconAntony and Cleopatra:
Act 2, scene 5
List icon

Antony and Cleopatra
Act 2, scene 5



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 5
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Alexas.

 Give me some music—music, moody food
 Of us that trade in love.
ALL  The music, ho!

Enter Mardian the eunuch.

 Let it alone. Let’s to billiards. Come, Charmian.
5 My arm is sore. Best play with Mardian.
 As well a woman with an eunuch played
 As with a woman.—Come, you’ll play with me, sir?
MARDIAN As well as I can, madam.
 And when good will is showed, though ’t come too
10 short,
 The actor may plead pardon. I’ll none now.
 Give me mine angle; we’ll to th’ river. There,
 My music playing far off, I will betray
 Tawny-finned fishes. My bended hook shall pierce
15 Their slimy jaws, and as I draw them up
 I’ll think them every one an Antony
 And say “Aha! You’re caught.”

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 5

CHARMIAN  ’Twas merry when
 You wagered on your angling; when your diver
20 Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
 With fervency drew up.
CLEOPATRA  That time?—O, times!—
 I laughed him out of patience; and that night
 I laughed him into patience; and next morn,
25 Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed,
 Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
 I wore his sword Philippan.

Enter a Messenger.

 O, from Italy!
 Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
30 That long time have been barren.
MESSENGER  Madam, madam—
 Antonio’s dead! If thou say so, villain,
 Thou kill’st thy mistress. But well and free,
 If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
35 My bluest veins to kiss, a hand that kings
 Have lipped and trembled kissing.
MESSENGER First, madam, he is well.
 Why, there’s more gold. But sirrah, mark, we use
 To say the dead are well. Bring it to that,
40 The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
 Down thy ill-uttering throat.
MESSENGER Good madam, hear me.
CLEOPATRA Well, go to, I will.
 But there’s no goodness in thy face—if Antony
45 Be free and healthful, so tart a favor
 To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
 Thou shouldst come like a Fury crowned with snakes,
 Not like a formal man.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 5

MESSENGER  Will ’t please you hear me?
50 I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak’st.
 Yet if thou say Antony lives, is well,
 Or friends with Caesar or not captive to him,
 I’ll set thee in a shower of gold and hail
 Rich pearls upon thee.
MESSENGER 55 Madam, he’s well.
CLEOPATRA  Well said.
 And friends with Caesar.
CLEOPATRA  Th’ art an honest man.
 Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
60 Make thee a fortune from me.
MESSENGER  But yet, madam—
 I do not like “But yet.” It does allay
 The good precedence. Fie upon “But yet.”
 “But yet” is as a jailer to bring forth
65 Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
 Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
 The good and bad together: he’s friends with Caesar,
 In state of health, thou say’st, and, thou say’st, free.
 Free, madam, no. I made no such report.
70 He’s bound unto Octavia.
CLEOPATRA  For what good turn?
 For the best turn i’ th’ bed.
CLEOPATRA  I am pale, Charmian.
 Madam, he’s married to Octavia.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 5

75 The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
Strikes him down.
MESSENGER Good madam, patience!
CLEOPATRA What say you?Strikes him.
 Hence, horrible villain, or I’ll spurn thine eyes
 Like balls before me! I’ll unhair thy head!
She hales him up and down.
80 Thou shalt be whipped with wire and stewed in
 Smarting in ling’ring pickle.
MESSENGER  Gracious madam,
 I that do bring the news made not the match.
85 Say ’tis not so, a province I will give thee
 And make thy fortunes proud. The blow thou hadst
 Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage,
 And I will boot thee with what gift beside
 Thy modesty can beg.
MESSENGER 90 He’s married, madam.
 Rogue, thou hast lived too long.Draw a knife.
MESSENGER  Nay then, I’ll run.
 What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.
He exits.
 Good madam, keep yourself within yourself.
95 The man is innocent.
 Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt.
 Melt Egypt into Nile, and kindly creatures
 Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again.
 Though I am mad, I will not bite him. Call!
100 He is afeard to come.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 5

CLEOPATRA  I will not hurt him.
 These hands do lack nobility that they strike
 A meaner than myself, since I myself
 Have given myself the cause.

Enter the Messenger again.

105 Come hither, sir.
 Though it be honest, it is never good
 To bring bad news. Give to a gracious message
 An host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell
 Themselves when they be felt.
MESSENGER 110I have done my duty.
CLEOPATRA Is he married?
 I cannot hate thee worser than I do
 If thou again say “yes.”
MESSENGER  He’s married, madam.
115 The gods confound thee! Dost thou hold there still?
 Should I lie, madam?
CLEOPATRA  O, I would thou didst,
 So half my Egypt were submerged and made
 A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence.
120 Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
 Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
 I crave your Highness’ pardon.
CLEOPATRA  He is married?
 Take no offense that I would not offend you.
125 To punish me for what you make me do
 Seems much unequal. He’s married to Octavia.
 O, that his fault should make a knave of thee

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

 That art not what th’ art sure of! Get thee hence.
 The merchandise which thou hast brought from
130 Rome
 Are all too dear for me. Lie they upon thy hand,
 And be undone by ’em!Messenger exits.
CHARMIAN  Good your Highness,
135 In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.
CHARMIAN Many times, madam.
 I am paid for ’t now. Lead me from hence;
 I faint. O, Iras, Charmian! ’Tis no matter.—
 Go to the fellow, good Alexas. Bid him
140 Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
 Her inclination; let him not leave out
 The color of her hair. Bring me word quickly.
Alexas exits.
 Let him forever go—let him not, Charmian.
 Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
145 The other way ’s a Mars. (To Mardian.) Bid you
 Bring me word how tall she is.—Pity me,
 But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.
They exit.