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Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 3, Scene 13

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Enter CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS

CLEOPATRA

What shall we do, Enobarbus?

CLEOPATRA

What we will do, Enobarbus?

ENOBARBUS

Think and die.

ENOBARBUS

Consider our situation and die.

CLEOPATRA

Is Antony or we in fault for this?

CLEOPATRA

Is Antony at fault for this, or am I?

ENOBARBUS

Antony only, that would make his will Lord of his reason. What though you fled From that great face of war, whose several ranges Frighted each other? Why should he follow? The itch of his affection should not then Have nicked his captainship at such a point When half to half the world opposed, he being The merèd question. ’Twas a shame no less Than was his loss, to course your flying flags And leave his navy gazing.

ENOBARBUS

Only Antony, who allowed his appetite to overcome his reason. What does it matter that you fled from the dangerous battlefield, where ranks of ships frightened both sides? Why should he have followed you? His affection for you shouldn't have undermined his skill as captain, while one half of the world opposed the other, and when he himself was the reason for this fight. His shame was as great as his loss, when he followed the flags of your fleeing ships and left his navy watching him go.

CLEOPATRA

Prithee, peace.

CLEOPATRA

Please, be quiet.

Enter AMBASSADOR with ANTONY

ANTONY

Is that his answer?

ANTONY

Is that Caesar's answer?

AMBASSADOR

Ay, my lord.

AMBASSADOR

Yes, my lord.

ANTONY

The Queen shall then have courtesy, so sheWill yield us up?

ANTONY

He will treat the Queen favorably, so long as she hands me over to him?

AMBASSADOR

He says so.

AMBASSADOR

That's what he says. 

ANTONY

Let her know ’t.— [To CLEOPATRA] To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head, And he will fill thy wishes to the brim With principalities.

ANTONY

Let the queen know. 

[To CLEOPATRA] If you send my old body to that young boy Caesar, he will give you all the kingdoms you wish.

CLEOPATRA

That head, my lord?

CLEOPATRA

That body, my lord?

ANTONY

[To the AMBASSADOR] To him again. Tell him he wears therose Of youth upon him, from which the world should note Something particular. His coin, ships, legions, May be a coward’s, whose ministers would prevail Under the service of a child as soon As i’ th’ command of Caesar. I dare him therefore To lay his gay caparisons apart And answer me declined, sword against sword, Ourselves alone. I’ll write it. Follow me.

ANTONY

[To the AMBASSADOR] Go to him again. Tell him that he's still in the first bloom of youth, and the world should expect remarkable things from him. His money, ships, and legions of troops might just as well belong to a coward. His agents may be so gifted that they would win under the command of a child just as well as under Caesar. Therefore, I dare him to set aside his flashy decorations and answer my challenge, even though I am well past the prime of my youth, to fight sword to sword, just the two of us. I'll write the message. Come with me. 

Exeunt ANTONY and AMBASSADOR

ENOBARBUS

[aside] Yes, like enough, high-battled Caesar will Unstate his happiness and be staged to th’ show Against a sworder! I see men’s judgments are A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward Do draw the inward quality after them To suffer all alike. That he should dream, Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued His judgment too.

ENOBARBUS

[To himself] Yes, I'm sure it's very likely that Caesar, with all his armies, will give up his advantage and agree to show himself in public and fight against a trained swordsman! I see that men's judgment improves or declines in accordance with their luck. External events shape our inner qualities, so that if we suffer externally, we suffer internally too. How could he dream, having known both good and bad fortune, that Caesar, with all his good fortune, would answer a challenge from a man in such bad condition! Caesar, you've destroyed his judgment too. 

Enter a SERVANT

SERVANT

A messenger from Caesar.

SERVANT

A messenger from Caesar. 

CLEOPATRA

What, no more ceremony? See, my women, Against the blown rose may they stop their nose, That kneeled unto the buds.—Admit him, sir.

CLEOPATRA

Why dob't you treat me with more respect? See, my women, how when a great person has fallen low, the people who once kneeled before her instead turn their nose up at her. Let him in, sir.

