"This play is considered one of Shakespeare's richest and most moving works. The story concerns Mark Antony, Roman military leader and triumvir, who is desperately in love with Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and former mistress of Julius Caesar. Summoned to Rome upon the death of his wife, Fulvia, who had openly antagonized Octavius, Antony heals the residual political rift by marrying his fellow triumvir's sister, Octavia. Word of the event enrages Cleopatra. Renewed contention with Octavius, however, sends Antony back to his lover's arms. When the rivalry erupts into warfare, Cleopatra accompanies Antony to the Battle of Actium, where her presence proves controversial. She heads back to Egypt, and Antony follows, pursued by Octavius. At Alexandria, Octavius eventually defeats Antony. Cleopatra sends a false report of her suicide, which prompts him to wound himself mortally. Carried by one of the queen's messengers to her hiding place, he dies in her arms. Rather than submit to Roman conquest, the grieving Cleopatra arranges to have a poisonous snake delivered to her in a basket of figs." - The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature.