The Masks of Anthony and Cleopatra

By Marvin Rosenberg; Mary Rosenberg | Go to book overview

Act IV, Scene ii

Enter Anthony, Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, Iras,
Alexas, with others.

“Poor Anthony” indeed. Shakespeare sets him up to face Caesar’s most powerful army in the world, his own depleted forces far outnumbered. Caesar will be directing all his “best heads” to plan tomorrow’s “last of many battles.” The audience is warned to expect Anthony’s downfall.

Anthony and Enobarbus enter together. Anthony calls his friend by his first name, has had an arm around Enobarbus’s shoulders, his voice and manner rich with the old trust and dependence:

Anthony: He will not fight with me, Domitius? [Folio: Domitian]
Enobarbus: No?

Capell thought the “?” reflected a sullen Enobarbus. Certainly a troubled subtext undercuts Enobarbus, looking now for some way to leave Anthony; but he seems from what follows to be masking that. The line on stage generally ends with a full stop.

Anthony: Why should he not?

Enobarbus, realistic, offers a warning to Anthony:

He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
He is twenty men to one.

Anthony rejects the warning, challenging “fortune.” He sounds his old readiness to fight, his joy in battle, and—now—his need to redeem himself. Shakespeare slips in a mention of the fateful sea encounter, and now it is taken for granted, even by Enobarbus.

                             Tomorrow, soldier,
By sea and land I’ll fight! or I will live,
Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
Shall make it live again!

-320-

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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
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