Exit SERVANT

ENOBARBUS

[aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square. The loyalty well held to fools does make Our faith mere folly. Yet he that can endure To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord Does conquer him that did his master conquer And earns a place i’ th’ story.

ENOBARBUS

[To himself] My judgment begins to come into conflict with my honor. To be loyal to fools makes our loyalty simply an act of foolishness. But whoever has the perseverance to follow his lord faithfully even after his lord has fallen, proves that he is stronger even than the person who conquered his master, and so makes a great name for himself. 

Enter THIDIAS

CLEOPATRA

Caesar’s will?

CLEOPATRA

What does Caesar want?

THIDIAS

Hear it apart.

THIDIAS

Listen to my message in private.

CLEOPATRA

None but friends. Say boldly.

CLEOPATRA

We are all friends here. Say what you have to say. 

THIDIAS

So haply are they friends to Antony.

THIDIAS

It may be that they are friends to Antony. 

ENOBARBUS

He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has, Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master Will leap to be his friend. For us, you know Whose he is we are, and that is Caesar’s.

ENOBARBUS

Antony needs as many friends as Caesar, sir, and if things are very bad, even we won't be any use to him. If Caesar is willing, our master will willingly be his friend. As for you, you know that we obey whomever Antony obeys, and that is Caesar. 

THIDIAS

So.— Thus then, thou most renowned: Caesar entreats Not to consider in what case thou stand’st, Further than he is Caesar.

THIDIAS

So be it. Here is the situation, then, oh most renowned queen: Caesar asks that you not concern yourself with your current situation, given that you know his reputation as a generous man.

CLEOPATRA

Go on. Right royal.

CLEOPATRA

Go on. That is generous indeed.

THIDIAS

He knows that you embrace not AntonyAs you did love, but as you feared him.

THIDIAS

He knows that you took Antony as your lover not because you loved him, but because you feared him.

CLEOPATRA

Oh!

CLEOPATRA

Oh!

THIDIAS

The scars upon your honor therefore heDoes pity as constrainèd blemishes,Not as deserved.

THIDIAS

Therefore, he pities the damage done to your honor as a blemish you were forced to endure, not as something you deserved.

CLEOPATRA

He is a god and knowsWhat is most right. Mine honor was not yielded,But conquered merely.

CLEOPATRA

Caesar is a god, and he knows what is just. I did not yield to Antony voluntarily, I was merely overpowered. 

ENOBARBUS

[aside] To be sure of that, I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for Thy dearest quit thee.

ENOBARBUS

[To himself] I'll ask Antony to make sure that that's true. Antony, Antony, you have fallen so low that we must abandon you to your disgrace, for even those who love you most are deserting you.

Exit ENOBARBUS

THIDIAS

Shall I say to Caesar What you require of him? For he partly begs To be desired to give. It much would please him That of his fortunes you should make a staff To lean upon. But it would warm his spirits To hear from me you had left Antony And put yourself under his shroud, The universal landlord.

THIDIAS

Shall I tell Caesar what you want from him? For he likes to be asked to give. It would please him greatly if you would show your support by appealing to his power. But it would make him truly happy to hear from me that you had abandoned Antony and turned to him, the ruler of the world, for shelter.

CLEOPATRA

What’s your name?

CLEOPATRA

What's your name?

THIDIAS

My name is Thidias.

THIDIAS

My name is Thidias.

CLEOPATRA

Most kind messenger, Say to great Caesar this in deputation: I kiss his conqu’ring hand. Tell him I am prompt To lay my crown at ’s feet, and there to kneel. Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear The doom of Egypt.

CLEOPATRA

Most kind messenger, tell this to Caesar as my representative: I kiss his conquering hand. Tell him I am ready immediately to lay my crown at his feet and to kneel there. Tell him that I will obey him and let him decide the fate of Egypt. 

THIDIAS

’Tis your noblest course. Wisdom and fortune combating together, If that the former dare but what it can, No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay My duty on your hand.

