Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 7

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Enter ENOBARBUS
ENOBARBUS enters.

ENOBARBUS

What’s your pleasure, sir?

ENOBARBUS

What would you like, sir?

ANTONY

I must with haste from hence.

ANTONY

I have to leave right away.

ENOBARBUS

Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal an unkindness is to them. If they suffer our departure, death’s the word.

ENOBARBUS

That will kill our lovers. We know how much they suffer if we are unkind to them. If we leave, it will feel like nothing less than death to them.

ANTONY

I must be gone.

ANTONY

I must be gone.

ENOBARBUS

Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity to cast them away for nothing, though between 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 her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

ENOBARBUS

If it’s that important, then let the women die. It would be a pity to throw them away for nothing, but if it’s a matter of choosing between them and a great cause, then they’re worthless. If Cleopatra hears even a breath of this, she’ll die immediately. I’ve seen her claim to be dying twenty times before, and for far less reason. I think there must be something invigorating about death, since she dies with such enthusiasm.

ANTONY

She is cunning past man’s thought.

ANTONY

She’s more cunning than anyone can imagine.

ENOBARBUS

145 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 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.

ENOBARBUS

Alas, sir, no, her feelings come from pure love, not cleverness. Her sighs and tears are like great winds and floods. She has more storms and tempests in her than a weather almanac. Her temper is not a trick or a skill—if it is, she can make it rain as well as

Jove

king of the Roman gods; commands thunder, lightning, and rain

Jove
.

ANTONY

Would I had never seen her!

ANTONY

I wish I’d never seen her!

ENOBARBUS

O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work which not to have been blessed withal would have discredited your travel.

ENOBARBUS

Then you’d have missed an amazing piece of work, sir, and your trip would have been poorer for the loss.