Caesar and Cleopatra
The events of the play unfold in Egypt, in the city of Alexandria, at the end of the reign of the XIII dynasty, in 48 BC. The legions of Caesar enter Egypt. In the city of panic. The queen Cleopatra, a sixteen-year-old girl, disappeared. She can not be found anywhere.
At this time Julius Caesar, alone, in the desert passes by a small copy of the Sphinx and sees Cleopatra sleeping on the chest of a stone statue. She wakes up, says she is the queen of Egypt, and invites Caesar, whom she calls “an old man”, to climb to her and also hide from the Romans. Their Cleopatra is terribly afraid. Caesar admits that he is a Roman, and says that if the girl does everything as he says, then Caesar will not hurt her. Cleopatra promises to become his slave and obey him in everything. Then they sneak through the desert to the palace.
In the palace Cleopatra behaves extremely timidly. She is afraid to give orders to the slave, flutters
before her nanny Ftatatita. Caesar teaches her to behave like a king, command and force herself to obey. Cleopatra enters into the taste and already dreams, as will “feed” their slaves with poison and throw them into the Nile at the mercy of crocodiles. Caesar asks her not to get carried away. However, she is still very much afraid of Caesar. When the Roman soldiers enter the palace, greeting the person next to her with the words: “Glory to Caesar!”, Cleopatra suddenly comes to their senses, and with relief, sobbing, falls into his arms.
The lower hall of the palace includes the king Ptolemy Dionysus (a ten-year-old boy, brother of Cleopatra and her rival) and his guardian Potin. They are escorted by Theodotus, the king’s mentor, Achilles, his commander, and courtiers. Ptolemy from the clue Potina tries to express his dissatisfaction with Caesar’s invasion and the behavior of Cleopatra. Caesar enters the hall accompanied by the Roman officer Rufiya and his secretary, Briton, a Briton of nationality, dressed in all blue. Caesar is not inclined to shed blood in Egypt, but he demands
that he be paid part of the money from the amount that Egypt must give to Rome under the old arrangement between Caesar and the former king of Egypt for the fact that Caesar at one time helped bring the throne back. Cleopatra, who decided to behave like a queen, runs up to her brother, pulls him off the throne, and herself sits down in his place. Caesar, touched by the chagrin of the boy,
Egyptian courtiers and military commanders demand that Caesar leave their land, but he replies that he will do it only after Cleopatra becomes a queen. He allows all the Egyptians to retire, to the great indignation of their associates, and warns that he will not be able to hold back Rufiya and his soldiers long, and rushing to snatch swords from their scabbards. Potin bitterly complains about Roman justice, the lack of gratitude in the Romans. Caesar in perplexity. He does not understand what is at stake. Then Potin asks to go out Lucius Septimius, who tells that he killed the Republican Pompey, who wanted to defeat Caesar. Caesar is stricken, he is horrified by the crime of Lucius Septimius.
The Egyptians are leaving. Caesar remains with Cleopatra, who reproaches him for being too sensitive. She also tells him how her father managed to regain her throne. And the beautiful young man who came from Rome with a multitude of horsemen helped him. Then Cleopatra was only twelve years old, she fell in love with this young man. She is very surprised when Caesar says that it was he who sent Mark Antony to help her father. Caesar promises her that if she so desires, he will send him to her.
Caesar orders Ruth to burn several Roman ships that stand in the Western harbor, and most take all the boats that stand in the eastern harbor, and capture Pharos, an island with a lighthouse. Potin comes to Caesar and is going to tell him the demands of the Egyptians. This time, Caesar takes him prisoner. Then Theodotus rushes in, and in extreme agitation reports that the fire from the Roman ships spread to the Alexandria Library, the holy of holies of Egyptian civilization. Caesar advises him to call for help to extinguish the fire of Achilles and his army. (So he plans to divert Achilles’s attention from the Capture by the Romans of the island of Pharos.) Caesar dresses in armor and leaves to take part in the capture of Pharos. Cleopatra begs him to be careful.
After Caesar’s departure on the quay where the Roman guards are standing, Apollodorus, Sicilian, patrician, art lover appears. He carries Persian carpets to the palace, wanting Cleopatra to choose some of them. The queen herself runs out of the palace. She wants to get into the boat immediately and swim to Caesar. However, the guard does not allow her to do this. This contradicts the order of Caesar. Then Cleopatra asks Apollodorus in a boat to deliver Caesar as a gift from her beautiful Persian carpet and to obtain permission for her to sail to his island. She runs to choose a carpet. Soon the porters take out a gift from the palace, it is loaded onto a boat, and Apollodorus departs from the shore. When the boat is already far from the guard, Phtatatita sarcastically tells him that he missed Cleopatra, since she still made her way to the boat, wrapped in a carpet.
The boat swims to the island. At this time someone throws a heavy bag into the water, the nose at the boat breaks, and it sinks. Apollodorus barely has time to pull a carpet from the water. While Caesar, British and Rufius enthusiastically watching Apollodorus and his burden, the Egyptians landed on the shore. The Romans and Cleopatra can only escape by swimming. Caesar sails, carrying Cleopatra on his back. Soon a boat approaches them, and they move to its board.
The following events are unfolding in March 47, that is, six months after the initial events. Potin, still in captivity with Caesar and living in the palace, achieves an audience with Cleopatra and during that time behaves dutifully and respectfully, she tries to set up the queen against Caesar, but Cleopatra drives him away. He goes to Caesar and burns with a desire to restore him against Cleopatra, but he does not have time to do it, because the queen herself is entering to dine together with Caesar, Apollodorus and Ruth. Caesar asks Potin to say what he wanted to say, or to leave, for he will grant him freedom. Potin after some confusion begins to inspire him that Cleopatra wants to reign alone and with all his heart awaits his departure. Cleopatra says with indignation that this is a lie. Caesar, however, finds that even if it were so, then it would be quite natural. He asks Pothin to retire and repeats that he is free. Cleopatra, however, is seething with anger and imperceptibly orders Ftatatite to kill Potin before he leaves the palace. At dinner everyone suddenly hears a cry and the sound of a falling body. Lucius Septimius enters and informs Caesar that Potin was killed and the city is distraught, since Potin was a favorite of the townspeople. Cleopatra confesses that it was she who ordered to kill Potin for his slander. Ruth and Apollodorus approve of her deed. However, Caesar says that now he can not protect the life of the queen from the angry Egyptians. Lucius Septimius calms him down. He reports that reinforcements arrived to the Romans – the army of Mithridates of Pergamon. Caesar goes to meet Mithridates. Before leaving, Rufi imperceptibly injects Phthatite as a wild tigress who can attack at any moment, as he later explains his act to Caesar. He approves of it. Roman troops are smashing the Egyptians, King Ptolemy is drowning in the river, and Cleopatra becomes the sovereign ruler.
Caesar is preparing to sail for Rome. Before leaving Egypt, he leaves Rufia as governor. Cleopatra, he repeats his promise to send Mark Antony.