THIDIAS

That is the most honorable course of action. When wisdom fights against fortune, so long as wisdom does everything it can, no bad luck can defeat it. Give me permission to show my faithfulness by kissing your hand.

He kisses her hand

CLEOPATRA

Your Caesar’s father oft, When he hath mused of taking kingdoms in, Bestowed his lips on that unworthy place As it rained kisses.

CLEOPATRA

Julius Caesar, father of your master Octavius, while he thought about conquering kingdoms, often put his lips on my unworthy hand  and rained kisses on it. 

Enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS

ANTONY

Favors? By Jove that thunders!What art thou, fellow?

ANTONY

Kisses? By thundering Jove! Who are you, my man? 

THIDIAS

One that but performsThe bidding of the fullest man, and worthiestTo have command obeyed.

THIDIAS

I obey the commands of the man who is the most powerful and who most deserves to have his commands obeyed. 

ENOBARBUS

You will be whipped.

ENOBARBUS

You'll be whipped.

ANTONY

(calling for servants] Approach, there! [To THIDIAS] Ah, you kite!—Now, gods and devils! Authority melts from me. Of late, when I cried “Ho!” Like boys unto a muss kings would start forth And cry, “Your will?” (calling to servants] Have you no ears? I am Antony yet.

ANTONY

[Calling for servants] You over there, come here!

[To CLEOPATRA] Ah, you whore! Now, gods and devils! I lose all my authority. Not long ago, when I cried "Ho!" kings would dart forward like boys towards a meal and cry, "What do you wish?" 

[Calling to servants] Do you have no ears? I am still Antony.

Enter a SERVANT, followed by others

Take hence this jack and whip him.

Take this scoundrel out of here and whip him.

ENOBARBUS

[aside] ’Tis better playing with a lion’s whelpThan with an old one dying.

ENOBARBUS

[Aside] It's less dangerous to mess with a powerful man's messenger than with a man who was once powerful and now rages against his downfall. 

ANTONY

Moon and stars! Whip him. Were ’t twenty of the greatest tributaries That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them So saucy with the hand of she here—what’s her name Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows, Till like a boy, you see him cringe his face And whine aloud for mercy. Take him hence.

ANTONY

Moon and stars! Whip him. Even if there were twenty of the greatest monarchs who pay tribute to Caesar, if I found them being so intimately familiar with the hand of this woman here—what's her name since she stopped being Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows, until you see him cringe like a boy and whine aloud for mercy. Take him away. 

THIDIAS

Mark Antony—

THIDIAS

Mark Antony—

ANTONY

Tug him away! Being whipped,Bring him again. This jack of Caesar’s shallBear us an errand to him.

ANTONY

Pull him away! Whip him, and bring him back again. This scoundrel of Caesar's will take a message to him for me. 

Exeunt SERVANTS with THIDIAS

[To CLEOPATRA] You were half blasted ere I knew you. Ha! Have I my pillow left unpressed in Rome, Forborne the getting of a lawful race, And by a gem of women, to be abused By one that looks on feeders?

ANTONY

[To CLEOPATRA] You were half decayed before I met you! Ha! Have I abandoned my home in Rome, neglected the chance to beget a family of legitimate children with a noble woman, only to abused by someone who bestows favors on servants?

CLEOPATRA

Good my lord—

CLEOPATRA

My good lord—

ANTONY

You have been a boggler ever. But when we in our viciousness grow hard— Oh, misery on ’t!— the wise gods seel our eyes, In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us Adore our errors, laugh at ’s while we strut To our confusion.

ANTONY

You have always been fickle. But when we grow set in our vicious ways—oh, what misery it is!—the wise gods close our eyes, cloud our good judgment through our own bad behavior, make us love our mistakes, and laugh at us as we bring about our own ruin. 

CLEOPATRA

Oh, is ’t come to this?

CLEOPATRA

Oh, is this what you think now?

ANTONY

I found you as a morsel cold upon Dead Caesar’s trencher. Nay, you were a fragment Of Gneius Pompey’s, besides what hotter hours, Unregistered in vulgar fame, you have Luxuriously picked out. For I am sure, Though you can guess what temperance should be, You know not what it is.

