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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

What are you saying? 

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

If you were there, your presence would inevitably distract Antony. You'd take his heart and his mind off the business at hand, which we certainly could not afford. He's already been criticized for being frivolous, and it's said in Rome that Photinus the eunuch and your maids control this war. 

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

To hell with Rome! And let them rot, those who criticize us! I'll do my duty in the war, and as the ruler of my kingdom, I'll appear there just as a man would. Don't oppose my plan. I won't stay behind. 

Enter ANTONY and CANIDIUS

ENOBARBUS

Nay, I have done.Here comes the Emperor.

ENOBARBUS

No, I'm done talking with you. Here comes the Emperor. 

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

Isn't it strange, Canidius, that after starting from the ports of Tarentum and Brundusium, he could have cut across the Ionian sea so quickly and overpowered the city of Toryne? 

[To CLEOPATRA] Have you heard about this, sweetheart? 

CLEOPATRA

Celerity is never more admiredThan by the negligent.

CLEOPATRA

No one admires speed more than a lazy man. 

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

A good criticism, which would have been suitable for the best of men to use to mock laziness.—Canidius, we will fight with him on the sea.

CLEOPATRA

By sea, what else?

CLEOPATRA

By sea, how else would we do it?

CANIDIUS

Why willMy lord do so?

CANIDIUS

Why do you want to do that?

ANTONY

For that he dares us to ’t.

ANTONY

Because he dares us to. 

ENOBARBUS

So hath my lord dared him to single fight.

ENOBARBUS

And my lord Antony has also challenged Caesar to single combat.

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

Yes, and also to fight this battle at Pharsalia, where Caesar fought with Pompey. But these offers aren't to Caesar's advantage and he rejects them, and so should you.

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

Your ships aren't manned by good sailors. Your crew consists of mule drivers, farmers, people that you got together quickly through drafting. Caesar's fleet has men who often fought against Pompey. Their ships are light and agile, yours are heavy and slow. There would be no shame in refusing to fight him at sea, since you're better prepared to fight him on land. 

ANTONY

By sea, by sea.

ANTONY

By sea, by sea.

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

Most worthy sir, by doing that you would throw away the advantage of the excellent soldiers you have on land; reroute your army, which consists of trained foot soldiers; make no use of your own considerable knowledge; abandon the strategy that promises success; and give up a highly secure position to leave yourself at the mercy of chance and fortune. 

ANTONY

I’ll fight at sea.

ANTONY

I'll fight at sea. 

CLEOPATRA

I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

CLEOPATRA

I have sixty ships, Caesar has nothing better than that. 

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

We'll burn our surplus ships, and then we'll fully man the rest to beat Caesar back as he approaches the tip of Actium. But if we fail at sea, then we can fight on land.

Enter a MESSENGER

Thy business?

What's your business?

MESSENGER

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

MESSENGER

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

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

How can he be there? That's impossible—it's strange even that all his forces should be there. Canidius, you'll command the nineteen legions and the twelve thousand horses that we have on land. I will go by sea. 

[To CLEOPATRA] Come with me, my sea goddess!

Enter a SOLDIER

How now, worthy soldier?

What's going on now, worthy soldier?

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

Oh noble Emperor, don't fight at sea! Don't trust the rotting wood of ships. Can you not see from my sword and my wounds? Let the Egyptians and the Pheonicians fight on the water. We are used to conquering our enemies on land and fighting foot soldiers with foot soldiers.

ANTONY

Well, well, away.

ANTONY

Well, well, away.

Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS

SOLDIER

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

SOLDIER

I swear by Hercules, I think I am right.

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

Soldier, you are, but he makes all his plans without considering what he has the power to accomplish. So our leader is led astray, and we men are led by a woman. 

SOLDIER

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

SOLDIER

You still have the entirety of the legions and the horses in reserve, don't you?

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

Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius, Publicola, and Caelius are heading to sea, but our forces are kept together in reserve on land. It's unbelievable how fast Caesar has moved.

SOLDIER

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

SOLDIER

While he was still in Rome, his forces went out in so many different directions that none of our spies could keep track of them. 

CANIDIUS

Who’s his lieutenant, hear you?

CANIDIUS

Have you heard who his lieutenant is?

SOLDIER

They say, one Taurus.

SOLDIER

They say a certain man named Taurus.

CANIDIUS

Well I know the man.

CANIDIUS

I know the man well. 

Enter a MESSENGER

MESSENGER

The Emperor calls Canidius.

MESSENGER

The Emperor has sent for Canidius.

CANIDIUS

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

CANIDIUS

These times are full of news, and every minute we learn something else. 

Exeunt

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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.