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

Antony was a strong leader in Rome; he met Cleopatra after his friend Julius Caesar was murdered.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Antony was a strong leader in Rome; he met Cleopatra after his friend Julius Caesar was murdered. Cleopatra was suspected of killing Julius, as she was his lover. Antony helped her escape from Rome. After Julius' death Antony became the second triumvirate along with Lepidus and Octavius Caesar who was Julius Caesers adopted son. At this time he was stereotypical of a Roman head figure according to Shakespeares contrast between Egypt and Rome. Whilst in Egypt he begins to pick up certain Egyptian traits such as indulging himself in an excess of physical pleasures and begins to speak in the languorous tones of Egypt. Cleopatra was a powerful queen; both her and Antony were strong figures at this time. Cleopatra is the representation of Egypt. She is warm and passionate. Both Antony and Cleopatra want power and they saw their relationship as a way to enhance their reputation. She is very insecure and manipulates Antony forcing him to prove his love for her. She wishes to build up a great empire much like Alexander the Great's. The two worlds are extremely different. Rome is cruel, hard and direct whereas Egypt is exotic, luxurious and feminine which is a good way to describe Antony's loss of power. The introduction of the play is a speech from Philo which explains about Antony's past and he was a captain of war. "his captain's heart, which in the scuffles of a great fight hath burst The buckles on his breast" Act I, scene i. ...read more.

Middle

"but my full heart remains in use with you" I, iii, 43-44 Also when Fulvia dies Antony must be very cautious because if he cries then Cleopatra will think that he loved her more than her but if he is happy then she will think that he would do the same if she were to die now. Antony can't win. Often when Antony and Cleopatra are together they enter their own world where nothing exists and messengers enter frequently. I believe this are a reminder if reality and that Antony still has ties with Rome and he must decide whether or not he wants to break free from Rome or Cleopatra's hold. "I must from this enchanting queen break off" I, ii, 125 The death of Fulvia means Antony can no longer neglect his duties or the people of Rome will label him a traitor and will lose his power. The death of Fulvia doesn't upset Antony but he feel like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders "give the gods a thankful sacrifice" essentially this means that he believes Fulvias death was a good thing. However now Shakespeare creates a new stage in Antony and Cleopatras relationship. This event causes Antony to return to Rome to fix his affairs and whilst he is there he leaves insecure Cleopatra to embellish and exaggerate their relationship. This also creates doubts in Cleopatras mind "in praising Antony, I've dispraised Caesar" which means she is considering leaving Antony to escape a tragic end. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cleoptra holds back half of her wealth when Caesar asks for it. We are unsure about her intentions when she did this because it as two outcomes, either she did it to stop Caesar thinking she was going to commit suicide so she could kill herself or that she was planning on running away and building a new empire. Cleo then finally before her death honours Antony'' memory and it makes the audience believe she really did love Antony, which is the final show of tragedy in the play. In conclusion I believe Antony and Cleopatra truly did love each other in some way even if it was only a memory. However Antony does say they will enter heaven as "lovers". This play is fraught with tragedy built up slowly through the play. It truly is a pitiful end for the two lovers. I think Shakespeare has used imagery well to show the love of the two and it helps build up their tragic end. The tragic end comes from the conflict between Rome and Egypt and is illustrated by three images, the sword, armour and dimensions. His lowness or highness shows Antony's tragic end, Antony's own sword is ineffective when he tries to kill himself. The final speech is by Caesar in his monotone, simplistic language however he does seem to be inspired and shows how great Antony and Cleopatra were! "Strike those that make them and their story is No less in pity than in glory which Brought them to he lamented." V, ii, 356-61 Explore Shakespeares presentation of the characters Antony and Cleopatra and the development of their relationship. By Michael Finnigan. ...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

    'Cleopatra is often interpreted as the designing woman who brings down a worthy soldier ...

    5 star(s)

    It is this, empathy and understanding, which the modern response adds to Shakespeare's most passionate female character. Cleopatra is not done justice to by the flat, stylised Egyptian of Glenda Jackson, but flourishes as 'no more but e'en a woman'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'

    3 star(s)

    This can be seen by her anger when Charmian praises Caesar Cleopatra demands they say ' the brave Antony' by Shakespeare using the word brave this shows Cleopatra see's him as strong and noble. Her actions also show she is hard to please for example she tells Charmian that if she finds Antony sad then 'say I'm dancing.'

  1. Explore how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra.

    In a magnificent image of dissolution, she claims that "the crown o'th' earth doth melt". Antony's death diminishes the universe, turning the 'dull world' into a 'sty'. These words that she uses expresses the love that she has for Antony.

  2. How does Shakespeare use his contrast between Rome and Egypt to present the themes ...

    By him doing this it shows us a clear distinction between the two countries. Shakespeare sets it so that each Act is set in Rome and then Egypt, over and over. So that he is setting us in a loving mood and then he switches it to hate, and vice versa.

  1. An exploration of Shakespeare's use of imagery in 'Antony and Cleopatra'

    This is ironic because we later find out that Antony's favourite god was Hercules who was said to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders for a hundred years to release Mars of his duties. Once Antony has completely fallen for Cleopatra he is also sadly married to Octavia to try and keep the triumvir together.

  2. An exploration of Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra

    Egypt instead of returning to where he is honourable and powerful, because of this you can see how the epicurean lifestyle is manipulating him, "Let's have another gaudy night." This quotation also shows the epicurean influence as he is more interested in love and sex than he is power and honour.

  1. How much does Antony's love for Cleopatra contribute to his downfall?

    have sixty sails, Caesar none better," which is slightly ironic because despite that fact that she appears to have great ships, at the time of war they retreat. Canidius shows his worries and his disapproval of Antony's decision by saying, "So our leader's led, and we are women's men," and

  2. Show how Shakespeare brings out the duality in Antonys character in Act 1.

    the measure.? Philo continues with: ? His captain?s heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gypsy?s lust.? This refers to Antony?s past greatness as a soldier ? a true Roman hero.

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