At her palace, Cleopatra complains to Charmian, Iras, and Mardian that Antony is mad. Charmian suggests that she go to her monumental tomb (which has already been built ahead of time), lock herself inside, and send Antony word that she is dead. Cleopatra agrees with the plan and tells Mardian to tell Antony that she has killed herself and that the last word she spoke was his name.
Antony is no longer bewitched by his affection for Cleopatra, and resolutely believes she has betrayed him. So, she resorts to one last act of manipulation, to make Antony think she has died so he will feel how much he misses her. Cleopatra approaches her personal relationships with as much strategizing as generals approach a battle.