Book Notes Act 1, Scene 5 Notes from Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra Act 1, Scene 5

Cleopatra asks Charmian for mandragora to pass the time while she waits for Antony to come back. She tells the eunuch Mardian to entertain her by talking about his passions--or lack thereof--but cannot be distracted and asks Charmian what she thinks Antony must be doing. She ponders her own attractiveness; she used to be young and beautiful, and men like Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great could not take their eyes off her. Now, however, she is beginning to show signs of age.

Alexas comes in, bringing Cleopatra a pearl and a message from Antony, promising her many kingdoms to make up for his absence. Cleopatra asks about Antony's disposition, and Alexas tells her he was neither sad nor happy. She celebrates this news as an indication of his divine character. He asks why she has sent so many messengers--at least one every day--to Antony, and she replies that that is the scope of her love. She asks if she ever loved Caesar as much as this, and Charmian calls Caesar brave and valiant, at which Cleopatra reprimands her and warns her not to compare Antony with Caesar. Cleopatra says she was young and cold when she paid such compliments to Caesar. She tells Charmian to get her pen and paper so she can write to Antony again.

Topic Tracking: Messengers 3

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