List iconAntony and Cleopatra:
Act 5, scene 2
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Antony and Cleopatra
Act 5, 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 Cleopatra, Charmian, and Iras.

 My desolation does begin to make
 A better life. ’Tis paltry to be Caesar;
 Not being Fortune, he’s but Fortune’s knave,
 A minister of her will. And it is great
5 To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
 Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
 Which sleeps and never palates more the dung,
 The beggar’s nurse, and Caesar’s.

Enter Proculeius.

 Caesar sends greeting to the Queen of Egypt,
10 And bids thee study on what fair demands
 Thou mean’st to have him grant thee.
CLEOPATRA  What’s thy name?
 My name is Proculeius.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

15 Did tell me of you, bade me trust you, but
 I do not greatly care to be deceived
 That have no use for trusting. If your master
 Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him
 That majesty, to keep decorum, must
20 No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
 To give me conquered Egypt for my son,
 He gives me so much of mine own as I
 Will kneel to him with thanks.
PROCULEIUS  Be of good cheer.
25 You’re fall’n into a princely hand; fear nothing.
 Make your full reference freely to my lord,
 Who is so full of grace that it flows over
 On all that need. Let me report to him
 Your sweet dependency, and you shall find
30 A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness
 Where he for grace is kneeled to.
CLEOPATRA  Pray you tell him
 I am his fortune’s vassal and I send him
 The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
35 A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
 Look him i’ th’ face.
PROCULEIUS  This I’ll report, dear lady.
 Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
 Of him that caused it.

Gallus and Soldiers enter and seize Cleopatra.

40 You see how easily she may be surprised.
 Guard her till Caesar come.
IRAS  Royal queen!
 O, Cleopatra, thou art taken, queen!
CLEOPATRA, drawing a dagger 
 Quick, quick, good hands!

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

PROCULEIUS, seizing the dagger 45 Hold, worthy lady, hold!
 Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
 Relieved, but not betrayed.
CLEOPATRA  What, of death, too,
 That rids our dogs of languish?
PROCULEIUS 50 Cleopatra,
 Do not abuse my master’s bounty by
 Th’ undoing of yourself. Let the world see
 His nobleness well acted, which your death
 Will never let come forth.
CLEOPATRA 55 Where art thou, Death?
 Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
 Worth many babes and beggars.
PROCULEIUS  O, temperance, lady!
 Sir, I will eat no meat; I’ll not drink, sir.
60 If idle talk will once be necessary—
 I’ll not sleep neither. This mortal house I’ll ruin,
 Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
 Will not wait pinioned at your master’s court,
 Nor once be chastised with the sober eye
65 Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up
 And show me to the shouting varletry
 Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
 Be gentle grave unto me; rather on Nilus’ mud
 Lay me stark naked, and let the waterflies
70 Blow me into abhorring; rather make
 My country’s high pyramides my gibbet
 And hang me up in chains!
PROCULEIUS  You do extend
 These thoughts of horror further than you shall
75 Find cause in Caesar.

Enter Dolabella.

