The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
Choices Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
[Looking for Antony] He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!
Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Alexas?
Here, at your service. My lord approaches.
Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and attendants
We will not look upon him. Go with us. (1.2.84)
First, this "Roman thought" is presented as contrary to mirth. The lovers are both passionate as they are prone to being tempestuous, and changing their actions immediately upon a new thought. Antony quickly changed from his mirth, and Cleopatra was looking for Antony – until he showed up.
I will to Egypt;
And though I make this marriage for my peace,
I' th' East my pleasure lies. (2.3.36)
Antony makes this proclamation after listening to a soothsayer tell him Caesar’s fortunes are better than his, so he should go to Egypt. It’s a rare case where reason coincides with passion; Antony proclaims he’ll go to Egypt, not because of the reason the soothsayer has given him, but because his love and pleasure is there.
Will fight with him by sea.
By sea! What else?
Why will my lord do so?
For that he dares us to't. (3.7.26)
Antony is all impassioned at the questioning of his power. He knows that his ships are weaker than Caesar’s, and that this fight is a risk, but Caesar has dared him to fight at sea. Of course, Caesar only does this because he knows Antony is disadvantaged on the water, and that he won’t back down from a challenge. In the face of competition, Antony’s passion overpowers his reason and good sense.