A line-by-line translation

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 4, Scene 12

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Enter ANTONY and SCARUS

ANTONY

Yet they are not joined. Where yond pine does standI shall discover all. I’ll bring thee wordStraight how ’tis like to go.

ANTONY

But they still aren't fighting. I'll go over to where that pine stands and survey the whole scene. I'll tell you shortly how things are likely to go.

Exit

Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight

SCARUS

Swallows have built In Cleopatra’s sails their nests. The auguries Say they know not, they cannot tell, look grimly, And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony Is valiant and dejected, and by starts His fretted fortunes give him hope and fear Of what he has and has not.

SCARUS

Swallows have built nests in the sails of Cleopatra's ships. The soothsayers say they don't know what this means, they cannot say. They look grim and dare not tell us what they know. Antony is both brave and dejected, and in fits and starts his diminished luck gives him reasons for both hope and fear—hope thanks to what he does have, fear because of what he does not have.

Enter ANTONY

ANTONY

All is lost! This foul Egyptian hath betrayèd me. My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder They cast their caps up and carouse together Like friends long lost. Triple-turned whore! ’Tis thou Hast sold me to this novice, and my heart Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly, For when I am revenged upon my charm, I have done all. Bid them all fly. Begone!

ANTONY

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Exit SCARUS

O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more. Fortune and Antony part here. Even here Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets On blossoming Caesar, and this pine is barked That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am. Oh, this false soul of Egypt! This grave charm, Whose eye becked forth my wars and called them home, Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end, Like a right gypsy hath at fast and loose Beguiled me to the very heart of loss. [calling out] What, Eros, Eros!

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Enter CLEOPATRA

Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!

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CLEOPATRA

Why is my lord enraged against his love?

CLEOPATRA

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ANTONY

Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving, And blemish Caesar’s triumph. Let him take thee And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians! Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot Of all thy sex. Most monsterlike be shown For poor’st diminutives, for dolts, and let Patient Octavia plow thy visage up With her preparèd nails!

ANTONY

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Exit CLEOPATRA

’Tis well th’art gone, If it be well to live, but better ’twere Thou fell’st into my fury, for one death Might have prevented many. —Eros, ho!— The shirt of Nessus is upon me. Teach me, Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage. Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o’ th’ moon, And with those hands that grasped the heaviest club Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die. To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall Under this plot. She dies for ’t. —Eros, ho!

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Exit

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.