Act 1, Scene 3 Notes from Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra Act 1, Scene 3

Cleopatra is looking for Antony, and tells Alexas to find him; if Antony is happy, Alexas should say she is sad, and if he is sad, say she is happy. Alexas leaves. Charmian cautions Cleopatra that this is not the way to win Antony's love, but Cleopatra tells her she is wrong, and Charmian warns her not to test him like this.

Antony enters and Cleopatra immediately tells him she is sick and that he should stay away from her. She asks him what happened and, without giving him any chance to explain, guesses that Fulvia has called him back home. She says that she does not contest that he is his wife's property, and accuses him of betrayal. She curses herself for thinking he could be faithful, and wishes she were as powerful as he is and that she could have been more courageous. Antony takes an opportunity to speak; he tells her that Sextus Pompeius is planning on taking over Rome and that he needs to be there; and to comfort her, he tells her Fulvia is dead. She is not sure whether she should believe him, but he offers the letters of proof. She is outraged that he is unemotional, and predicts that this is how he will receive the news of her death, accusing him of being fickle in love. He assures her that his love for her could withstand the test of time, but she challenges him to make a show of his grief over losing Fulvia. He warns her that he will leave her if she keeps behaving like this, but she keeps on; she starts to stay something and then cuts off, saying her forgetfulness is just like Antony. She tells him to leave, to obey his honorable duty and leave her to be hurt; he tells her that his heart will be with her, just as hers will be with him.

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