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Antony and Cleopatra | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Antony and Cleopatra | Act 4, Scene 11 | Summary



Caesar tells his army Antony expects a sea battle and has therefore manned his ships with his best fighters. It is unlikely Caesar's army will be attacked by land at all. "To the vales [valleys]," he orders his men. There the will find the best strategic spots they can.


If anyone in the audience still thought Antony had a chance, this short scene makes it clear he is doomed. In Scene 10 Antony's prebattle speech is about wishing things were otherwise; then he settles down to observe the fight from afar.

By contrast, Caesar is practical and canny. He has already guessed Antony's battle strategy. More important, however, he is with his army—not watching them from afar. He will be on the spot if needed. He is thinking more clearly than Antony at this point and is fully engaged in the action.

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