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The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

  

by William Shakespeare

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 #1

CLEOPATRA
O, never was there queen
So mightily betrayed! Yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.
ANTONY
                                           Cleopatra—
CLEOPATRA
Why should I think you can be mine, and true—
Though you in swearing shake the thronèd gods—
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing! (1.3.30-38)

Cleopatra recognizes that Fulvia’s marriage to Antony should carry more weight than her love as his mistress, but she still feels betrayed by Antony’s recognition of this fact. Worse, she admits she should never have expected Antony to be loyal to her, when Antony wasn’t even loyal to his wife.

Quote #2

CLEOPATRA
So Fulvia told me.
I prithee turn aside and weep for her,
Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
Like perfect honor. (1.3.91-96)

Cleopatra suggests Antony’s loyalty to Fulvia was false, and claims she should expect no more loyalty than he shows to Fulvia. Cleopatra accuses Antony of being loyal only in appearance, as he is too proud to admit that he’s simply a disloyal man.

Quote #3

LEPIDUS
I must not think there are
Evils enough to darken all his goodness.
His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness, hereditary
Rather than purchased, what he cannot change
Than what he chooses. (1.4.12-17)

Lepidus is loyal to a fault, and always trying to see the sunny side of things. This is in contrast to Caesar’s very practical acts of betrayal. Even in this early scene, we get the sense that Lepidus’s loyalty and trust will lead him to be betrayed.

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