A line-by-line translation

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra Translation Act 4, Scene 14

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Enter ANTONY and EROS

ANTONY

Eros, thou yet behold’st me?

ANTONY

Eros, you still see me?

EROS

Ay, noble lord.

EROS

Yes, my noble lord. 

ANTONY

Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish, A vapor sometime like a bear or lion, A towered citadel, a pendant rock, A forkèd mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon ’t that nod unto the world And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs. They are black vesper’s pageants.

ANTONY

Sometimes we see a cloud that looks like a dragon, and sometimes a mist that looks like a bear or a lion, like a fortress with towers, an overhanging rock, a mountain with many peaks. Sometimes we see a blue rock with trees on it that shake before our eyes and make mockeries of our sight since they are made only of air. You have seen the signs. They are the apparitions that tell us night and death are coming.

EROS

Ay, my lord.

EROS

Yes, my lord.

ANTONY

That which is now a horse, even with a thoughtThe rack dislimns and makes it indistinctAs water is in water.

ANTONY

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EROS

It does, my lord.

EROS

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ANTONY

My good knave Eros, now thy captain is Even such a body. Here I am Antony, Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave. I made these wars for Egypt, and the Queen, Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine— Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto ’t A million more, now lost —she, Eros, has Packed cards with Caesar and false-played my glory Unto an enemy’s triumph. Nay, weep not, gentle Eros. There is left us Ourselves to end ourselves.

ANTONY

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Enter MARDIAN

Oh, thy vile lady!She has robbed me of my sword.

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MARDIAN

No, Antony,My mistress loved thee, and her fortunes mingledWith thine entirely.

MARDIAN

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ANTONY

Hence, saucy eunuch! Peace!She hath betrayed me and shall die the death.

ANTONY

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MARDIAN

Death of one person can be paid but once, And that she has discharged. What thou wouldst do Is done unto thy hand. The last she spake Was “Antony, most noble Antony!” Then in the midst a tearing groan did break The name of Antony. It was divided Between her heart and lips. She rendered life, Thy name so buried in her.

MARDIAN

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ANTONY

Dead, then?

ANTONY

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MARDIAN

Dead.

MARDIAN

Lorem

ANTONY

Unarm, Eros. The long day’s task is done,And we must sleep. [To MARDIAN] That thou depart’st hence safeDoes pay thy labor richly. Go.

ANTONY

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Exit MARDIAN

Off, pluck off! The sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides! Heart, once be stronger than thy continent. Crack thy frail case!—Apace, Eros, apace. No more a soldier. Bruisèd pieces, go. You have been nobly borne. (to EROS) From me awhile.

ANTONY

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Exit EROS

I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now All length is torture. Since the torch is out, Lie down and stray no farther. Now all labor Mars what it does. Yea, very force entangles Itself with strength. Seal then, and all is done.— Eros! —I come, my Queen. —Eros!— Stay for me. Where souls do couch on flowers, we’ll hand in hand, And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze. Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops, And all the haunt be ours. —Come, Eros, Eros!

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Enter EROS

EROS

What would my lord?

EROS

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ANTONY

Since Cleopatra died I have lived in such dishonor that the gods Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword Quartered the world, and o’er green Neptune’s back With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack The courage of a woman —less noble mind Than she which by her death our Caesar tells “I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros, That when the exigent should come which now Is come indeed, when I should see behind me Th’ inevitable prosecution of Disgrace and horror, that on my command, Thou then wouldst kill me . Do ’t. The time is come. Thou strik’st not me, ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st. Put color in thy cheek.

ANTONY

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EROS

The gods withhold me!Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,Though enemy, lost aim and could not?

EROS

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ANTONY

Eros, Wouldst thou be windowed in great Rome and see Thy master thus with pleached arms, bending down His corrigible neck, his face subdued To penetrative shame, whilst the wheeled seat Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded His baseness that ensued?

ANTONY

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EROS

I would not see ’t.

EROS

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ANTONY

Come, then, for with a wound I must be cured.Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast wornMost useful for thy country.

ANTONY

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EROS

O sir, pardon me!

EROS

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ANTONY

When I did make thee free, swor’st thou not then To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once, Or thy precedent services are all But accidents unpurposed. Draw and come.

ANTONY

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EROS

Turn from me then that noble countenanceWherein the worship of the whole world lies.

EROS

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ANTONY

Lo thee!

ANTONY

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He turns away

EROS

My sword is drawn.

EROS

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ANTONY

Then let it do at onceThe thing why thou hast drawn it.

ANTONY

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EROS

My dear master,My captain, and my emperor, let me say,Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.

EROS

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ANTONY

’Tis said, man, and farewell.

ANTONY

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EROS

Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?

EROS

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ANTONY

Now, Eros.

ANTONY

Lorem ipsu

EROS

Why, there then!

EROS

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Stabs himself

Thus I do escape the sorrowOf Antony’s death.

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He dies

ANTONY

Thrice nobler than myself, Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what I should and thou couldst not. My Queen and Eros Have by their brave instruction got upon me A nobleness in record. But I will be A bridegroom in my death, and run into ’t As to a lover’s bed. Come then, and Eros, Thy master dies thy scholar. To do thus I learned of thee.

ANTONY

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He falls on his sword

How! Not dead? Not dead?The guard, ho! Oh, dispatch me!

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Enter DERCETUS and others of a GUARD

FIRST GUARD

What’s the noise?

FIRST GUARD

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ANTONY

I have done my work ill, friends. Oh, make an endOf what I have begun!

ANTONY

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SECOND GUARD

The star is fall’n.

SECOND GUARD

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FIRST GUARD

And time is at his period.

FIRST GUARD

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ALL

Alas, and woe!

ALL

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ANTONY

Let him that loves me strike me dead.

ANTONY

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FIRST GUARD

Not I.

FIRST GUARD

Lorem

SECOND GUARD

Nor I.

SECOND GUARD

Lorem

THIRD GUARD

Nor anyone.

THIRD GUARD

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Exeunt GUARD

DERCETUS

Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.

DERCETUS

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He takes up ANTONY’s sword

This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,Shall enter me with him.

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Enter DIOMEDES

DIOMEDES

Where’s Antony?

DIOMEDES

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DERCETUS

There, Diomed, there.

DERCETUS

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DIOMEDES

Lives he? Wilt thou not answer, man?

DIOMEDES

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Exit DERCETUS

ANTONY

Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword and give meSufficing strokes for death.

ANTONY

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DIOMEDES

Most absolute lord,My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.

DIOMEDES

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ANTONY

When did she send thee?

ANTONY

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DIOMEDES

Now, my lord.

DIOMEDES

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ANTONY

Where is she?

ANTONY

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DIOMEDES

Locked in her monument. She had a prophesying fear Of what hath come to pass. For when she saw— Which never shall be found—you did suspect She had disposed with Caesar, and that your rage Would not be purged, she sent you word she was dead. But fearing since how it might work, hath sent Me to proclaim the truth, and I am come, I dread, too late.

DIOMEDES

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ANTONY

Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.

ANTONY

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DIOMEDES

What ho, the Emperor’s guard! The guard, what ho!Come, your lord calls!

DIOMEDES

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Enter four or five of the GUARD of Antony

ANTONY

Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides.’Tis the last service that I shall command you.

ANTONY

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FIRST GUARD

Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wearAll your true followers out.

FIRST GUARD

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ALL

Most heavy day!

ALL

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ANTONY

Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome Which comes to punish us, and we punish it, Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up. I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends, And have my thanks for all.

ANTONY

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Exeunt, bearing ANTONY and the body of EROS

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.