The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
How we cite our quotes:
I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. O Antony,
Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid
My better service, when my turpitude
Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart.
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
Shall outstrike thought; but thought will do't, I feel.
I fight against thee? No! I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die; the foul'st best fits
My latter part of life. (4.6.30)
Enobarbus feels how deeply his betrayal runs when Antony shows how deeply his loyalty goes. Even betrayed, Antony is understanding, and tries to do right by his friend. Antony blames himself rather than the traitor, and so teaches Enobarbus a lesson in true loyalty.
Triple-turn'd whore! 'tis thou
Hast sold me to this novice; and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly;
For when I am reveng'd upon my charm,
I have done all. (4.12.13)
Antony believes Cleopatra has betrayed him, causing him to lose the battle. He does not blame the soldiers for their actions, but Cleopatra alone. That Antony calls Cleopatra a "triple turn’d whore" is particularly interesting – he refers to the fact that she’s had three lovers, and likely treated the two before him with the same kind of indignity. Had she been faithful (to them or their memory), she would never have been available to him.
Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
Intends his journey, and within three days
You with your children will he send before.
Make your best use of this; I have perform'd
Your pleasure and my promise. (5.2.198)
Dolabella gets to the heart of loyalty here. He has ostensibly betrayed his master Caesar, but he has been loyal to his heart. It’s a defining moment about the meaning of loyalty, which is not only pledged to those who you’re supposed to follow politically, but to those you truly believe in and love. Dolabella has been moved by Cleopatra, and is faithful to her as a result, regardless of his position in Caesar’s camp.