All For Love

Cleopatra Character Analysis

Cleopatra is the queen of Egypt and the lover of Antony. She is famously beautiful and charismatic, and by her own account has received many marriage proposals. But although she has been involved with other men before—most notably Julius Caesar, before the events of the play—she is unshakably loyal to Antony, whom she regards as her great love. For instance, although she toys with the possibility of flirting with Antony’s friend Dollabella in order to make Antony jealous, she ultimately can’t go through with it because she loves Antony too much. She is jealous of Antony’s legal wife, Octavia, and frequently laments her socially degraded status as Antony’s mistress. She is tempestuous, passionate, and self-dramatizing. For example, she alternatively rages and cries in order to stop Antony from leaving Egypt. And she is theatrical to the end of her life, when she commits suicide dressed in her crown and royal robes. She dies in order to avoid humiliating capture by Octavius, demonstrating her pride in her royal lineage as well as her romantic devotion to Antony. Seeing that he is dead, she declares that her life is no longer living. She hopes they will meet in heaven and be waited on by many loving couples—demonstrating that she sees herself as a great success as a romantic heroine, if not as a ruler.

Cleopatra Quotes in All For Love

The All For Love quotes below are all either spoken by Cleopatra or refer to Cleopatra. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of All For Love published in 2004.
Preface Quotes

[T]he crimes of love which they both committed were not occasioned by any necessity or fatal ignorance, but were wholly voluntary, since our passions are, or ought to be, within our power.

Related Characters: Antony, Cleopatra
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1 Quotes

Can any Roman see and know him now,

Thus altered from the lord of half mankind,
Unbent, unsinewed, made a woman’s toy,
Shrunk from the vast extent of all his honours,
And cramped within a corner of the world?

Related Characters: Ventidius (speaker), Antony, Cleopatra
Related Symbols: Cleopatra’s Ruby Bracelet
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
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But I have lost my reason, have disgraced
The name of soldier with inglorious ease[.]

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Ventidius, Octavius
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
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And I will leave her; though, Heaven knows, I love
Beyond life, conquest, empire, all but honour;

But I will leave her.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Ventidius
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2 Quotes

Moderate sorrow
Fits vulgar love, and for a vulgar man;
But I have loved with such transcendent passion,
I soared at first quite out of reason’s view.

Related Characters: Cleopatra (speaker), Antony
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
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[W]e have loved each other
Into our mutual ruin.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Octavius
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3 Quotes

But yet the loss was private that I made;
’Twas but myself I lost: I lost no legions;
I had no world to lose, no people’s love.

Related Characters: Dollabella (speaker), Antony, Cleopatra
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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For I can ne’er be conquered but by love,
And you do all for duty.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Octavia
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4 Quotes

Nature meant me
A wife, a silly, harmless, household dove,
Fond without art, and kind without deceit;
But Fortune, that has made a mistress of me,
Has thrust me out to the wide world.

Related Characters: Cleopatra (speaker), Antony, Octavia
Page Number: 102-103
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5 Quotes

My Queen is dead.
I was but great for her; my power, my empire
Were but my merchandise to buy her love,
And conquered kings, my factors.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Ventidius
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ten years’ love,
And not a moment lost, but all improved
To th’utmost joys: what ages have we lived!
And now to die each other’s; and so dying,
While hand in hand we walk in groves below,
Whole troops of lovers’ ghosts shall flock about us,
And all the train be ours.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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Let dull Octavia
Survive to mourn him dead; my nobler fate
Shall knit our spousals with a tie too strong

For Roman laws to break.

Related Characters: Cleopatra (speaker), Antony, Octavia
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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Cleopatra Character Timeline in All For Love