DOLABELLA  Proculeius,
 What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
 I’ll take her to my guard.
PROCULEIUS 80 So, Dolabella,
 It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.
 To Cleopatra. To Caesar I will speak what you
 shall please,
 If you’ll employ me to him.
CLEOPATRA 85 Say I would die.
Proculeius, Gallus, and Soldiers exit.
 Most noble empress, you have heard of me.
 I cannot tell.
DOLABELLA  Assuredly you know me.
 No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
90 You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
 Is ’t not your trick?
DOLABELLA  I understand not, madam.
 I dreamt there was an emperor Antony.
 O, such another sleep, that I might see
95 But such another man.
DOLABELLA  If it might please you—
 His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck
 A sun and moon, which kept their course and
100 The little O, the Earth.
DOLABELLA  Most sovereign creature—
 His legs bestrid the ocean, his reared arm
 Crested the world. His voice was propertied
 As all the tunèd spheres, and that to friends;
105 But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
 There was no winter in ’t; an autumn ’twas
 That grew the more by reaping. His delights
 Were dolphin-like; they showed his back above
110 The element they lived in. In his livery
 Walked crowns and crownets; realms and islands
 As plates dropped from his pocket.
DOLABELLA  Cleopatra—
115 Think you there was, or might be, such a man
 As this I dreamt of?
DOLABELLA  Gentle madam, no.
 You lie up to the hearing of the gods!
 But if there be nor ever were one such,
120 It’s past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff
 To vie strange forms with fancy, yet t’ imagine
 An Antony were nature’s piece ’gainst fancy,
 Condemning shadows quite.
DOLABELLA  Hear me, good madam.
125 Your loss is as yourself, great; and you bear it
 As answering to the weight. Would I might never
 O’ertake pursued success but I do feel,
 By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
 My very heart at root.
CLEOPATRA 130 I thank you, sir.
 Know you what Caesar means to do with me?
 I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
 Nay, pray you, sir.
DOLABELLA  Though he be honorable—
CLEOPATRA 135He’ll lead me, then, in triumph.
DOLABELLA Madam, he will. I know ’t.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

Flourish. Enter Caesar, Proculeius, Gallus, Maecenas,
and others of his train.

ALL Make way there! Caesar!
CAESAR Which is the Queen of Egypt?
DOLABELLA It is the Emperor, madam.
Cleopatra kneels.
CAESAR 140Arise. You shall not kneel.
 I pray you, rise. Rise, Egypt.
CLEOPATRA  Sir, the gods
 Will have it thus. My master and my lord
 I must obey.She stands.
CAESAR 145 Take to you no hard thoughts.
 The record of what injuries you did us,
 Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
 As things but done by chance.
CLEOPATRA  Sole sir o’ th’ world,
150 I cannot project mine own cause so well
 To make it clear, but do confess I have
 Been laden with like frailties which before
 Have often shamed our sex.
CAESAR  Cleopatra, know
155 We will extenuate rather than enforce.
 If you apply yourself to our intents,
 Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find
 A benefit in this change; but if you seek
 To lay on me a cruelty by taking
160 Antony’s course, you shall bereave yourself
 Of my good purposes, and put your children
 To that destruction which I’ll guard them from
 If thereon you rely. I’ll take my leave.
 And may through all the world. ’Tis yours, and we,
165 Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
 Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
She holds out a paper.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
 This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels
 I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued,
170 Not petty things admitted.—Where’s Seleucus?

Enter Seleucus.

SELEUCUS Here, madam.
 This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord,
 Upon his peril, that I have reserved
 To myself nothing.—Speak the truth, Seleucus.
175 Madam, I had rather seel my lips
 Than to my peril speak that which is not.
CLEOPATRA What have I kept back?
 Enough to purchase what you have made known.
 Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve
180 Your wisdom in the deed.
CLEOPATRA  See, Caesar, O, behold
 How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours,
 And should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
 The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
185 Even make me wild.—O slave, of no more trust
 Than love that’s hired! What, goest thou back? Thou
 Go back, I warrant thee! But I’ll catch thine eyes
 Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
190 O rarely base!
CAESAR  Good queen, let us entreat you—
 O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
 That thou vouchsafing here to visit me,

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Doing the honor of thy lordliness
195 To one so meek, that mine own servant should
 Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
 Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
 That I some lady trifles have reserved,
 Immoment toys, things of such dignity
200 As we greet modern friends withal, and say
 Some nobler token I have kept apart
 For Livia and Octavia, to induce
 Their mediation, must I be unfolded
 With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
205 Beneath the fall I have. To Seleucus. Prithee, go
 Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
 Through th’ ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
 Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
CAESAR 210 Forbear, Seleucus.
Seleucus exits.
 Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
 For things that others do; and when we fall,
 We answer others’ merits in our name—
 Are therefore to be pitied.
CAESAR 215 Cleopatra,
 Not what you have reserved nor what acknowledged
 Put we i’ th’ roll of conquest. Still be ’t yours!
 Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe
 Caesar’s no merchant to make prize with you
220 Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be
 Make not your thoughts your prisons. No, dear
 For we intend so to dispose you as
225 Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed and sleep.
 Our care and pity is so much upon you
 That we remain your friend. And so adieu.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 My master and my lord!
CAESAR  Not so. Adieu.
Flourish. Caesar and his train exit.
230 He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
 Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian.
She whispers to Charmian.
 Finish, good lady. The bright day is done,
 And we are for the dark.
CLEOPATRA, to Charmian  Hie thee again.
235 I have spoke already, and it is provided.
 Go put it to the haste.
CHARMIAN  Madam, I will.

