Antony and Cleopatra Act IV, Scene 15: Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Act IV, Scene 15: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Cleopatra refuse to come down from her monument to kiss the dying Antony one last time? Is this an indication of her character or of her true feelings about Antony?

2. What does Cleopatra do instead of emerging from her monument?

3. Cleopatra says, “If knife, drugs, serpents, have/Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe.” What does she mean?

4. Cleopatra says, a few lines later, “Had I great Juno’s power,/The strong-winged Mercury should fetch thee up/And set thee by Jove’s side.” About whom is she talking?

5. Whom does Antony, before he dies, tell the queen to trust?

6. What advice does he give the queen at that time?

7. Why does Iras say, “She’s dead too, our sovereign”?

8. At the end of the act, Cleopatra asks, “Then is it sin/To rush into the secret house of death/Ere death dare come to us?” About what is the queen speaking?

9. What does Cleopatra’s question indicate about Egyptian philosophy prevalent in Cleopatra’s time?

10. What does Cleopatra promise the dead Antony?

Answers
1. Cleopatra refuses to leave the monument because she is afraid she’ll be killed or taken prisoner if she leaves that place of relative safety. In this instance, her head probably is ruling her heart. Cleopatra’s extensive physical effort (and that of her two attendants) to raise Antony to the upper level substantially mitigates her failure to rush to him and dramatizes her real love for him.

2. Cleopatra and her attendants manage to lift the dying Antony up into the monument, so that she can kiss him and exchange a few lines with him before he dies.

3. Cleopatra refers to the means she has available for committing suicide and asserts that as long as she has these means available to...

(The entire section is 451 words.)