Act IV, Scene 1
Caesar laughs at Antony challenging him to one-on-one combat because he has better ways to die. Mecaenas tells him to not pay Antony any mind because he is clearly failing. Caesar decides to let the army know that some of Antony’s men have come to their side. He also decides to let them feast on his extra food because they’ve “earned the waste.”
Act IV, Scene 2
Antony decides it’s a good time to tell his men to party all night because they’ll probably die tomorrow, but he hopes they don’t.
Act IV, Scene 3
Some soldiers hear mysterious, magical music playing through the city.
Act IV, Scene 4
Cleopatra tries to help Antony put on his armor, but she is hilariously bad at it. His captains come in, ready for the battle. Antony kisses Cleopatra goodbye and then men head out.
Act IV, Scene 5
Antony finds out that Enobarbus abandoned him for Caesar. He decides to send Enobarbus his treasure with a nice note.
Act IV, Scene 6
Caesar decides to put all of the men who abandoned Antony on the front line, so he takes his fury out on his own men.
Everyone except Enobarbus leaves. He realizes that switching sides does not get you the best treatment in the old camp. One of them was hanged and the others don’t have any real trust. He’s starting to think he made a mistake.
Then, a soldier arrives to tell him that Antony sent his treasure. Enobarbus tells the soldier to take it, but he thinks it is a joke. Now Enobarbus feels even worse and decides to go find a ditch to die in.
Act IV, Scene 7
Antony and his men have driven Caesar’s men all the way back to their camp. Scarus is wounded and Antony promises to reward him for his valor.
Act IV, Scene 8
Antony, Scarus and the others reach the gates of Alexandria in victory. Antony promises that they will fully defeat Caesar’s forces the next day. Cleopatra arrives. Antony showers her in loving compliments, tells her of their victory, and tells her to give her hand to Scarus to kiss. She does more than that by awarding him a suit of golden armor that once belonged to a king. Antony feels he deserves that and more for his valor. They enter the city with trumpets blazing to signal their victory.
Act IV, Scene 9
Some of Caesar’s soldiers are performing their night watch when they overhear Enobarbus. He laments his betrayal and prays for death and Antony’s forgiveness. Then he dies. The soldiers are surprised that he died so suddenly. The drums start to wake the troops and they carry Enobarbus to court.
Act IV, Scene 10
Antony and his men realize that Caesar’s men are preparing to fight at sea. They prefer land, but are determined to fight on any turf.
Act IV, Scene 11
Caesar is indeed preparing to fight at sea.
Act IV, Scene 12
Antony goes to see what is happening. Scarus comments on the bad omen of swallows in Cleopatra’s sails. He decides not to tell Antony though.
Antony storms in, furious that Cleopatra’s fleet has abandoned him and joined with Caesar. He tells Scarus to order his troops to flee. Antony laments Cleopatra’s betrayal and swears revenge on her.
In an epic timing fail, Cleopatra enters at that exact moment. Antony tells her to go away, but she’s confused by his anger. He tells her that he is going to let Caesar humiliate her during his triumph and Octavia will scratch up her face. Cleopatra decides to go.
Antony is determined to be the one to kill her.
Act IV, Scene 13
Cleopatra, at the suggestion of Charmian, decides to lock herself away in a monument and send Antony word that she is dead. She tells Mardian to break the fake news to Antony and tell him that she piteously said his name as she died.
Act IV, Scene 14
Antony compares himself to the shapes made by clouds in a lofty death metaphor to Eros. He is still Antony and yet cannot hold his physical shape any longer (he means death). Mardian breaks the news that Cleopatra killed herself. Antony tells Mardian to go.
Eros takes off Antony’s armor and is briefly dismissed. Antony – now apparently in love again – he talks to a dead Cleopatra and promises to follow her soon, beg forgiveness, and live happily ever after in heaven.
Antony calls back Eros. He tells him that he has no reason to live in such horrible disgrace without Cleopatra. Antony tells Eros to kill him. Eros doesn’t want to. Antony tells Eros that if he doesn’t kill Antony, he will see him humiliated in Caesar’s triumph. Eros asks him to turn around and he does. Eros decides to kill himself rather than kill Antony. Antony commends Eros’ bravery and tries to stab himself. He successfully stabs himself, but not enough to kill him.
