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The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Betrayal Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #4

CHARMIAN
                          The valiant Caesar!
CLEOPATRA
By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth
If thou with Caesar paragon again
My man of men.
CHARMIAN
                           By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.
CLEOPATRA
                               My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then. (1.5.82-90)

Cleopatra and Charmian compare Cleopatra’s love for Antony with her love for Julius Caesar. Charmian points out that she once cried over Julius Caesar as she does now over Antony. Cleopatra counters that the former love affair was just the bad judgment of youth.

Quote #5

CAESAR
Say not so, Agrippa.
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
Were well deserved of rashness.
ANTONY
I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear
Agrippa further speak. (2.2.145-149)

When Agrippa suggests Antony could marry Octavia, Caesar is the one to point out that Antony’s love is supposed to be devoted to Cleopatra (though he is a little mocking in this observation). Instead of defending his loyalty to Cleopatra, Antony emotionally abandons her, and points out that whatever else he engages in with Cleopatra, he’s not married to her. It seems he betrays their love, as he’s more loyal to Rome and to his own political advantage than he is to Cleopatra and their love.

Quote #6

ENOBARBUS
I think so too. But you shall find the band
that seems to tie their friendship together will be
the very strangler of their amity. Octavia is of a holy,
cold, and still conversation.
MENAS
Who would not have his wife so?
ENOBARBUS
Not he that himself is not so, which is
Mark Antony. He will to his Egyptian dish again.
Then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in
Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is the
strength of their amity shall prove the immediate
author of their variance. Antony will use his affection
where it is. He married but his occasion here. (2.6.150-161)

Enobarbus and Menas confer on Antony’s marriage to Octavia, noting that it will not add to the loyalty between Caesar and Antony, but only push them into further hatred because Antony is bound to leave Octavia for Cleopatra. Additionally, Octavia’s disposition doesn’t suit Antony; he will be loyal to Cleopatra because they share the passion that Octavia lacks. Loyalty has to be founded in something, and for Antony and Cleopatra, it’s based on their mutual passion.

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