As the scene opens, still in Rome, Antony and Octavia, the betrothed couple, bid each other good night, and Antony admonishes Octavia not to believe all that she hears of him. Seemingly, he hopes to reassure his future wife that he will be a good husband, in spite of his past reputation for sexual excesses. His words, however, ring hollow at this point.As Octavia and her brother Caesar leave, the soothsayer from Egypt enters, and Antony is reminded of Egypt and all his pleasures there. Antony asks the soothsayer, "whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?" The soothsayer warns Antony that he can never achieve any great success so long as he remains "by [Caesar's] side," for Caesar will always overshadow him. This disturbs Antony, and he abruptly tells the Egyptian not to speak of such things. Instead, he turns his attention to tactical matters. He speaks of a plan to send his officer Ventidius to Parthia to suppress some
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