[[caption-width-right:350:This will end well...]]

->''Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale\\
Her infinite variety.''
-->-- '''Enobarbus''', on Cleopatra 2.2.244

A Roman tragedy by Creator/WilliamShakespeare. It can be viewed as a sequel to ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'', since Caesar, and his assassins, are repeatedly alluded to in the play. Thematically it can be seen as a counterpoint to ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', contrasting the naive young lovers of the earlier play with the older, more experienced lovers here. Shakespeare's source for the play was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_North Thomas North's]] 1579 translation of ''Literature/ParallelLives'' and the play is essentially an adaptation of it, adapting dialogues, scenes, and entire descriptions from it, almost word-for-word.

The play focuses on the fall of Mark Antony, a Roman general, as he is seduced by Egyptian queen UsefulNotes/CleopatraVII. Antony spends much of the play ignoring his duties as a general to Rome, while living it up in Alexandria with Cleo. [[UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} Octavian Caesar]], nephew of [[UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar Julius]], is unhappy with this, because Rome is involved in a war with Pompey and could really use Antony's help, but he's also shrewd because this gives him a window into finally offing his fellow triumvirs (Antony, Lepidus) and become Emperor. Antony leaves Alexandria for Rome, not realizing Octavius envies his power and plots to overthrow him when the war is over. Meanwhile, Cleopatra pines for Antony in his absence. Events then unfold, as Antony and Octavian Caesar fall out, and a CivilWar brews over who will be the single master of the Empire, with the independence of Egypt hanging in balance.

The story is set in both Rome and Alexandria, and jumps from location to location constantly. It includes a battle at sea, cross-dressing, drunken reveling, a eunuch, and a very poignant suicide attempt which is interrupted by a clown. One of the most memorable aspects of the play is Cleopatra; she's considered the most complex female character in the Shakespeare canon, and she's certainly the most emotionally extreme.
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: Enobarbus' despair, after his [[spoiler:FaceHeelTurn]], is given much more time than in the [[Literature/ParallelLives Plutarch]].
* AscendedExtra: Enobarbus has only a few lines in the Plutarch.
* AthensAndSparta: Cleopatra's Alexandria is contrasted heavily with Rome, and Octavius finds it only too easy to spin Antony's romance with Cleopatra as being "un-Roman" and seeing the worldliness and richness of Alexandria as unbecoming of stern, and austere Rome.
* BearerOfBadNews: The messenger; Cleopatra beats him up for daring to report that Antony has married Octavia. He catches on, though, and later only brings Cleo good, if questionably truthful, news. The first messenger in Act 1, Scene 2 also lampshades how [[{{Foreshadowing}} anyone who brings the bad news is often blamed for it.]]
* BigBad: Caesar.
* BungledSuicide: [[spoiler:Antony has a hard time stabbing himself.]]
* ButtMonkey:
** Lepidus. He tries to be the mediator between Octavius and Antony and ends up getting jailed.
** Mardian and the Messenger seem to fulfill this role in Cleopatra's court.
* CantHoldHisLiquor:
** Lepidus.
** Caesar. Subverted in that he is well aware of this.
* TheCharmer: Cleopatra, just another way for her to wrap you around her finger.
* AChildShallLeadThem: Octavius Caesar, though older than most examples, is often noted for only being in his twenties and ruling Rome.
* CivilWar: In Italy. It's what spurs Antony to want to leave Egypt.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Yet another persona of Cleopatra's large tool box for twisting Antony and others to doing what she wants.
* ClothingSwitch: Cleo says in Act 2 Scene 5 that she and Antony swapped clothes.
-->'''Cleopatra''': I drunk him to his bed\\
Then put my tires and mantles on him whilst\\
I wore his sword Phillipan.
* CommanderContrarian: Enobarbus. In an unusual subversion, he is absolutely right.
* ComplexityAddiction: Cleopatra can't simply say something straight to your face or ask you for something, she'll make sure to manipulate your emotions and thoughts to get what she wants, even when it's completely unnecessary or even counterproductive.
