The Function Enorbarbus Essay
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Enorbarbus is Antony’s lieutenant and friend and Shakespeare continually develops Enorbarbus’ character, role and functions within the plot throughout the first two acts. This cynically acclaimed character is one of the most remarkable in the play and contributes to the drama in many ways. From the very first time the audience sees Enorbarbus we can sense that one of his purposes to the play is that he is very sympathetic and supportive to his friend Antony. In Act I Scene 2 when Antony confesses he wished he had never met Cleopatra;
“I must from this enchanting queen break off”.
Instead of going along with what he said Enorbarbus suggests that if that did happen then Antony would have missed “wonderful piece of work”. Enorbarbus shows another service to the play, which is faithfulness, and comradeship that helps to show the kindness of his friend in the course of this action. Enorbarbus obviously does not agree with his fellow Roman comrades, Demetrius and Philo in the opening scene, where they call Cleopatra a “gypsy”.
When Antony says Cleopatra is “cunning past man’s thought” it is Enorbarbus that comes in and objects mentioning; “Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love”. In this discussion and the others in the first two acts Enorbarbus plays the role of a part Antonys ordinary self, like a reflection. Enorbarbus’ reaction to the death of Fulvia, Antonys wife, is nonchalant and light-hearted with a touch of humour. He speaks in pros and wittingly suggests that Antony should move on instantly and find a new lady; “Your old smock brings forth a new petticoat”.
His witticism, another function, shows the audience that deep down he feels extremely sorry for Antonys loss but wants his friend to feel better as soon as possible. However it appears too much for Antony and he asks Enorbarbus to stop mocking him with, “No more light answers”. In Act II Scene 1, before the Triumvirs assemble, the tactful Lepidus attempts to influence Enorbarbus to keep Antony quiet and calm by “entreating your captain”. Enorbarbus once again sticks by Antony and uses a simile to tell Lepidus that he prefers his captain to speak his mind and will not have him silenced;