Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CAESAR

                                                        For Antony,
20I have no ears to his request. The Queen
Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend
Or take his life there. This if she perform,
She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.

CAESAR

As for Antony, I’m not interested in his requests. I’ll give the Queen a hearing and grant her requests if she either throws her dishonored friend out of Egypt or kills him. Then I’ll listen to her. Give my answer to them both.

AMBASSADOR

25Fortune pursue thee!

AMBASSADOR

May good luck follow you!

CAESAR

                                         Bring him through the bands.

CAESAR

Take him safely through the lines.
Exit AMBASSADOR, attended
The AMBASSADOR exits.
(to THIDIAS ) To try thy eloquence now ’tis time. Dispatch.
From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise,
And in our name, what she requires. Add more,
From thine invention, offers. Women are not
30In their best fortunes strong, but want will perjure
The ne’er-touched vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias.
Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
Will answer as a law.
(to THIDIAS ) Now it’s time to test your eloquence. On your way. Separate Cleopatra from Antony. In my name, promise to fulfill her petitions. You can make up additional offers, if necessary. Women aren’t strong, even at their best. Hardship will make even a

vestal

virgin priestess

vestal
abandon her vows. Use your ingenuity, Thidias. You can make your own conditions, which I will authorize as law.

THIDIAS

                                         Caesar, I go.

THIDIAS

I go, Caesar.

CAESAR

Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
35And what thou think’st his very action speaks
In every power that moves.

CAESAR

Observe how Antony takes his defeat and how his attitude influences his actions.

THIDIAS

                                                      Caesar, I shall.

THIDIAS

I will, Caesar.
Exeunt
They exit.