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Antony and Cleopatra

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Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS
CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS enter.

CLEOPATRA
I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
CLEOPATRA
I’ll be straight with you. Do not doubt it.

ENOBARBUS
But why, why, why?
ENOBARBUS
But why, why, why?


CLEOPATRA
Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars
And sayst it is not fit.
CLEOPATRA
You opposed my taking part in the war. You said it wasn’t proper.

ENOBARBUS
                                            Well, is it, is it?
ENOBARBUS
Well, is it? Is it?

5
CLEOPATRA
Is ’t not denounced against us? Why should not we
Be there in person?
CLEOPATRA
Isn’t this war against me? Why shouldn’t I be there in person?




ENOBARBUS
                                      Well, I could reply,
If we should serve with horse and mares together,
The horse were merely lost. The mares would bear
A soldier and his horse.
ENOBARBUS
Well, I could answer that if we went to war on male and female horses alike—the male horses would be totally distracted and useless. The mares would be ridden by their riders and the male horses.

CLEOPATRA
                                               What is ’t you say?
CLEOPATRA
What do you mean?

10




15
ENOBARBUS
Your presence needs must puzzle Antony,
Take from his heart, take from his brain, from ’s time
What should not then be spared. He is already
Traduced for levity, and ’tis said in Rome
That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids
Manage this war.
ENOBARBUS
Antony will necessarily be distracted by your presence. You will affect his heart and his head. You’ll take up time he can’t afford to lose. He’s already criticized for frivolous behavior. In Rome they say that your eunuch Photinus and your maids run the war.





CLEOPATRA
                                   Sink Rome! And their tongues rot
That speak against us! A charge we bear i’ th’ war,
And as the president of my kingdom will
Appear there for a man. Speak not against it.
I will not stay behind.
CLEOPATRA
Let Rome fall! May the tongues of our critics rot! I have responsibilities in this war, and as the absolute ruler of my kingdom I will carry out my duties as if I were a man. Don’t argue against it. I won’t stay behind.