Antony And Cleopatra Quotes

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The breaking of so great a thing should make A greater crack: the round world Should have shook lions into civil streets, And citizens to their dens.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
In time we hate that which we often fear.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Make death proud to take us.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
I mean she's Cleopatra... shouldn't she and Antony have known better? They were so different..." "Variety is the spice of life" "And from a thousand miles apart" "Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2))
Give to a gracious message a host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt.
William Shakespeare
We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers Deny us for our good; so find we profit By losing of our prayers.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
But she makes hungry Where she most satisfies...
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Her seductive power, however, did not lie in her looks [...]. In reality, Cleopatra was physically unexceptional and had no political power, yet both Caesar and Antony, brave and clever men, saw none of this. What they saw was a woman who constantly transformed herself before their eyes, a one-woman spectacle. Her dress and makeup changed from day to day, but always gave her a heightened, goddesslike appearance. Her words could be banal enough, but were spoken so sweetly that listeners would find themselves remembering not what she said but how she said it.
Robert Greene (The Art of Seduction)
Music, moody food Of us that trade in love.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
That truth should be silent I had almost forgot. (Enobarbus)
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the Dark.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
You still don't get it, do you, Margaret?' Kat smiled almost sadly. 'We never had to steal the Antony. All we had to do was get it next to the Cleopatra and switch the signs.
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2))
Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching. That was how Shakespeare wrote, I thought, looking at Antony and Cleopatra; and when people compare Shakespeare and Jane Austen, they may mean that the minds of both had consumed all impediments; and for that reason we do not know Jane Austen and we do not know Shakespeare, and for that reason Jane Austen pervades every word that she wrote, and so does Shakespeare.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch Which hurts and is desired.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
The theme of the dance was "Great Romances," or some such nonsense. There were projections of supposedly great couples from the past on the walls of the gym. Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Hermione and Ron, Bonnie and Clyde, etc.
Gabrielle Zevin (All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1))
Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me: now no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip: Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear Antony call; I see him rouse himself To praise my noble act; I hear him mock The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men To excuse their after wrath: husband, I come: Now to that name my courage prove my title! I am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life. So; have you done? Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips. Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell. Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still? If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world It is not worth leave-taking.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
The crown o' the earth doth melt. My lord! O, wither'd is the garland of the war, The soldier's pole is fall'n: young boys and girls Are level now with men; the odds is gone, And there is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
My salad days, When I was green in judgment: cold in blood, To say as I said then! But, come, away; Get me ink and paper: He shall have every day a several greeting, Or I'll unpeople Egypt.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Come, sir, come, I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love. Look, here I have you, thus I let you go, And give you to the gods.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Princess," he said, spreading his arms in a shrug, "how does such a little thing like you get such a big temper?" I held up my hand to shield my eyes from the sun. "Marc Antony," I said, "how does such a big man like you have such a little brain?
Kristiana Gregory (Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C.)
If you find him sad, say I am dancing. If in mirth, report that I am sudden sick.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, Burn’d on the water; the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made The water which they beat to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggar’d all description.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
How shall I abide In this dull world, which in thy absence is No better than a sty?
William Shakespeare
The April's in her eyes: it is love's Spring, And these the showers to bring it on..
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love; we cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report...
William Shakespeare
The worm is not to be trusted...
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
But you gods will give us Some faults to make us men.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
If it be love indeed, tell me how much. There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned. I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
We are all women you assure me? Then I may tell you that the very next words I read were these – ‘Chloe liked Olivia …’ Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women. ‘Chloe liked Olivia,’ I read. And then it struck me how immense a change was there. Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature. Cleopatra did not like Octavia. And how completely Antony and Cleopatra would have been altered had she done so! As it is, I thought, letting my mind, I am afraid, wander a little from Life’s Adventure, the whole thing is simplified, conventionalized, if one dared say it, absurdly. Cleopatra’s only feeling about Octavia is one of jealousy. Is she taller than I am? How does she do her hair? The play, perhaps, required no more. But how interesting it would have been if the relationship between the two women had been more complicated. All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple. So much has been left out, unattempted. And I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends. There is an attempt at it in Diana of the Crossways. They are confidantes, of course, in Racine and the Greek tragedies. They are now and then mothers and daughters. But almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
All strange and terrible events are welcome, but comforts we despise
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
My desolation does begin to make a better life.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Let him forever go!-Let him not, Charmian. Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon, The other way he's a Mars.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Where souls do couch on flowers we’ll hand in hand...
