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

Explore how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Literature: Shakespeare coursework Explore how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra The epic love affair of Antony and Cleopatra is a great and powerful love shared by two people at the height of their fame and glory, and it is Shakespeare's greatness to show Antony and Cleopatra in love, in the celebration of their love before disaster strikes, and after it has struck. There are many aspects to the way in which Shakespeare presents this relationship between these two characters. In Act One-scene 1, we first see Antony and Cleopatra together as Cleopatra challenges Antony to say how much he loves her, "if it be love indeed, tell me how much", Antony's reply, that his love is so great that it exceeds the boundaries of heaven and earth, is reinforced by his dismissal of the news from Rome. Antony uses extravagant, expansive statements to express the nature of his love. Shakespeare's use of extravagant and exaggerated figure of speech through the words of Antony, hyperbole, emphasizes the immensity of his passion. This example of Hyperbole is an example of how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, because it is through his language on this particular occasion that he expresses the love Antony has for Cleopatra. Other examples of exaggerated language that Shakespeare presents, such as Antony's heart having 'burst/ the buckles on his breast', and the simile that describes ...read more.

Middle

The imagery that Shakespeare presents us with through Antony's words of faithfulness, suggests that Antony is not just joined to her emotionally and spiritually, but physically, because his heart is tied to her 'rudder' and where her decisions and actions take her in life he shall be there with here to follow and be a part of them entirely. This is another way that Shakespeare presents Antony's and Cleopatra's relationship because through Anthony's words and the imagery, we realise the extent of Antony's love for Cleopatra. In Act Four-scene eight, the public and the personal selves of Antony and Cleopatra coexist harmoniously. Antony tenderly refers to Cleopatra as a 'great fairy, nightingale' and 'girl', while she affirms his status with 'Lord of lords'. For this moment, Antony is both the lover and the soldier, combining Egypt and Rome. The imagery that Shakespeare presents through Antony and Cleopatra's references to each other bring out their true feelings about each other at this time in the play. Antony refers to Cleopatra as a 'great fairy, nightingale' and 'girl', references that represent love and adoration. Cleopatra refers to Antony as 'Lord of lords', which represents the highest possible status and her love for him. Through Antony and Cleopatra's references to each other, the metaphors used, is another way in which Shakespeare presents the relationship between the two lovers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hyperbole is a method Shakespeare uses, for example, in Act One-scene 1 when Shakespeare uses hyperbole through Antony's words of passion for Cleopatra "then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth". Conceit is a method Shakespeare uses, for example, in Act One-scene three Cleopatra reminds Antony of the intensity of their love by saying "eternity was in our lips and eyes, bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor but was a race of Heaven". An oxymoron is also used by Shakespeare to present the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra when Cleopatra uses the image of feeding on 'delicious poison' to express the mixture of pain and pleasure she experiences when thinking about the absent Antony. The main way in which Shakespeare presents the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra is through imagery, for example, in Act Three-scene ten Scarus describes Cleopatra as a 'cow' and Antony as a 'mallard', in Act Three-scene eleven Antony says, "my heart was to thy rudder tied by th'strings", in Act Four-scene fourteen Antony describes life without Cleopatra "the long day's task is done/and we must sleep" and in Act four-scene fifteen Cleopatra expresses here pain when Antony dies "o sun, burn the great sphere thou mov'st in" and "our lamp is spent". It is through Shakespeare's style and language that he can express Antony's and Cleopatra's true love and relationship in the play. ...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

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

    4 star(s)

    The contrast between the characters' behaviour is shown again more clearly in Act 3, Scene 13 where in a desperate struggle to maintain some authority Antony has Caesar's messenger, Thidias, whipped for no good reason other than to prove he does still have some control.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    She is clearly besotted with him, and he with her. At the battle of Actium he turned all his fleet away to follow her out of battle, this shows how much he loves her he will follow her everywhere. This may also show her controlling over him.

  1. Peer reviewed

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

    This highlights Caesar's disloyal attitude and his unscrupulous methods of work. This hypothesis from coursework.info What is interesting is the similarity this has with Cleopatra's attitude. She is very glamorous and extravagant even when she is committing suicide. She requests Charmian and Iras to perform the extravagant act.

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

    heaven send down a poisonous hail, and for it to kill her, her child and all her fellow Egyptians. And once dead for the gnats of the Nile to feed upon their corpses and to be digested by them. This is ironic because it is Egypt that eventually engulfs Antony causing him to take his own life.

  1. Antony and Cleopatra - How has Shakespeare presented the three main characters to us ...

    We learn elements of Antony's personality from this conversation. Caesar refers to him as a competitor, an insight into the tension that lies ahead for the two leaders: " It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate Our great competitor." (line 2) Shakespeare is presenting Antony as a good competitor, as Caesar, one of the rulers, is afraid of him.

  2. Examine the contrast between Cleopatra and Octavia. How do they embody different aspects of ...

    Cleopatra is Egypt and Octavia is Rome, Antony must choose which life to led. Cleopatra and Octavia act merely as a visible contrast between each other's culture.

  1. Free essay

    Antony and Cleopatra

    Antony is not allowed to speak during her fiery tirade and her dominance is clearly asserted. Cleopatra is very accomplished and knows when she has to act either upset or angry. When Antony leaves Cleopatra says 'I am quickly ill and well-/ so Antony loves.'

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra

    and is not described at all, it presents us with the spellbinding magnetism of Cleopatra to which Enobarbus and, as we already know, Antony, are bound to return. Quite frankly, after the harsh realities of Roman power struggles, who would not find relief in the seductive charms of Egypt?

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