Antony and Cleopatra Act 4, Scene 15 Summary & Analysis
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At her tomb, Cleopatra tells Charmian she will never leave the place. Diomedes enters and tells her that Antony is dying, but not yet dead. Antony is carried in by some guards, and Cleopatra calls out to him. Antony tells her not to worry, because, “Not Caesar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony, / But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.”
Having just brought an important message from Cleopatra to Antony, Diomedes now brings one from Antony to Cleopatra. Antony tries to find comfort in his own death by emphasizing his honor, as he has not been killed by his enemy Octavius.
Antony tells Cleopatra that he is dying, but that he wants to kiss her one last time. Cleopatra tells him that she will not be taken prisoner by Octavius, but will end her own life, “if knife, drugs, serpents, have / Edge, sting, or operation.” But as Antony is dying, he tells Cleopatra to “seek your honour, with your safety,” at the hands of Octavius. Cleopatra responds, “they do not go together.”
Cleopatra and Antony’s love appears to be genuine in the end, despite all the manipulation and anger between them earlier in the play. Cleopatra vows to match Antony’s manly courage, and refuses to betray Antony. But given her earlier deceptions, how sincere are her promises?
Antony tells Cleopatra not to lament at his death, but to remember him as “the greatest prince o’ the world, / The noblest. . . a Roman by a Roman / Valiantly vanquish’d.” Antony dies, and Cleopatra cries out, “The crown o’ the earth doth melt. My lord!” She faints, and then recollects herself. She orders for Antony to buried “after the high Roman fashion,” and tells her servants that they “have no friend / But resolution, and the briefest end.”
Antony wants to be remembered as a powerful, honorable Roman man. Cleopatra is moved by her love for Antony and is determined to end her own life now. She seems to have put aside all deception toward Antony.