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
For what good turn? Messenger: For the best turn of the bed.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
He kiss’d, –the last of many doubled kisses, –this orient pearl.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Passion is destructive. It destroyed Antony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde, Parnell and Kitty O'Shea. And if it doesn't destroy it dies. It may be then that one is faced with the desolation of knowing that one has wasted the years of one's life, that one's brought disgrace upon oneself, endured the frightful pang of jealousy, swallowed every bitter mortification, that one's expended all one's tenderness, poured out all the riches of one's soul on a poor drab, a fool, a peg on which on hung one's dreams, who wasn't worth a stick of chewing gum.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge)
There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Our separation so abides, and flies, That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me, And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
she did lie In her pavillion--cloth-of-gold of tissue-- O'er-picturing that Venus where we see The fancy out-work nature
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
being an artist: "And this susceptibility of theirs is doubly unfortunate , I thought, returning again to my original enquiry into what state of mind is propitious for creative work, because the mind of an artist, in order to achieve to the prodigious effort of freeing whole and entire the work that is in him, must be incandescent, like Shakespeare's mind, I conjectured, looking at the book which lay open at Antony and Cleopatra. There must be no obstacle in it, no foreign matter unconsumed.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
But yet let me lament With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts That thou my brother, my competitor In top of all design, my mate in empire, Friend and companion in the front of war, The arm of mine own body, and the heart Where mine his thoughts did kindle—that our stars Unreconcilable should divide Our equalness to this.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
What our contempt often hurls from us, We wish it our again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Why is it that we honor the Great Thieves of Whitehall, for Acts that in Whitechapel would merit hanging? Why admire one sort of Thief, and despise the other? I suggest, 'tis because of the Scale of the Crime.--What we of the Mobility love to watch, is any of the Great Motrices, Greed, Lust, Revenge, taken out of all measure, brought quite past the scale of the ev'ryday world, approaching what we always knew were the true Dimensions of Desire. Let Antony lose the world for Cleopatra, to be sure,--not Dick his Day's Wages, at the Tavern.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
Throw my heart Against the flint and hardness of my fault: Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder, And finish all foul thoughts.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
And strange it is That nature must compel us to lament Our most persisted deeds.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch / Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space. / Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike / Feeds beast as man.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Not romantic," she disagreed. "To me it would be romantic if Antony properly fell on his sword and kicked the bucket and Cleopatra escaped and lived a lovely life sailing along the Nile without him and his big ideas ruining her kingdom.
Jack Gantos (Dead End in Norvelt: (Newbery Medal Winner) (Norvelt Series, 1))
Gracious Queen, even Herod of Judea wouldn’t dare look at you unless you were in a good mood.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Que ella que con su muerte le dice a nuestro César: "Me conquisté yo misma".
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
and Anthony, Enthroned i'th'market-place, did sit alone Whistling to th'air, which but for vacancy Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in Nature.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Melt Egypt into Nile!
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
I am dying, Egypt, dying; only I here importune death awhile, until Of many thousand kisses the poor last I lay upon thy lips.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
The personal inevitably trumps the political, and the erotic trumps all: We will remember that Cleopatra slept with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony long after we have forgotten what she accomplished in doing so, that she sustained a vast, rich, densely populated empire in its troubled twilight in the name of a proud and cultivated dynasty. She remains on the map for having seduced two of the greatest men of her time, while her crime was to have entered into those same "wily and suspicious" marital partnerships that every man in power enjoyed. She did so in reverse and in her own name; this made her a deviant, socially disruptive, an unnatural woman. To these she added a few other offenses. She made Rome feel uncouth, insecure, and poor, sufficient cause for anxiety without adding sexuality into the mix.
