Book Notes Act 2, Scene 1 Notes from Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra Act 2, Scene 1

Pompey and Menas discuss what will happen next in Pompey's camp in Sicily. Pompey believes he has the gods on his side and does not want to waste time praying when taking the time to do so might mean the loss of power; Menas assures him that the gods know more than they do and will do what is best. Pompey is confident that the people love him and his power is rising. He tells Menas that his rivals pose no real threat: Mark Antony is with Cleopatra in Egypt, Caesar is not loved by the people, and Lepidus does not have strong alliances with either of them. Menas warns him that Caesar and Lepidus have a strong army, but Pompey does not believe him, and says they are instead looking for Antony. He expresses the wish that Cleopatra keep Antony in Egypt so that he cannot fight Pompey for power.

Varrius enters with the news that Antony has left Egypt and is expected in Rome. Pompey did not expect this, but Menas says it is likely that Antony and Caesar could turn against each other, since before her death Fulvia had wronged Caesar as had Antony's brother. Pompey hopes that Antony and Caesar fight; however, he knows that having an enemy in common could have the opposite effect and settle their differences. He resolves to use his greatest strength to fight them.

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