Summary of all for love
The play begins with a prologue, effectively asking the reader’s forgiveness for a simple, less luxuriant play than what he might be accustomed to (beer for a wealthy wino). Act I: The priest Sarapion tells of portents of doom: floods, ghosts rising from their graves, etc. Alexas, the queen’s eunuch, tells him not to talk of such things: they have other, political concerns to worry about. They are worried aboutAntony, who seems to do nothing but pray or rest in their temple. Ventidius enters; Alexas remarks that though he was once brutal in war against the Egyptians, he’s a very brave Roman. Alexas proclaims that Cleopatra’s named a dayof celebration in honor of Mark Antony. Ventidius laments Mark Antony’s unmanning, claiming that for all his manliness in war, in victory he’s become soft and pliable like a virgin. After order the Egyptians to leave, Ventidius observes Antony unseen in order to learn what he’s thinking. Antony enters, lamenting Octavius’s actions. Ventidius finally exposes himself, professes his love for Antony and weeps when Antony orders him to leave. Antony also weeps, remember Actium and his own display of cowardice: apparently he fled a battle. He’s convinced he’s already lost the war; Ventidius chides him for giving away what Octavius is incapable of taking (i.e. Antony’s life). He encourages Antony to go visit his soldiers; Antony demands that they march to him, but the soldiers have refused to do so: they refuse to fight for Cleopatra. Ventidius himself complains that Cleopatra is too demanding even of her own people; taxing them in order to buy diamond earrings. Antony, angered, calls Ventidius a traitor; the latter weeps more, and they’re reconciled. Antony agrees to take Ventidius’s advice, though he recognizes that it’ll involve forsaking Cleopatra. Act II: Cleopatra complains to Alexas and Irasthat Antony is going to leave her: he refuses to come see her before he goes to war. Iras encourages Cleo. to...
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