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Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CLEOPATRA
180That’s my brave lord!
CLEOPATRA
That’s my brave lord!
ANTONY
I will be treble-sinewed, -hearted, -breathed,
And fight maliciously. For when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
Of me for jests; but now I’ll set my teeth
185And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,
Let’s have one other gaudy night. Call to me
All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more.
Let’s mock the midnight bell.
ANTONY
I’ll be triple the soldier I was in strength, bravery, and stamina. I’ll fight brutally. In the days when I had better luck, prisoners of war could buy their freedoms from me with simple trinkets. But now I’ll grit my teeth and kill anyone who tries to stop me. Come, let’s have one more extravagant night. Invite all my sad captains. Fill our wine bowls again. Let’s drink through midnight.
CLEOPATRA
                                                           It is my birthday.
I had thought t’ have held it poor; but since my lord
190Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
CLEOPATRA
It’s my birthday. I had planned to celebrate it quietly, but since my lord is once more himself, I will be Cleopatra again.
ANTONY
We will yet do well.
ANTONY
We’ll win yet.
CLEOPATRA
(to ENOBARBUS ) Call all his noble captains to my lord.
CLEOPATRA
(to ENOBARBUS ) Call all my lord’s noble captains to him.
ANTONY
Do so. We’ll speak to them, and tonight I’ll force
The wine peep through their scars.—Come on, my Queen,
195There’s sap in ’t yet. The next time I do fight
I’ll make Death love me, for I will contend
Even with his pestilent scythe.
ANTONY
Do so. I’ll speak to them, and then tonight I’ll get them all so drunk that the wine seeps out of their old war wounds. Come on, my Queen. There’s still life in our cause. The next time I fight, I’ll make Death love me. I’ll compete even with his fatal scythe.
Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
Everyone except ENOBARBUS exits.
ENOBARBUS
Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious
Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
200The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still
A diminution in our captain’s brain
Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason,
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him.
ENOBARBUS
Now he’ll work himself up to a fury. Rage scares away a man’s fear. In that state, a dove will attack an ostrich. I have always noticed that when my captain’s reason is diminished, his bravery increases. When courage consumes reason, it destroys its only weapon. I’ll look for some way to leave his service.