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Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra" I.i-II.iv

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Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra" I.i.1-II.vi.65 Antony, one third of the triumvirate, the leaders of the Roman Empire, is a skilful and powerful general, in love with Cleopatra, who constantly mocks Antony, leading to a joke power struggle in the opening scenes of the play. Despite originally being known as a powerful and respected leader, certain members of Antony's company, like Philo, believe that he is wasting his time in Egypt with Cleopatra, and that Antony is not doing his duty as a member of the triumvirate: Philo: Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'er flows the measure. Those his goodly eyes, ... now bend, now turn The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front. His captain's heart... Reneges all temper And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gypsy's lust. Take but good note, and you shall see him The triple pillar of the world transformed Into a strumpet's fool. (I.ii.1-14) Philo means that, since being in Egypt with Cleopatra (the "tawny front" and "strumpet") ...read more.


Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life Is to do thus, when such a mutual pair And such a twain can do't - in a world which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless. (I.i.35-42a) Whilst an impressive-sounding speech, and eloquently put, it is unlikely that Antony really means that he does not care if Rome was to sink into the river, or if he lost all of his power; although his speech does nothing to make him sound more respectable. When Antony hears of his wife's death, and problems at home, he tells his assistant, Enobarbus to stop fooling around, and to get ready to leave for home: Enobarbus: What's your pleasure, sir? Antony: I must with haste from hence... Fulvia is dead. Enobarbus: Fulvia? Antony: Dead... The business she hath broached in the state Cannot endure my absence... Our contriving friends in Rome Petition us home. Sextus Pompeius Hath given the dare to Caesar and commands The empire of the sea... ...read more.


commends Antony, when apostrophising him: Caesar: From Alexandria This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes The lamps of night in revel... You shall find there A man who is the abstract of all faults That all men follow... Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassails... It wounds thine honour that I speak it now - Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek So much as lanked not. (I.iv.3b-5a, 56b-57, 72) Caesar pays tribute to Antony's soldier-like nature, which Philo alluded to at the beginning of the play. When Antony was forced into the mountains, Caesar says, he fought harder to survive than some of the most savage peoples, which makes him the best soldier to lead the war, that Caesar now sees as inevitable, against Pompey, and that he is willing to put aside his differences, to work together against the common foe, Pompey. All in all, despite being seen as someone who is used to the good life, and not doing much work, at the beginning of the play, we see Antony character, and our perceptions of him, change a lot, especially with Caesar's praise. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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