At Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria, Antony is ashamed of having fled the battle of Actium. He tells his attendants to go and “make your peace with Caesar.” He laments his cowardly behavior, and encourages his attendants to go and seek Octavius’ mercy. Cleopatra enters with Charmian, Iras, and Eros. The three encourage her to comfort Antony, as he continues to berate himself.
Antony is ashamed of his dishonorable, cowardly, and (stereotypically) unmanly behavior. He has given up on plotting to defeat Octavius and has accepted defeat, encouraging his own followers to leave him.
Eros tries to get Antony to listen to Cleopatra, and he exclaims, “O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt?” Cleopatra asks for his forgiveness and says she didn’t think he would follow her ship when she fled the battle. Antony tells her she should have known his heart was “to thy rudder tied by the strings,” so that she dragged him after her. He resolves to send “humble treaties” to Octavius and surrender. He says his sword is “made weak by my affection,” kisses Cleopatra, and calls for wine and food.
Antony blames his misfortune on Cleopatra, and says that his love for her has led him astray. He relinquishes all thoughts of power and plans to surrender to Octavius. He now agrees with others who worried that he was being made weak by Cleopatra’s love, and he resigns himself to indulging pathetically in food and drink.