* ConflictingLoyalty:
** A major part of Antony's character. He's stuck between his love for Cleopatra and his duty to serve Rome.
** Enobarbus is conflicted between his love for Antony and his duty to Rome.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Enobarbus, who always has something snarky to say about Antony's behaviour around Cleo. In the boat party scene, he has a great line:
--->'''Enobarbus''' ''(seeing a man carry an unconscious Lepidus back to shore)'': There's a strong man, Menas.\\
'''Menas''': How so?\\
'''Enobarbus''': A' bears a third part of the world!
** Throughout Act 1, Scene 2, Charmian makes snarky remarks about all of the soothsayer's predictions. The soothsayer eventually gets in the game when Charmian asks how many children she will have.
--->'''Soothsayer''': If every of your wishes had a womb,\\
And fertile every wish, a million.
* DeathByDespair: Enobarbus. But not before he finishes his nice long monologue, of course.
* DespairEventHorizon: Being a Shakespearean play, this happens to many characters. Enobarbus, for exactly, actually ''dies'' from despair.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: At the beginning of the play, Pompey seems to be the major threat, but he's settled before the halfway mark and the real threat turns out to be conflict between the Romans formerly allied against him.
* DoubleEntendre: There are several scattered throughout the play, some of them quite sly. ''Antony and Cleopatra'' is rife with sexual imagery. When Charmian says "Oh, excellent! I love long life better than figs.", she's not talking about fruit.
* TheDragon: Taurus, to Caesar.
* EtTuBrute: [[spoiler: Enobarbus']] betrayal affects Antony deeply.
* ExactWords: The soothesayer is very fond of this.
* TheExtremistWasRight: Whilst Antony and Cleopatra are more sympathetic overall, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue that the world would be better off with them in charge rather than Caesar, at least if you measure authority by piety, probity, and other conservative values.
* FaceHeelTurn: Deconstructed with [[spoiler: Enobarbus]] - his betrayal makes him so upset, [[spoiler: he dies.]]
* FakingTheDead: Cleopatra decides to make Antony [[DisproportionateRetribution regret yelling at her by having her messenger announce she is dead]]. This prompts Antony to kill himself. Bad move, Cleo.
* FemmeFatale: Cleopatra, though she does genuinely love Antony.
* TheFettered: A common trait among Romans and especially Antony. When he hears his home is under attack, his first instinct is to return with his men and defend Italy.
* {{Foil}}: While all of the characters have some foil to another character, the largest one is between the general attitudes of the Roman people and the Egyptian people, to the extent where Egypt embodies the id while Rome embodies the superego.
* FortuneTeller: The soothsayer. He tells Antony that Octavius is BornLucky, will always win at dice, in bets, and that Antony's fortune will only diminish before Octavius.
* FourStarBadass: Antony and Taurus. Even Caesar respects Antony's military prowess.
* TheHedonist: Egypt's inhabitants exemplify this to some extent. Mark Antony, having lived in Egypt for a while now also seems to be holding these ideals closely.
-->'''Mark Antony''': There's not a minute of our lives should stretch\\
Without some pleasure now.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}}, Agrippa, UsefulNotes/CleopatraVII, Mark Antony, Sextus Pompey, Lepidus, Octavia, and even Cleopatra's handmaidens, are retained from Plutarch.
* HonorBeforeReason: Sextus Pompey has every single one of his enemies drunk and onboard his flagship. When Menas suggests that they simply sail away and force the others to terms, Pompey refuses, albeit not out of moral considerations. As he explains, if Menas, having come up with that plot, acted on it and done it, giving Pompey plausible deniability, he would have pardoned and condoned Menas after the fact, but he cannot fully embark on this plan himself, since it would violate and compromise him forever among the Romans, and give him no base on which to act.
* KnightInSourArmor: Enobarbus.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: According to Enobarbus, men to women, because women supposedly can't control their emotions.
-->'''Enobarbus''': Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal an unkindness is to them. If they suffer our departure, death's the word.
* LossOfIdentity: Another part of Antony's character due to his self view as a Roman soldier and his hedonistic actions and time spent in Egypt.
