Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 3

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                                                              I cannot hope
40Caesar and Antony shall well greet together.
His wife that’s dead did trespasses to Caesar.
His brother warred upon him, although, I think,
Not moved by Antony.


I don’t expect Caesar and Antony will have a very friendly reunion. Antony’s dead wife raised an army against him, as did his brother, though I don’t think Antony instigated it.


                                              I know not, Menas,
How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
45Were ’t not that we stand up against them all,
’Twere pregnant they should square between themselves,
For they have entertainèd cause enough
To draw their swords. But how the fear of us
May cement their divisions and bind up
50The petty difference, we yet not know.
Be ’t as our gods will have ’t. It only stands
Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
Come, Menas.


Menas, I don’t understand how minor quarrels can be superseded by greater ones. If it weren’t for the fact that we oppose all three of them together, they’d be fighting each other. They certainly have enough provocation. But it’s possible the fear of us may mend their petty differences, though how that will work out, we cannot say. It will be as the gods see fit. In any case, our survival depends on putting together the strongest force possible. Let’s go, Menas.
They exit.