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

Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one.In your opinion which one of the characters is portrayed in a more positive light?

Extracts from this document...


JOSHUA GRAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2005 Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one. In your opinion which one of the characters is portrayed in a more positive light? Act one of Anthony and Cleopatra deals immediately with the different personalities of Anthony and Cleopatra. It shows the pressure of the outside world on their relationship. By the end of the act you are left unsure as to who is the more treacherous, who is more loving and are given different perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra. At a quick glance over the act the reader would automatically point the finger at Cleopatra as being the more sinister of the two. However, with a more in depth look it would appear that this is not the case, and we are left challenged as to whom is seem in a more positive light. Anthony and Cleopatra was written in 1607 during a time of great change in Western Europe. Christian and Pagan world views interacted with each other in rich and often paradoxical ways and signs of that complicated interaction are present in many of Shakespeare works and is clearly evident in Anthony and Cleopatra. ...read more.


He is unable to reconcile the two, their fundamental incompatibility are emphasized by the commentary provided by Philo and Demetrius. When Anthony and Cleopatra appear before us they are beautiful in their excess. They are a grand, godlike couple, a handsome Roman general and a magnificent queen, playful and exuberant, and conscious of their glamour. Anthony revels in his Egyptian life as a respite from a lifetime of fighting wars. Anthony proudly proclaims "we stand up peerless" and within a certain realm he is right, but the world where they stand up peerless is different to Rome's world of duty of war and ambition. After all, Anthony is Roman and should not forget this. The couple's beautiful language and delight in one another make no great impression on Philo and Demetrius, who fail to understand Anthony's evasion of his duties. In Act ll we are given a far more dignified view of Anthony. He is noble in repenting his sins. He hears the messenger and finally hears the news that he has been quoting. Anthony sees the cost of the neglect of his duties and he is immediately remorseful, owning up to his faults he encourages the messenger to inform him of all the bad news without fear. ...read more.


CONCLUSION Throughout the play we are given many different perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra. We are shown how Anthony can be tempted by the exotic frontier of Egypt and Cleopatra; while he is in Egypt he can forget all his worries. In Egypt he can be a sort of King and self indulge. In Rome he is treated as an equal. When in Rome he reverts back to his warlike self. He is a man torn between Egypt and Rome, duty and passion, political ambition and love. He is clearly divided and unsure about what he really wants. He is seen by Romans, not as a traitor, but as someone who has succumbed to Cleopatra. Albeit Anthony's love for Cleopatra is genuine. Cleopatra is perceived by many as a whore, because of her past, she is frowned upon by the Romans who know nothing apart from war and duty, Cleopatra is in a world of her own and knows nothing apart from the Egyptian way of life of luxury and passion. Act 1 shows a clash of cultures and the struggle to cope in a relationship between such diverse emotions. Therefore I feel that because of their polar differences neither Anthony or Cleopatra can be seen in a more positive light to one another and I therefore cannot give a definitive answer. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The writer has made many valid points about the two characters in Act 1, though there is some doubt about whether secondary sources have been quoted without being acknowledged.
This, together with the misspelling of names, misquotations and inaccurate grammar, means that only *** can be awarded.

Marked by teacher Val Shore 26/09/2012

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)

    She knows that she is, regardless of her kingdom, Caesar's inferior by default, so must at least humour him. This political conscience translates into her feelings towards a lover, the constant fear of betrayal and the need for reassurance. Just as she is aware of the threat to her throne

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the ways Shakespeare presents the concept of authority in Antony and Cleopatra

    4 star(s)

    How the two groups interact tells the audience a lot without being patronising; it allows the audience to make their own inferences about the status of the characters. It is clear that the tone of the meetings between the two groups is always set by the leaders.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Read the following extract from Act 1 scene 2. In what ways does this ...

    3 star(s)

    Antony's dives into business straight from the start of his appearance and is so deeply involved in discussions with the messenger about Rome that he fails to even realise Cleopatra's exit from the stage. Antony's dives into business straight from the start of his appearance and is so deeply involved

  2. Peer reviewed

    'Ruthless leader....loving brother....boring Puritan....gracious victor.' Explore the way in which Shakespeare presents the character ...

    He seems to lavish on status. His attitude is very ostentatious and keeps to Jacobean ideals, however his thirst for perfect entrances and permanent tradition highlights his arrogant superiority, which again shows a complete contrast with Antony. Antony has a very informal relationship with his followers.

  1. Antony & Cleopatra - language

    gives the sense of Cleopatra shouting out the words in anger and them sharply hitting Antony. Cleopatra also purposely does not use Fulvia's name when talking about her but labels her with 'her' which implies to the reader the extent of Cleopatra's jealously and low self esteem.

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

    "Do this or this..." Cleopatra uses blunt and direct language, and speaks in this way to taunt and ridicule Antony. Cleopatra frequently uses this style of direct speech when she is mocking others and when giving her opinion. She is also frank when interacting with others in her court as a part of everyday life.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare develops the themes of duty

    The potency of his hatred for Cleopatra is conveyed eloquently through his use of language; Philo makes it obvious that in Rome intangible emotions such as love are undervalued in comparison to the far more corporeal physicality of "great fights" and the "musters of war."

  2. "A better title for this play would be 'Cleopatra and Antony' because Cleopatra is ...

    every passion fully strives / to make itself, in thee, fair and admired". This quotation does not apply to everyone's perception of Cleopatra, the other characters intertwined in this love story perceive her in a different light.

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