A line-by-line translation

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 3, Scene 7

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Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS

CLEOPATRA

I will be even with thee, doubt it not.

CLEOPATRA

I will get even with you, have no doubts about that.

ENOBARBUS

But why, why, why?

ENOBARBUS

But why, why, why?

CLEOPATRA

Thou hast forspoke my being in these warsAnd sayst it is not fit.

CLEOPATRA

You say I shouldn't take part in this war and that it isn't appropriate. 

ENOBARBUS

Well, is it, is it?

ENOBARBUS

Well, is it appropriate, is it?

CLEOPATRA

Is ’t not denounced against us? Why should not weBe there in person?

CLEOPATRA

Isn't the war declared against me? Why shouldn't I be there in person? 

ENOBARBUS

Well, I could reply, If we should serve with horse and mares together, The horse were merely lost. The mares would bear A soldier and his horse.

ENOBARBUS

Well, If I could, I would say that if we were to go to war with both men and women, the men would be undone by the women. The women would seduce the male soldiers. 

CLEOPATRA

What is ’t you say?

CLEOPATRA

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ENOBARBUS

Your presence needs must puzzle Antony, Take from his heart, take from his brain, from ’s time What should not then be spared. He is already Traduced for levity, and ’tis said in Rome That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids Manage this war.

ENOBARBUS

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CLEOPATRA

Sink Rome! And their tongues rot That speak against us! A charge we bear i’ th’ war, And as the president of my kingdom will Appear there for a man. Speak not against it. I will not stay behind.

CLEOPATRA

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Enter ANTONY and CANIDIUS

ENOBARBUS

Nay, I have done.Here comes the Emperor.

ENOBARBUS

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ANTONY

Is it not strange, Canidius, That from Tarentum and Brundusium He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea And take in Toryne? —You have heard on ’t, sweet?

ANTONY

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CLEOPATRA

Celerity is never more admiredThan by the negligent.

CLEOPATRA

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ANTONY

A good rebuke, Which might have well becomed the best of men, To taunt at slackness. —Canidius, we will fight With him by sea.

ANTONY

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CLEOPATRA

By sea, what else?

CLEOPATRA

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CANIDIUS

Why willMy lord do so?

CANIDIUS

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ANTONY

For that he dares us to ’t.

ANTONY

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ENOBARBUS

So hath my lord dared him to single fight.

ENOBARBUS

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CANIDIUS

Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia, Where Caesar fought with Pompey. But these offers, Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off, And so should you.

CANIDIUS

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ENOBARBUS

Your ships are not well manned, Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people Engrossed by swift impress. In Caesar’s fleet Are those that often have ’gainst Pompey fought. Their ships are yare, yours, heavy. No disgrace Shall fall you for refusing him at sea, Being prepared for land.

ENOBARBUS

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ANTONY

By sea, by sea.

ANTONY

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ENOBARBUS

Most worthy sir, you therein throw away The absolute soldiership you have by land, Distract your army, which doth most consist Of war-marked footmen, leave unexecuted Your own renownèd knowledge, quite forego The way which promises assurance, and Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard From firm security.

ENOBARBUS

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ANTONY

I’ll fight at sea.

ANTONY

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CLEOPATRA

I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

CLEOPATRA

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ANTONY

Our overplus of shipping will we burn, And with the rest full-manned, from th’ head of Actium Beat th’ approaching Caesar. But if we fail, We then can do ’t at land.

ANTONY

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Enter a MESSENGER

Thy business?

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MESSENGER

The news is true, my lord. He is descried.Caesar has taken Toryne.

MESSENGER

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Exit

ANTONY

Can he be there in person? ’Tis impossible, Strange that his power should be. Canidius, Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land, And our twelve thousand horse. We’ll to our ship. Away, my Thetis!

ANTONY

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Enter a SOLDIER

How now, worthy soldier?

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SOLDIER

O noble Emperor, do not fight by sea! Trust not to rotten planks. Do you misdoubt This sword and these my wounds? Let th’ Egyptians And the Phoenicians go a-ducking. We Have used to conquer standing on the earth And fighting foot to foot.

SOLDIER

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ANTONY

Well, well, away.

ANTONY

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Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS

SOLDIER

By Hercules, I think I am i’ th’ right.

SOLDIER

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CANIDIUS

Soldier, thou art; but his whole action growsNot in the power on ’t. So our leader’s led,And we are women’s men.

CANIDIUS

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SOLDIER

You keep by landThe legions and the horse whole, do you not?

SOLDIER

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CANIDIUS

Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius, Publicola, and Caelius, are for sea; But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar’s Carries beyond belief.

CANIDIUS

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SOLDIER

While he was yet in RomeHis power went out in such distractions asBeguiled all spies.

SOLDIER

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CANIDIUS

Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?

CANIDIUS

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SOLDIER

They say, one Taurus.

SOLDIER

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CANIDIUS

Well I know the man.

CANIDIUS

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Enter a MESSENGER

MESSENGER

The Emperor calls Canidius.

MESSENGER

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CANIDIUS

With news the time’s with labor, and throws forthEach minute some.

CANIDIUS

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Exeunt

Antony and cleopatra
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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.