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Alumni Updates

Meerkat Crabstacks

Meerkat Crabstacks

Antony and Cleopatra Please see the bottom of this page for explanatory notes and resources. ACT I SCENE I Alexandria. A room in Cleopatra''s house. [Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO] PHILO Nay, but this dotage of our general''s O''erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o''er the files and musters of the war Have glow''d like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view 5 Upon a tawny front: his captain''s heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy''s lust. 10 [ Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her Ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her ] Look, where they come: Take but good note, and you shall see in him. The triple pillar of the world transform''d Into a strumpet''s fool: behold and see. CLEOPATRA If it be love indeed, tell me how much. 15 MARK ANTONY There''s beggary in the love that can be reckon''d. CLEOPATRA I''ll set a bourn how far to be beloved. MARK ANTONY Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth. [Enter an Attendant] Attendant News, my good lord, from Rome. MARK ANTONY Grates me: the sum. 20 CLEOPATRA Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, ''Do this, or this Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that 25 Perform ''t, or else we damn thee.'' MARK ANTONY How, my love! CLEOPATRA Perchance! nay, and most like: You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Caesar therefore hear it, Antony. 30 Where''s Fulvia''s process? Caesar''s I would say? both? Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt''s queen, Thou blushest, Antony and that blood of thine Is Caesar''s homager: else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers! 35 MARK ANTONY Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is to do thus when such a mutual pair 40 [Embracing] And such a twain can do''t, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless. CLEOPATRA Excellent falsehood! Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? 45 I''ll seem the fool I am not Antony Will be himself. MARK ANTONY But stirr''d by Cleopatra. Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, Let''s not confound the time with conference harsh: 50 There''s not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight? CLEOPATRA Hear the ambassadors. MARK ANTONY Fie, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, 55 To weep whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admired! No messenger, but thine and all alone To-night we''ll wander through the streets and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen 60 Last night you did desire it: speak not to us. [ Exeunt MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with their train ] DEMETRIUS Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight? PHILO Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, He comes too short of that great property Which still should go with Antony. 65 DEMETRIUS I am full sorry That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! [Exeunt] Antony and Cleopatra, Act 1, Scene 2 ___________ Explanatory Notes for Act 1, Scene 1 ACT I SCENE II The same. Another room. [Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer] CHARMIAN Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where''s the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands! 5 ALEXAS Soothsayer! Soothsayer Your will? CHARMIAN Is this the man? Is''t you, sir, that know things? Soothsayer In nature''s infinite book of secrecy A little I can read. 10 ALEXAS Show him your hand. [Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Bring in the banquet quickly wine enough Cleopatra''s health to drink. CHARMIAN Good sir, give me good fortune. Soothsayer I make not, but foresee. 15 CHARMIAN Pray, then, foresee me one. Soothsayer You shall be yet far fairer than you are. CHARMIAN He means in flesh. IRAS No, you shall paint when you are old. CHARMIAN Wrinkles forbid! 20 ALEXAS Vex not his prescience be attentive. CHARMIAN Hush! Soothsayer You shall be more beloving than beloved. CHARMIAN I had rather heat my liver with drinking. ALEXAS Nay, hear him. 25 CHARMIAN Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my mistress. 30 Soothsayer You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. CHARMIAN O excellent! I love long life better than figs. Soothsayer You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune Than that which is to approach. CHARMIAN Then belike my children shall have no names: 35 prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have? Soothsayer If every of your wishes had a womb. And fertile every wish, a million. CHARMIAN Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch. ALEXAS You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes. 40 CHARMIAN Nay, come, tell Iras hers. ALEXAS We''ll know all our fortunes. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall bedrunk to bed. IRAS There''s a palm presages chastity, if nothing else. 45 CHARMIAN E''en as the o''erflowing Nilus presageth famine. IRAS Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay. CHARMIAN Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, tell her but a worky-day fortune. 50 Soothsayer Your fortunes are alike. IRAS But how, but how? give me particulars. Soothsayer I have said. IRAS Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? CHARMIAN Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than 55 I, where would you choose it? IRAS Not in my husband''s nose. CHARMIAN Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,come, his fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! and let 60 her die too, and give him a worse! and let worst follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight good Isis, I beseech thee! 65 IRAS Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly! 70 CHARMIAN Amen. ALEXAS Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they''ld do''t! DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Hush! here comes Antony. 75 CHARMIAN Not he the queen. [Enter CLEOPATRA] CLEOPATRA Saw you my lord? DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS No, lady. CLEOPATRA Was he not here? CHARMIAN No, madam. 80 CLEOPATRA He was disposed to mirth but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus! DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Madam? CLEOPATRA Seek him, and bring him hither. Where''s Alexas? 85 ALEXAS Here, at your service. My lord approaches. CLEOPATRA We will not look upon him: go with us. [Exeunt] [Enter MARK ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants] Messenger Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. MARK ANTONY Against my brother Lucius? Messenger Ay: 90 But soon that war had end, and the time''s state Made friends of them, joining their force ''gainst Caesar Whose better issue in the war, from Italy, Upon the first encounter, drave them. MARK ANTONY Well, what worst? 95 Messenger The nature of bad news infects the teller. MARK ANTONY When it concerns the fool or coward. On: Things that are past are done with me. ''Tis thus: Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death, I hear him as he flatter''d. 100 Messenger Labienus This is stiff newshath, with his Parthian force, Extended Asia from Euphrates His conquering banner shook from Syria To Lydia and to Ionia Whilst 105 MARK ANTONY Antony, thou wouldst say, Messenger O, my lord! MARK ANTONY Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue: Name Cleopatra as she is call''d in Rome Rail thou in Fulvia''s phrase and taunt my faults 110 With such full licence as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick minds lie still and our ills told us Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile. Messenger At your noble pleasure. 