A line-by-line translation

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 3, Scene 6

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter AGRIPPA, MECAENAS, and CAESAR

CAESAR

Contemning Rome, he has done all this and more In Alexandria. Here’s the manner of ’t: I’ th’ marketplace, on a tribunal silvered, Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold Were publicly enthroned. At the feet sat Caesarion, whom they call my father’s son, And all the unlawful issue that their lust Since then hath made between them. Unto her He gave the stablishment of Egypt, made her Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia, Absolute Queen.

CAESAR

Anthony condemned Rome, and that's not all. Here's what happened: in the marketplace, on a silver platform, he and Cleopatra were publicly enthroned in chairs of gold. At their feet sat Caesarion, whom they say is my father's son, along with all the illegitimate children that their lust has generated between them. Antony gave her full possession of Egypt and made her absolute ruler of lower Syria, Cyprus, and Lydia. 

MAECENAS

This in the public eye?

MAECENAS

He did this in public?

CAESAR

I’ th’ common showplace, where they exercise. His sons he there proclaimed the kings of kings: Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assigned Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia . She In th’ habiliments of the goddess Isis That day appeared, and oft before gave audience, As ’tis reported, so.

CAESAR

In the public arena, where people play sports. There, he proclaimed his sons to be the kings of kings. He gave great Media, Parthia, and Aremenia to Alexander; he gave Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia to Ptolemy. She appeared that day dressed like the goddess Isis, and it is said that she has often appeared in public in that costume. 

MAECENAS

Let Rome be thus informed.

MAECENAS

Let the people in Rome know this. 

AGRIPPA

Who, queasy with his insolence already,Will their good thoughts call from him.

AGRIPPA

The Romans are already indignant at his disrespectful behavior and will stop thinking well of him. 

CAESAR

The people knows it, and have now receivedHis accusations.

CAESAR

The people know it already, and have now heard the accusations that he makes in order to justify his behavior. 

AGRIPPA

Who does he accuse?

AGRIPPA

Who does he accuse? 

CAESAR

Caesar, and that, having in Sicily Sextus Pompeius spoiled, we had not rated him His part o’ th’ isle. Then does he say he lent me Some shipping, unrestored. Lastly, he frets That Lepidus of the triumvirate Should be deposed, and, being, that we detain All his revenue.

CAESAR

He accuses me, because after we defeated Sextus Pompey in Sicily, we did not give him his share of the island. He also says that he lent me some goods that I have not returned. Finally, he's upset that Lepidus has been cut out of the triumvirate and claims that I have kept all of Lepidus's property.

AGRIPPA

Sir, this should be answered.

AGRIPPA

Sir, some answer should be made to these accusations.

CAESAR

’Tis done already, and the messenger gone. I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel, That he his high authority abused And did deserve his change. For what I have conquered, I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia, And other of his conquered kingdoms, I Demand the like.

CAESAR

It has already been done, and the messenger has left with my reply. I told him that Lepidus had grown too cruel and had abused his high position of power and so deserved to be deposed. I will give him part of the lands I have conquered; but then, I will demand that he give me part of Armenia and the other kingdoms he has conquered. 

MAECENAS

He’ll never yield to that.

MAECENAS

He'll never agree to that. 

CAESAR

Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

CAESAR

Then I should not agree to his terms. 

Enter OCTAVIA with her train

OCTAVIA

Hail, Caesar, and my lord! Hail, most dear Caesar!

OCTAVIA

Hail, Caesar, my lord! Hail, most dear Caesar!

CAESAR

That ever I should call thee castaway!

CAESAR

Oh what a pity that I should ever call you a castaway!

OCTAVIA

You have not called me so, nor have you cause.

OCTAVIA

You haven't called me one, and you have no reason to.

CAESAR

Why have you stol’n upon us thus? You come not Like Caesar’s sister. The wife of Antony Should have an army for an usher and The neighs of horse to tell of her approach Long ere she did appear. The trees by th’ way Should have borne men, and expectation fainted, Longing for what it had not. Nay, the dust Should have ascended to the roof of heaven, Raised by your populous troops. But you are come A market-maid to Rome and have prevented The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown, Is often left unloved. We should have met you By sea and land, supplying every stage With an augmented greeting.

