Act II, Scenes 6 and 7: Questions and Answers
1. Did Menas exhibit strong confidence in Pompey’s actions in accepting the triumvirate’s offer of peace?
2. In the opening line of Scene 6, Pompey says, “Your hostages I have, and so have you mine.” What are the hostages and why would Pompey and the triumvirate have them?
3. Explain why Antony, in Scene 6, tells Pompey that “Thou canst not fear us.”
4. When Menas and Enobarbus, alone on the stage after the others have exited, discuss the situation, of what do they accuse each other?
5. To whom was Octavia married before she married Mark Antony?
6. What is Enobarbus’ opinion of the marriage between Antony and Octavia?
7. Antony says to Octavius (Caesar), “They take the flow o’th’Nile/By certain scales i’th’ Pyramid.” What is he talking about?
8. Antony says, “These quicksands, Lepidus,/Keep off them, for you sink.” Of what “quicksands” is Antony warning Lepidus?
9. Near the end of Scene 6, a most unusual conversation occurs between Pompey and Enobarbus. What are they discussing?
10. What incident indicates Pompey’s desire to become the ruler of the world?
1. Menas thought Pompey was making a great mistake by acceding to the peace offer the triumvirs had made.
2. To prevent either party from gaining an advantage over the other while they are discussing the possibilities of peace, each warring faction takes one or more hostages, usually relatively high-ranking people, belonging to the other side.
3. It was generally recognized that Pompey’s forces were superior on the sea, but the triumvirate’s forces were superior on the land. Antony offers to hold the talks at sea—an advantage to Pompey.
4. They accuse each other, only partly in fun, of being thieves.
(The entire section is 440 words.)