illustration of Antony and Cleopatra facing each other with a snake wrapped around their necks

Antony and Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

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List of Characters

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Mark Antony—Middle-aged protagonist of the play and one of the three members of the second triumvirate of Rome.

Octavius Caesar—Triumvir of Rome, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, who became the sole emperor, later known as Caesar Augustus. He was about 20 years younger than Mark Antony.

Marcus Aemilius Lepidus—Third member of the second triumvirate.

Sextus Pompeius (Pompey)—Son of Pompey the Great, who was one of the three members of the first triumvirate of Rome.

Cleopatra—Queen of Egypt, close friend of Mark Antony and previously to Julius Caesar, about 13 years younger than Mark Antony.

Octavia—Sister to Octavius and wife to Mark Antony.

Friends of Mark Antony
Domitius Enobarbus—The most important of Antony’s friends.

Ventidius (Ventigius in some manuscripts)—General under Mark Antony and conqueror of Orodes, King of Parthia.

Eros—Former bondservant to Antony, made a free man on the condition that he would kill Antony if Antony requested him to do so; among the most loyal of Antony’s friends.

Scarrus (Scarus in some manuscripts)—Courageous and trusted soldier under Mark Antony; hero of the war against Octavius Caesar.

Decretas (Dercetus in some manuscripts)—Opportunistic soldier and attendant to Antony.

Demetrius—Friend of Antony who is worried about Antony’s dalliance with Cleopatra and thinks he should attend to his responsibilities as triumvir of Rome.

Philo—Friend of Antony and Demetrius; his conversation with Demetrius alerts the audience to what is happening at Cleopatra’s court in Alexandria.

Alexas– Attendant to Antony and Cleopatra, often Antony’s representative at her court during Antony’s absence.

Camidius (Canidius in some manuscripts)—Lieutenant General to Antony.

Friends to Octavius Caesar
Mecenas—He warns Octavius Caesar against antagonizing Mark Antony.

Agrippa—Octavius Caesar’s attendant, who was chosen by Octavius as second in line to the throne of the Roman Empire.

Dolabella—Ranking attendant of Octavius Caesar.

Proculeius—Reluctant participant in Octavius’ successful plot to seize Cleopatra after Antony’s defeat.

Thidias—Attendant of Octavius Caesar and courier between Octavius and Cleopatra after Antony’s defeat.

Gallus—Octavius Caesar’s friend, who speaks little or not at all in the play.

Towrus (“Tarus” or “Taurus” in some manuscripts)—Lieutenant General to Octavius Caesar.

Friends of Sextus Pompeius
Menas—A pirate who harasses ships in and near the Straits of Messina, and an officer in Sextus Pompeius’ navy.

Menecrates—A pirate and an officer of Sextus Pompeius.

Varrius—Friend of Sextus Pompeius, he brings news of Antony’s expected return to Rome.

Attendants of Cleopatra
Charmian—Cleopatra’s closest confidante and attendant.

Iras—The next closest confidante of Cleopatra, and the very symbol of loyalty to the queen.

Seleucus—Cleopatra’s treasurer, whose act of treason near the end of the play infuriates Cleopatra and betrays the great trust she had in him.

Mardian—A eunuch and a musician.

Diomedes—A distinctly minor character in the play.

Other Characters
Silius—An officer in Ventidius’ army, with whom Ventidius converses after the victory over the Parthians.

Schoolmaster—Acts as ambassador for Antony to Octavius Caesar.

Soothsayer (Lamprius in some manuscripts)—Accurately predicts the future and warns Antony to beware of Octavius.

Clown—A misnomer; he brings the deadly asps to Cleopatra near the end of the play and unintentionally produces a period of comic relief before the final tragedy.

Boy—A singer who appears only once and sings a few lines.

Minor Characters
Messengers, soldiers, attendants, and other minor characters—Sometimes identified only with a description (e.g., “Roman,” “soldier,” “servant”) without being given a name. When several characters on the stage answer with one voice, Shakespeare uses the Latin term “Omnes” to mean “All.” Several other characters are named and appear on stage but do not speak. In some manuscripts, the Latin term “manet” (remains) and its plural “manent” (remain) are used to indicate that all on the stage except these characters exit the stage at that point.

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