Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter CAESAR, with AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MAECENAS, GALLUS, and PROCULEIUS, and his council of war
CAESAR enters with his war council: AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MAECENAS, GALLUS, and PROCULEIUS.

CAESAR

Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield.
Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks
The pauses that he makes.

CAESAR

Dolabella, go see Antony. Tell him to surrender. His position is hopeless. This delay makes him look ridiculous.

DOLABELLA

                                                    Caesar, I shall.

DOLABELLA

Right away, Caesar.
Exit
DOLABELLA exits.
Enter DERCETUS, with the sword of ANTONY
DECRETUS enters carrying ANTONY’s sword.

CAESAR

Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar’st
5Appear thus to us?

CAESAR

What are you doing with a sword? Who do you think you are coming in here armed?

DERCETUS

                                      I am called Dercetus.
Mark Antony I served, who best was worthy
Best to be served. Whilst he stood up and spoke,
He was my master, and I wore my life
To spend upon his haters. If thou please
10To take me to thee, as I was to him
I’ll be to Caesar. If thou pleasest not,
I yield thee up my life.

DECRETUS

My name is Decretus. I served Mark Antony, who was the commander most worthy of my services. While he was alive, I lived only to serve him and oppose his enemies. If you accept my service, I’ll serve you the same way. If not, you can kill me.

CAESAR

                                            What is ’t thou say’st?

CAESAR

What are you saying?

DERCETUS

I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.

DECRETUS

Caesar, I’m telling you that Antony is dead.

CAESAR

The breaking of so great a thing should make
15A greater crack. The round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets
And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony
Is not a single doom. In the name lay
A moiety of the world.

CAESAR

When such a great man dies there should be a thunderclap. The fractured world, in its confusion, should send lions into the city streets and humans into the wilderness to live in lions’ dens. This isn’t the death of one man. It’s the death of half the world.