The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
How we cite our quotes:
The witch shall die.
To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot. She dies for't. Eros, ho! (4.12.46)
Antony’s passionate love has transformed into a rage just as passionate – one that likely can’t be satisfied.
My good knave Eros, now thy captain is
Even such a body. Here I am Antony;
Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
I made these wars for Egypt; and the Queen-
Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine,
Which, whilst it was mine, had annex'd unto't
A million moe, now lost- she, Eros, has
Pack'd cards with Caesar, and false-play'd my glory
Unto an enemy's triumph. (4.14.12)
Antony’s failure has transformed him from the strong and resolute man he once was; now he is no more substantial than the clouds. He has also changed his thoughts on Cleopatra; thinking he now sees her as she really is, he realizes she made him a fool, and it has cost him his honor.
The miserable change now at my end
Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I liv'd the greatest prince o' th' world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman- a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going
I can no more. (4.15.51)
Antony’s final act of suicide, though it was induced by others and not himself, is held up as a vindicating act. He seems to think that, because he took his own life, he is carrying on the tradition of nobility that characterized his life. He also admits that he’s now a broken man. Which is he really – noble or broken – and which does he see himself as?