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of winning, stir his mind with a lively imagination of tremendous stakes. And so she stirs

him up:

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, –

And then she adds (tell-tale words that show us she is just as pleased to lose to him as he is to her)

And I would call it fair play.

By wrangle, she means contest by every means in his power, and whatever means he took to win she would call it fair. In short, these two cannot really play a game; their thoughts are all of love, and it consists only of unselfishness and joy in the other's success. They have only been playing because each thought it would give pleasure to the other.

In no way I can think of would it be possible to put such unique and telling emphasis, in short, upon the thing Shakespeare wished to show. The fundamental psychology of a game is love of a contest, victory and gain. To this engaged couple, in the first new joy of selfabnegating love, all this is just the opposite; and it is no wonder that the game was all going contrary to what it ought and that Miranda had to suggest tremendously big measures to make it be a real game. Its dramatic merit consists in the fact that it would deliver its message instantly and thoroughly in an unique and interesting way.

It would amuse the audience. And the location of all the paraphernalia of victory, in connection with her opening remark, would make any profound interpretation unnecessary to the Elizabethan audience.

CLEOPATRA'S ANSWER

Cleo. Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought For things that others do; and, when we fall, We answer others' merits in our name, Are therefore to be pitied.

(Antony and Cleopatra v, 2, 176)

THESE words, in the last scene of the last act of the play, are Cleopatra's final declaration to Cæsar. After this we see her but for a short space with the clown and her ladies; and then her death.

As will be seen, the passage does not make complete sense. As we gather its meaning, the sentence refuses to carry itself farther than the word name, after which there is a detached remainder of words which we scarcely know what to do with. The only way to get around the difficulty is to assume that We is to be understood before the last line. This is the basis upon which it is accepted in the most scholarly modern editions. The above punctuation is that of the Globe.

Accepting it upon this basis, we see that the last line is a sentence by itself; a full stop is to be understood after name. Neilson (1906), in order to make the punctuation fit the approved interpretation of the sense, approximates the period by using a semi-colon; usually

the difficulty is slubbered over with a comma in order to rest upon the authority of the First Folio.

Turning now our attention to the sense, we see in Cleopatra's first statement that persons in high positions are blamed for misdeeds and errors committed by those under them. This is plain; but upon reading farther what does the word merits mean here? Does it mean those same misdeeds and errors? - or to stick more strictly to the text, do “merits" in the underlings mean these things which make a queen misthought? Commentators, including Furness, accept it in that sense. In no other way can they carry a connected meaning as far as the understood “We."

Another source of dissatisfaction, to me, is that if this is the meaning of the passage as a whole, then the words “others' merits in our name” are superfluous. As much would have been said without them; and as we know, Shakespeare usually makes progress in every word with a giant's stride. Was he so redundant here? I also find that he never uses merits in that derogatory sense in the whole course of his work.

The whole trouble here is an incomplete perception of what Cleopatra is saying.

saying. We should put a period after answer; then the passage will fit her meaning - aside from the great improvement in the dramatic poetry from the standpoint of vocal rendition.

Just previous to this passage, an incident has cccurred by which the captive Queen, now reduced to the rank of mere woman, has been greatly humiliated. She has just handed over to Cæsar the list

of her jewels and other wealth, declaring, at the same time, that she has reserved nothing of any considerable value. And, to impress upon him the truth of her statement, she refers him to her treasurer, Seleucas.

But Seleucas! This man, who owes her loyalty and gratitude, lets it be known in a few words that what she has said is not true at all. She has reserved fully half her wealth — — plate and jewels. Cleopatra has told a fib. To make it worse she has been caught in it by the very means she had taken to make it valid — hence the blush. But does she weakly succumb to this mischance or acknowledge herself caught? Not at all. Having vented the anger of a wronged queen upon her unworthy subject, and told Cæsar with charming assumption of her high station that these valuable things were but “lady trifles,” she makes that final declaration which begins so strikingly:

Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do; and when we fall

We answer. This general statement resounds like a royal proclamation: Be it known. The great are misjudged all their lives. Having made this statement she proceeds with the logical corollary. Seleucas had betrayed his fallen queen

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