All For Love


John Dryden

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Serapion Character Analysis

Serapion is one of the priests of the Temple of Isis and a figure of significant political influence at Cleopatra’s court. He is gravely concerned about the Roman invasion and the future of Egypt as an independent kingdom. When Antony and Cleopatra’s ships turn against them and side with Octavius, he advises Cleopatra to hide in her monument—where she later commits suicide. Serapion can be opportunist; for instance, he arrests Alexas and blames him for the ills in Egypt, hoping to use him as a bargaining chip to buy his freedom from the conqueror Octavius. However, he also seems to genuinely care for Antony and Cleopatra, as demonstrated by his speech when he views their bodies and hopes that they have ascended into heaven.
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Serapion Character Timeline in All For Love

The timeline below shows where the character Serapion appears in All For Love. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Continuity and Change Theme Icon
Two priests of the Temple of Isis, Serapion and Myris, observe that there have been several frightening omens in Egypt recently. The water... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suddenly Alexas, Queen Cleopatra’s eunuch, appears and accuses Serapion of making up stories and drinking too much at the feasts. He says that Egypt... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
...temple and refuses to see Cleopatra, hoping to cure himself of his love for her. Serapion and Myris fear for Egypt’s future as a Roman province if they are defeated and... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Just then, Alexas, Serapion, and Myris witness the approach of Ventidius, one of Antony’s top lieutenants. Alexas assures them... (full context)
Act 5
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...which Antony is watching from the top of the Pharos. They hear a cry, and Serapion bursts in, shouting that everything is lost and Egypt is vanquished. Cleopatra assumes they have... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
...plead her case with Octavius. Now justifiably suspicious of his advice, Cleopatra refuses and asks Serapion for help. Serapion also advises that she hide in the monument but suggests that they... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Authority vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...bites, it brings no pain 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... (full context)
Honor vs. Love Theme Icon
Serapion, two priests, and Alexas (who is in chains) enter the room. Horrified by the spectacle... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Serapion observes how noble Antony and Cleopatra look, as if they ruled half the world. He... (full context)