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Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 14
No Fear Act 4 Scene 14 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

Exit EROS
EROS exits.
I will o’ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
45Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length is torture. Since the torch is out,
Lie down and stray no farther. Now all labor
Mars what it does. Yea, very force entangles
Itself with strength. Seal then, and all is done.—
50Eros!—I come, my Queen.—Eros!—Stay for me.
Where souls do couch on flowers, we’ll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze.
Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
And all the haunt be ours.—Come, Eros, Eros!
I will catch up with you, Cleopatra, and weep for your forgiveness. It’s the only way left, because now any extension of my life would be torture. Since the light of my life has gone out, I’ll stop here. Now any effort ruins what it attempts. Yes, even power gets in its own way. End it, then, and everything is over.—Eros!—I’m coming, my Queen!—Eros!—Wait for me. In the place where souls recline on beds of flowers we’ll walk hand in hand and amaze the other ghosts with our spirited demeanor. Those famous lovers, Dido and Aeneas, will lose their admirers, and the whole place will be devoted to us.—Come, Eros. Eros!
Enter EROS
EROS enters.

EROS

55What would my lord?

EROS

What can I do for my lord?

ANTONY

                                           Since Cleopatra died
I have lived in such dishonor that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quartered the world, and o’er green Neptune’s back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
60The courage of a woman—less noble mind
Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
“I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros,
That when the exigent should come which now
Is come indeed, when I should see behind me
65Th’ inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that on my command,
Thou then wouldst kill me. Do ’t. The time is come.
Thou strik’st not me, ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st.
Put color in thy cheek.

ANTONY

Since Cleopatra died, I have lived in such dishonor that the gods despise my disgrace. Though I have made conquests throughout the four corners of the world and sailed with fleets so large they looked like floating cities, I don’t have as much courage as a woman. I have less nobility than the lady who, by killing herself, says to Caesar, “Only Cleopatra can defeat Cleopatra.” You promised me, Eros, that should the ultimate moment arrive—which it has—when dishonor and disgust are inevitable, that upon my command, you would kill me. Do it. This is that time. You won’t be striking me down, but defeating Caesar. Call up your courage.