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Explore the Ways In Which Shakespeare Presents Cleopatra To an Elizabethan Audience an Elizabethan Audience Would Have Already Had Preconceived Ideas About Cleopatra, As This Play Is Based On a True Story, and Cleopatra Was Commented On In ‘North

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EXPLORE THE WAYS IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS CLEOPATRA TO AN ELIZABETHAN AUDIENCE An Elizabethan audience would have already had preconceived ideas about Cleopatra, as this play is based on a true story, and Cleopatra was commented on in 'North's Plutarch', as a "Pesilent plague", meaning that she brings death, panic and havoc to wherever she went. Also the audience would have already had preconceived ideas of Cleopatra, due to oral stories, which were passed from generation to generation. In these stories, she was addressed as a high-class prostitute, who lured men, into her bed, so that she could sleep with them to get whatever she wanted, this included Caesar, She had no morality. The stories say that she seduced Antony, and she overwhelmed him. ...read more.


Here it is presented that she does genuinely love Antony, the problem now being that the audience's ideas are swaying between good and bad, due to her words and actions. But she also says, "if you find him sad, say I am dancing, if in mirth report that I am sudden sick" Here it is clearly proving that Cleopatra's love seems that of a teenagers lust or 'crush', where she is simply playing mind games with Antony. By now the audience would find Cleopatra unpredictable, confused and unsure about her being genuine for her love to Antony or not. The audience is left to make up their own minds about Cleopatra and certain questions may arise, such as, does she really love Antony? ...read more.


Also during Roman rule, and for centuries later, women were frowned upon even if they spoke so what would the Elizabethan audience think of the audacity, let alone tone of Cleopatra's dialogue. In the first scene of Antony and Cleopatra, two of Antony's soldiers in his army, (Philo and Demetrious) discuss Antony's enslavement to Cleopatra. They say that which is confirmed by the entrance of Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra shows insecurity, towards Antony straight from her opening line "If it be love indeed, tell me how much", Antony goes on to say "Let Rome in timber melt and the wide arch of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space." Here Antony is saying forget Rome I want to stay in Egypt, which shows how Cleoptara had already influenced Antony and even after this strong image and speech, she is still not impressed. ?? ?? ?? ?? MARTIN PULLEN 1 ...read more.

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