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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

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)

    Charmian: Not he, the Queen." This can either be seen as a genuine mistake in which case the audience can only assume the walk of Cleopatra is actually very similar to that of Antony; alternatively, it could be read that Enobarbus is being a bit cheeky and inferring the gender

  2. Peer reviewed
  1. Free essay

    Antony and Cleopatra

    Antony is told of the news about Cleopatra and the news that she has agreed to murder him for Caesar. He says that 'fortune and Antony part here' and he thinks that he has now left everything that he once had.

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

    Caesar claims that '[Cleopatra's] life in Rome would be eternal in [his] triumph' in order for him to humiliate her by parading her through the streets. He does not want Cleopatra to commit suicide 'lest...by some mortal stroke /She do defeat us.'

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

    in love, or at least showing signs of being so, wistfully reminiscing about good times she has had with Antony. By the end of the scene, the audience could be forgiven for forgetting about this brief display of affection; Cleopatra has been through a frenzied, violent rage, attacking an innocent messenger and (in performance)

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

    for a woman to have such power over a man was unheard of, public humiliation was disgraceful. Immediately after Philo has described Antony as "the bellows and the fan to cool a gypsy's lust", Antony and Cleopatra arrive with "eunuchs fanning her".

  1. How much does Antony's love for Cleopatra contribute to his downfall?

    is seen as a role model to all young Roman men due to his previous acheivments;"Antony...when thou once was beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa." Caesar making such fond remarks of Antony would almost shock the audience because it is so unexpected from him.

  2. How does Shakespeare explore the relationship between man and woman in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’? ...

    Certainly we see right from the start that their love is affecting others, as Demetrius and Philo inform us how they feel about the relationship. "(The triple pillar of the world) transform'd Into a strumpet's fool" Philo is angry at how love is affecting Antony.

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