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra: A Life)
Passion doesn’t count the cost. Pascal said that the heart has its reasons that reason takes no account of. If he meant what I think, he meant that when passion seizes the heart it invents reasons that seem not only plausible but conclusive to prove that the world is well lost for love. It convinces you that honour is well sacrificed and that shame is a cheap price to pay. Passion is destructive. It destroyed Antony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde, Parnell and Kitty O’Shea. And if it doesn’t destroy it dies.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge)
Now he'll outstare the lighting. To be furious Is to be frightened out of fear, and in that mood The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still A diminution in our captain's brain Restores his heart. When valor preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Thank you,” he said as he gathered his bags and looked at me. “I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone in the history of the world. Do you know that? Do you know that Antony didn’t love Cleopatra as much as I love you? Do you know that Romeo didn’t love Juliet as much as I love you?” I laughed. “I love you, too,” I said. “More than Liz Taylor loved Richard Burton.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (One True Loves)
Passion doesn’t count the cost. Pascal said that the heart has its reasons that reason takes no account of. If he meant what I think, he meant that when passion seizes the heart it invents reasons that seem not only plausible but conclusive to prove that the world is well lost for love. It convinces you that honour is well sacrificed and that shame is a cheap price to pay. Passion is destructive. It destroyed Antony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde, Parnell and Kitty O’Shea. And if it doesn’t destroy it dies. It may be then that one is faced with the desolation of knowing that one has wasted the years of one’s life, that one’s brought disgrace upon oneself, endured the frightful pang of jealousy, swallowed every bitter mortification, that one’s expended all one’s tenderness, poured out all the riches of one’s soul on a poor drab, a fool, a peg on which one hung one’s dreams, who wasn’t worth a stick of chewing gum.
W. Somerset Maugham ("The lion of the vigilantes" William T. Coleman and the life of old San Francisco,)
It may take a decade or two before the extent of Shakespeare's collaboration passes from the graduate seminar to the undergraduate lecture, and finally to popular biography, by which time it will be one of those things about Shakespeare that we thought we knew all along. Right now, though, for those who teach the plays and write about his life, it hasn't been easy abandoning old habits of mind. I know that I am not alone in struggling to come to terms with how profoundly it alters one's sense of how Shakespeare wrote, especially toward the end of his career when he coauthored half of his last ten plays. For intermixed with five that he wrote alone, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, and The Tempest, are Timon of Athens (written with Thomas Middleton), Pericles (written with George Wilkins), and Henry the Eighth, the lost Cardenio, and The Two Noble Kinsmen (all written with John Fletcher).
James Shapiro (Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?)
Kind sir, give me a good fortune. Fortuneteller: I don’t make fortunes; I only see them. Charmian: Then see a good one for me. Fortuneteller: Your beauty will be even greater than it is now. Charmian (to the others) He means I’ll get fat. Iras No, he means you’ll use makeup when you’re old. Fortuneteller: You will love more than you are loved. Charmian: I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
You will learn as you get older, my dear girl, that not everyone reads as you do. Not everyone has the same encounter with language. There is a heightened sensitivity in you, to be sure, but you can embrace it. It’s far more than just a nervous condition, these tears you shed when you read of Cleopatra and Marc Antony’s fall. You are a rare and beautiful thing, Sibyl. For most people, words are just symbols for sounds, made on paper. For you, they can create all new worlds in your mind.
Anne Rice (The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2))
Shakespeare will not allow Falstaff to die upon stage. We see and hear the deaths of Hamlet, Cleopatra, Antony, Othello, and Lear. Iago is led away to die silently under torture. Macbeth dies offstage but he goes down fighting. Falstaff dies singing the Twenty-third Psalm, smiling upon his fingertips, playing with flowers, and crying aloud to God three or four times. That sounds more like pain than prayer. We do not want Sir John Falstaff to die. And of course he does not. He is life itself.
Harold Bloom (Falstaff: Give Me Life (1) (Shakespeare's Personalities))
Whoever is born on a day I forget to send a message to Antony will die a beggar. Bring ink and paper, Charmian. Welcome, my good Alexas. Charmian, did I ever love Caesar as much as this? Oh, that splendid Caesar! May you choke on any other sentiments like that! Say, “That splendid Antony.” The courageous Caesar! By Isis, I’ll give you bloody teeth if you ever compare Caesar with Antony, my best man among men.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Nay, pray you, seek no color for your going, But bid farewell and go. When you sued staying, Then was the time for words. No going then! Eternity was in our lips and eyes, Bliss in our brows’ bent, none our parts so poor But was a race of heaven. They are so still, Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world, Art turned the greatest liar.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
I didn’t say free, madam. No, I didn’t say that. He’s bound to Octavia. CLEOPATRA For what favor? MESSENGER For the favor of sleeping in her bed. CLEOPATRA I am pale, Charmian. MESSENGER He’s married to Octavia, madam. CLEOPATRA May you die of the worst disease!
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
In praising Antony I have dispraised Caesar.
Cleopatra Egypt
Give me to drink Mandragora. Why, madam? That I might sleep out this great gap of time my Antony is away.
