Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 2

[Re-enter ENOBARBUS.]

What's your pleasure, sir?

I must with haste from hence.

Why, then we kill all our women: we see how mortal an unkindness
is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

I must be gone.

Under a compelling occasion, let women die: it were pity to cast
them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause
they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the
least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty
times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is mettle in
death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a
celerity in dying.

She is cunning past man's thought.

Alack, sir, no: her passions are made of nothing but the finest
part of pure love: we cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and
tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can
report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a
shower of rain as well as Jove.

Would I had never seen her!

O sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work; which
not to have been blest withal would have discredited your travel.

Fulvia is dead.


Fulvia is dead.



Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth
their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to
man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein that when old
robes are worn out there are members to make new. If there were
no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case
to be lamented: this grief is crown'd with consolation; your old
smock brings forth a new petticoat: — and, indeed, the tears live
in an onion that should water this sorrow.

The business she hath broached in the state
Cannot endure my absence.

And the business you have broached here cannot be without you;
especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your

No more light answers. Let our officers
Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
The cause of our expedience to the queen,
And get her leave to part. For not alone
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
Of many our contriving friends in Rome
Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius
Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
The empire of the sea; our slippery people, —
Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
Till his deserts are past, — begin to throw
Pompey the Great, and all his dignities,
Upon his son; who, high in name and power,
Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
The sides o' the world may danger: much is breeding
Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life
And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.

I shall do't.


Back to Top

Take the Quiz

As the play unfolds, to whom is Antony betrothed?