Friday, October 11, 2019

The Character of Enorbarbus in William Shakespeares Antony and Cleopat

The Character of Enorbarbus in William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra Enobarbus’s character can be seen as the most striking invention of Shakespeare. As the lieutenant of Antony, he contributes to the drama in a number of ways. He is sympathetic to Antony from the start, loyal and fellow feeling. Instead of agreeing with Antony at the beginning where he says he wishes he had never met Cleopatra, Enobarbus replies that, had that been the case, Antony would have missed â€Å"a wonderful piece of work†. (I.2.154-5). He does not share the perspective of his fellow Roman soldiers Philo and Demetrius in the opening scene, in fact he seems to enjoy life in Egypt contributing with appreciative comments on Cleopatra. â€Å"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. (149 II.2.245) When Antony says of Cleopatra, â€Å"She is cunning past man’s thought†, Enobarbus disagrees, â€Å"Alack, sir, no: her passions are made of/ nothing but the finest part of pure love† (I.2.146-8). In their conversations at the beginning and in his role throughout, Enobarbus seems to represent an ordinary reflection of something in Antony himself, as in a mirror. His humour in response to the announcement of Fulvia’s death, anticipate the jovial side of Antony that will manifest itself in the galley scene. Before the triumvirs meet, the diplomatic Lepidus tries to persuade Enobarbus to keep Antony calm. Enobarbus however refuses saying that he much prefers that Antony should speak his mind. He reminds Antony and Caesar that there will be time enough to quarrel after they have disposed of Pompey. To Antony’s criticize, â€Å"Thou art a soldier onl... ...ssenger. In a soliloquy â€Å"Now he’ll outstare the lightning† (III.13.194-200) he sees through Antony’s bombastic rhetoric and comes to his decision to leave Antony. As Antony addresses his servants as if for the last time, Enobarbus protests that he is â€Å"onion-eyed (IV.2.35). Antony’s reaction to his desertion, â€Å"O, my fortunes have Corrupted honest men!† (IV.2.35) and his decision to send his treasure to him confirm all that is said of Antony’s â€Å"bounty†. The guilt felt by Enobarbus and his subsequent depression and loss of will are clearly shown. â€Å"No honourable trust. I have done ill, of which I do accuse myself† (239.IV.35) But his death in mental torment and the consciousness of disgrace are proof of the fact that Antony’s â€Å"fortunes have/ Corrupted honest men† give a wider dimension to the tragedy of the protagonists.

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