Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 3
No Fear Act 1 Scene 3 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

ANTONY

                                                     How now, lady?

ANTONY

What do you mean, lady?

CLEOPATRA

40I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.

CLEOPATRA

I wish I were as big and strong as you. Then you’d see the courage that lives in the Queen of Egypt.

ANTONY

                                                        Hear me, Queen:
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
45Shines o’er with civil swords. Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome.
Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction. The hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love. The condemned Pompey,
50Rich in his father’s honor, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change. My more particular,
55And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvia’s death.

ANTONY

Listen to me, Queen. There is an emergency I must take care of, but my whole heart will remain here with you. My Italy is full of civil war. Sextus Pompeius is sailing toward the port of Rome. When two domestic opponents are equally matched—as we are against Pompey—factions will form on the smallest of pretexts. When a formerly hated man grows powerful, he suddenly finds himself with many supporters. Pompey, who was once condemned, now wields his father’s power, and all the citizens who have grievances against the government are joining him. Pompey’s numbers are steadily growing, and the government is ready to do something desperate. But my personal motivation—and that which should move you most to sanction my departure—is that Fulvia is dead.

CLEOPATRA

Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?

CLEOPATRA

I may not have outlived the foolishness of my youth, but I’m not that childishly naïve. Is it possible Fulvia is dead?

ANTONY

She’s dead, my Queen.

ANTONY

She’s dead, my Queen.
He offers letters
He shows her the message.