The corresponding short Roman exchange is, by contrast, short, realistic, and lucid: "To the vales, and hold our best advantage"

Scene 12

Sounds of a sea battle in progress. Scarus states that the augurs (fortune tellers) are not hopeful. Antony enters bellowing that "All is lost" and blaming it on Cleopatra - "This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me". It seems that Antony's fleet has "yielded to the foe" and that his men are carousing with the enemy. Cleopatra is perhaps the butt of his wrath because of what he witnessed occurring with Thidias. Antony despairs, describing himself as a felled tree: "this pine is stripped / That overtopped them all". Cleopatra appearing, seeming innocent: "Why is my lord enraged against his love?" but Antony is relentless: "The witch must die".

Scene 13

Cleopatra calls her women for help, and Charmian suddenly decides "To th'monument!" (i.e. her pyramid or sepulchre). The plan is to have Antony informed that Cleopatra has killed herself, so that he will repent with grief at her death. Cleopatra seems to respond to the drama of the situation - "Say the last word I spoke was 'Antony'".

Scene 14

Antony soliloquizes on the transience of life by describing the shapes clouds make. He feels himself only Antony in name. He receives Mardian, Cleopatra's woman, rudely, yet her (false) news regarding Cleopatra's death does inspire him to kill himself. He envisages their happiness together in the Elysian fields: "Where souls do couch on flowers we'll hand in hand... ". Antony tries to persuade Eros to kill him, and Eros at first refuses, suddenly appearing to change his mind "My sword is drawn" yet stabbing himself instead, in a very dramatic gesture - "Thus I do escape the sorrow/ Of Antony's death". Antony now endeavors to fall on his own sword, but manages to fail to kill himself outright. Seeing a guard approaching, he asks him to dispatch him; Antony's death is hardly the heroic one his life deserves. He is informed that Cleopatra is still living, and the guards bear him to her.

Scene 15

Cleopatra is informing her maids how "she will never go from hence", a line which could be interpreted as a brave resolution to die, or as a despondent moan demanding pity. When Antony appears below, she hauls him up into the monument, an action that can be pantomime in the midst of tragedy, depending upon a director's decision. Many productions choose to cut the lines "Help Iras, help! Help friends below! Let's draw him hither... Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!" since the procedure can be problematic in terms of staging, and can appear to ruin the atmosphere, although the episode is extremely relevant to the play's contribution to the humanization of great kings and queens. Antony warns that she should trust none of Caesar's men but Dolabella, then bids her not grieve as they exchange final intimate speeches, and as he dies Cleopatra pronounces that the world without Antony is "no better than a sty" and that "The crown o'th'earth doth melt." After his death, Cleopatra states that all her values are turned on their head and that she has now no need for life.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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