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The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

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The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Transformation Quotes

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Quote #1

ANTONY Friends, be gone; I have myself resolv'd upon a course Which has no need of you; be gone. My treasure's in the harbour, take it. O, I follow'd that I blush to look upon. My very hairs do mutiny; for the white Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them For fear and doting. (3.11.8)

Antony rails against himself for becoming a different person – he’s just fled the sea battle chasing after Cleopatra, and he admits he’s no longer a respectable soldier. Further, even his transformation into old age rebels against him – his wiser side (white hairs) condemns his youth (brown hairs) for their rashness, and his youth condemns his age for it’s cowardice in the battle, and the fact that his age lets his affection for Cleopatra overpower his strength and nobility.

Quote #2

ANTONY You were half blasted ere I knew you. Ha! Have I my pillow left unpress'd in Rome, Forborne the getting of a lawful race, And by a gem of women, to be abus'd By one that looks on feeders? CLEOPATRA Good my lord- ANTONY You have been a boggler ever. But when we in our viciousness grow hard- O misery on't!- the wise gods seel our eyes, In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us Adore our errors, laugh at's while we strut To our confusion. (3.13.105)

Antony flies into a passionate rage. It seems, having seen that Cleopatra is capable of betraying him, he is transformed. He realizes that he hasn’t judged clearly, and has been acting a fool for love. Worse, he admits that he transformed himself into something of a vagrant. He could’ve had children with the nice Octavia at home and made some very legitimate heirs, but he’s disgraced himself in Egypt with Cleopatra instead.

Quote #3

ENOBARBUS Now he'll outstare the lightning. To be furious Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still A diminution in our captain's brain Restores his heart. When valour preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek Some way to leave him. (3.13.195)

Enobarbus hits on the great change that’s come over Antony – he has just flown into a murderous rage over Cleopatra’s betrayal, had a man beaten within an inch of his life, forgiven Cleopatra, called for wine, and resolved to murder so many people that he’ll compete with Death itself. Antony’s valor has gotten the better of him. He has forgotten his fear of death, and seems to have forgotten his reason.

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