Act IV, Scenes 4, 5, and 6: Questions and Answers
1. Antony was successful in the early fighting described in this act, whereas he had failed miserably in the fighting described in Act III. Why was Antony so successful in Act IV, when he was so unsuccessful in Act III?
2. Antony says to Cleopatra, “Thou art/The armourer of my heart.” Why does he mildly and lovingly reprove the queen with that remark?
3. How does Cleopatra feel as she utters the last three lines of Scene 4?
4. What loving act does Antony perform in Scene 5 before the great battle begins?
5. How does Shakespeare’s portrayal of this act exhibit his feelings about Antony?
6. Octavius (Caesar), in Scene 6, performs an ugly act, which the playwright depicts immediately following Antony’s loving act. What did Octavius do?
7. Does this contrast oppose or reinforce the playwright’s implicit comparison of Antony and Octavius?
8. Enobarbus, in a rather tragic soliloquy in Scene 6, tells the audience what happened to Alexas. Here Shakespeare, in a rare, explicit, philosophical comment, addresses the audience and draws an important moral. What is the moral?
9. What is Enobarbus’ reaction when one of Octavius’ soldiers tells him that Antony has sent to him his “treasure” and his personal belongings?
10. How does the soldier reply to Enobarbus’ comment?
1. Antony was successful early in Act IV because the battle was fought on land, where he had much experience and competence, instead of on the sea (as in Act III), where he had little of either.
2. Cleopatra was trying to help Antony put on his armor for the ensuing battle, but she knows little or nothing about armor and botches the job. He chides her lovingly by saying that her function, performed successfully, is to armor not his body but his heart.
3. Cleopatra is worried and doubts that Antony can win the ensuing battle.
4. Antony sends Enobarbus, who has deserted, his possessions.
5. Shakespeare considers Antony a greater man than Octavius (Caesar); only a great man would perform such a loving act for one who had deserted him.
6. Octavius put the men who had...
(The entire section is 521 words.)