Study Guide

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Act IV, Scene xv

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Act IV, Scene xv

  • Cleopatra waits at the monument and declares she’ll never leave, although she's super anxious about Antony. Right about then Diomedes declares that Antony is not quite dead, but mostly dying.
  • The lovers call to each other.
  • Antony announces that it can never be said that Caesar’s valor overthrew Antony; rather, Antony’s valor made him overthrow himself. Cleopatra agrees that there’s nobility in the fact that no man conquered Antony except Antony himself.
  • Antony calls out to her to come down and give him a final kiss, but she dares not leave the monument for fear that Caesar will catch her and place her in his victory parade. Instead, she begs those around her to help pull her lover’s dying body to her. She notes he’s heavy, his strength having turned into dull weight, and she wishes her kisses might bring him back to life.
  • Everyone watching is rather moved. Antony begs Cleopatra, with his dying breaths, to seek her honor and safety with Caesar and the one trustworthy man around Caesar—Proculeius. She replies she can’t have both her honor and her safety, and that she will resolve this matter with her own hands, rather than seeking pardon from Caesar.
  • As he’s dying, Antony bids Cleopatra to remember him when he was the prince of the world.
  • Antony says he dies a noble death, at the hand of no other man, but dies "a Roman by a Roman, valiantly vanquished."
  • In the moment of his death, Cleopatra wails, and asks if he does not care for her. By dying and leaving her alone, she's left in a world worthless without him.
  • She faints, and the maids worry she’s died, too, since they know that lots of times in Shakespeare fainting is just a façade for dying.
  • When Cleopatra comes to, she declares that it is no sin to rush to death before death rushes to her. Thus she’s resolved to kill herself.
  • She declares they’ll bury Antony in the noble Roman fashion, giving him a funeral he deserves. She is now all business, as her course is laid out clearly before her.

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