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Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare

Summary and Analysis Act II: Scene 4


As the scene opens in Rome, Lepidus is being escorted by two officers, Maecenas and Agrippa, and after they have walked with him a while, he tells them that they may return to their business, which at this point is to prepare for possible battle with Pompey.


This transition scene seems to serve no critical purpose, except to remind the audience of the counterforce to love in this drama — that is, the forces of politics and power, twin forces which are forever struggling for Antony's loyalty. We are also reminded again that intrigue abounds, and that events will soon begin to move rapidly toward a crisis.