ANTONY

When I met you, you had been used up by the dead Caesar. No, you had been used up even more so by Gneius Pompey—and by other men, too, that you wantonly went after, in lustful moments that gossip never picked up on. For I'm sure, that although you can guess how a mild woman ought to behave, that you have never been pleasant yourself. 

CLEOPATRA

Wherefore is this?

CLEOPATRA

Why are you talking like this? 

ANTONY

To let a fellow that will take rewards And say “God quit you!” be familiar with My playfellow, your hand, this kingly seal And plighter of high hearts! Oh, that I were Upon the hill of Basan, to outroar The hornèd herd! For I have savage cause, And to proclaim it civilly were like A haltered neck which does the hangman thank For being yare about him.

ANTONY

To let a man that accepts favors and says, "May God repay you!" be intimate with your hand, the hand that I have played with, that bestows the royal seal, and drinks toasts to all those with great spirits! Oh, if only I were on the hill of Basan, so I could roar louder than the bulls! For I have reason to behave savagely. To speak about my wrongs calmly would be as ignoble as a condemned man thanking the hangman for hanging him quickly. 

Enter a SERVANT with THIDIAS

Is he whipped?

Has he been whipped?

SERVANT

Soundly, my lord.

SERVANT

Thoroughly, my lord.

ANTONY

Cried he? And begged he pardon?

ANTONY

Did he cry? And did he ask for mercy?

SERVANT

He did ask favor.

SERVANT

He did ask for some relief.

ANTONY

[To THIDIAS] If that thy father live, let him repent Thou wast not made his daughter, and be thou sorry To follow Caesar in his triumph, since Thou hast been whipped for following him. Henceforth The white hand of a lady fever thee; Shake thou to look on ’t. Get thee back to Caesar. Tell him thy entertainment. Look thou say He makes me angry with him, for he seems Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am, Not what he knew I was. He makes me angry, And at this time most easy ’tis to do ’t, When my good stars, that were my former guides, Have empty left their orbs and shot their fires Into th’ abysm of hell. If he mislike My speech and what is done, tell him he has Hipparchus, my enfranchèd bondman, whom He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture, As he shall like, to quit me. Urge it thou. Hence with thy stripes, begone!

ANTONY

[To THIDIAS] If your father is alive, let him be sorry that you weren't born a girl. And you should be sorry that you follow Caesar and his success, since you've been whipped for doing so. From now on, be as terrified of a lady's white hand as you would be of a fever; shake with fear to look at it. Get back to Caesar. Tell him how you were treated. Be sure to tell him how angry he makes me for continuing to focus on my present disgrace, rather than on my past glories. He's making me angry, and right now it's very easy to do that, since the lucky stars that used to guide me have left their positions in the sky and drenched their lights in the pit of hell. If he doesn't like what I have said and done, tell him that he has Hipparchus, my freed slave, and that he may freely whip or hang or torture him, just as he likes, to get revenge on me. Tell him that. Get out of here with your wounds, be gone!

Exit THIDIAS

CLEOPATRA

Have you done yet?

CLEOPATRA

Are you finished yet?

ANTONY

Alack, our terrene moon is now eclipsed,And it portends alone the fall of Antony.

ANTONY

Alas, the great Cleopatra's power is gone, and this alone foretells that I will fall too.

CLEOPATRA

[aside] I must stay his time.

CLEOPATRA

[To herself] I must keep quiet until he has calmed down.

ANTONY

To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyesWith one that ties his points?

ANTONY

To flatter Caesar, would you flirt with one of his servants?

CLEOPATRA

Not know me yet?

CLEOPATRA

Don't you know me at all by now?

ANTONY

Coldhearted toward me?

ANTONY

How can you still be coldhearted towards me?

CLEOPATRA

Ah, dear, if I be so, From my cold heart let heaven engender hail, And poison it in the source, and the first stone Drop in my neck. As it determines, so Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite, Till by degrees the memory of my womb, Together with my brave Egyptians all, By the discandying of this pelleted storm Lie graveless till the flies and gnats of Nile Have buried them for prey!

