Antony and Cleopatra Act II, Scenes 1 and 2: Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Act II, Scenes 1 and 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why did Mark Antony return to Rome from Egypt?

2. What reasons did he give Octavius for not returning sooner?

3. Name two major accusations Octavius brought against Antony.

4. Why was Lepidus anxious to prevent any antagonism between Octavius and Antony from developing?

5. From which character(s), other than Enobarbus, did Lepidus receive the most help in allaying the controversy between the two men?

6. For what comment was Enobarbus severely rebuked by Antony, and why?

7. Why did Agrippa want Octavia to marry Antony?

8. What was Antony’s comment about Fulvia when Octavius commented derogatorily on her actions?

9. In the opening Scene of Act II, Menas says: “Know, worthy Pompey/That what they [the great gods] do delay they do not deny.” What does Menas mean and what argument does he use to explain why the great gods act as they do?

10. Referring to Silvius, Pompey says, “He dreams.” Why does Pompey think Silvius is dreaming instead of accurately reporting the situation?

Answers
1. Octavius and Lepidus, faced with warfare against Sextus Pompeius (Pompey), thought their chances of victory would be greatly increased if Antony were there to command the troops.

2. Antony said that his presence in Rome was not really required earlier than when he actually returned, that Cleo¬patra’s love and charms had intoxicated him, and that he did return to Rome as soon as he thought he really was needed there.

3. Octavius charged Antony with not preventing the rebellion of his wife and his brother against Rome and not fulfilling his vow to come to the aid of the other triumvirs when they needed his aid.

4. Lepidus knew that victory over the rebel Pompey would be much more difficult if Antony and Octavius could not resolve their differences and put up a united front against the common enemy, Pompey.

5. Mecenas politely asked the triumvirs to put aside their differences, and Agrippa proposed marriage between Antony and Octavius’ daughter Octavia.

6. Enobarbus told the triumvirs that “You shall have time to...

(The entire section is 504 words.)