Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

She closes CLEOPATRA’s eyes
She closes CLEOPATRA’s eyes.
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
315Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry.
I’ll mend it and then play—
The sun will never be seen by such royal eyes again. Your crown is crooked. I’ll straighten it, then play—
Enter the GUARD, rustling in
The GUARDS rush in noisily.

FIRST GUARD

Where’s the Queen?

FIRST GUARD

Where’s the Queen?

CHARMIAN

                                        Speak softly. Wake her not.

CHARMIAN

Speak softly. Don’t wake her.

FIRST GUARD

Caesar hath sent—

FIRST GUARD

Caesar has sent—

CHARMIAN

                                       Too slow a messenger.

CHARMIAN

Too slow a messenger.
She applies an asp to herself.
She applies an asp to herself.
Oh, come apace, dispatch! I partly feel thee.
Oh, come quickly! I almost feel you.

FIRST GUARD

320 (calling) Approach, ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s beguiled.

FIRST GUARD

(calling) Come in. Ho! All’s not well. Caesar’s been deceived.

SECOND GUARD

There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar. Call him.

SECOND GUARD

There’s Dolabella, who was sent from Caesar. Call him.
Exit SECOND GUARD
The SECOND GUARD exits.

FIRST GUARD

What work is here, Charmian? Is this well done?

FIRST GUARD

What kind of work is this, Charmian? Is this well done?

CHARMIAN

It is well done and fitting for a princess
Descended of so many royal kings.
325Ah, soldier!

CHARMIAN

It is well done, and appropriate for a princess who has descended from so many royal kings. Ah, soldier!
CHARMIAN dies
She dies.
Enter DOLABELLA
DOLABELLA enters.

DOLABELLA

How goes it here?

DOLABELLA

What’s going on in here?

SECOND GUARD

                                    All dead.

SECOND GUARD

They’re all dead.

DOLABELLA

                                                       Caesar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming
To see performed the dreaded act which thou
So sought’st to hinder.

DOLABELLA

Caesar, you thought this would happen. You’re coming here yourself to see the dreaded act you had tried to stop.