Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in warlike manner
POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS enter, dressed for battle.
If the great gods be just, they shall assist
The deeds of justest men.
If the great gods are just, they will help the most honest men.
                                                  Know, worthy Pompey,
That what they do delay, they not deny.
You should know, noble Pompey, that although the gods may delay action, that doesn’t mean they will necessarily refuse their help.
Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
5The thing we sue for.
But while we pray and wait for that help, the cause we petition for may be lost.
                                          We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good, so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
Sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us and ask for things that may harm us. In that case, the wise gods deny our prayers for our own good.
                                                I shall do well.
The people love me, and the sea is mine.
10My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
Says it will come to th’ full. Mark Antony
In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
No wars without doors. Caesar gets money where
He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both,
15Of both is flattered, but he neither loves,
Nor either cares for him.
I’ll do well. The people are on my side, and I’m in charge of the sea. My forces are growing, and everything I know tells me it’s all coming together. Mark Antony is at dinner in Egypt and won’t be going outside to make war. Caesar loses supporters wherever he raises money. Lepidus flatters both of them, as they flatter him, but he doesn’t love them, and they don’t love him.
                                                Caesar and Lepidus
Are in the field. A mighty strength they carry.
Caesar and Lepidus are organizing their military operation. They have a massive army.
Where have you this? ’Tis false.
Where did you hear this? It’s not true.