Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

 of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North
Thomas North
Sir Thomas North was an English translator of Plutarch, second son of the 1st Baron North.-Life:He is supposed to have been a student of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn in 1557. In 1574 he accompanied his brother, Lord North, on a visit to the French court. He served as...

's translation of Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 from the time of the Parthian War
Roman-Persian Wars
The Roman–Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive Iranic empires: the Parthian and the Sassanid. Contact between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 92 BC; wars began under the late Republic, and continued...

 to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, one of Antony's fellow triumviri
A triumvirate is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir . The arrangement can be formal or informal, and though the three are usually equal on paper, in reality this is rarely the case...

 and the future first emperor of Rome.

Nay, but this dotage of our general'sO'erflows the measure.

Philo, scene i

There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

Antony, scene i

In nature's infinite book of secrecyA little I can read.

Soothsayer, scene ii

He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the suddenA Roman thought hath struck him.

Cleopatra, scene ii

This grief is crowned with consolation.

Enobarbus, scene ii

Eternity was in our lips and eyes.

Cleopatra, scene iii

Give me to drink mandragora.

Cleopatra, scene v

Where’s my serpent of old Nile?For so he calls me.

Cleopatra, speaking of Antony, scene v

I wasA morsel for a monarch.

Cleopatra, scene v

My salad days,When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,To say as I said then!

Cleopatra, scene v