115 [Exit] MARK ANTONY From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there! First Attendant The man from Sicyon,is there such an one? Second Attendant He stays upon your will. MARK ANTONY Let him appear. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break, 120 Or lose myself in dotage. [Enter another Messenger] What are you? Second Messenger Fulvia thy wife is dead. MARK ANTONY Where died she? Second Messenger In Sicyon: 125 Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives a letter] MARK ANTONY Forbear me. [Exit Second Messenger] There''s a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempt doth often hurl from us, 130 We wish it ours again the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she''s good, being gone The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off: 135 Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch. How now! Enobarbus! [Re-enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS] DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS What''s your pleasure, sir? MARK ANTONY I must with haste from hence. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Why, then, we kill all our women: 140 we see how mortal an unkindness is to them if they suffer our departure, death''s the word. MARK ANTONY I must be gone. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Under a compelling occasion, let women die it were pity to cast them away for nothing though, between 145 them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon 150 her, she hath such a celerity in dying. MARK ANTONY She is cunning past man''s thought. [Exit ALEXAS] DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Alack, sir, no her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears they are greater 155 storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove. MARK ANTONY Would I had never seen her. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece 160 of work which not to have been blest withal would have discredited your travel. MARK ANTONY Fulvia is dead. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Sir? MARK ANTONY Fulvia is dead. 165 DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Fulvia! MARK ANTONY Dead. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth 170 comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation your old smock brings forth a new 175 petticoat: and indeed the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow. MARK ANTONY The business she hath broached in the state Cannot endure my absence. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS And the business you have broached here cannot be 180 without you especially that of Cleopatra''s, which wholly depends on your abode. MARK ANTONY No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, 185 And get her leave to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak to us but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius 190 Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands The empire of the sea: our slippery people, Whose love is never link''d to the deserver Till his deserts are past, begin to throw Pompey the Great and all his dignities 195 Upon his son who, high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life, stands up For the main soldier: whose quality, going on, The sides o'' the world may danger: much is breeding, Which, like the courser''s hair, hath yet but life, 200 And not a serpent''s poison. Say, our pleasure, To such whose place is under us, requires Our quick remove from hence. DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS I shall do''t. [Exeunt] Antony and Cleopatra, Act 1, Scene 3 ___________ Explanatory Notes for Act 1, Scene 2 From Shakespeare''s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company. __________ 2. Absolute. Complete, perfect. 21. Prescience. One who knows all things used here jokingly as a title. 24. Liver. Heart. Liver was often used as the seat of love. 27. Widow. Outlive them. 28. Herod of Jewry. A reference to Herod''s slaughter of the innocents. He is represented in the old mystery plays as a fierce tyrant. 29. Find me. Find out that it may be my destiny. 30. Companion. Make me an equal with. 35. Belike. It is likely I shall have no children to name. 37. Every. Every one. 39. For a witch. If this is the best you can do you will never be burned for a witch. 46. E''en. As little as, etc. 46. Nilus. Nile. 47. Wild. Extravagant. 49. Prognostication. A sign of fruitfulness. 50. Worky-day. Common, ordinary. 58. Come. Come, tell me his fortune. 60. Isis. The Egyptian goddess of the earth and of fertility. 82. Roman. A thought about Rome. 88. Into the field. Took up arms. 92. Time''s state. The state of affairs made friendship necessary. 92. Jointing. Joining. 93. Issue. Fortune, success. 94. Drave. An old form not commonly used by Shakespeare. 100. As. As if. 102. Stiff. Hard to tell. 103. Extended. A legal term meaning to seize upon. 103. Eurphrates. Here accented on the first syllable. 104. Syria, etc. Provinces of Asia Minor. 108. Home. Frankly, without reserve. 113. Quick. Active. 114. Earing. Ploughing. That is, the knowledge of our faults is like ploughing the mind for bringing forth a new and worthy crop instead of weeds. 117. Sicyon. One of the most ancient cities in southern Greece. 118. Stays. Awaits your pleasure. 127. Importeth. It is of importance for you to know. 128. Forbear. Have patience with me. 129. Great Spirit. A noble mind. 130. Contempt. What we fling away with careless contempt. 132. Revolution. What at the moment seems pleasure to us, by the changes of time and events, often becomes pain. 133. Being gone. Though I prized her little when alive, being gone, she seems of value. 134. Could. Could willingly, would. 142. Word. Will be the result. 149. Moment. For far less reason. 150. Mettle. Spirit. 156. Almanacs. The old almanacs used to predict changes in the weather. 158. Jove. The god of thunder. 162. Discredited. That is, made you seem but a poor traveler. 168. Thankful. Sacrifice of thanksgiving. 170. Tailors. It shows the deities as tailors of the earth who, when old robes are worn out, can make him new. So the gods can supply men with a new wife. 175. Smock. Coat. 176. Onion. Mock tears are all you need. 178. Broached. The affairs she has set on foot. 182. Abode. Abiding. 185. Expedience. Expedition. 186. Part. Depart. 187. Touches. Other matters which affect us more strongly. 189. Contriving. Our many friends who are contriving or plotting in our interests. 190. Petition. Petition us to come home. 191. Dare. d defiance. 192. Slippery. Fickle, changeable. 194. Deserts are past. The time has gone by for giving him his deserts. 195. Pompey. Invest the son with all the dignities of the father. Pompey was a famous Roman general. 196. Blood. Courage. 198. Main. Chief soldier of the world. 198. Quality. Disposition. 199. Sides. The whole empire of Rome. 200. Coursers. A reference to the old superstition that a horse hair, when put into water, will turn into a snake. 200. But. Only. 201. Say. Give our commands to our subordinates. ___________ How to cite the explanatory notes: Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.