Antony and Cleopatra

The Importance of Enobarbus in "Antony and Cleopatra" 11th Grade

In ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ Enobarbus is a trusted follower and close friend of Antony’s, who has the freedom of speaking openly about personal issues that Antony confides in him about. Although he has limited influence over Antony when compared with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, overall Enobarbus has an extremely important role in the play, acting as the face of the audience, as well as being used by Shakespeare to build tension through the subtle foreshadowing in Enobarbus’ dialogue.

Enobarbus’ most important role in the play is taking the job of a narrator whilst continuing to be a character which Shakespeare does skillfully and successfully. Enobarbus is the voice of reason and explains what is going on in certain scenes. In Act 4 Scene 2, Cleopatra speaks aside to Enobarbus, questioning what Antony is doing. Enobarbus explains that he is trying “to make his followers week”. Of course, Enobarbus isn’t really explaining to Cleopatra what is happening (unless she hadn’t read the script beforehand), he is actually informing the audience of Antony’s real intensions. The fact that Enobarbus uses the word “followers” to describe Antony’s crying servants, and he himself isn’t crying, reinforces the idea that Enobarbus is more than...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1642 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10743 literature essays, 2694 sample college application essays, 625 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in