Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Editor’s NoteEnter Cleopatra and Enobarbus

cleopatra I will be even with thee, doubt it not.


enobarbus But why, why, why?

Editor’s Note3

cleopatra Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,

4And sayst it is not fit.

enobarbus Well, is it, is it?

Editor’s Note5

cleopatra Is't not denounced against us? Why should not we

6Be there in person?

enobarbus [aside] Well, I could reply

Editor’s Note7If we should serve with horse and mares together,

Editor’s Note8The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear

Editor’s Note9A soldier and his horse.

cleopatra What is't you say?

Editor’s Note10

enobarbus Your presence needs must puzzle Antony,

11Take from his heart, take from his brain, from's time

12What should not then be spared. He is already

pg 2616Editor’s Note13Traduced for levity, and 'tis said in Rome

14That Photinus, an eunuch, and your maids

Editor’s Note15Manage this war.

cleopatra Sink Rome, and their tongues rot

Editor’s Note16That speak against us! A charge we bear i'th' war,

17And as the president of my kingdom will

Editor’s Note18Appear there for a man. Speak not against it.

19I will not stay behind.

Editor’s NoteEnter Antony and Canidius

enobarbus Nay, I have done.

20Here comes the Emperor.

antony Is it not strange, Canidius,

Editor’s Note21That from Tarentum and Brundisium

Editor’s Note22He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea

Editor’s Note23And take in Toryne?—You have heard on't, sweet?

Editor’s Note24

cleopatra Celerity is never more admired

25Than by the negligent.

antony A good rebuke,

26Which might have well becomed the best of men

27To taunt at slackness. Canidius, we

28Will fight with him by sea.

cleopatra By sea—what else?


canidius Why will my lord do so?

antony For that he dares us to't.


enobarbus So hath my lord dared him to single fight.

Editor’s Note31

canidius Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia,

32Where Caesar fought with Pompey. But these offers

33Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off,

34And so should you.

enobarbus Your ships are not well manned,

Editor’s Note35Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people

Editor’s Note36Engrossed by swift impress. In Caesar's fleet

37Are those that often have 'gainst Pompey fought.

Editor’s Note38Their ships are yare, yours heavy. No disgrace

Editor’s Note39Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,

40Being prepared for land.

antony By sea, by sea.


enobarbus Most worthy sir, you therein throw away

42The absolute soldiership you have by land;

Editor’s Note43Distract your army, which doth most consist

Editor’s Note44Of war-marked footmen; leave unexecuted

45Your own renownèd knowledge; quite forgo

46The way which promises assurance, and

pg 2617Editor’s Note47Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard

48From firm security.

antony I'll fight at sea.

Link 49

cleopatra I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.


antony Our overplus of shipping will we burn,

Editor’s Note51And with the rest full-manned, from th'head of Actium

52Beat th'approaching Caesar. But if we fail,

53We then can do't at land.

Editor’s NoteEnter a Messenger

Thy busïness?


messenger The news is true, my lord. He is descried.

55Caesar has taken Toryne.


antony Can he be there in person? 'Tis impossible;

Editor’s Note57Strange that his power should be. Canidius,

58Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land,

59And our twelve thousand horse. We'll to our ship.

Editor’s Note60Away, my Thetis!

Editor’s NoteEnter a Soldier [Scarus]

How now, worthy soldier?


scarus O, noble Emperor, do not fight by sea.

62Trust not to rotten planks. Do you misdoubt

63This sword and these my wounds? Let th'Egyptians

64And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we

65Have used to conquer standing on the earth,

66And fighting foot to foot.

antony Well, well; away!

Exeunt Antony, Cleopatra, and Enobarbus

scarus By Hercules, I think I am i'th' right.

Editor’s Note68

canidius Soldier, thou art; but his whole action grows

69Not in the power on't. So our leader's led,

70And we are women's men.

scarus You keep by land

71The legions and the horse whole, do you not?


canidius Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,

73Publicola, and Caelius are for sea,

74But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar's

Editor’s Note75Carries beyond belief.

scarus While he was yet in Rome

Editor’s Note76His power went out in such distractions

77As beguiled all spies.

canidius Who's his lieutenant, hear you?


scarus They say, one Taurus.

canidius Well I know the man.

Enter a Messenger

messenger The Emperor calls Canidius.


canidius With news the time's in labour, and throws forth

81Each minute some.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
19.0 Cleopatra often combining military hardware with exotic feminine accessories. Janet Suzman (1972) wore a sword and a glittering metallic skirt.
Editor’s Note
19.3 forspoke opposed
Editor’s Note
19.5 Is't not denounced was it not declared
Editor’s Note
19.7–8 serve … merely take both male and female horses to the wars, the males would be utterly
Editor’s Note
19.8 bear bear off, seduce
Editor’s Note
19.9 What is't you say Either Enobarbus has spoken aside or his parable is too cryptic for Cleopatra.
Editor’s Note
19.10 puzzle bewilder, distract
Editor’s Note
19.13 Traduced slandered, censured
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19.15 Sink Rome may Rome sink (to hell)
Editor’s Note
19.16 charge expense or responsibility
Editor’s Note
19.18 for as if I were
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19.19.1 Antony and Canidius in battle gear
Editor’s Note
19.21 Tarentum and Brundisium ports in south-east Italy
Editor’s Note
19.22 cut cut across
Editor’s Note
19.22 Ionian i.e. Adriatic
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19.23 take in occupy, conquer
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19.24 admired wondered at
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19.31 Pharsalia (near Actium)
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19.35 muleteers mule-drivers
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19.36 Engrossed collected wholesale
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19.36 impress conscription
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19.38 yare easily manoeuvred
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19.39 fall befall
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19.43 Distract confuse
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19.44 footmen foot-soldiers
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19.44 unexecuted unused, unapplied
Editor’s Note
19.47 merely entirely
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19.51 head promontory
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19.53.1 Enter almost certainly in a hurry, like the messenger who enters later (78.1)
Editor’s Note
19.57 power army
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19.60 Thetis a sea-goddess
Editor’s Note
19.60.1 Scarus This might be an anonymous soldier, but he seems most likely to be the same loyal veteran later identified with the name 'Scarus'.
Editor’s Note
19.68–9 his whole action … on't His entire plan does not spring from his real resources.
Editor’s Note
19.75 Carries beyond surpasses
Editor’s Note
19.76 distractions separate groups
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