Act 2, Scene 6 Notes from Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra Act 2, Scene 6

Pompey enters with Menas, and Caesar, Lepidus, Antony, Enobarbus, Maecenas, and Agrippa enter at another door. Pompey and Caesar agree to talk before they fight; Caesar asks if Pompey has considered their offer and will send his soldiers back to Sicily rather than have them die at the hands of the triumvirate's army. Pompey tells the three his reason for battling them: his father, Pompey the Great, was defeated by Julius Caesar, and then after Brutus and Cassius assassinated Caesar, the forces of Octavius Caesar, Antony, and Lepidus defeated Brutus and Cassius. It is only right for Pompey to continue the chain of revenge and defeat the three men who defeated his father's revengers.

Topic Tracking: Honor 1

Antony acknowledges that Pompey has great power at sea, but reminds him that by land, their army greatly outnumbers his. Pompey reminds Antony of the house he bought, Pompey's father's house, that he later refused to pay for, calling him a "cuckoo." Lepidus brings the conversation back to the present, asking Pompey how he will respond to their offer to join them. Pompey says that he had come prepared to accept. He reminds Antony that when Caesar and Lucius were fighting, Antony's mother came to Sicily and was warmly welcomed; Antony thanks him for this and they shake hands. He also thanks him for causing him to leave Egypt when he did:

"The beds i' th' East are soft; and thanks to you,
That called me
timelier than my purpose hither,
For I have gained by 't."
Act 2, Scene 6, ll. 50-52

Pompey agrees to their offer, and the four men decide to feast together. Pompey invites the men on his ship, and they exit, leaving only Menas and Enobarbus.

Menas remarks, as Pompey is leaving, that Pompey's father would never have agreed to such an offer. He and Enobarbus recognize that they have fought against each other, and praise each other on their strengths as soldiers: Enobarbus by land, and Menas by sea. Menas tells Enobarbus that he thinks Pompey has undone himself by not fighting with the triumvirate.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 4

He asks if Antony is married to Cleopatra, and Enobarbus tells of his marriage to Octavia. Menas remarks that now Antony and Caesar are forever bonded, but Enobarbus says that it is not likely to last. Octavia has a very cold nature, and Antony is the sort of man to like a fiery woman such as Cleopatra. The two men decide to join the others on the ship for a night of drinking.

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