The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Act III, Scene xi Summary
- Antony, back at Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria, cries out in shame.
- He laments that he’s lost to the world forever, and insists that his friends go to a ship he has left full of gold, divide up the spoils, and follow his example by fleeing.
- He says his lesser parts have defeated his nobler intuitions, and he has lost command (of himself and his men). Overall, he’s kind of a wreck.
- Cleopatra enters.
- Antony is busy recounting what a noble soldier he used to be, like that time he oversaw the death of Brutus and Cassius. These victories are mitigated by his present shame.
- Cleopatra goes to comfort him, with her head hung and looking the very picture of shame.
- He asks her how she could lead him to this, and she is full of apologies – she ran away because she was frightened, and never thought he would follow her.
- He responds in despair. His heart was tied to her rudder; he had to follow because his love for her rules his spirit.
- She’s really sorry, it seems, but Antony now has to worry about seeking pardon from Caesar, which is sad since not too long ago he ruled half the world.
- Still, Cleopatra has power over him; he asks her for a kiss, as this will repay him for all the wrongs.
- He calls for wine, and is determined to make merry. Antony chooses to deliberately ignore all the signs that the entire endeavor against Caesar is cursed.