By Martin Wine (auth.)
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Extra resources for Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Antony's imagery is pure 'Roman': acknowledging that he has 'not kept my square', he vows to act in the future 'by the rule' (6-7). 2). A more loveless scene between a groom and his bride would be hard to come by. Once the 'business' that Antony wanted completed in the last scene is over, they go their separate ways. Caesar's only words in the entire dialogue of nine lines are 'Good night' (9). The words of the Soothsayer urging Antony to return to Egypt obviously strike a chord. Antony has deluded himself into thinking that this marriage will satisfy Rome's claim on him; but now he realizes that, although he is making 'this marriage for my peace, / I' the East my pleasure lies' (40-1).
Neither side gives in very much or says anything too specific. Cleopatra's short replies can be interpreted seriously or ironically: they really say nothing; they give the impression that she is playing for time. But Enobarbus fails to see how cleverly she is handling Thidias. When she tells Thidias that her 'honour was not yielded' to Antony, 'But conquered merely' (61-2), Enobarbus is so outraged that he rushes off to 'ask Antony' about that; but most of us will understand that, indeed, she did not yield to Antony but rather was swept off her feet by him.
We'll follow' (2-3). Leaving the public sphere where he plays such an important role will not be easy for Antony. The scene is extremely short, but it conveys a sense of the epic distances covered in the play. Act II, Scene v Summary Without Antony, Cleopatra is bored. She reminisces about the happy times that she and Antony have shared. A messenger 'from Italy' brings news of Antony's reconciliation with Caesar and marriage to Octavia. In her fury, Cleopatra strikes and threatens the messenger.