The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
Guilt and Blame Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
That life, a very rebel to my will,
May hang no longer on me. Throw my heart
Against the flint and hardness of my fault,
Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony,
Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
Forgive me in thine own particular,
But let the world rank me in register
A master-leaver and a fugitive!
O Antony! O Antony! (4.9.13)
Enobarbus dies with his friend’s name on his lips, lamenting the wrong he has done to Antony. Enobarbus regrets what he has done to Antony, but that he could do it breaks his heart. Most importantly, he recognizes that his regret and repentance will not absolve him or change the past. For his personal friendship, he wishes Antony to know he’s sorry. For the world, though, he’d rather bear the mark of a traitor, so everyone can know the depth of his crime. Here, Enobarbus proves he’s aware that no amount of regret he feels can outweigh the sorrow he’s caused.
I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
All length is torture. Since the torch is out,
Lie down, and stray no farther. (4.14.44)
Only on hearing of Cleopatra’s death does Antony repent the rage he felt against her. Death moves Antony the way life could not, and against his reason, he follows his passion to chase after Cleopatra even in death.
Go with me to my tent, where you shall see
How hardly I was drawn into this war,
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
In all my writings. Go with me, and see
What I can show in this. (5.1.73)
Caesar seems to try to clear himself of blame. Is this motivated by his actual knowledge of his own hand in Antony’s death, or does he feel compelled by other reasons?