The timeline below shows where the character Cleopatra appears in All For Love. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...acknowledging that many people before him—including William Shakespeare—have re-told the famous story of Antony and Cleopatra. He decided to write his own version, he explains, because he thinks the play offers... (full context)
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...used artistic license in making Octavia, Antony’s Roman wife, come to Egypt and (unhistorically) meet Cleopatra. He defends himself for creating this fictional meeting on the grounds that it is dramatically... (full context)
Prologue
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...principal characters: Antony, a decent but “somewhat lewd” man, his wife Octavia, and his mistress Cleopatra. (full context)
Act 1
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suddenly Alexas, Queen Cleopatra’s eunuch, appears and accuses Serapion of making up stories and drinking too much at the... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Antony has locked himself in the temple and refuses to see Cleopatra, hoping to cure himself of his love for her. Serapion and Myris fear for Egypt’s... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...Ventidius protests at the Egyptians taking a holiday at this dire moment. Alexas protests that Cleopatra loves Antony and that Antony loves her in return. Ventidius agrees but compares Cleopatra to... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...fight for Antony if he comes to them. They do not want to fight for Cleopatra in Egypt, since they think that Antony is her “slave.” Ventidius criticizes Antony for throwing... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...enough to be able to hear these hard truths. Ventidius repeats that Antony must leave Cleopatra, and Antony agrees—although he says he loves her above all else, “all but honour.” Although... (full context)
Act 2
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Cleopatra is in despair at the news that Antony is leaving her. Alexas counsels her to... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...him after all his help and mentorship. Alexas arrives and delivers a message (supposedly) from Cleopatra to Antony: she loves him and commends him to the care of his soldiers. She... (full context)
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Cleopatra also sends Antony a bracelet made of rubies in the shape of bleeding hearts. Ventidius... (full context)
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Cleopatra enters with her maids. Antony tells her that they have “loved each other / Into... (full context)
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Cleopatra acknowledges that he is right to reproach her, but sorrowfully says that Antony must no... (full context)
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Cleopatra swoons and protests pathetically that she only wants to die. At this, Antony embraces her,... (full context)
Act 3
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Cleopatra’s court performs an elaborate dance. Cleopatra crowns Antony and Antony reaffirms his love for her,... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...used to have a friend: Dollabella, a loyal soldier who was also in love with Cleopatra. Antony sent him away as a result, and now Dollabella fights for Octavius. Ventidius encourages... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...some truths of his own. He asks Dollabella to recall the first time he saw Cleopatra, sailing on an elaborately-decorated barge down the river. Although Cleopatra had collaborated in the murder... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...but also doesn’t want to treat her dishonorably. Ventidius and Dollabella urge Antony to abandon Cleopatra and take back Octavia, pointing out that “you have ruined [her], / And yet she... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...own castration—which has barred him from ever experiencing the joys of love and sex himself. Cleopatra enters and weeps at the news that Octavia has stolen Antony back. Alexas assures her... (full context)
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Octavia enters and meets with Cleopatra. Octavia brings up Cleopatra’s sexual past with Caesar in order to insult her, and haughtily... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...competing to see who has suffered the most in their relationships with Antony. Octavia accuses Cleopatra of stealing Antony’s wife, children, reputation, power, and political standing. Cleopatra says that she has... (full context)
Act 4
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Antony orders Dollabella to inform Cleopatra of his departure, since Ventidius would be too harsh with her. Dollabella begs Antony not... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...always made open to “the world’s open view.” Dollabella begins to contemplate trying to win Cleopatra from Antony, since he is still in love with her. Overhearing this, Ventidius gleefully hopes... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Alexas urges Cleopatra to use Dollabella’s feelings for her to make Antony jealous. Cleopatra protests at the idea... (full context)
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 Cleopatra asks Dollabella, Iras, and Charmion what they have been talking about. Dollabella claims that they... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
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Cleopatra asks whether Antony sent this news regretfully. Dollabella lies and says that Antony spoke harshly... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Ventidius and Octavia spy on Dollabella and Cleopatra. They misinterpret the gesture of Dollabella taking Cleopatra’s hand, assuming that Cleopatra has abandoned Antony.... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Ventidius asks Alexas to confirm the report of Cleopatra’s unchastity, calling him a pimp and accusing him of enabling the “nightly change” to a... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...much distress at the loss of an “abandoned, faithless prostitute,” suggesting that he still loves Cleopatra more. Ventidius begs her to retire, but the enraged Octavia tells Antony that she will... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...to the world rather than concealing them. He calls Dollabella to him and asks how Cleopatra took the news of his departure. Dollabella says that Cleopatra still loves Antony, even to... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
When Cleopatra enters, Antony shouts at her and Dollabella, accusing them of betraying him. He demands that... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Antony points out that Cleopatra and Dollabella’s only witnesses to prove that they’re telling the truth are each other—and the... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Antony refuses to believe it. Cleopatra begs for one more look from him, protesting that he wouldn’t even send away a... (full context)
Act 5
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Cleopatra is in despair at Antony’s abandonment. She tries to kill herself with a dagger, but... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...still hope: Octavia is gone, Dollabella is banished, and thus the way is open for Cleopatra to make her way back into Antony’s heart. Meanwhile, the Egyptian ships are in the... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Antony is in a rage at the Egyptian fleet’s betrayal and is apparently raving at Cleopatra. Alexas advises Cleopatra to go hide in her monument for the time being, since Antony... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...find some way to save his life. Meanwhile, Antony enters with Ventidius. They rant against Cleopatra and the Egyptians who betrayed them, and Antony asks if there is any way to... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
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...enters, and Ventidius draws his sword and threatens to kill him. Antony once again accuses Cleopatra of betraying him to Octavius. Alexas tells him that Cleopatra is gone, and Antony at... (full context)
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Ventidius rejoices at Cleopatra’s death, only expressing regret that she hadn’t died earlier (since then Antony might have been... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...says “he’s welcome now.” He explains that all he wants now is to die, since Cleopatra was the “jewel” that made his life worth living. All his conquests, glory, and honors... (full context)
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Antony then falls on his sword, hoping to join Ventidius and Cleopatra. However, he misses his heart and begins bleeding out on the floor. He hears the... (full context)
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Cleopatra begs the gods to keep Antony alive, but he tells her gently that this cannot... (full context)
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Cleopatra proclaims that she will die with Antony as his wife, in a bond that no... (full context)
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Alone with Antony’s corpse, Cleopatra kisses his lips, observing that they are now alone again, like lovers. Iras and Charmion... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...fall gently into sleep. Serapion shouts from outside that Octavius is at the palace gates. Cleopatra quickly bares her arm and lets the snake bite her. As the guards begin to... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...priests, and Alexas (who is in chains) enter the room. Horrified by the spectacle of Cleopatra and Iras’s bodies (as Iras has also killed herself with Cleopatra), Serapion asks Charmion “is... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Serapion observes how noble Antony and Cleopatra look, as if they ruled half the world. He is glad that the lovers are... (full context)