The Masks of Anthony and Cleopatra

By Marvin Rosenberg; Mary Rosenberg | Go to book overview

Act III, Scene vii

Enter Cleopatra, and Enobarbus.

Once more characters enter in the middle of an argument. A most serious one. The sounds of battle preparation are heard. The urgency is immediately evident in Enobarbus, who has always, to now, been humorous and ironic, suddenly deadly serious. He is arming himself, ready for the fight just off stage. The battle trumpets sound, far off now, louder as the scene progresses.

Shakespeare here develops Enobarbus’s relationship with Cleopatra. Enobarbus has always liked and admired her, but not now, her presence is inappropriate. The war is at stake. He should be off to it; he may be carrying some of Anthony’s armor; the danger of Cleopatra’s presence troubles him. They are both some ten years older.

She is a Queen, commanding her armed forces. She has appeared usually in the dress of a monarch, sometimes with a touch of Isis; on her head a formidable horned crown or headdress. She has worn a Roman-type helmet, and a Mercury-style beaked one. She has held a spear. Scarus may mean (arguably) in “Yon ribaudred nag” (3.10.10) that she is red-ribboned. Rarely, as in modernized staging, she wears trousers. In Japan she carried a sword at her hip. In the Berliner, as she argued with Enobarbus she pulled his sword from its scabbard to manipulate it as her own—an echo of her miming Anthony’s “sword Philippan” in 2.5. Once more, Cleopatra’s voice is crucial: a great Queen’s, authoritative, militant now, but always musical.

The force of Cleopatra’s emotion here flows the more deeply because of its uneasy subtext. Be Cleopatra: a lone Egyptian, a woman, among tough Roman soldiers who feel you do not belong. Again, you are not brave. You have had already some sharp sense of your insecurity, when Anthony departed. You will learn how afraid you are of being captured or killed. It is some measure of your need to share Anthony’s life that you suppress your fear to join him as a Queen, and co-ruler, and supporter, for this battle. Shakespeare does not make Cleopatra fearful simply because she is a woman—Fulvia seems to have been fearless—but because he senses the fear in her character (as Plutarch did not): or himself implants it there as part of the polyphony of his wonderful charactercreation. Is Cleopatra on the battlefield partly because she knows of the wars Fulvia has fought?

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Masks of Anthony and Cleopatra
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Acknowledgments 17
  • Introduction 21
  • Act One 39
  • Act I, Scene I 41
  • Anthony 70
  • Cleopatra 80
  • Act I, Scene II 86
  • Act I, Scene III 104
  • Octavius 118
  • Act I, Scene IV 123
  • Act I, Scene V 133
  • Act Two 143
  • Act II, Scene I 145
  • Act II, Scene II 151
  • Act 2, Scene III 174
  • Act II, Scene IV 180
  • Act II, Scene V 181
  • Act 2, Scene VI 197
  • Act II, Scene VII 207
  • Act Three 225
  • Act III, Scene I 227
  • Act III, Scene II 231
  • Act III, Scene III 239
  • Act III, Scene IV 246
  • Act III, Scene V 251
  • Act III, Scene VI 254
  • Act III, Scene VII 262
  • Act III, Scenes VIII, IX, and X 272
  • Act III, Scene XI 278
  • Act III, Scene XII 288
  • Act III, Scene XIII 293
  • Act Four 315
  • Act IV, Scene I 317
  • Act IV, Scene II 320
  • Act IV, Scene III 326
  • Act IV, Scene IV 329
  • Act IV, Scene V 335
  • Act IV, Scene VI 337
  • Act IV, Scene VII 341
  • Act IV, Scene VIII 344
  • Act IV, Scene IX 349
  • Act IV, Scenes X, XI, XII, and XIII 352
  • Act IV, Scene XIV 362
  • Act IV, Scene XV 379
  • Act Five 393
  • Act V, Scene I 395
  • Act V, Scene II 403
  • Is Anthony and Cleopatra a Tragedy? 473
  • Epilogue 480
  • A Note on the Historical Cleopatra 69 Bc–30 BC 482
  • Critical and Theatrical Bibliographies 489
  • Critical Bibliography 491
  • Theatrical Bibliography 532
  • Index 597
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 605

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.