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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare


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Antony and Cleopatra

By William Shakespeare QUOTATION: Cleopatra. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Antony. There’s beggary in the love that can be reckoned.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra’s first exchange with Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 1, l. 15.

A grand conception of love as beyond measure.

QUOTATION: Cleopatra. Think you there was or might be such a man
As this I dreamt of?
Dolabella. Gentle madam, no.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra and Dolabella, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 93-4.

Dolabella punctures Cleopatra’s fantasy of Antony as superman.

QUOTATION: My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5, l. 73-5.

Dismissing her earlier love for Julius Caesar.

QUOTATION: That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5, l. 5.

QUOTATION: Realms and islands were
As plates dropped from his pocket.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 91-2.

Cleopatra’s dream of Antony; “plates” means coins, of silver or gold.

QUOTATION: Who’s born that day
When I forget to send to Antony,
Shall die a beggar.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5, l. 63-5.

Messages of love to the absent Antony.

QUOTATION: Then is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death
Ere death dare come to us?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 16.

On the death of Antony.

QUOTATION: Is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death
Ere death dare come to us?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 80-2.

Contemplating suicide.

QUOTATION: Show me, my women, like a queen; go fetch
My best attires. I am again for Cydnus
To meet Mark Antony.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 227-9.

Dressing up to recapture her first glamorous meeting with Antony.

QUOTATION: No more but e’en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chares.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 73-5.

In grief the Queen discovers her common humanity.

QUOTATION: He was disposed to mirth, but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 2, l. 82-3.

Antony occasionally remembers his duties as a ruler, and his wife in Rome.

QUOTATION: What’s brave, what’s noble,
Let’s do’t after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 86-8.

Determined to control her destiny.

QUOTATION: I was
A morsel for a monarch.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5, l. 30-1.

Recalling her affair with Julius Caesar.

QUOTATION: O, withered is the garland of the war,
The soldier’s pole is fallen!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 64-5.

“Garland” suggests the wreath of victory, and “pole” the standard-bearer, and also a phallus, reminding us of the dead Antony’s sexuality.

QUOTATION: I dreamt there was an Emperor Antony.
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 76-8.

After Antony’s death.

QUOTATION: Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 85-6.

QUOTATION: O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 3, l. 90-1.

Her forgetfulness (oblivion) is due to her preoccupation with Antony, so that she forgets herself, and at the same time implies that he forgets her in going to Rome.

QUOTATION: Celerity is never more admired
Than by the negligent.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 7, l. 24-5.

“A good rebuke,” as Antony remarks (l. 25).

QUOTATION: Where art thou, death?
Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
Worth many babes and beggars!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 46-8.

QUOTATION: If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
Which hurts, and is desired.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 295-6.

Addressing Iras, one of her attendants, who dies just before Cleopatra herself.

QUOTATION: Husband, I come!
Now to that name my courage prove my title!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 287-8.

She welcomes death like a bride going to her husband.

QUOTATION: Give me mine angle, we’ll to th’ river; there,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finned fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up,
I’ll think them every one an Antony,
And say, “Ah, ha! y’ are caught.”
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 10-5.

Imagining getting her hooks into Antony, as we now say; an “angle” is a fishing rod and line.

QUOTATION: There is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 67-8.

Her view of a world without Antony.

QUOTATION: Give me my robe, put on my crown, I have
Immortal longings in me.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 280-1.

Preparing for death as a queen.

QUOTATION: Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 1-2.

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