Antony and Cleopatra Act III, Scenes 8-11: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act III, Scenes 8-11: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What instructions did Octavius give his general, Towrus?

2. Why did he decide to so instruct Towrus?

3. What is the first indication that Antony has lost this battle?

4. Why did Antony leave his men and go in search of Cleopatra?

5. What decision does Camidius, Antony’s commander, make?

6. What instructions does Antony give after the battle is lost?

7. What sad comment does Antony make about himself?

8. Does Antony blame Cleopatra for his defeat?

9. How does she reply to his comments? Are the replies justified?

10. How does Antony react to her comments?

Answers
1. Octavius (Caesar) tells Towrus not to begin a land battle against Antony until the sea battle is finished.

2. Octavius knew that Antony had far more power on the land than on the sea; therefore, it was highly to Octavius’ advantage to fight Antony on the sea rather than on the land.

3. The first indication of Antony’s defeat comes in Scene 10, where Enobarbus says that the Egyptian admiral, with all his ships, has turned tail and fled from Octavius’ forces.

4. Antony is afraid that Cleopatra has left him permanently, and he wants to get her back. He is so upset that he deserts his own forces to follow her.

5. Canidius resolves to desert Antony and to take his soldiers and defect to Octavius (Caesar).

6. Antony tells his soldiers to take the gold Antony has hidden in his ship in the harbor, to divide it among themselves, and to defect to Octavius.

7. Antony tells his soldiers that he has lost his way forever and that he has lost command.

8. Antony, at least partly, blames Cleopatra for his defeat. The cowardice of the queen’s admirals and sailors was totally inexcusable.

9. Cleopatra says she had no idea that Antony would follow her instead of remaining at the battle site continuing to lead his men. The reply is justified only to the extent that she probably thought Antony too much a man to desert his troops in the heat of battle

10. Antony apparently accepts her apology; they kiss, and he calls for wine and food.