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

Discuss the presentation of Cleopatra presented in Act 1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the presentation of Cleopatra presented in Act 1 In act 1 in Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra is presented as a dominant, sexually veracious, dramatic character that is totally besotted with Antony and wants to know everything about him when he is not around him. She comes across as a very complex character that seems to show a state of ambivalence that is of love and hate, by poking fun at and belittling Antony when he is present, but constantly wandering about him when he is gone even to the point of her conjuring up an image of him. It is apparent that one of Cleopatra's characteristics is her dominance and especially the dominance she holds over Antony. In their first exchange she illustrates herself to be the more dominant entity verbally compared to Antony. She forces Antony to keep on complimenting her by saying how much he loves her: "there's beggary in the love that can be reckoned...then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth [for his love]". From this short conversation, Cleopatra's dominance is illustrated by how she controls it: "if it be love indeed, tell me how much", showing that she is in total control even so much as by saying that she will tell him how much to love her: "I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved". ...read more.

Middle

The vulgar language which includes: "cut...case...smock...cunning" which refer to the sexual genitals, illustrates that Shakespeare did this for the everyman, and the poorer less intelligent audience. In this scene she is described as "cunning past man's thought", which suggests she is manipulative and cunning but also it's a sexually explicit term in Shakespearean literature. Further sexual jesting goes on saying that "she hath such a celerity in dying", which reiterates the idea of her being sexually hungry. In act 1 Egyptians are seen as passionate and Cleopatra optimizes this when she talks to Charmain. Charmain describes her old flame, Caesar, as: "Brave..." and she is corrected by Cleopatra to say: "brave Antony" instead, however Charmain simply says that she is only copying her: "I sing but after you", which shows she was equally obsessed with Caesar as she is with Antony, testifying her passionate nature. Cleopatra in Act 1 is also presented as a woman who absolutely adores Antony and one who although is rude to him when he is there; she misses him when he is gone. When he is absent she is so infatuated with him that she always wants to know everything about him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her dramatic being resurfaces later on, in scene 2, when she says: "I am sick and sullen...help me away, dear Charmain! I shall fall..." at the sight of Antony and also in scene 5 in the exchange between her and Alexas: "Note him...note him...note him", suggesting that the triple "note him" adds to the idea that there is evidence of theatrical conciseness, and highlights the dramatic nature of Cleopatra. The final characteristic of Cleopatra is the idea of mysticism. This is a current theme in the play and applies to Egypt but also to Cleopatra to an extent. She is described as a: "gipsy" and an "enchanting queen", which links to this idea but also to the fact that many felt she was keeping Antony almost under a spell and her antics are often described as: "witchcraft". The idea of her keeping Antony away from Rome is reiterated in Antony's words: "These strong Egyptian fetters I must break...", picturing Cleopatra as a temptress keeping Antony in Egypt rather that Rome neglecting his responsibilities as a leader. In conclusion Cleopatra is presented as a dominant typically passionately Egyptian women especially when loving Antony. She epitomizes Egypt and all that it stands for, that is: overindulgence, and a women who is presented as being very complicated when it comes to her feelings. ...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. An exploration of Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra

    Rome is shown as having strict rules and regulations which must be followed. The Romans have no respect whatsoever for their servants and at a banquet the Romans had a great feast and they gave the servants the waste food.

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

    way Shakespeare could portray the depth of Cleopatra's character and how she was perceived by others. Without such a strong character as Cleopatra it is unbelievable that Antony would be drawn to love and passion over politics and Rome in any other circumstance.

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

    any importance to him now which once again goes back to the point that Cleopatra is Antony's biggest flaw. Antony then sends a letter to Caesar by the Ambassador. The Ambassador then tells Caesar "He salutes thee, and requires to live in Egypt."

  2. Explore the presentation and effects of love in Antony and Cleopatra.

    his speech, this is done primarily because he is stating his passion for Cleopatra which he believes is more important than anything else. During Act 3 Antony catches Thidias kissing Cleopatra's hand. His jealousy enrages him and he commands his men to "Take hence this Jack and whip him" (3, 13, 94)6.

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

    Caesar's victory is very limited and what is truly unlimited is the extraordinary nature of the love between Antony and Cleopatra. Thus, due to the unattractiveness of the Roman Empire, and deepening of love, the constraints of rationality, and what love is able to inspire, the limits of Caesar's conquest

  2. OPPOSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

    At first glance, Enobarbus seemly continues to create a magical feel to the scene by describing the oars as being magically silver.

  1. Discuss the presentation and dynamics of the triumvirate in Antony and Cleopatra

    position and compares his effectiveness to 'the holes where eyes should be'. It becomes clear that the relationships among the members of the triumvirs is a cause for attention as we are introduced by Philo to Antony's disregard for Caesar's messages and Lepidus's failure in his effort at peacemaking.

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

    She can be very histrionic which becomes more evident throughout the scene. Cleopatra?s words also portray her as a very manipulative person, able to bend people to her will. Cleopatra?s unexpected actions are what fascinates Antony and keeps him drawn to her.

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