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The Character of Enorbarbus

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Introduction

The Character of Enorbarbus 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 "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. "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. (149 II.2.245) When Antony says of Cleopatra, "She is cunning past man's thought", Enobarbus disagrees, "Alack, sir, no: her passions are made of/ nothing but the finest part of pure love" (I.2.146-8). ...read more.

Middle

(139, II.2.200) together with his ingenuity and humour, makes him perfect for the exotic description given to his peers from Caesar's entourage. He is not left without tact when he tries to stop Pompey making remarks to Antony about Julius Caesar's relations with Cleopatra. He then tells Pompey that he does not like him much but is prepared to give him his due. Pompey acknowledges his "plainness" /II.6.78), his honesty in speaking. In a humorous exchange with Pompey's lieutenant Menas, Enobarbus is loyal to Antony, but frankly says that "He will to his Egyptian dish again" (II.6.124) and predicts that the marriage to Octavia will prove a cause of friction between Caesar and Antony rather than a bond. He joins in the merrymaking on bard Pompey's galley, and mocks the hung-over Lepidus the morning after. "But he loves Caeser best. Yet he loves Antony. ...read more.

Conclusion

(204,III.10.36-7) and makes sardonic comments on the response of first Cleopatra and then Antony in their dealings and treatment of Caesar's messenger. In a soliloquy "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 "onion-eyed (IV.2.35). Antony's reaction to his desertion, "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 "bounty". The guilt felt by Enobarbus and his subsequent depression and loss of will are clearly shown. "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 "fortunes have/ Corrupted honest men" give a wider dimension to the tragedy of the protagonists. Achiko and Christian ...read more.

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