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

Examine the Strengths and Weaknesses of Antony and Cleopatra's relationship and the significance love has on important events in the play.

Extracts from this document...


Bianca Layne A-Level English Module 2, Shakespeare Examine the Strengths and Weaknesses of Antony and Cleopatra's relationship and the significance love has on important events in the play. Antony and Cleopatra's strengths in love fluctuate tremendously. Their behaviours toward each other create a chain reaction in the formation of events within the play. It is for these reasons, which determine the direction of the narrative. Antony behaviour is demonstrative of extreme strengths in his love toward Cleopatra, as he is prepared to neglect all his duties in Rome to stay in Egypt with her. His duties in Rome are very important to stabilise the triumvirate however, he still finds love more important. We see this when a messenger comes to call Antony back to Rome, his reply is: "Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch / of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space"(I.1.33)1 This shows his devotion to their love and shows the audience he has a sense of loves value. Antony uses hyperbole in his reply as he suggests that the river that flows through Rome will disappear or crumble and the bridge will collapse, before he will return, 'wide arch' also accentuates the strength of the bridge, this may show that Rome's might is so strong it does not need Antony. ...read more.


Stands he, or sits he? / or does he walk?"(I.5.19/20)5 We see here Cleopatra is continuously thinking of Antony. We imagine her to be entranced by her love for him, as she is asking questions when she does not require an answer. This gives us the image of her staring into amidst, thinking of all the different things Antony is doing. By going through his different positions 'stands' or 'sits' or 'walks' we see she is thinking about him in great detail and longs for him to be with her. All of this love and devotion led to Lepidus and Caesar resenting the time the once noble Antony spent in Egypt, and despised his neglect of duty. Antony's alliance with the two leaders had been weakened due to love. When faced with opposition from Caesar, Cleopatra's enticing behaviour comes into play again. And we see Antony's blindness play himself into a destroying event. Once the suggestion comes about that they will fight Antony at sea, Antony's reason for doing so is "For that he dares us to't."(III.7.29)6 This lacks a great deal of strategy and shows his childlike features to stand strong against a dare. ...read more.


Her actions were not at all those of loyalty and devotion like Antony's in Act I scene1and it shows the complete imbalance of love. The audience now dislike Cleopatra and see her as an iniquity in 'Antony and Cleopatra'. Also this scene confronts the title 'Antony and Cleopatra' as this scene is Antony on his own without Cleopatra by his side. Again we see love from Antony toward Cleopatra. Although it was foolish that he was 'Leaving the fight in height' 'and 'flies after her'(III.10.20)12 we still se he's ultimate devotion to Cleopatra. 'height' shows how the battle was at important levels, where either side could win, it seems apparent that the battle was not lost due to, the strength of the enemy, the weakness of Antony's army neither bad luck but simply the 'very ignorance'(III.10.7)13 of Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra's actions were like 'a cow in june stung by a gadfly'(III.10.14)14 as the speed of her turn and flight was dreadfully hasty. Antony sacrificed everything for love, his honour, power and the support of his men. Although this angered Antony the queen won him over with her inveigling skills. The third time Antony went to battle at sea, Cleopatra fled yet again. ...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. Explore how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra.

    to present the relationship between the lovers because the imagery that the world should no longer exist and has no purpose without Antony represents Cleopatra's undying love for Antony. Cleopatra's lament on the death of Antony is moving and expressive.

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

    loses his position of great rule because he cannot indulge because he is a Roman with Roman values. Shakespeare uses food imagery to convey this message to the audience.

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

    This shows admiration and emphasises how Cleopatra does not seem to age. Food imagery is continually repeated by Enonbarbus when referring to Cleopatra. This type of language is unusual in Rome as the language is quite dreamy and frivolous, like the kind of language that is used in Egypt, therefore contradicting Rome's stoic language.

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

    fairy tale and leads the audience into believing the two are inseparable. "When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus." His speeches in Act II are absolutely vital to the play in that this is how Shakespeare wants the audience to view Antony and Cleopatra, as Cleopatra being the capturing enchantress.

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

    Thus, despite the Roman world priding themselves on nobility, their Empire is a slight facade. This tawdriness is again emphasised by the Romans' false allegiance to one another. Lepidus flatters his 'noble friends' and 'noble partners' so often; there is a strong suggestion that his words are not genuine.

  2. Free essay

    Antony and Cleopatra

    We are allowed to see her theatrical side when she says 'I faint! O Iras, Charmain!' Even though Antony has now married for political reasons his soldiers are sure that he will return once again to his 'Egyptian dish.' Even when Antony is far from Cleopatra, she exerts her magic influence over him.

  1. English Coursework- Antony and Cleopatra

    Perhaps it is almost ironic that Shakespeare presents Antony in Egypt first, by means of using a roman. Though I maintain that this is a very roman idea, and there is certainly no reference to Egyptian 'common liars' who he approves- so put by Demetrius in Act 1 scene 1.

  2. Cleopatra is always at a significant disadvantage as a woman in a male-dominated world. ...

    triumvir who is presented in the likeness of Mars and whose power was like ?rattling thunder? is inevitably turned into that of a ?doating mallard?. It is the fall of the General from a position of infinite power to that of a helpless boy that is repeatedly mourned in the

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