The Masks of Anthony and Cleopatra

By Marvin Rosenberg; Mary Rosenberg | Go to book overview

Act V, Scene i

Enter Caesar, Agrippa, Dolabella, Menas,
with his Council of War.

This is another of the stage directions that suggest Shakespeare had not worked out final minor details. Menas could easily be imagined joining Caesar, but if present he says nothing, is not mentioned, and has no function—perhaps his name is a misprint for Maecenas? On the other hand, the unlisted Gallus is mentioned but will not speak; the unlisted Proculeius and Maecenas will speak; and Dolabella is given lines after he has exited.

We are back in a Roman world. Caesar is central; his armed men are erect, disciplined, ready for orders for the next battle. Drums and trumpets have heralded their entry, and sometimes sound briefly on in the background. Caesar, whom we first met as an anxious young triumvir, reluctantly dependent on a faraway Anthony to hold his position, has been able, with Anthony’s presence, to establish his power and go on to become ruler of half the world; now, with the other half in his grasp, we will see him beginning to make sure that the chronicle, however accurately (or inaccurately), establishes him as a noble person.

Caesar, at first now all business, perhaps at his maps, calls one of his men (whose name we are to remember) to go tell Anthony to surrender:

Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield.
Being so frustrate, tell him, he mocks
The pauses that he makes.

Dolabella, efficiently:

Caesar, I shall.

He salutes, and goes. (No stage direction for his exit.)

Enter Dercetus with the sword of Anthony.

-395-

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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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