TIMES CLEOPATRA GOT A LITTLE BAWDY
Antony and Cleopatra may be my favorite play by Shakespeare, and not *just* because of all the funny innuendo. But here's a list of the more obvious ones. For the middle school crowd + me.
- •When she was jealous of a horse.Act 1, Scene 5: "Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he Or does he walk? or is he on his horse? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!" — "bear the weight of Antony" indeed.
- •When she teased a eunuch about being unable to give her any pleasure.Act 1, Scene 5: "I take no pleasure In aught an eunuch has." — Antony was out of town and Cleopatra was *so bored*.
- •When she got a little heated when a messenger arrived sent by Antony.Act 2, Scene 5: "Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears, That long time have been barren." — This is my favorite of all. It's so explicit and ridiculous. The footnotes of the New Cambridge edition tell me this "calls to mind the Roman empress who is supposed to have lamented the fact that the female anatomy has only seven orifices." Huh…
- •When she remembered how big and manly Antony is.Act 4, Scene 15: "Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord! ... Yet come a little,— Wishes were ever fools,—O, come, come, come; And welcome, welcome! die where thou hast lived." — She's only helping an injured Antony climb into her monument here, but In Elizabethan English to "die" was a common euphemism for orgasm. And I'm pretty sure "come, come, come" was exactly what it is today.
- •When she made a little joke about snakes.Act 5, Scene 2: "Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there, That kills and pains not?" — There's that die = orgasm thing again. But really she's just talking about getting bit by a snake. Honest.
- •Bonus: When she made Agrippa joke like a schoolboy.Act 2, Scene 2: "Royal wench! She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed; He plowed her, and she cropped." — This wasn't said by Cleopatra, rather about her. Again from the New Cambridge footnotes: "The phallic image of ploughing is at least as old as Sophocles’ Antigone…" The more you know.