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

How does Shakespeare capture the audiences' attention at the outset of the play?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare capture the audiences' attention at the outset of the play? Shakespeare probably completed Anthony and Cleopatra towards the end of 1606 or early in 1607, after he had finished Macbeth and before he embarked on Coriolanus. Shakespeare, when writing the opening scene was very aware that he had to capture the audience's attention and interest therefore he opens with a Roman point of view "Nay, but this dotage of our general's overflows the measure," although the play is set in Alexandria Egypt. This will capture the audiences attention because they will be curious to why a roman soldier would be in Egypt. The opening presents the audience with Roman disapproval preparing us for the play later on, which is a miniature version of the whole story. Cleopatra and Anthony lead their lives in public everybody knows everything about their relationship and is often the most talked about subject by the servants, who help bring the plot along. ...read more.


This is shown in the language used between them. "If it be love indeed, tell me how much?" Anthony and Cleopatra is not a straightforward love story as some people might first think. The outside world is causing problems i.e. Rome, who send messengers who are symbolic of intervention, they will eventually destroy their relationship. They are always sent away and neglected by Anthony. The audience will question his responsibilities as he puts pleasure before his duties. The outset of the play helps the audience establish the relationship between Anthony and Cleopatra. The language used, by Anthony and Cleopatra is often beautiful, extravagant, exalted and implicit in that there is a grand passion some sordid lust "Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth." Both Anthony and Cleopatra speak in poetry whereas other characters seem to speak normal. ...read more.


I seem the fool." When Cleopatra is mocking Anthony I think that it is her way of testing him to see if loyal "Fulvia perchance is angry, or who knows." In conclusion from the opening scene we get the strong antithesis between the two countries involved in this play, Egypt and Rome. In Rome they have to deal with soldiers, rules, regulations, order and politics. Whereas in Egypt there is pleasure and Freedom, which Shakespeare forces Anthony to chose between. The constant reference to sex will also attract the audience's attention as they might hope that the play is explicit. The story is also captivating. People will want to know how the story turns out although they could probably guess that it ends in a tragedy. I think that if the play was performed on stage then there would be lots of bright colours and gold, which would have also attracted the audiences attention. ...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. Analysis of scene one - Antony and Cleopatra

    Here, as throughout the play, Enobarbus, Antony's most loyal supporter, serves as the voice of reason; he speaks plainly, in prose rather than verse. His estrangement from Antony increases as Antony's power wanes; for the moment, however, he represents Antony's connection to the West and his political duties.

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

    women can be courageous and confident, that perhaps underneath their timidity, every woman has the might to do it her way. Cleopatra does it her way and plays out the role of the masculine figure in the relationship. She has Antony eating out of her hand, she tempts him away from his wife and makes a fool out of him.

  1. Shakespear's Anthony and Cleopatra.

    In saying this the Soothsayer adds drama to the scene and is saying that he is predicting something foreboding that will happen to Antony, but by not being able to tell Antony what it is, it makes the scene more tense and allows for predictions of what may happen to Antony.

  2. Cleopatra's timeless fascination exists for the characters of the play, for Shakespeare's public and ...

    In this scene there is a lot of hyperbolic language used to describe Cleopatra which shows us how fascinating she is. "the barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, Burned on the water." This metaphor tells us that Cleopatra is so seductive and fiery that she sets barges on fire with her amazingly seductive looks and unlimited lust.

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