Antony and Cleopatra

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 7

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ANTONY

I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear
Agrippa further speak.

ANTONY

It’s true I’m not married, Caesar. Let me hear what Agrippa has to say.

AGRIPPA

To hold you in perpetual amity,
To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
135With an unslipping knot, take Antony
Octavia to his wife, whose beauty claims
No worse a husband than the best of men,
Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
140All little jealousies, which now seem great,
And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
Would then be nothing. Truths would be tales,
Where now half-tales be truths. Her love to both
Would each to other and all loves to both
145Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke,
For ’tis a studied, not a present thought,
By duty ruminated.

AGRIPPA

If Antony were to take Octavia as his wife, you two would be bound in eternal friendship. As brothers, your hearts would be tied together in an unbreakable knot. She is beautiful enough for the best of men. Her virtue and grace are unparalleled. With this marriage, all the petty jealousies that now seem huge, and all the great fears that are dangerous in themselves, would disappear. People would become used to speaking the truth rather than gossip. Since she would love both of you, you two would be joined in that love. Excuse my bluntness. This is not a spur-of-the-moment suggestion. I have been considering this for some time, in my duties to both of you.

ANTONY

                                        Will Caesar speak?

ANTONY

What do you say, Caesar?

CAESAR

Not till he hears how Antony is touched
With what is spoke already.

CAESAR

I’d rather hear your reaction to this first.

ANTONY

150What power is in Agrippa
If I would say, “Agrippa, be it so,”
To make this good?

ANTONY

If I said to Agrippa, “I agree. Make it happen,” does Agrippa have the power to make it so?