• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Antony & Cleopatra - language

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Act 1 scene 3 lines 13-56, what do we learn about Antony and Cleopatra's characters? In Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare uses rich, poetic language; this not only provides a source of visual pleasure for the audience as it is a play; but also acts as a means of defining the various characters, particularly Antony and Cleopatra, the protagonists. In the scene being analysed, the tone, hyperbole language and imagery gives the reader an insight into the characters as well as their affection for one another. 'If you find him sad, Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report'. From the outset of the scene, Cleopatra's language and tone of voice depicts her character to the reader as very clever, yet volatile with a bizarre lack of confidence, 'I shall fall' illustrates her dependence and need for stability and security. The melodrama also portrays her crave for attention, especially that from Antony, and her egotistic rush for power and recognition. The reader also perceives Antony as the eponymous, tragic hero, who is allowing his love for Cleopatra to cloud his judgement. His short rushed sentences, 'Now, my dearest queen' in reply to her demands reiterate this judgement of character, he is reassuring her, and trying to placate her as he doesn't want a scene. ...read more.

Middle

Cleopatra's words, 'eternity', 'bliss' etc demonstrate her love, passion and infatuation with Antony, and through her lyrical, almost poetic language, Shakespeare has clearly exposed this to the reader. The alliteration of 'bliss brows bent', has a rhythmical, peaceful sound and connotes and represents the love the two share. The two are also speaking in verse which implies what they are saying has a great level of importance which re-enforces their love and commitment toward one another. Cleopatra also states, 'Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world, Art turned the greatest liar'. This is reality creeping in however, as they are lost in a world of their own and the reader can infer therefore Antony must be neglecting her soldier duties to Rome and as one of the three triumvirs, which inevitably suggests the empire will collapse. 'Thou' however, contains an element of contempt, which could represent Cleopatra's disapproval of Antony's duality between her and his soldier responsibilities or just Rome in general. Antony's dialect re-enforces this and enables the reader to see this dramatic change in his character and priorities. 'The strong necessity of time commands Our services awhile, but my full heart Remains in use with you'. This is a vivid re-exertion of the human world and suggests he feels it is an obligation to return to Rome, yet his heart remains in Egypt. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a lot of imagery in the passage, which portrays the characters in certain lights and represents the characters in symbolic ways. Egypt and Rome are two ongoing symbols that represent Cleopatra and Antony and thus from descriptions of the places and information about them, the reader gains knowledge on the characters and their personalities. Egypt is a place of mystery, strangeness, infinite possibilities; Rome of that which is fixed, known, predictable, calculable. Rome is aggressively male, Egypt seductively female. Antony in Egypt is seen from Rome as effeminate and Cleopatra appeals to (in both senses) and corresponds with a part of Antony, his anima, the feminine, sensitive, loving, creative side of his nature; a side utterly scorned by the values of Rome, values we have inherited. To conclude, Shakespeare uses language, imagery, tone etc as a device of characterization which is extremely effective. Through Cleopatra's and Antony's conversations, the reader can infer the juxtaposed characters personalities. The relationship and the power in the relationship is also portrayed through these devices and it is enigmatic as it is as if the reader is looking onto a situation that perhaps they have no right in doing so. Cleopatra is often given control of a situation as she is able to manipulate Antony through expressing her emotions, whereas Cleopatra is altering Antony and his responsibilities and she has the power to infatuate him. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Antony and Cleopatra section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Antony and Cleopatra essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one.In your ...

    3 star(s)

    the business in Rome cannot do without him, the sexual business he has started with Cleopatra cannot do without him either. This would indicate that Enobarbus thinks that they are both as bad as each other. However, the actual conversation would also be an indication of their familiarity with each

  2. Antony and Cleopatra - language and characters

    It also shows Cleopatra does not believe Fulvia is worth the recognition, 'What, says the married woman you may go?' Antony's language in this scene however, is juxtaposed to Cleopatra's to emphasize the difference in their personalities and to heighten the confrontation.

  1. Free essay

    Antony and Cleopatra

    Caesar exalts Cleopatra in her death stating that there will be 'high order in this solemnity' and his admiration is evident through his action that 'Our army shall/in solemn show attend this funeral.'

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra

    Indeed, in the opening scene Antony is referred to by Philo as a 'strumpet's fool', a term which bears connotations of a lack of control on Antony's part. Shakespeare seems again to want to show the Queen's dominance early on, as in act 1, scene 2, Enobarbus jokes, 'hush, here comes Antony', mocking Antony's lack of power within the relationship.

  1. Essentially Antony and Cleopatra is a story of power politics; its theme is not ...

    the audience when they put on her 'royal attire', displaying her incredible splendour and majesty. Cleopatra takes up the Roman notion of honourable suicide, and somewhat ironically, completes the task with more nobility than Antony did. She uses an asp whose 'biting is immortal' to poison herself, a sensuous and uncomplicated suicide.

  2. OPPOSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

    Beauty becomes its very opposite, unbearable ugliness. In this way, Enobarbus establishes an oppositional relationship within his own exaggerated diction. He continues to do so as he further paints a picture of Cleopatra's ship, describing the sails as being "so perfumed that/The winds were lovesick with them" (Antony and Cleopatra, II, 2, lines CCIII-CCIV).

  1. Antony is often talked of as a tragic hero, a great and admiral man ...

    Also during the lead up to the war between Antony and Caesar, Antony is talking to his men about fighting at sea and he says "But if we fail, we then can do't at land." Here Antony is showing the audience that he has doubts himself about Caesar at sea.

  2. Analysis of scene one - Antony and Cleopatra

    Antony is having too fine a time to be bothered by news from the capitol, and shirks his duties: "Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch / Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space, / Kingdoms are clay .

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work