Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra


William Shakespeare

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Antony and Cleopatra: Act 4, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
At Cleopatra’s palace, Enobarbus tells Antony that Octavius will not agree to fight with him alone. Antony resolves to fight “by sea and land,” and live or die with honor. Enobarbus assures him that he is behind him, and Antony calls for servants so they can feast before the fateful day. He thanks Enobarbus for his loyalty.
Enobarbus delivers Octavius’ message, and Antony regains his traditionally masculine bravery. He ironically thanks Enobarbus for his steadfast loyalty, unaware that Enobarbus has decided to betray him for Octavius.
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Antony thanks all his followers, and encourages them to “scant not my cups,” as he plans to enjoy one last night of drinking. He tells them they may serve another master by the end of tomorrow. Enobarbus says that Antony is making his men almost cry to think of Antony’s death, and tells him, “transform us not to women.” Antony tells everyone to cheer up and says that he expects victory tomorrow. He says he wants to “drown consideration” with a large, extravagant meal.
Antony seems unable to take one night away from his decadent lifestyle, even on the eve of a crucial fight. Enobarbus again reinforces the stereotypical idea of crying as being unmanly, but it is ironically a woman (Cleopatra) who is in some ways the bravest character in the play.
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