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Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MAECENAS, with his army, CAESAR reading a letter


He calls me “boy” and chides as he had power To beat me out of Egypt. My messenger He hath whipped with rods, dares me to personal combat, Caesar to Antony. Let the old ruffian know I have many other ways to die, meantime Laugh at his challenge.


Antony calls me "boy" and taunts me as if he had the power to beat my forces out of Egypt. He whipped my messenger with rods and challenges me to single combat, Caesar against Antony. Let that old scoundrel know that that is not how I plan to die. In the meantime, send a mocking reply to his challenge. 


Caesar must think When one so great begins to rage, he’s hunted Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now Make boot of his distraction. Never anger Made good guard for itself.


You must suspect that when a man so great starts to rage like this, his defeats have put him on the verge of collapse. Don't give him any time to regroup, but promptly use his anger to your advantage. An angry man never takes proper precautions. 


Let our best heads Know that tomorrow the last of many battles We mean to fight. Within our files there are, Of those that served Mark Antony but late, Enough to fetch him in . See it done And feast the army. We have store to do ’t, And they have earned the waste. Poor Antony!


Let our wisest officers know that tomorrow, I intend to fight the last of our many battles. Among our troops there many soldiers who served Mark Antony only a short time ago—enough soldiers to capture him. See that this is done, and give the army a feast. We have enough food in our stores to do it, and they have earned it—even if it is a waste of resources. Poor Antony!


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.