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Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare

Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MAECENAS, with his army, CAESAR reading a letter
CAESAR enters, reading a letter, with AGRIPPA, MAECENAS, and his army.


He calls me “boy” and chides as he had power
To beat me out of Egypt. My messenger
He hath whipped with rods, dares me to personal combat,
Caesar to Antony. Let the old ruffian know
5I have many other ways to die, meantime
Laugh at his challenge.


He calls me “boy” and scolds me as if he had the power to whip me out of Egypt. He whipped my messenger with rods. He dares me to personal combat, Caesar against Antony. Let the old ruffian discover that I have many other ways to die, and in the meantime, we’ll laugh at his challenge.


Caesar must think
When one so great begins to rage, he’s hunted
Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
10Make boot of his distraction. Never anger
Made good guard for itself.


Caesar must realize that when a man as powerful as Antony begins to rage, he has been pursued to the point of collapse. Don’t give him time to catch his breath. Take advantage of his unreasonable rage. Anger does not protect the angry well.


                                                      Let our best heads
Know that tomorrow the last of many battles
We mean to fight. Within our files there are,
Of those that served Mark Antony but late,
15Enough to fetch him in. See it done
And feast the army. We have store to do ’t,
And they have earned the waste. Poor Antony!


Tell our top commanders that I want tomorrow’s battle to be the last we fight. Our army has recently acquired many of Mark Antony’s former soldiers—enough to capture him. See that it is done, and prepare a feast for the soldiers. We have enough supplies for it, and they’ve earned it. Poor Antony!
They exit.