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

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Sc. 243.12

Editor’s NoteEnter Caesar, Agrippa, and Dolabella, with others [including Thidias]

caesar Let him appear that's come from Antony.

2Know you him?

dolabella Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster;

Editor’s Note3An argument that he is plucked, when hither

Editor’s Note4He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,

Editor’s Note5Which had superfluous kings for messengers

6Not many moons gone by.

Enter Ambassador from Antony

caesar Approach and speak.


ambassador Such as I am, I come from Antony.

Editor’s Note8I was of late as petty to his ends

9As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf

Editor’s Note10To his grand sea.

caesar Be't so. Declare thine office.


ambassador Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and

Editor’s Note12Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted,

13He lessens his requests, and to thee sues

14To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,

15A private man in Athens. This for him.

16Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,

17Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves

pg 2622Editor’s Note18The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,

Editor’s Note19Now hazarded to thy grace.

caesar For Antony,

20I have no ears to his request. The Queen

Editor’s Note21Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she

22From Egypt drive her all-disgracèd friend,

23Or take his life there. This if she perform

24She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.

Editor’s Note25

ambassador Fortune pursue thee!

caesar Bring him through the bands.

[Exit Ambassador, attended] [To Thidias]

26To try thy eloquence now 'tis time. Dispatch.

27From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise,

28And in our name, what she requires. Add more:

29Frame thine invention offers. Women are not

Editor’s Note30In their best fortunes strong, but want will perjure

31The ne'er-touched vestal. Try thy cunning, Thidias.

Editor’s Note32Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we

33Will answer as a law.

thidias Caesar, I go.

Editor’s Note34

caesar Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,

Editor’s Note35And what thou think'st his very action speaks

36In every power that moves.

thidias Caesar, I shall.

Exeunt [Caesar and his train at one door, and Thidias at another]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
24.0 Enter Caesar in striking contrast to Antony, often transformed with a new confidence after defeating Antony. Agrippa says nothing, and is often cut from this and several other scenes, but his presence alongside Caesar throughout the play creates a visible emblem of loyalty and continuity (in contrast to Enobarbus and other supporters of Antony).
Editor’s Note
24.3 argument piece of evidence
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24.4 pinion feather
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24.5 Which who
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24.8 petty to insignificant in relation to
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24.10 To his grand sea in relation to the great sea which is Antony
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24.12 Requires asks
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24.18 circle crown
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24.19 hazarded to thy grace placed at the mercy of your favour
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24.21 audience nor desire neither a hearing nor her wishes
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24.21 so provided that
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24.25 Bring escort
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24.25 bands military lines
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24.30–1 want … vestal need will make the purest virgin break her vows
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24.32 edict for thy pains decree for your reward
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24.34 becomes his flaw reacts to his fall
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24.35–6 his very action … moves His actions reveal themselves in every move he makes.
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