The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Betrayal Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
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. (1.5.69)
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.
CAESAR Say not so, Agrippa. If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof Were well deserv'd of rashness. ANTONY I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear Agrippa further speak. (2.2.121)
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.
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. (2.6.120)
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.