Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, ALEXAS, and IRAS
CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, ALEXAS, and IRAS enter.

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CLEOPATRA

Where is he?

CHARMIAN

                          I did not see him since.

CHARMIAN

I haven’t seen him recently.

CLEOPATRA

(to ALEXAS ) See where he is, who’s with him, what he does.
I did not send you. If you find him sad,
Say I am dancing. If in mirth, report
5That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return.

CLEOPATRA

(to ALEXAS ) Find out where he is, who’s with him, and what he’s doing. Don’t tell him I sent you. If he’s sad, tell him I’m dancing. If he’s happy, say that I’ve suddenly taken sick. Hurry, and come back.
Exit ALEXAS
ALEXAS exits.

CHARMIAN

Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.

CHARMIAN

Madam, I think if you love him so much, you aren’t using the best way to get him to reciprocate.

CLEOPATRA

                                       What should I do I do not?

CLEOPATRA

What should I do that I’m not doing?

CHARMIAN

In each thing give him way. Cross him in nothing.

CHARMIAN

Always give him his way. Never contradict him.

CLEOPATRA

10Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him.

CLEOPATRA

You advise me like a fool. That’s the way to lose him.

CHARMIAN

Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear.
In time we hate that which we often fear.

CHARMIAN

Don’t push him too far. I wish you’d be patient. We come to hate that which controls us.
Enter ANTONY
ANTONY enters.
But here comes Antony.
But here comes Antony.

CLEOPATRA

                                               I am sick and sullen.

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

ANTONY

I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose—

ANTONY

I’m sorry to have to say this—

CLEOPATRA

15Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall.
It cannot be thus long. The sides of nature
Will not sustain it.

CLEOPATRA

Help me away from here, dear Charmian! I shall faint. I won’t be able to go on this way much longer. Human nature isn’t built to withstand this.