Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

CLEOPATRA

                                            Excellent falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
I’ll seem the fool I am not. Antony
Will be himself.

CLEOPATRA

(to herself) What an enormous lie! Why did he marry Fulvia if he didn’t love her? I’ll pretend to be a fool and believe him. He’ll never change.

ANTONY

                                But stirred by Cleopatra.
45Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
Let’s not confound the time with conference harsh.
There’s not a minute of our lives should stretch
Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?

ANTONY

(overhearing the last sentence) Unless he is moved and inspired by Cleopatra. Now, since we love the feeling of being in love, let’s not spoil the mood with serious discussion. We shouldn’t spend a minute without some kind of amusement. What shall we do tonight?

CLEOPATRA

Hear the ambassadors.

CLEOPATRA

Meet with the ambassadors.

ANTONY

                                             Fie, wrangling Queen!
50Whom every thing becomes—to chide, to laugh,
To weep, whose every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!
No messenger but thine, and all alone
Tonight we’ll wander through the streets and note
55The qualities of people. Come, my Queen,
Last night you did desire it.—(to the MESSENGER ) Speak not to us.

ANTONY

Shame on you, stubborn Queen! Everything you do is attractive—scolding, laughing, crying—every emotion seems admirable when you express it. I won’t see any messengers but yours. Tonight we’ll wander through the streets and observe the people. Come, my Queen. That’s what you wanted to do last night. (to the MESSENGER ) Don’t talk to us.
Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with the train
ANTONY and CLEOPATRA exit with their attendants.

DEMETRIUS

Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?

DEMETRIUS

Does Antony have so little respect for Caesar?

PHILO

Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony
He comes too short of that great property
60Which still should go with Antony.

PHILO

Sir, sometimes he’s like a different person, a person who can’t measure up to the former Antony.