Study Guide

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Act IV, Scene iv

By William Shakespeare

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Act IV, Scene iv

  • It’s early morning, and Antony calls to his man Eros to help him put on his armor, while Cleopatra calls him back to bed.
  • As Eros dresses him in armor, Cleopatra tries to help, but Antony says she is the armor around his heart. She helps anyway, and he says the man that undoes his armor that day will feel his rage— Antony is confident about his manliness.
  • Antony wishes Cleopatra could see him at war today, as she would see him in his truest form, as a workman at his trade.
  • An armed soldier enters, and Antony compliments him for looking ready for war. The soldier announces that a thousand men wait on Antony at the port, with more on the way.
  • Things are generally looking up.
  • Antony is in high spirits—this is his home turf, being soldierly and warish and such.
  • He kisses Cleopatra’s hand like a gallant fellow, saying, "Fare thee well, dame," which is a far cry from his usual fawning. He tells her he leaves her as a man of steel (meaning he’s the man around here), and we get a glimpse of what Antony the soldier was like before he became Cleopatra's Antony in Egypt.
  • He leads his men to war, as Cleopatra is led back to her bed.

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