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Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 4, Scene 12

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


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.


Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight


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.


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.



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!


All is lost! That foul Egyptian has betrayed me. My fleet has surrendered to the enemy, and down there, they throw their caps in the air and drink together like long-lost friends. That whore, who's betrayed three men! It's you, Cleopatra, who has sold me out to this boy Caesar, and my anger is directed only at you. Tell all my forces to flee, for all I intend to do now is take revenge on this woman who bewitched me. Tell them all to flee. Get going!


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!

Oh sun, I will never see you rise agin. This is when I lose all my luck; at this very moment I bid it goodbye. Has it all come to this? Those men who fawned on me with all their hearts, whose wishes I granted, fall away from me and fawn now on Caesar with his growing good fortune, and I am destroyed even though I was once greater than all of them. I am betrayed. Oh, this treacherous queen of Egypt! This deadly enchantress, who decided when I went to war and when I brought my armies home, whose love was my main goal and greatest glory, she has cheated me like a true gypsy and tricked me until I lost everything. 

[Calling out] Hey there, Eros, Eros!


Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!

Ah, you witch! Get away from here!


Why is my lord enraged against his love?


Why is my lord so angry at his love?


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!


Get away, or I'll give you what you deserve and diminish the glory of Caesar's triumphal procession. Let him take you and display you in public in front of the screaming crowd! Follow his chariot, like the most disgraced woman that has ever lived. Be displayed like a spectacle for fools, for the common people to stare at, and let long-suffering Octavia scratch your face with the nails she has sharpened for you!


’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!

It's good that you're gone, if you wish to remain alive, but it would have been better if you had fallen prey to my anger. Then your death might have prevented the death of many others. 

[Calling] Eros, hey there! 

[To himself] I feel as if I were wearing the shirt of Nessus. Hercules, my ancestor, I pray that you will show me how to show my anger as you did. Let me destroy my enemy, and with my own hands—hands that once wielded the heaviest weapons—destroy myself with honor. That witch Cleopatra will die. She's sold me to that young Roman boy Caesar, and I am destroyed by her plot. She will die for it. 

[Calling] Eros, hey there!


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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.