Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 15

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CLEOPATRA

275Well, get thee gone. Farewell.

CLEOPATRA

Well, you can go now. Farewell.

COUNTRYMAN

Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o’ th’ worm.

COUNTRYMAN

Yes, truly, I wish you good luck with the snake.
Exit
He exits.
Enter IRAS with royal attire
IRAS enters, carrying CLEOPATRA’s royal regalia.

CLEOPATRA

Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I have
Immortal longings in me. Now no more
The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.

CLEOPATRA

Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I long to be immortal. I won’t drink Egyptian wine again.
The women dress her
CHARMIAN and IRAS begin to dress her.
280Yare, yare, good Iras, quick. Methinks I hear
Antony call. I see him rouse himself
To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
To excuse their after wrath.—Husband, I come!
285Now to that name my courage prove my title!
I am fire and air, my other elements
I give to baser life.—So, have you done?
Come then and take the last warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian. Iras, long farewell.
Quickly, quickly, good Iras, quickly. I think I hear Antony call me. I see him revive himself to praise my noble act. I hear him mock Caesar’s luck, which the gods give to men in order to balance out their subsequent wrath. Husband, I’m coming! Now let my courage prove my title as wife. I am now made of fire and air, and I leave the other elements, earth and water, to this mortal life. So, are you done? Come then, kiss me and take the last bit of warmth from my lips. Good-bye, kind Charmian. Iras, I won’t see you again for a long time.
She kisses them. IRAS falls and dies
She kisses them. IRAS collapses and dies.
290Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
295It is not worth leave-taking.
Do I have the asp’s poison on my lips? Did you fall? If you can leave your body so easily, then the touch of death is like a lover’s pinch, which hurts but is desired. Do you lie still? If you leave like that, you tell the world that it’s not worthy of a good-bye.