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Antony and Cleopatra | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Antony and Cleopatra | Act 3, Scene 8 | Summary



Caesar and his lieutenant, Taurus, march in with their army. Caesar orders Taurus not to strike by land before the navy has completed the battle at sea: "Provoke not battle / Till we have done at sea." This plan assures their best chance of winning.


Caesar sees the advantage in the strength of his navy and wants to keep it engaged in battle. What he says in this scene indicates he plans to win first at sea, then by land if necessary, and he seems convinced of his strategy.

The quick parade of extremely short scenes that follow substitutes for battle action, keeping the tension high without having to resort to complex and messy battle scenes.

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