The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Transformation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.
I have myself resolved upon a course
Which has no need of you. Begone.
My treasure's in the harbor, take it. O,
I followed 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. (3.11.9-16)
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 its cowardice in the battle, and the fact that his age lets his affection for Cleopatra overpower his strength and nobility.
You were half blasted ere I knew you.
Have I my pillow left unpressed in Rome,
Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
And by a gem of women, to be abused
By one that looks on feeders?
Good my lord—
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. (3.13.132-144)
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.
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 valor preys on reason,
It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
Some way to leave him. (3.13.236-242)
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.