Antony begs for death from the many people that enter the room. No one wants to kill him though. Diomedes enters with the now unfortunate news that Cleopatra is not actually dead. She was worried Antony would kill himself, so she sent Diomedes to reveal her deception. He was too late. Antony asks to be taken to Cleopatra.
Act IV, Scene 15
Cleopatra is understandably upset to see Antony dying. Antony tries to comfort her because he died by his own hand, not by Caesar’s in Triumph. Cleopatra resolves to kill herself before ever letting Caesar take her. They lift Antony to the monument where Cleopatra resides.
Cleopatra keeps talking and won’t let Antony get his dying words in. He tells her to only trust Proculeius among Caesar’s men. She doesn’t want to trust any of them. He tells her not to be sad for him because he lived a great life as her lover and didn’t die humiliated. Cleopatra gives a short eulogy before fainting.
Her women fear she has died, but she soon wakes up. She is resolved to bury Antony in the Roman fashion.
Act V, Scene 1
Caesar receives the news that Antony has killed himself. He is saddened by the news. He thinks that the world itself should have paid greater notice. Everyone takes a moment to remember Antony’s greatness.
An Egyptian comes in to see what Caesar’s intentions are with Cleopatra. Caesar promises to be kind and the Egyptian goes away happy. Caesar tells Procleius to go tell Cleopatra whatever she wants to hear, so he can have her for his triumph. Caesar orders Gallus to go along and maybe Dolabella. Dolabella is busy though, so that will have to wait.
Act V, Scene 2
Cleopatra feels sorry for Caesar. He is a slave to fortune. She is not anymore because she has reached her rock bottom.
Proculeius enters to ask Cleopatra what she might want from Caesar. She is hesitant to trust him despite what Antony said. All she asks is that her son may be allowed to rule Egypt after her. Proculeius reassures her that Caesar will be kind to her. Then, he ambushes her. She tries to kill herself, but Proculeius stops her. He won’t let her rob Caesar of his triumph. She details the horrible things that she believes Caesar will do to her. Proculeius doesn’t believe Caesar will be that cruel.
Dolabella enters and takes control of Cleopatra. He tries to speak with her, but she launches into a long speech about how amazingly great Antony was. She puts his traits into cosmic terms rather than those of a mortal man. Dolabella is finally able to get a word in, he confirms that Cleopatra will be the lead of his triumph.
Caesar enters to speak with Cleopatra. He assures her that he will care for her in the manner she would want. However, if she kills herself, he will make sure that none of her children rule Egypt. Cleopatra bows to Caesar and promises him all her treasures, promising that she has held nothing back. Her treasurer, however, indicates that she has reserved some of her treasure for herself. She rages at the treasurer and assures Caesar that she has only kept a few small treasures to give to honored guests. Caesar doesn’t care that she kept any treasure. He finds it wise and promises that none of her treasure will be included in the inventory. He, again, promises her mercy and kindness.
Cleopatra sees right through that nonsense and whispers something to Charmian, who leaves. Dolabella tells Cleopatra about Caesar’s plan to march her and her children through Syria and back to Rome. He leaves, having done his duty for the queen. Cleopatra explains to Iras that they will be paraded before the lowest members of Roman society. They will be mocked and have things thrown at them. Then, they will be subject to a horrible play that will make fun of Antony and Cleopatra, who will be played by a boy. Cleopatra refuses to be a part of it.
Charmian returns and Cleopatra tells her ladies to put her best garments on her. She will meet Mark Antony in the same attire she had on when they first met.
It wouldn’t be a Shakespeare play without a Clown, so enter a rural citizen with a basket of “figs.” He is actually carrying a poisonous snake, known as an asp. Cleopatra asks if it’s lethal bite is painless and effective. He assures her that very few people survive the bite and he has known of many people who have been bitten. Including one woman last week. She was a good woman, except for the occasional lie, which she shouldn’t do, but still. He warns Cleopatra that the snake is not to be trusted because it will bite. She promises to heed his word and sends him off.
Cleopatra gives her final speech as she prepares for death. She kisses Iras, who promptly dies. She refuses to have Antony meet Iras first, so she applies an asp to her breast and then her arm before finally dying. Caesar’s people come in just in time to see Charmian die. They raise the alarm. Caesar comes in to see the aftermath. After some investigating, they figure out that Cleopatra and Charmian died of an asp bite. Caesar calls her brave and orders that she be buried with Antony. Caesar’s army will attend the funeral.