Antony and Cleopatra Act IV, Scenes 1, 2, and 3: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scenes 1, 2, and 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. At the end of Scene 1, Octavius (Caesar) exclaims, “Poor Antony!” Why?

2. Two interchanges of “asides” between Enobarbus and Cleopatra occur close together in Scene 2. About what is Cleopatra worried?

3. What does Antony mean by the line, “Scant not my cups.”

4. For what does Enobarbus mildly rebuke his friend and ¬general?

5. How does Antony reply to this rebuke?

6. To what or whom does the term “my hearts” near the end of Scene 2 refer?

7. In Scene 3, what do the soldiers hear that surprises them?

8. Why were the soldiers on guard that night?

9. They attribute what they hear as an evil omen. Why?

10. Who was Hercules and why would an omen concerning him also concern Antony?

Answers
1. Octavius (Caesar) is sure that so many of Antony’s men have deserted that victory will be easy.

2. Cleopatra thinks Antony might have given up totally or might be going insane from the defeat.

3. Antony is telling his friends and servants to let the wine (and food) flow freely.

4. Enobarbus upbraids Antony for saying something that made his followers weep.

5. Antony says he did not mean his comments in that way; they were not uttered in “too dolorous a sense” and he actually had intended them for the comfort (strengthening) of his men.

6. The term “my hearts” refers to the same people to which the earlier term “My hearty friends” referred—namely, the soldiers and attendants surrounding Antony.

7. The soldiers hear the sound of music apparently coming from underneath the pavement.

8. The soldiers were guarding against a surprise attack from the enemy.

9. In those days, anything not readily explained by natural causes was interpreted as being some kind of omen from the gods.

10. Antony had claimed descent from the superman/god Hercules, so a sound that would be interpreted as that of Hercules departing from Antony would be considered an evil omen for Antony.