Act 1, Scene 1: The scene opens with two men at Queen Cleopatra of Egypt's court. The men are discussing Antony, one of the three leaders of Rome, and his doting love for the queen. They think he is making a fool of himself. Together, Antony and Cleopatra enter and he declares his love for her. A messenger comes upon them, but Antony sends him away because he does not want to leave the queen. She urges him to hear the message because it might be from his wife, Fulvia, or one of the other ruling lords, Caesar. Antony is still reluctant, however, even after her gentle prodding. Declaring he cares only for her, he dismisses the messenger and they go. The men stay and discuss the fact that Antony cares so little for the words of Caesar.
Act 1, Scene 2: Members of Cleopatra's court are mingling together and having their fortunes told when the Queen enters looking for Antony. She finds him and sends everyone away to leave him alone with his messenger. The messenger tells him that his wife and brother were forced out of Italy by Caesar, and that he has been ignoring his duties to them because he has been so long with Cleopatra. The messenger exits but another one enters saying that a third is there to see him. The third tells him that his wife has died, and gives him a letter before leaving. Antony decides that he should leave Cleopatra and get back to the duties he has been neglecting. There are issues that his wife left unsettled, and more importantly, the third of the leaders of Rome, Pompey, has become a threat to Caesar. Antony must return, although he wishes to stay with his love.
Act 1, Scene 3: Cleopatra hears that Antony is leaving her and feels betrayed. When she speaks to him, she accuses him of lying. She thinks that he is going back to his wife until he tells her that his wife is dead. She tells him to go, and he agrees promising to come back to her soon, although she is still angry with him.