I am dying, Egypt, dying
"I am dying, Egypt, dying."
Mark Antony speaks these words to Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, as
he lies dying in her arms in this historic-tragedy that sweeps
across the world from Rome to the East. Antony has fought against
his own Rome on the side of Egypt, and has lost, following
Cleopatra into retreat. Cleopatra has learned that Antony believes
she has betrayed him and intends to kill her, and so she sends
false word to him that she has taken her own life. Antony is
grief-stricken and asks his knave, Eros, to kill him. Eros chooses
to kill himself instead, and so Antony falls upon his own sword. He
does not die immediately, however, and is brought to Cleopatra's
monument where he utters these words, and dies in her arms.
Antony's failure to die immediately from his own sword, in good
Roman style, reflects the mark of the East upon him; and yet his
beauty of character is viewed clearly in this uncomfortable
death-scene. He is finally able to combine the Roman and the
Eastern halves of his nature, with which he struggled throughout
the course of the play.