CLEOPATRA

Ah, dear, if I am, may heaven create hail in my cold heart and poison it at the source, and may the first hailstone that falls lodge in my throat. As it melts, let it kill me! Let the next stone kill my son Caesarion, until gradually all my children, together with all my brave Egyptians, are killed by the dissolving hailstones of this storm and lie unburied until the flies and gnats of the Nile have buried them as their prey!

ANTONY

I am satisfied. Caesar sits down in Alexandria, where I will oppose his fate. Our force by land Hath nobly held. Our severed navy too Have knit again, and fleet, threat’ning most sealike. Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady? If from the field I shall return once more To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood. I and my sword will earn our chronicle. There’s hope in ’t yet.

ANTONY

I am satisfied of your feelings for me. Caesar lays siege to Alexandria, where I will oppose him and put an end to his good luck. Our armies on land have withstood him nobly. Our dispersed navy, too, has come together again and their ships are afloat, presenting a most seaworthy threat. Where has my courage gone? Do you hear me, my lady? If I return from the field again to kiss your lips, I will be bloody and have new vigor. My sword and I will earn a good reputation. There's hope for our side yet. 

CLEOPATRA

That’s my brave lord!

CLEOPATRA

That's my brave lord! 

ANTONY

I will be treble-sinewed, -hearted, -breathed, And fight maliciously. For when mine hours Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives Of me for jests; but now I’ll set my teeth And send to darkness all that stop me. Come, Let’s have one other gaudy night. Call to me All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more. Let’s mock the midnight bell.

ANTONY

I will be three times as strong, as brave, and as persevering, and fight furiously. For when I had good fortune and could act however I pleased, I was so merciful that men could ransom their lives from me for a mere trifle. But now I'll harden my heart and destroy everyone that opposes me. Come, let's have one more night of celebration. Call all my sad captains to join me. Fill our cups once more. We won't care how late it is, we will mock the late hour by celebrating.

CLEOPATRA

It is my birthday.I had thought t’ have held it poor; but since my lordIs Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.

CLEOPATRA

It is my birthday. I thought I would have no celebrations—but since my lord is acting like himself again, I will be myself again too. 

ANTONY

We will yet do well.

ANTONY

We will still triumph.

CLEOPATRA

[To ENOBARBUS] Call all his noble captains to my lord.

CLEOPATRA

[To ENOBARBUS] Call all my lord's noble captains to him.

ANTONY

Do so. We’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force The wine peep through their scars. —Come on, my Queen, There’s sap in ’t yet. The next time I do fight I’ll make Death love me, for I will contend Even with his pestilent scythe.

ANTONY

Do that. We'll speak to them, and tonight I'll make them drink so much that the wine will leak out through their scarred skin. 

[To CLEOPATRA] Come on, my queen. There's still hope for our side. The next time I fight, I'll make Death admire me, for I'll oppose even his fatal power. 

Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS

ENOBARBUS

Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still A diminution in our captain’s brain Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek Some way to leave him.

ENOBARBUS

Now he'll set himself against even the mightiest enemies. He is so riled up that his frenzy has driven out his fear, and in that mood, the weakest man will challenge the strongest. I can tell that our captain is regaining his bravery only because he has lost his judgment. When a man's courage destroys his reason, he destroys the very thing that could save him. I will look for some way to leave him.

Exit

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Maria devlin
About the Translator: Maria Devlin

Maria Devlin received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Harvard University, where she specialized in Renaissance drama. She has worked as a bibliographical and editorial assistant for The Norton Anthology of English Literature and for The Norton Shakespeare. She is currently working with Stephen Greenblatt to design online courses on Shakespeare, including the modules "Hamlet's Ghost" and "Shylock's Bond" offered through HarvardX. She is writing a book on Renaissance comedy.

Maria Devlin wishes to credit the following sources, which she consulted extensively in composing her translations and annotations:

William Shakespeare. The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition. Eds. Gary Taylor et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

William Shakespeare. The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed. Eds. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York: W.W. Norton& Company, Inc., 2016.