Give me my robe, put on my crown
"Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me."
With these words, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, joins her Roman
lover, Mark Antony, in death. Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar
oppose each other in this historical tragedy, Antony on the side of
Egypt alongside its queen, Cleopatra, and Caesar as ruler of Rome.
Antony struggles between his loyalty to Rome, strengthened by his
marriage to Octavia, sister of Caesar, and his love for Cleopatra.
He eventually succumbs to the "temptation of Egypt" and a great
sea-war ensues in which Antony is defeated and follows Cleopatra
When Cleopatra learns that Antony believes she has betrayed him
and plans to kill her, she sends word to Antony that she has killed
herself. Overcome with grief, Antony falls upon his sword and is
taken, still alive, to Cleopatra's monument, where she has been
hiding. He dies in her arms. When Caesar hears that Mark Antony is
dead, he arranges for Cleopatra's surrender, assuring her that she
will be treated with respect. Cleopatra learns, however, that she
is to be paraded by Caesar through the streets of Rome as a war
trophy, ridiculed and degraded. She chooses, instead, to die with
dignity, wearing her robe and crown, rather than suffer this
humiliation. She puts an asp to her breast and is poisoned by the
bite. Caesar provides a dignified burial for both Antony and
Cleopatra, side by side.