Antony, Octavius and Lepidus rule the Roman Empire, but Antony has fallen in love with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and disregards all news from Rome. When Antony hears that his wife, Fulvia,
has died, however, he returns home.
In order to pacify Octavius, who is under attack from the late Pompey’s son, Antony agrees to marry Octavius’ sister, Octavia. Antony, Octavius and Lepidus meet with Pompey before the battle and instead sign a treaty to stave off war.
As soon as Antony and Octavia depart for Greece, Octavius immediately starts a new war on Pompey in defiance of Antony’s treaty. Octavia goes to Rome to patch up the quarrel, where Octavius informs her that Antony has fled to Cleopatra in Egypt.
Angry at his sister’s humiliation, Octavius sails east to fight Antony at sea. Cleopatra offers her navy to supplement Antony’s, but she retreats in the middle of the battle, and Antony follows her.
Antony returns to battle and defeats Octavius by land. But Octavius wins another sea battle, and Cleopatra’s navy surrenders, enraging Antony. Despondent at his rejection, she goes to her monument and sends word to Antony that she has died. Antony falls on his sword, only to learn too late of her ruse. He asks to be taken to Cleopatra and dies in her arms.
Learning that Octavius intends to bring her to Rome as a prisoner, Cleopatra kills herself with poisonous snakes smuggled into the monument. Finding her dead, Octavius promises to bury her with Antony.