Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 7

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CLEOPATRA stands
CLEOPATRA stands up.

CAESAR

                         Take to you no hard thoughts.
The record of what injuries you did us,
Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
120As things but done by chance.

CAESAR

Don’t think I blame you. Whatever injuries I received in the war, I put down to the fortunes of war.

CLEOPATRA

                                                           Sole sir o’ th’ world,
I cannot project mine own cause so well
To make it clear, but do confess I have
Been laden with like frailties which before
Have often shamed our sex.

CLEOPATRA

You are now the sole lord of the entire world. I can’t explain my cause very clearly. I must admit to having the weaknesses that all women are accused of.

CAESAR

                                                      Cleopatra, know
125We will extenuate rather than enforce.
If you apply yourself to our intents,
Which towards you are most gentle, you shall find
A benefit in this change, but if you seek
To lay on me a cruelty by taking
130Antony’s course, you shall bereave yourself
Of my good purposes and put your children
To that destruction which I’ll guard them from
If thereon you rely. I’ll take my leave.

CAESAR

Cleopatra, understand that, rather than emphasize our power over you, we will soften if you accept our intentions, which are very compassionate toward you. Your acceptance will benefit you, but if you try to make me look cruel by committing suicide as Antony did, I won’t be so generous.
Your children will be destroyed, a fate your submission will save them from. I’ll leave you now.

CLEOPATRA

And may, through all the world! ’Tis yours, and we,
135Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.

CLEOPATRA

You may do whatever you want in the world. It’s yours, and you may hang us, your trophies of war, anywhere you like. Here, my good lord.