Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Act IV: Scene 12

Summary

Antony and Scarus watch the battle from a hill near Alexandria. Things are not going as well as Antony had hoped. From their position, they can see that the sea battle is lost and that Caesar has retained enough forces on land to continue the fight.

Antony leaves to find out how "'tis like to go." He returns almost immediately and tells Scarus that they have lost. He believes that Cleopatra has betrayed him, and he curses her. She enters shortly thereafter, and he calls her a traitor and orders her away. Then he continues to rage, and he predicts that Cleopatra will die for her treachery.

Analysis

Antony's rage overpowers this scene. His accusations against Cleopatra seem especially unfair. We should remember, however, that in the past, Cleopatra has advised against (without luck) the use of sea power against Caesar. It is also likely here that Antony is remembering Caesar's earlier overtures to Cleopatra; it is also highly likely that bitter doubts arise again in his mind, regarding Cleopatra's loyalty and love.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

As the play unfolds, to whom is Antony betrothed?




Quiz