Better Students Ask More Questions.
Why, according to Scarrus, is Antony’s naval retreat an action of shame?
1 Answer | add yours
High School Teacher
Scarrus is one of Antony's most enthusiastic and martial supporters. He is thus dumbfounded when Antony abandons the sea battle against Caesar to follow the retreating Cleopatra and her ships. Denouncing Cleopatra to his fellow soldiers, Scarrus lets loose with a string of insults that are strongly gender-based, calling her a "nag" and a "cow," indicating that he suspects Cleopatra has weakened the manliness of his master Antony:
Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt,--
Whom leprosy o'ertake!--i' the midst o' the fight,
When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd,
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,--
The breese upon her, like a cow in June,--
Hoists sails and flies.
This flight in the wake of a mere woman is, in Scarrus' eyes, the height of shame and unmanliness:
I never saw an action of such shame;
Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before
Did violate so itself.
It is not, however, enough to shake his basic allegiance to Antony, and he will fight victoriously for his master again later in the play.
Posted by sagesource on April 27, 2009 at 10:56 PM (Answer #1)
Related QuestionsSee all »
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.