| Quote #7
Ventidius hits on a central notion of power – subordinates should not show up their masters, even in their masters’ names, because their acts will seem threats instead of honors. Power is a tricky thing, and even Antony can’t be trusted, Ventidius thinks, to interpret his actions as noble instead of treacherous. (This is challenged later when Antony wholeheartedly praises Scarus for his valiant fighting, but it’s a point to consider nonetheless.)
| Quote #8
Antony rankles not only at Caesar’s betrayal of their truce with Pompey, but that Caesar is also full of gossip against Antony. The biggest affront is that Caesar refuses to praise Antony’s power when he should, and if he ever does, it’s in weak terms. Caesar’s slander of Antony’s power offends Antony as much as the obvious act of treachery Caesar has committed.
| Quote #9
Caesar can’t accept his victory gracefully, and instead must take away from Antony the one thing he loves the most, by the most treacherous way he knows how. There’s a hint that Caesar resents the love between Antony and Cleopatra (remember his adopted father, Julius Caesar, was also her lover). The young Caesar will try his damndest to rob Antony and Cleopatra of their feelings for each other by setting them against each other. It’s clear the power Caesar gained by a military victory is not enough. He wishes for power over Antony and Cleopatra’s emotions, because he envies their strength in that sacred arena, not in the least because he seems to have no capacity to inspire such strong love himself. (Remember Pompey’s comment that Caesar can raise funds, but not fondness from the people.)