List iconAntony and Cleopatra:
Act 2, scene 6
List icon

Antony and Cleopatra
Act 2, scene 6



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 6
Flourish. Enter Pompey and Menas at one door,
with Drum and Trumpet; at another Caesar, Lepidus,
Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, and Agrippa,
with Soldiers marching.

 Your hostages I have, so have you mine,
 And we shall talk before we fight.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

CAESAR  Most meet
 That first we come to words, and therefore have we
5 Our written purposes before us sent,
 Which if thou hast considered, let us know
 If ’twill tie up thy discontented sword
 And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
 That else must perish here.
POMPEY 10 To you all three,
 The senators alone of this great world,
 Chief factors for the gods: I do not know
 Wherefore my father should revengers want,
 Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar,
15 Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
 There saw you laboring for him. What was ’t
 That moved pale Cassius to conspire? And what
 Made the all-honored, honest, Roman Brutus,
 With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous
20 freedom,
 To drench the Capitol, but that they would
 Have one man but a man? And that is it
 Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden
 The angered ocean foams, with which I meant
25 To scourge th’ ingratitude that despiteful Rome
 Cast on my noble father.
CAESAR  Take your time.
 Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails.
 We’ll speak with thee at sea. At land thou know’st
30 How much we do o’ercount thee.
POMPEY  At land indeed
 Thou dost o’ercount me of my father’s house;
 But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
 Remain in ’t as thou mayst.
LEPIDUS 35 Be pleased to tell us—
 For this is from the present—how you take
 The offers we have sent you.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

CAESAR  There’s the point.
 Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
40 What it is worth embraced.
CAESAR  And what may follow
 To try a larger fortune.
POMPEY  You have made me offer
 Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
45 Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
 Measures of wheat to Rome. This ’greed upon,
 To part with unhacked edges and bear back
 Our targes undinted.
ALL  That’s our offer.
POMPEY 50 Know then
 I came before you here a man prepared
 To take this offer. But Mark Antony
 Put me to some impatience.—Though I lose
 The praise of it by telling, you must know
55 When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
 Your mother came to Sicily and did find
 Her welcome friendly.
ANTONY  I have heard it, Pompey,
 And am well studied for a liberal thanks,
60 Which I do owe you.
POMPEY  Let me have your hand.
They clasp hands.
 I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
 The beds i’ th’ East are soft; and thanks to you,
 That called me timelier than my purpose hither,
65 For I have gained by ’t.
CAESAR, to Pompey  Since I saw you last,
 There’s a change upon you.
POMPEY  Well, I know not
 What counts harsh Fortune casts upon my face,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

70 But in my bosom shall she never come
 To make my heart her vassal.
LEPIDUS  Well met here.
 I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.
 I crave our composition may be written
75 And sealed between us.
CAESAR  That’s the next to do.
 We’ll feast each other ere we part, and let’s
 Draw lots who shall begin.
ANTONY  That will I, Pompey.
80 No, Antony, take the lot. But, first or last,
 Your fine Egyptian cookery shall have
 The fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
 Grew fat with feasting there.
ANTONY You have heard much.
POMPEY 85I have fair meanings, sir.
ANTONY And fair words to them.
POMPEY Then so much have I heard.
 And I have heard Apollodorus carried—
 No more of that. He did so.
POMPEY 90 What, I pray you?
 A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
 I know thee now. How far’st thou, soldier?
 And well am like to do, for I perceive
95 Four feasts are toward.
POMPEY  Let me shake thy hand.
 I never hated thee. I have seen thee fight
 When I have envied thy behavior.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

100 I never loved you much, but I ha’ praised you
 When you have well deserved ten times as much
 As I have said you did.
POMPEY  Enjoy thy plainness;
 It nothing ill becomes thee.—
105 Aboard my galley I invite you all.
 Will you lead, lords?
ALL  Show ’s the way, sir.
They exit, except for Enobarbus and Menas.
MENAS, aside Thy father, Pompey, would ne’er have
110 made this treaty.—You and I have known, sir.
ENOBARBUS At sea, I think.
MENAS We have, sir.
ENOBARBUS You have done well by water.
MENAS And you by land.
ENOBARBUS 115I will praise any man that will praise me,
 though it cannot be denied what I have done by
MENAS Nor what I have done by water.
ENOBARBUS Yes, something you can deny for your own
120 safety: you have been a great thief by sea.
MENAS And you by land.
ENOBARBUS There I deny my land service. But give me
 your hand, Menas. They clasp hands. If our eyes
 had authority, here they might take two thieves
125 kissing.
MENAS All men’s faces are true, whatsome’er their
 hands are.
ENOBARBUS But there is never a fair woman has a true
MENAS 130No slander. They steal hearts.
ENOBARBUS We came hither to fight with you.
MENAS For my part, I am sorry it is turned to a

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 2. SC. 6

 drinking. Pompey doth this day laugh away his
ENOBARBUS 135If he do, sure he cannot weep ’t back
MENAS You’ve said, sir. We looked not for Mark Antony
 here. Pray you, is he married to Cleopatra?
ENOBARBUS Caesar’s sister is called Octavia.
MENAS 140True, sir. She was the wife of Caius Marcellus.
ENOBARBUS But she is now the wife of Marcus
MENAS Pray you, sir?
ENOBARBUS ’Tis true.
MENAS 145Then is Caesar and he forever knit together.
ENOBARBUS If I were bound to divine of this unity, I
 would not prophesy so.
MENAS I think the policy of that purpose made more in
 the marriage than the love of the parties.
ENOBARBUS 150I think so, too. But you shall find the band
 that seems to tie their friendship together will be
 the very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy,
 cold, and still conversation.
MENAS Who would not have his wife so?
ENOBARBUS 155Not he that himself is not so, which is
 Mark Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again.
 Then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in
 Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is the
 strength of their amity shall prove the immediate
160 author of their variance. Antony will use his affection
 where it is. He married but his occasion here.
MENAS And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard?
 I have a health for you.
ENOBARBUS I shall take it, sir. We have used our throats
165 in Egypt.
MENAS Come, let’s away.
They exit.