Arguably one of Shakespeares best love stories can be found in Antony and Cleopatra and today we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best Antony and Cleopatra monologues for actors and Shakespeare lovers alike. Let’s dive in!
Antony and Cleopatra Monologues
Cleopatra (Act 4, Scene 15)
No more but e’en a woman, and commanded
By such poor passion as the maid that milks
And does the meanest chares. It were for me
To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods
To tell them that this world did equal theirs
Till they had stolen our jewel. All’s but naught;
Patience is sottish, and impatience does
Become a dog that’s mad. Then is it sin
To rush into the secret house of death
Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
What, what, good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian?
My noble girls! Ah, women, women! Look
Our lamp is spent, it’s out. Good sirs, take heart,
We’ll bury him, and then what’s brave, what’s noble,
Let’s do’t after the high Roman fashion
And make death proud to take us. Come, away.
This case of that huge spirit now is cold.
Ah, women, women! Come, we have no friend
But resolution and the briefest end.
Antony (Act 4, Scene 12)
All is lost!
This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me.
My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder
They cast their caps up and carouse together
Like friends long lost. Triple-turned whore! ‘Tis thou
Hast sold me to this novice, and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly!
For when I am revenged upon my charm,
I have done all. Bid them all fly! Be gone!
O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more.
Fortune and Antony part here; even here
Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar, and this pine is barked
That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am.
O this false soul of Egypt! This grave charm
Whose eye becked forth my wars and called them home,
Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,
Like a right gipsy hath at fast and loose,
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
What, Eros, Eros!
Cleopatra (Act 5, Scene 2)
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.
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.
Antony (Act 4, Scene 14)
What would my lord?
Since Cleopatra died,
I have lived in such dishonour that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quartered the world and o’er green Neptune’s back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
The courage of a woman; less noble mind
Than she which, by her death, our Caesar tells
‘I am conqueror of myself.’ Thou art sworn, Eros,
That when the exigent should come ― which now
Is come indeed ― when I should see behind me
Th’inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that on my command
Thou then wouldst kill me. Do’t. The time is come.
Thou strik’st not me; ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st.
Put colour in thy cheek.
The gods withhold me!
Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
Though enemy, lost aim and could not?
Wouldst thou be windowed in great Rome and see
Thy master thus with pleached arms, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheeled seat
Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued?
I would not see’t.
Come, then! For with a wound I must be cured.
Draw that thy honest sword which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country.
Enobarbus (Act 2, Scene 2)
I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned 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 beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O’erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,
With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
O, rare for Antony!
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i’th’ eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers. The silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her, and Antony,
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.
Upon her landing, Antony sent to her;
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest,
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne’er the word of ‘No’ woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast,
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed.
He ploughed her, and she cropped.
I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street
And, having lost her breath, she spoke and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, pour breath forth.
Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Never! He will not.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.
Cleopatra (Act 5 Scene 2)
So there you have it. StageMilks favourite Antony and Cleopatra monologues. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that this play is a sequel of sorts to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and so if you’re going to perform one of these monologues, you should probably check out that play first and see the long history that goes with the territory of these characters.