William Shakespeare
Antony shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness I’ th’ posture of a whore.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
You shall find there a man who is the abstract of all faults that all men follow.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Let’s do ’t after the high Roman fashion And make death proud to take us.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
When valor preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Though you can guess what temperance should be, You know not what it is
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Qui cherche et ne saisit pas ce qui s'offre ne le reverra jamais plus.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
The bright day is done, and we are for the dark.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish, A vapor sometime like a bear or lion, A towered citadel, a pendant rock, A forked mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon't that nod unto the world And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs: They are black vesper's pageants.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
In fact Cleopatra was indebted to Fulvia for teaching Antony to obey a wife's authority, for by the time he met her he had already been quite broken in and schooled to accept the way of women.
Plutarch (Plutarch’s Lives: Life of Mark Antony)
As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
Egypt, thou knew'st too well My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings, And thou shouldst tow me after: o'er my spirit Thy full supremacy thou knew'st, and that Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods Command me.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
It is no surprise that the only woman in antiquity who could be the subject of a full-length biography is Cleopatra. Yet, unlike Alexander, whom she rivals as the theme of romance and legend, Cleopatra is known to us through overwhelmingly hostile sources. The reward of the ‘good’ woman in Rome was likely to be praise in stereotyped phrases; in Athens she won oblivion.
Sarah B. Pomeroy (Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity)
Oh, Charmian, Where think’st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he? Or does he walk? Or is he on his horse? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony! Do bravely, horse, for wott’st thou whom thou mov’st? The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm And burgonet of men. He’s speaking now, Or murmuring “Where’s my serpent of old Nile?” For so he calls me. Now I feed myself With most delicious poison. Think on me, That am with Phoebus’ amorous pinches black And wrinkled deep in time. Broad-fronted Caesar, When thou wast here above the ground, I was A morsel for a monarch. And great Pompey Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow. There would he anchor his aspect, and die With looking on his life.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
CLEOPATRA TO THE ASP The bright mirror I braved: the devil in it Loved me like my soul, my soul: Now that I seek myself in a serpent My smile is fatal. Nile moves in me; my thighs splay Into the squalled Mediterranean; My brain hides in that Abyssinia Lost armies foundered towards. Desert and river unwrinkle again. Seeming to bring them the waters that make drunk Caesar, Pompey, Antony I drank. Now let the snake reign. A half-deity out of Capricorn, This rigid Augustus mounts With his sword virginal indeed; and has shorn Summarily the moon-horned river From my bed. May the moon Ruin him with virginity! Drink me, now, whole With coiled Egypt's past; then from my delta Swim like a fish toward Rome.
Ted Hughes (Lupercal)
I would not for the whole world diminish you. I know it is usual in these circumstances to protest—"I love you for yourself alone"—"I love you essentially"—and as you imply, my dearest, to mean by "you essentially"—lips hands and eyes. But you must know—we do know—that it is not so—dearest, I love your soul and with that your poetry—the grammar and stopping and hurrying syntax of your quick thought—quite as much essentially you as Cleopatra's hopping was essentially hers to delight Antony—more essentially, in that while all lips hands and eyes resemble each other somewhat (though yours are enchanting and also magnetic)—your thought clothed with your words is uniquely you, came with you, would vanish if you vanished—
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
The matter of the breath of the poor weighs upon Shakespeare and his characters. Cleopatra shudders at the thought that “mechanic slaves, With greasy aprons, rules and hammers, shall Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded, And forced to drink their vapor.” (Antony and Cleopatra, Act 5, Sc. 2.)
William Shakespeare (Complete Works of William Shakespeare)
¡Ah, por fin conmigo! Muere luego y vive antes; revive con besos. Si tal poder tuvieran, yo mis labios gastaría besando.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
She did not approach Caesar wrapped in a carpet, she was not a seductress, she did not use her charm to persuade the men in her life to lose their judgement, and she did not die by the bite of an asp…Yet other important elements of her career have been bypassed in the post-antique recension: she was a Skilled naval commander, a published medical authority, and an expert royal administrator who was met with adulation throughout the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps seen by some as a messianic figure, the hope for a future Eastern Mediterranean free of Roman domination.
