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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.
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