* LoveHurts: It's a Shakespearean Tragedy, it's going to hurt quite a bit before the story is done.
* LoveRuinsTheRealm: Pretty well the whole concept of the play.
* ManipulativeBastard: Caesar - no-one, not even his own sister, is safe from being a tool in his schemes.
* ManipulativeBitch: Cleopatra, to some extent or another, tries manipulate everyone around her, to the point where it begins to backfire on her and largely contributes to her and Antony's deaths.
* ManlyTears: Antony's men complain that Antony is making them cry during his supposedly-RousingSpeech.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: Inverted, due to the time period's values and according to Enobarbus, women are.
-->'''Enobarbus''': When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth, comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented.
* OldMaid: Charmian is rather unhappy about having no children.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Cleopatra's specialty and one of her many means of trying to manipulate other people.
* PoisonousFriend: Subverted when Pompey lambasts Menas for not being this to him.
* PosthumousCharacter: Fulvia's dead before she ever gets on stage.
* {{Pride}}: A trait that the Romans exemplify quite a bit, to the point where they view the Egyptians as inferior for their lifestyle.
* ReallyGetsAround: Certain Romans dissatisfied with Antony's behavior often call Cleopatra a whore. This is somewhat unfair. She had three affairs with famous men, twice to protect her realm and once for love, and cares deeply for the children arising from the second one.
* RoaringRampageOfRomance: The affair between Anthony and Cleopatra starts a war and turns all their people against them.
* RousingSpeech: Subverted -- Antony's speech to his troops is rather... depressing.
* ShapedLikeItself: Antony describing the crocodile to Lepidus is the [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
-->'''Lepidus''': What manner o' thing is your crocodile?\\
'''Mark Antony''': It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.\\
'''Lepidus''': What colour is it of?\\
'''Mark Antony''': Of its own colour too.\\
'''Lepidus''': 'Tis a strange serpent.\\
'''Mark Antony''': 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
* ShooOutTheClowns: Weirdly averted -- at the play's climax, after Antony has died and Cleopatra has decided to kill herself rather than be paraded to Rome as Octavius' trophy, she calls for someone to bring her some asps... and that someone is a Clown, who proceeds to make bawdy puns about the "worm" eating women. [[MoodWhiplash This happens]] ''right before Cleopatra kills herself''.
* StraightManAndWiseGuy: Alexas plays the straight man to Charmian's wise guy.
* SympathyForTheHero: Caesar seems to pity Antony even while in the midst of taking him down. While some performances may turn the "Poor Antony" line into something more mocking, Caesar's grief at Antony's death shows true concern and feeling for Antony.
* TagTeamSuicide: Two examples, actually; Antony's servant decides to off himself when Antony does, leaving Antony to kill himself... [[BuffySpeak himself]]. He screws up, though, and gets brought to Cleopatra, who also decides to kill herself.
* ThinkingOutLoud: Quite often. This is a Shakespeare play after all.
* {{Tsundere}}: Cleopatra acts this way for a short while in Act 1 Scene 3 [[ComplexityAddiction to manipulate Antony into doing... something?]]
* WhoWouldWantToWatchUs: "The quick comedians / Extemporally will stage us and present / Our Alexandrian revels. Antony / Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see / Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness / I th posture of a whore." - Cleopatra's opinion of what plays Romans will make about her and Antony to humiliate them in her captivity. [[WrongGenreSavvy Unfortunately, this particular play is actually a tragedy.]]
* WorthyOpponent: Sextus Pompey to the triumvirate. He refuses, for example, to kill the leading members when they're in a vulnerable position.
* XanatosGambit: Caesar pulls one in marrying his sister to Antony - if Antony is faithful, it breaks his influence in Egypt and binds him to Caesar. If he is not, it gives Caesar an excuse to go to war with him, as well as a propaganda coup.
* YesMan: Lepidus.
* YourCheatingHeart: Antony is cheating on his wife back in Rome, Fulvia, with Cleopatra. The marriage wasn't exactly a happy one before Cleopatra came in either. He also cheats on his second wife Octavia.