Enter Dolabella.

 Where’s the Queen?
CHARMIAN  Behold, sir.She exits.
CLEOPATRA 240 Dolabella.
 Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
 Which my love makes religion to obey,
 I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
 Intends his journey, and within three days
245 You with your children will he send before.
 Make your best use of this. I have performed
 Your pleasure and my promise.
CLEOPATRA  Dolabella,
 I shall remain your debtor.
DOLABELLA 250 I your servant.
 Adieu, good queen. I must attend on Caesar.
 Farewell, and thanks.He exits.
 Now, Iras, what think’st thou?

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Thou an Egyptian puppet shall be shown
255 In Rome as well as I. Mechanic slaves
 With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers shall
 Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
 Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded
 And forced to drink their vapor.
IRAS 260 The gods forbid!
 Nay, ’tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
 Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
 Ballad us out o’ tune. The quick comedians
 Extemporally will stage us and present
265 Our Alexandrian revels. Antony
 Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
 Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
 I’ th’ posture of a whore.
IRAS  O the good gods!
CLEOPATRA 270Nay, that’s certain.
 I’ll never see ’t! For I am sure mine nails
 Are stronger than mine eyes.
CLEOPATRA  Why, that’s the way
 To fool their preparation and to conquer
275 Their most absurd intents.

Enter Charmian.

 Now, Charmian!
 Show me, my women, like a queen. Go fetch
 My best attires. I am again for Cydnus
 To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah Iras, go.—
280 Now, noble Charmian, we’ll dispatch indeed,
 And when thou hast done this chare, I’ll give thee
 To play till Doomsday.—Bring our crown and all.
Iras exits. A noise within.
 Wherefore’s this noise?

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

Enter a Guardsman.

GUARDSMAN 285 Here is a rural fellow
 That will not be denied your Highness’ presence.
 He brings you figs.
 Let him come in.Guardsman exits.
 What poor an instrument
290 May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
 My resolution’s placed, and I have nothing
 Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
 I am marble-constant. Now the fleeting moon
 No planet is of mine.

Enter Guardsman and Countryman, with a basket.

GUARDSMAN 295 This is the man.
CLEOPATRA Avoid, and leave him.Guardsman exits.
 Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there
 That kills and pains not?
COUNTRYMAN Truly I have him, but I would not be
300 the party that should desire you to touch him, for
 his biting is immortal. Those that do die of it do
 seldom or never recover.
CLEOPATRA Remember’st thou any that have died on ’t?
COUNTRYMAN Very many, men and women too. I
305 heard of one of them no longer than yesterday—a
 very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a
 woman should not do but in the way of honesty—
 how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt.
 Truly, she makes a very good report o’ th’ worm.
310 But he that will believe all that they say shall never
 be saved by half that they do. But this is most
 falliable, the worm’s an odd worm.
CLEOPATRA Get thee hence. Farewell.
COUNTRYMAN I wish you all joy of the worm.
He sets down the basket.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

CLEOPATRA 315Farewell.
COUNTRYMAN You must think this, look you, that the
 worm will do his kind.
CLEOPATRA Ay, ay, farewell.
COUNTRYMAN Look you, the worm is not to be trusted
320 but in the keeping of wise people, for indeed there
 is no goodness in the worm.
CLEOPATRA Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.
COUNTRYMAN Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you,
 for it is not worth the feeding.
CLEOPATRA 325Will it eat me?
COUNTRYMAN You must not think I am so simple but
 I know the devil himself will not eat a woman. I
 know that a woman is a dish for the gods if the devil
 dress her not. But truly these same whoreson devils
330 do the gods great harm in their women, for in every
 ten that they make, the devils mar five.
CLEOPATRA Well, get thee gone. Farewell.
COUNTRYMAN Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o’ th’
 worm.He exits.

