Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 5

page Act 2 Scene 5 Page 4

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CLEOPATRA

                                                    I am pale, Charmian.

CLEOPATRA

I’m sick, Charmian.

MESSENGER

Madam, he’s married to Octavia.

MESSENGER

He’s married to Octavia, madam.

CLEOPATRA

The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

CLEOPATRA

May you die of the worst disease!
Strikes him down
She knocks him down.

MESSENGER

Good madam, patience.

MESSENGER

Good madam, be patient.

CLEOPATRA

What say you?

CLEOPATRA

What did you say to me?
Strikes him
She hits him again.
65Hence, horrible villain, or I’ll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me! I’ll unhair thy head!
Get out, you horrible bastard, or I’ll gouge out your eyes. I’ll scalp you.
She hales him up and down
She drags him across the stage.
Thou shalt be whipped with wire and stewed in brine,
Smarting in ling’ring pickle!
I’ll have you whipped with wire and soaked in brine like a pickle, making your pain linger.

MESSENGER

                                                        Gracious madam,
I that do bring the news made not the match.

MESSENGER

Gracious madam, I only brought the news. I didn’t make the match.

CLEOPATRA

70Say ’tis not so, a province I will give thee
And make thy fortunes proud. The blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage,
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.

CLEOPATRA

If you say it isn’t true, I’ll give you a province and make you rich. The blows I gave you already will make up for your upsetting me. And on top of that I’ll give you whatever you ask for.

MESSENGER

                                            He’s married, madam.

MESSENGER

He’s married, madam.

CLEOPATRA

75Rogue, thou hast lived too long.

CLEOPATRA

Rogue, you’ve lived too long!
Draws a knife
She draws a knife.

MESSENGER

                                                              Nay then, I’ll run.
What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.

MESSENGER

No way, then, I’ll run. What’s the matter with you, madam? I haven’t done anything to you.