All For Love

Octavius Character Analysis

Octavius is a character who never appears on stage but who nonetheless casts a long shadow. He is Antony’s rival for power in Rome and is described as young, ambitious, and strongly competitive in his quest for rule of “half the world.” He is also proud and quick to take offense at perceived insults to his honor and his family—as indicated by his protectiveness of his sister, Octavia, Antony’s wife. In response to Antony’s abandonment of her, he brings an army against Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt. His ambition ultimately finds full space to flourish after Antony’s suicide and military defeat, thus removing the last obstacle to Octavius’s control of the Roman Empire, which he went on to rule for many decades.

Octavius Quotes in All For Love

The All For Love quotes below are all either spoken by Octavius or refer to Octavius. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of All For Love published in 2004.
Act 1 Quotes

But I have lost my reason, have disgraced
The name of soldier with inglorious ease[.]

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Ventidius, Octavius
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2 Quotes

[W]e have loved each other
Into our mutual ruin.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Cleopatra, Octavius
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5 Quotes

’Tis time the world
Should have a lord, and know whom to obey.

Related Characters: Antony (speaker), Octavius
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
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Octavius Character Timeline in All For Love

The timeline below shows where the character Octavius appears in All For Love. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...the Battle of Actium, and the palace is surrounded by a Roman army led by Octavius. Myris asks why Antony doesn’t take action, and Alexas explains that Antony thinks all is... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...Antony is in a bad state and won’t see anyone. He swings wildly between cursing Octavius and seeming to contemplate suicide. Ventidius assures him that this is just Antony’s nature, which... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...Antony’s spirits by telling him that there is still hope that they can win against Octavius, since Ventidius has an army in Lower Syria that is loyal to Antony’s cause. However,... (full context)
Act 2
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Antony enters with Ventidius. He reports that he challenged Octavius to hand-to-hand contact, but Octavius refused. Antony complains that Octavius is a coward who betrayed... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...his first wife, Fulvia, to be with her in Egypt. After Fulvia’s death, he married Octavius’s sister Octavia and left her as well for Cleopatra. As a result, Octavius raised an... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...him from leaving the woman who loves him. He exclaims that he doesn’t care whether Octavius conquers them in battle, since he prefers the pleasure of life with Cleopatra to anything... (full context)
Act 3
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...him feel ashamed. Antony boasts to Ventidius that he has won a military victory against Octavius. Ventidius suggests that Antony try to make peace with Octavius, but Antony refuses, saying that... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Ventidius asks whether Antony has a friend on Octavius’s side who might be able to advocate for him. Antony admits that he used to... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Octavia, Antony’s abandoned wife and Octavius’s sister, enters with Antony’s two small daughters. (Ventidius has smuggled them in past the Egyptian... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Octavia tells Antony to take Octavius’s terms and drop her off in Athens. He is moved by her sacrifice but refuses,... (full context)
Act 4
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...the enraged Octavia tells Antony that she will leave him now and go back to Octavius’s camp, since her honor cannot bear to have only “half” of Antony. (full context)
Act 5
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...into Antony’s heart. Meanwhile, the Egyptian ships are in the middle of a battle against Octavius’s fleet, which Antony is watching from the top of the Pharos. They hear a cry,... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...him to the Romans. In the meantime, he promises to go plead her case with Octavius. Now justifiably suspicious of his advice, Cleopatra refuses and asks Serapion for help. Serapion also... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...them, and Antony asks if there is any way to make a final stand against Octavius. Ventidius tells him that there are three legions left to fight for him. Antony professes... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...sword and threatens to kill him. Antony once again accuses Cleopatra of betraying him to Octavius. Alexas tells him that Cleopatra is gone, and Antony at first is enraged, thinking she... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...she hadn’t died earlier (since then Antony might have been able to make peace with Octavius.) Antony, by contrast, is devastated at the revelation that Cleopatra is dead and is now... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
...has no more spirit to fight anymore. Ventidius asks how he can say this when Octavius is at the gates of the palace, but Antony says “he’s welcome now.” He explains... (full context)
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Now, Antony says, is the time to give up his power struggle with Octavius and let the world “know whom to obey.” Ventidius accepts Antony’s desire to die and... (full context)
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...no knowledge of Alexas’s plot to fake her death, that she never betrayed him to Octavius, and that she never cared for Dollabella. As he dies, Antony makes her promise to... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...that no “Roman laws” will be able to break. Iras and Charmion remind her that Octavius is merciful and may spare her life, but Cleopatra balks at the idea that Octavius... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...and makes the victim seem to fall gently into sleep. Serapion shouts from outside that Octavius is at the palace gates. Cleopatra quickly bares her arm and lets the snake bite... (full context)
Epilogue
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...hopes that he will be judged by the “fair sex.” Men might be interested in Octavius’s ambition, but women will enjoy the story of a man, Antony, who died “all for... (full context)