Explanatory Notes for Act 1, Scene 4
From Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
3. Competitor. Partner, associate.
3. Alexandria. The capital of Egypt.
4. Fishes. Plutarch says that Antony when fishing with
Cleopatra was vexed at his want of success and, on one
occasion, hired divers to fasten a live fish on his hook.
Cleopatra found out the trick, and next time she ordered her
own divers to be quicker than Antony's and place a salt fish
on the hook. When the latter drew it up in triumph, she
and her attendants were vastly amused.
6. Ptolomy. Cleopatra belonged to the line of the
Ptolomies, a famous dynasty of Egyptian rulers.
9. Abstract. The epitome, the very embodiment.
12. Enow. This is an old form of the plural of "enough."
15. Purchased. Inherited rather than acquired by himself.
19. Mirth. A revel, a feast.
20. Turn. To sit at table and drink with a slave.
21. Reel. That is, to go reeling along.
21. Buffet. Play the part of buffet.
24. As. Although.
24. Composure. Composition, nature.
26. Soils. Faults.
27. Lightness. When our burden is so much the greater
for his levity.
28. Vacancy. Times of leisure.
29. Surfeits. Satiety and physical pains would be the
30. Confound. But to waste a time such as this, when
his own interests and ours demand his attention, is a fault
that ought to be reprimanded as we chide boys.
33. Mature. Old enough to know better.
34. Pawn. Sacrifice their better judgment.
35. Rebel to. Rebel against their judgment.
36. News. Shakespeare sometimes treats this word as
42. Discontents. Malcontents, the dissatisfied ones.
43. Give him. Represent, speak of him as one who has
47. Is. The man who has power was desired by the
people only until he actually acquired power.
47. Ebb'd. One whose fortunes have declined.
48. dear'd. Becomes dear.
50. Lackeying. Waiting upon, going back and forth with.
54. Ear. Plough.
57. Lack blood. Grow pale with fright.
57. Flush youth. Hot-blooded youth, or youth at its
60. War. That is, his name strikes more terror than it
would were his war resisted.
62. Wassails. Revels.
64. Consuls. The name of the ruling officers of Rome.
67. Suffer. With fortitude greater than that with which
savages could suffer.
68. Gilded. Covered with scum.
72. Browsed'st. Fed on.
77. Lank'd. Grew thin.
78. Of. As regards.
82. Assemble. Let us assemble a council at once.
87. Front. Encounter.
89. It. That is, to take account of my resources.
91. Stirs. Outbreaks.
95. Bond. I know that I am bound to do so.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/antony_1_4.html >.