Harry Reid, via AP/
Manuel Balce Ceneta

In the third act of Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare tosses off an incidental scene to illustrate both how far Antony has fallen after his defeat at the battle of Actium and how not to negotiate. Having lost not only the battle but most of his allies apart from Cleopatra, Antony has no one close to him to send to negotiate with Caesar but the man whom Plutarch calls “the schoolmaster to the children.” In Shakespeare he doesn’t even have a name, though Plutarch says he was called Euphronius. Obviously cowed on his own as well as on Antony’s behalf, this “Ambassador” begins his message from Antony to Caesar:

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