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Antony and Cleopatra
Summary & Analysis
Act I, scenes i–iii
Act I, scenes iv–v; Act II, scenes i–ii
Act II, scenes iii–vi
Act II, scene vii; Act III, scenes i–iii
Act III, scenes iv–vii
Act III, scenes viii–xiii
Act IV, scenes i–viii
Act IV, scenes ix–xv
Act IV, scene xvi–Act V, scene i
Act V, scene ii
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Full Book Quiz
Full Book Quiz
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. In the play’s opening scene, why do the Roman soldiers fault Antony?
He is overly ambitious and plans to divide the Roman state by waging war against Caesar
His cowardice in battle has resulted in the loss of valuable sea trade routes to Pompey
His excessive fondness for Cleopatra threatens to compromise his duties as a Roman statesman
An irresponsible drinker, Antony often treats his subordinates disrespectfully
What do Charmian and Iras do in order to foresee their futures?
Consult a crystal ball
Summon a soothsayer, who reads their palms
Read tea leaves
Visit a witch
How does Antony react to the news of Fulvia’s death?
He regrets having wished her dead and wishes her back
He weeps uncontrollably
He chastises Cleopatra for keeping him from his true family
The news does not faze him
Why does Caesar condemn Antony for abandoning Rome?
He does not like the fact that Antony is having more fun than he is
He cannot collect taxes on Antony’s unoccupied lands
He himself loves Cleopatra and is jealous of Antony’s relationship with her
He and Lepidus are left with the unfair burden of responding to Pompey’s armies by themselves
Upon leaving Egypt, what does Antony send to Cleopatra as a gift?
A golden comb
A snake-shaped bracelet
A cask of fine wine
What solution does Agrippa propose to establish peace between Caesar and Antony?
Antony should make a public apology for neglecting his duties to the empire
Antony should marry Caesar’s sister, Octavia
Antony should turn over a portion of his kingdom to Caesar
Both men should drink heartily and forget the past
. Why, according to the Soothsayer, should Antony leave Rome?
As long as Antony remains in Rome, his fortune will be overshadowed by Caesar’s
Caesar is plotting with Octavia to take Antony’s life
Cleopatra will make life miserable for him unless he returns to her
Antony’s new devotion to pleasure has compromised his military might, and he would surely be defeated in a battle with Pompey
How does Cleopatra react to the news that Antony has married Octavia?
She sends Antony a letter demanding that he never return to Egypt
She beats her messenger, then orders him to go and size up the competition
She courts Caesar in hopes that he will destroy Antony
. The triumvirs offer Pompey control of Sicily and Sardinia in exchange for what?
His word that he will not attack any of the empire’s lands or interests
Ridding the seas of pirates and furnishing Rome with supplies of wheat
Welcoming Antony’s mother on her upcoming visit to Sicily
A percentage of the goods seized by his navy
. How does Pompey react to Menas’s suggestion that they kill the Roman triumvirs and thereby make Pompey the most powerful man alive?
He appreciates the thought but urges Menas to await a more fitting time to attack the triumvirs
He is dismayed by Menas’s disregard for human life
He tells Menas to do whatever needs to be done to secure him control of the world
He wishes Menas had done the deed without telling him
. Why does Ventidius refuse to push on into Parthia?
Without Antony’s leadership, he fears defeat
Like Caesar, his soldiers resent Antony’s loyalty to Egypt and cannot be counted on to fight further battles in Antony’s name
He has lost too many soldiers and does not want to lose more
He does not want to win Antony’s disfavor by outperforming him in battle
. When Cleopatra’s messenger brings word to his queen that Antony has married Octavia, she beats him severely. Later, though, she praises this same man for his good service. What brings about this change of heart?
The messenger reports that Octavia is plain-looking and generally unimpressive
Charmian convinces Cleopatra that it is morally reprehensible to abuse one’s servants
Fickle as she is, Cleopatra merely forgets the news of Antony’s marriage
Cleopatra’s recent conversion to Christianity
. After arriving in Athens, why does Antony send Octavia immediately back to Rome?
He cannot pretend that he loves her as he loves Cleopatra
He wishes her to make peace between himself and Caesar, who has disparaged his name in public
Due to political strife in Greece, he fears that Octavia is not safe there
He cannot stand Octavia’s bickering
. What does Cleopatra contribute to Antony’s battle with Caesar?
A fleet of sixty ships
An army of ten thousand soldiers
An amulet to protect Antony in battle
A golden dagger
. How does Antony react to Cleopatra’s first flight from battle?
He thanks the gods, for battle is no place for a woman
He follows her and leads his troops in a retreat
He praises her assessment of the situation
He admits to Enobarbus that she is an unworthy object of affection
. How does Cleopatra repay Antony after leading him into a retreat?
With a kiss
With the promise of marriage
By giving him her kingdom
By agreeing to seduce Caesar so that Antony may kill him
. What does Antony request of Caesar after losing the battle to him?
To be publicly vilified for his cowardly behavior
To be judged fairly by a jury of his peers
To be allowed to live in Egypt with Cleopatra
To be allowed to return to Rome and resume his marriage to Octavia
. How does Antony react to the news of Caesar’s refusal to grant him permission to live in Egypt?
He becomes enraged and determines to challenge Caesar in one-on-one combat
He fakes his own death in hopes of living with Cleopatra in secrecy
He travels to Parthia in hopes of mounting another army against his enemy
He surrenders himself to Caesar’s soldiers
. On the night before his fight with Caesar, what sign of bad fortune do Antony’s soldiers encounter?
A full moon
A black cat
A man with no legs
. How does Antony react to the news of Enobarbus’s desertion?
He curses his friend’s disloyalty
He vows to kill Enobarbus after he kills Caesar
He believes that every man must follow his own conscience and therefore respects Enobarbus’s decision
He grieves for having corrupted an honest man and orders his friend’s possessions returned to him
. How does Enobarbus react to Antony’s gift and well-wishes?
He feels extreme guilt and determines to die rather than fight him
He believes that Antony has lost his mind, which only validates Enobarbus’s decision to abandon him
He realizes he has made a terrible mistake and rushes back to Antony to beg his forgiveness
He gives the treasure to the peasants of Alexandria and goes off to live in the desert
. What does Charmian suggest that Cleopatra do in order to quell Antony’s anger against her?
Publicly denounce Caesar
Send him word that she has killed herself
Write him a love letter
. Whom does Antony order to kill him?
. What does Caesar intend to do with Cleopatra after Antony’s death?
Keep her on display in Rome
Send her into exile
. How does Cleopatra kill herself?
She stabs herself with a dagger
She jumps from the top of her monument
She lets herself be bitten by poisonous snakes
She drowns herself in the Nile
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