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Antony and Cleopatra - Evaluate the dramatic importance of Act IV scenes xiv and xv and the effect they have on an audience.

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Introduction

Antony and Cleopatra - Evaluate the dramatic importance of Act IV scenes xiv and xv and the effect they have on an audience. Scenes xiv and xv in Act IV of Shakespeare play 'Antony and Cleopatra' have great dramatic importance as they represent the end for not only the end for Antony and Cleopatra but the end of Antony's greatness. These scenes are the beginning of the tragic climax for Antony and Cleopatra; they have lost everything and only now have each other. The audience would find the scenes emotional and powerful, the language that Shakespeare uses emphasizes the loss in Antony's death and serves to increase the intensity of the scenes. The emotions expressed by the main characters also affect the audience as they feel the desperation and pain of the characters. ...read more.

Middle

There is left us Ourselves to end ourselves. As Cleopatra's apparent suicide is conveyed to him by Mardian, Antony's intentions to commit suicide strengthen as he believes he has lost everything in the world to live for. Just as Cleopatra does in Act IV scene xv when Antony finally dies, "Till they had stolen our jewel. All's but naught;" Exactly as Antony had done when he believed Cleopatra dead, when Antony dies Cleopatra immediately chooses the path of death rather than face the world without Antony. Antony's expressions of desolation at the beginning of Act IV scene xiv depress and upset the audience as they can no longer see any way for Antony to redeem himself; Antony is no longer a great captain and triumvir. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eros kills himself so that he will not have to kill Antony. The minor characters in Act IV scenes xiv and xv from the moment when the dying Antony is lifted into her monument and she finds no word of reproach on his lips for what she has done, scales seem to drop from her eyes, and never from then on does she waver in her undeviating resolution to join him in death. What looks like hesitation and toying with the thought of life is but deception utilized with the highest art to make certain that her determination to die is not thwarted. The fact is that the new Cleopatra, with all the histrionic devices of the old Cleopatra at her command, acts so consummately in these last hours of her life that she deceives not only Octavius Caesar but full half the readers of the play. (199) ...read more.

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