Duane W. Roller (Cleopatra: A Biography (Women in Antiquity))
As for the other experiences, the solitary ones, which people go through alone, in their bedrooms, in their offices, walking the fields and the streets of London, he had them; had left home, a mere boy, because of his mother; she lied; because he came down to tea for the fiftieth time with his hands unwashed; because he could see no future for a poet in Stroud; and so, making a confidant of his little sister, had gone to London leaving an absurd note behind him, such as great men have written, and the world has read later when the story of their struggles has become famous. London has swallowed up many millions of young men called Smith; thought nothing of fantastic Christian names like Septimus with which their parents have thought to distinguish them. Lodging off the Euston Road, there were experiences, again experiences, such as change a face in two years from a pink innocent oval to a face lean, contracted, hostile. But of all this what could the most observant of friends have said except what a gardener says when he opens the conservatory door in the morning and finds a new blossom on his plant: — It has flowered; flowered from vanity, ambition, idealism, passion, loneliness, courage, laziness, the usual seeds, which all muddled up (in a room off the Euston Road), made him shy, and stammering, made him anxious to improve himself, made him fall in love with Miss Isabel Pole, lecturing in the Waterloo Road upon Shakespeare. Was he not like Keats? she asked; and reflected how she might give him a taste of Antony and Cleopatra and the rest; lent him books; wrote him scraps of letters; and lit in him
Virginia Woolf (Complete Works of Virginia Woolf)
What was said of an earlier tribune was more true of Antony: “He was a spendthrift of money and chastity—his own and other people’s.” The brilliant cavalry officer had all of Caesar’s charm and none of his self-control. In 44 the conspirators had deemed him too inconsistent to be dangerous. After the Ides Mark Antony was in his glory, entirely the man of the hour—at least until Octavian arrived. Cleopatra
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra)
His words hit me. He knew about Mila’s and Gabriel’s love… perhaps he could change things. If he did, Eli and I could be together freely, but until then there was no happy ending. I could feel it. The love that Eli and I have was great, but when has any great love in history ended well? Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, or Tristan and Isolde? Each and every one ended in tragedy, be it death or banishment.
Skyla Madi (Sun Kissed (Guardian Angel, #2))
We know that Antony pined for Cleopatra months later, though she wound up with all the credit for the affair. As one of her sworn enemies asserted, she did not fall in love with Antony but “brought him to fall in love with her.” In the ancient world too women schemed while men strategized; there was a great gulf, elemental and eternal, between the adventurer and the adventuress. There was one too between virility and promiscuity: Caesar left Cleopatra in Alexandria to sleep with the wife of the king of Mauretania. Antony arrived in Tarsus fresh from an affair with the queen of Cappadocia. The consort of two men of voracious sexual appetite and innumerable sexual conquests, Cleopatra would go down in history as the snare, the delusion, the seductress. Citing her sexual prowess was evidently less discomfiting than acknowledging her intellectual gifts. In the same way it is easier to ascribe her power to magic than to love. We have evidence of neither, but the first can at least be explained; with magic one forfeits rather than loses the game. So Cleopatra has Antony under her thumb, poised to obey her every wish, “not only because of his intimacy with her,” as Josephus has it, “but also because of being under the influence of drugs.” To claim as much is to acknowledge her power, also to insult her intelligence.
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra)
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it. What our contempts doth often hurl from us, We wish it ours again. The present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself. She's good, being gone. The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Are there no men present? Do you promise me that behind that red curtain over there the figure of Sir Chartres Biron is not concealed? We are all women, you assure me? Then I may tell you that the very next words I read were these—“Chloe liked Olivia . . .” Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women. “Chloe liked Olivia,” I read. And then it struck me how immense a change was there. Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature. Cleopatra did not like Octavia. And how completely Antony and Cleopatra would have been altered had she done sol As it is, I thought, letting my mind, I am afraid, wander a little from Life’s Adventure, the whole thing is simplified, conventionalised, if one dared say it, absurdly. Cleopatra’s only feeling about Octavia is one of jealousy. Is she taller than I am? How does she do her hair? The play, perhaps, required no more. But how interesting it would have been if the relationship between the two women had been more complicated. All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple. So much has been left out, unattempted. And I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See How I convey my shame out of thine eyes By looking back what I have left behind 'Stroyed in dishonour. Cleopatra: O my lord, my lord, Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought You would have followed. Antony: Egypt, thou knew'st too well My heart was to thy rudder tied by th' strings, And thou shouldst tow me after. O'er my spirit Thy full supremacy thou knew'st, and that Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods Command me. Cleopatra: O, my pardon! Antony: Now I must To the young man send humble treaties, dodge And palter in the shifts of lowness, who With half the bulk o' th' world played as I pleased, Making and marring fortunes. You did know How much you were my conqueror, and that My sword, made weak by my affection, would Obey it on all cause. Cleopatra: Pardon, pardon! Antony: Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss. Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster; is 'a come back? Love, I am full of lead. Some wine Within there, and our viands! Fortune knows We scorn her most when she offers blows.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Did you see Octavia? MESSENGER Yes, revered Queen. CLEOPATRA Where? MESSENGER In Rome, Madam. I saw her face as she walked with her brother and Mark Antony. CLEOPATRA Is she as tall as I am? MESSENGER She is not, madam. CLEOPATRA Did you hear her speak? Is her voice pitched high or low? MESSENGER Madam, I heard her speak. She has a low-pitched voice. CLEOPATRA That’s not so good. He cannot like her long. MESSENGER Like her? Oh, Isis, that’s impossible. CLEOPATRA You’re right. Charmian, she’s both dull-spoken and dwarfishly little.—Did she carry herself with majesty? Compare her to any memory you might have of royalty. MESSENGER She creeps along. Moving or standing still, her bearing is about the same. She has a body, not a life. She’s more like a statue than a living, breathing human being. CLEOPATRA Is this true? MESSENGER If not, then I have no powers of observation. CHARMIAN There aren’t three people in all of Egypt who could do better. CLEOPATRA He’s very observant. I can tell. She doesn’t have anything going for her so far. This messenger is wise. CLEOPATRA (to MESSENGER ) How old do you think she is? MESSENGER She was a widow previously, madam CLEOPATRA A widow? Do you hear that, Charmian? MESSENGER And I think she’s at least thirty. CLEOPATRA Do you remember her face? Was it long or round? MESSENGER Round enough to be unattractive. CLEOPATRA Usually that means a person is foolish. What color is her hair? MESSENGER Brown, madam, and her forehead As low as she would wish it.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
J.B. Bury once followed Pascal in suggesting that the cause of the foundation of the Roman Empire was the length of Cleopatra’s nose: had her features not been perfectly proportioned, Mark Antony would not have been entranced; had he not been entranced he would not have allied himself with Egypt against Octavian; had he not made that alliance, the battle of Actium would not have been fought—and so on.
Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory)
No more light answers. Let our officers Have note what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the Queen And get her leave to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches, Do strongly speak to us, but the letters too Of many our contriving friends in Rome Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Caesar and commands The empire of the sea. Our slippery people, Whose love is never linked to the deserver Till his deserts are past, begin to throw Pompey the Great and all his dignities Upon his son, who - high in name and power, Higher than both in blood and life - stands up For the main soldier; whose quality, going on, The sides o' th' world may danger. Much is breeding Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life And not a serpent's poison.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
Lo último que hizo, Majestad, fue dar un beso, el último de miles, a esta perla oriental. Sus palabras se clavaron en mi pecho. CLEOPATRA Y de ahí mi oído ha de arrancarlas. ALEXAS «Buen amigo —dice—, haz saber que el fiel romano envía a la gran egipcia el tesoro de una ostra y que, además, por compensar tan vil regalo, rodearé su rico trono de otros reinos. Todo el Oriente —díselo— la llamará señora». Saludó y con dignidad montó un airoso corcel, que relinchó con tal brío que silenció brutalmente mi respuesta.
William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)
People write tragedies in which fatal blondes betray their paramours to ruin, which Cressidas, Cleopatras, Delilahs, and sometimes even naughty daughters like Jessica bring their lovers or their parents to distress: but these are not the heart of tragedy. They are fripperies to the soul of man. What does it matter if Antony did fall upon his sword? It only killed him. It is the mother's not the lover's lust that rots the mind. It is that which condemns the tragic character to his walking death. It is Jocasta, not Juliet, who dwells in the inner chamber. It is Gertrude, not the silly Ophelia, who sends Hamlet to his madness. The heart of tragedy does not lie in stealing or taking away. Any featherpated girl can steal a heart. It lies in giving, in putting on, in adding, in smothering without pillows. Desdemona robbed of life or honour is nothing to a Mordred, robbed of himself--his soul stolen, overlaid, wizened, while the mother-character lives in triumph, superfluously and with stifling love endowed on him, seemingly innocent of ill-intention. Mordred was the only son of Orkney who never married. He, while his brothers fled to England, was the one who stayed alone with her for twenty years--her living larder. Now that she was dead, he had become her grave. She existed in him like the vampire. When he moved, when he blew his nose, he did it with her movement. When he acted he became as unreal as she had been, pretending to be a virgin for the unicorn. He dabbled in the same cruel magic. He had even begun to keep lap dogs like her--although he had always hated hers with the same bitter jealousy as that with which he had hated her lovers.
T.H. White (The Once & Future King)