Enter Iras bearing Cleopatra’s royal regalia.

335 Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I have
 Immortal longings in me. Now no more
 The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.
Charmian and Iras begin to dress her.
 Yare, yare, good Iras, quick. Methinks I hear
 Antony call. I see him rouse himself
340 To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
 The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
 To excuse their after wrath.—Husband, I come!
 Now to that name my courage prove my title.
 I am fire and air; my other elements
345 I give to baser life.—So, have you done?

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
 Farewell, kind Charmian.—Iras, long farewell.
She kisses them. Iras falls and dies.
 Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
 If thou and nature can so gently part,
350 The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
 Which hurts and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
 If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
 It is not worth leave-taking.
 Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
355 The gods themselves do weep!
CLEOPATRA  This proves me base.
 If she first meet the curlèd Antony,
 He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
 Which is my heaven to have.—Come, thou mortal
360 wretch,She places an asp on her breast.
 With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
 Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool,
 Be angry and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,
 That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
365 Unpolicied!
CHARMIAN  O eastern star!
CLEOPATRA  Peace, peace!
 Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
 That sucks the nurse asleep?
CHARMIAN 370 O, break! O, break!
 As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle—
 O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee too.
She places an asp on her arm.
 What should I stay—Dies.
CHARMIAN In this wild world? So, fare thee well.
375 Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies
 A lass unparalleled. Downy windows, close,
She closes Cleopatra’s eyes.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 And golden Phoebus, never be beheld
 Of eyes again so royal. Your crown’s awry.
 I’ll mend it, and then play—

Enter the Guard rustling in.

380 Where’s the Queen?
CHARMIAN  Speak softly. Wake her not.
 Caesar hath sent—
CHARMIAN  Too slow a messenger.
She takes out an asp.
 O, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
385 Approach, ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s beguiled.
 There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.
A Guardsman exits.
 What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?
 It is well done, and fitting for a princess
 Descended of so many royal kings.
390 Ah, soldier!Charmian dies.

Enter Dolabella.

 How goes it here?
DOLABELLA  Caesar, thy thoughts
 Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming
395 To see performed the dreaded act which thou
 So sought’st to hinder.

Enter Caesar and all his train, marching.

ALL A way there, a way for Caesar!

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

 O sir, you are too sure an augurer:
 That you did fear is done.
CAESAR 400Bravest at the last,
 She leveled at our purposes and, being royal,
 Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
 I do not see them bleed.
DOLABELLA  Who was last with them?
405 A simple countryman that brought her figs.
 This was his basket.
CAESAR  Poisoned, then.
 This Charmian lived but now; she stood and spake.
410 I found her trimming up the diadem
 On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
 And on the sudden dropped.
CAESAR  O, noble weakness!
 If they had swallowed poison, ’twould appear
415 By external swelling; but she looks like sleep,
 As she would catch another Antony
 In her strong toil of grace.
DOLABELLA  Here on her breast
 There is a vent of blood, and something blown.
420 The like is on her arm.
 This is an aspic’s trail, and these fig leaves
 Have slime upon them, such as th’ aspic leaves
 Upon the caves of Nile.
CAESAR  Most probable
425 That so she died, for her physician tells me
 She hath pursued conclusions infinite
 Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed,
 And bear her women from the monument.
 She shall be buried by her Antony.

Antony and Cleopatra
ACT 5. SC. 2

430 No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
 A pair so famous. High events as these
 Strike those that make them; and their story is
 No less in pity than his glory which
 Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
435 In solemn show attend this funeral,
 And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
 High order in this great solemnity.
They all exit, the Guards
bearing the dead bodies.