CAESAR

Why have you snuck up on us like this? You don't come in the style that's appropriate for Caesar's sister. Antony's wife should be escorted by an army, with neighing horses to announce her arrival before she appears. Crowds should have climbed trees on the side of the road expecting to see you and fainted when they didn't see the sight they longed to see. In fact, you should have been preceded by so many troops that the dust raised by their feet would reach up to the sky. But you have traveled to Rome like a common maid going to the market and prevented me from publicly displaying my love, and when love isn't shown, it's often unappreciated. I would have met you at sea and on land, with a more spectacular greeting at every stage of the journey.

OCTAVIA

Good my lord, To come thus was I not constrained, but did it On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony, Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted My grievèd ear withal, whereon I begged His pardon for return.

OCTAVIA

My good lord, I wasn't forced to travel this way, but I did it of my own free will. My lord, Mark Antony, heard that you were preparing for war and told me about it, which upset me so much that I begged his permission to return. 

CAESAR

Which soon he granted,Being an obstruct ’tween his lust and him.

CAESAR

And he soon gave you his permission, since you are an obstacle that prevents him from satisfying his lust. 

OCTAVIA

Do not say so, my lord.

OCTAVIA

Do not say that, my lord.

CAESAR

I have eyes upon him,And his affairs come to me on the wind.Where is he now?

CAESAR

I'm having him watched, and messengers tell me what he is up to. Where is he now?

OCTAVIA

My lord, in Athens.

OCTAVIA

In Athens, my lord. 

CAESAR

No, my most wrongèd sister. Cleopatra Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire Up to a whore; who now are levying The kings o’ th’ earth for war. He hath assembled Bocchus, the King of Libya; Archelaus, Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, King Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas; King Manchus of Arabia; King of Pont; Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, King Of Comagen; Polemon and Amyntas, The Kings of Mede and Lycaonia, With a more larger list of scepters.

CAESAR

No, my mistreated sister. Cleopatra has summoned him to her. He's given up his empire to a whore, and they are now marshaling all the kings on earth for war. He has assembled Boccus, the king of Libya; Archelaus, of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas; King Manchus of Arabia; King of Pont; Herod of Judea; Mithridates, King of Comegen; Polemon and Amyntas, the kings of Mede and Lycaonia, among others. 

OCTAVIA

Ay me, most wretched,That have my heart parted betwixt two friendsThat does afflict each other!

OCTAVIA

Oh dear, I am a most wretched woman to have my affections torn between two friends who plague each other!

CAESAR

Welcome hither. Your letters did withhold our breaking forth Till we perceived both how you were wrong led And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart. Be you not troubled with the time, which drives O’er your content these strong necessities, But let determined things to destiny Hold unbewailed their way. Welcome to Rome, Nothing more dear to me. You are abused Beyond the mark of thought, and the high gods, To do you justice, makes his ministers Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort, And ever welcome to us.

CAESAR

You're welcome here. Your letters kept me from waging open war until I knew both that you were being deceived and that I was in danger due to my negligence. Be cheerful. Don't be troubled by the current situation, when these obligations threaten to ruin your peace of mind. Don't worry about things that have already been decided. Welcome to Rome, you are more dear to me than anything. You are more abused than anyone could comprehend, and the gods make me and those who love you their agents to bring about justice for you. You bring me most comfort, and you are always welcome with me. 

AGRIPPA

Welcome, lady.

AGRIPPA

Welcome, lady.

MAECENAS

Welcome, dear madam. Each heart in Rome does love and pity you. Only th’ adulterous Antony, most large In his abominations, turns you off And gives his potent regiment to a trull That noises it against us.

MAECENAS

Welcome, dear madam. Every person in Rome loves you and pities you with all their heart. Only the adulterous Antony, great in his faults, abandons you and gives his great political power to a whore who opposes us. 

OCTAVIA

[To CAESAR] Is it so, sir?

OCTAVIA

[To CAESAR] Is that true, sir?

CAESAR

Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray youBe ever known to patience. My dear’st sister!

CAESAR

It's certain. Sister, welcome. Please, try always to be patient. My dearest sister!

Exeunt

Antony and cleopatra
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Antony and Cleopatra Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 656 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,269 quotes covering 656 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.