Study Guide

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Act IV, Scene xii

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Act IV, Scene xii

  • Antony watches the battle at sea with Scarus and frets that he can’t see Caesar’s troops yet. He leaves Scarus to go look from a different vantage point.
  • Scarus notes in an aside that the augurs (or prophets) were hesitant to state their predictions about this sea battle, which can’t be good.
  • Antony returns to Scarus in a fury—Cleopatra’s fleet has deserted them again and Antony’s fleet has yielded to Caesar’s, greeting them like friends.
  • He doesn’t care to take revenge on his troops, only on Cleopatra. Antony is sure she’s the one that led him to this course.
  • Antony demands that all the remaining soldiers leave, as he doesn’t care about them anymore.
  • He privately laments that Fortune has deserted him and now favors Caesar instead. He damns Cleopatra for luring him to Egypt and identifies her as the cause of his loss.
  • Cleopatra enters and Antony rages at her, saying she should go be part of Caesar’s victory march for all the masses to see her. He even hopes Octavia might scratch up her face with her fingernails.
  • Cleopatra flees Antony’s fury. He’s glad that woman’s gone. He wishes he had killed her earlier, which would have saved many lives. He resolves that she’ll die for selling him out to Caesar, whom he calls "the young Roman boy."

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