Act IV - Act IV, Scene 15
Alexandria. A monument.
[Enter, above, CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN and IRAS.]
O Charmian, I will never go from hence!
Be comforted, dear madam.
No, I will not:
All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
As that which makes it.--
[Enter, below, DIOMEDES.]
How now! is he dead?
His death's upon him, but not dead.
Look out o' the other side your monument;
His guard have brought him thither.
[Enter, below, ANTONY, borne by the Guard.]
Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!--darkling stand
The varying shore o' theworld.--O Antony,
Antony, Antony!--Help, Charmian; help, Iras, help,--
Help, friends below;--let's draw him hither.
Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.
So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!
I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here importune death awhile, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.
I dare not, dear,--
Dear my lord, pardon,--I dare not,
Lest I be taken: not the imperious show
Of the full-fortun'd Caesar ever shall
Be brooch'd with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe;
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me.--But come, come, Antony,--
Help me, my women,--we must draw thee up;
Assist, good friends.
O, quick, or I am gone.
Here's sport indeed!--How heavy weighs my lord!
Our strength is all gone into heaviness;
That makes the weight: had I great Juno's power,
The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up,
And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little,--
Wishers were ever fools,--O come, come;
[They draw ANTONY up.]
And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast liv'd:
Quicken with kissing: had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.
A heavy sight!
I am dying, Egypt, dying:
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
No, let me speak; and let me rail so high
That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
Provok'd by my offence.
One word, sweet queen:
Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety.--O!
They do not go together.
Gentle, hear me:
None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.
My resolution and my hands I'll trust;
None about Caesar.
The miserable change now at my end
Lament nor sorrow at: but please your thoughts
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I liv'd, the greatest prince o' the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman, a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going:
I can no more.
Noblest of men, woo't die?
Hast thou no care of me? shall I abide
In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a sty?--O, see, my women,
The crown o' the earth doth melt.--My lord!--
O, wither'd is the garland of the war,
The soldier's pole is fallen: young boys and girls
Are level now with men: the odds is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.
O, quietness, lady!
She is dead too, our sovereign.
O madam, madam, madam!--
Royal Egypt, Empress,--
Peace, peace, Iras!
No more but e'en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chares.--It were for me
To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
To tell them that this world did equal theirs
Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but naught;
Patience is sottish, and impatience does
Become a dog that's mad: then is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death
Ere death dare come to us?--How do you, women?
What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!
My noble girls!--Ah, women, women, look,
Our lamp is spent, it's out!--Good sirs, take heart:--
We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble,
Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us. Come, away:
This case of that huge spirit now is cold:
Ah, women, women!--Come; we have no friend
But resolution, and the briefest end.
[Exeunt; those above bearing off ANTONY'S body.]
— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Antony tells Cleopatra that he is dying and calls her Egypt. In this way, he conflates his lover with the land he claimed and fought for; the land which he lost to Rome. In Antony's final lines, he pledges himself to Cleopatra forever, asking death to wait so that he can kiss her a thousand more times. Antony does not ask for forgiveness for what he has done but only more of his love.