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Read the following extract from Act 1 scene 2. In what ways does this passage show the conflict of Rome and Egypt?

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Introduction

AS English Literature - Section A - 'Read the following extract from Act 1 scene 2. In what ways does this passage show the conflict of Rome and Egypt?' - Throughout Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra, location plays an important role in the development of the play. It is one of few plays to have such a frequent interchange between locations and at the heart of this are the two contrasting worlds of Egypt and Rome. The two countries seem to differ completely to each other and this is reflected by the different attitudes of their respective people. Act 1 scene 2 is a pivotal scene in the play as the ladies-in-waiting of Cleopatra's court have their fortunes told by a soothsayer, this turns out to foreshadow the later events of the play. The passage is one of the most accurate at showing the substantial differences between the people and life of Rome and Egypt. ...read more.

Middle

Charmian's short and direct response is also one of less respect as he responds 'Not he. The queen.' To contrast this with the response to Antony's entrance where Alexas pays his respects to his leader, 'My lord approaches' demonstrates the professionalism in the Roman ranks which contrasts greatly with the lazy almost forced upon duty that the Egyptians hold. To contrast this with the response to Antony's entrance where Alexas pays his respects to his leader, 'My lord approaches' demonstrates the professionalism in the Roman ranks which contrasts greatly with the lazy almost forced upon duty that the Egyptians hold. To contrast this with the response to Antony's entrance where Alexas pays his respects to his leader, 'My lord approaches' demonstrates the professionalism in the Roman ranks which contrasts greatly with the lazy almost forced upon duty that the Egyptians hold. As Antony enters the scene, the tone of the whole passage changed from the previously joking side of the Egyptians to the stern behaviour of the Romans and particularly Antony and the messenger. ...read more.

Conclusion

on his true feelings subconsciously as the worry in his language is apparent with his demand for the messenger to speak directly and bluntly and 'mince not the general tongue'. One of the more powerful and subtle comments from the messenger comes as he is telling Antony of the land he has lost, he almost hints at the feelings that the whole of Rome are feeling by suggesting that Antony's lack of presence is to blame. Overall, there is a significant and apparent shift of tone as Antony enters, all talk is related to serious matters and is not interrupted with any sort of witty banter that was so evident previously. In conclusion, the conflicting worlds of Egypt and Rome, with their attendant values of love and duty, create the changing moods and the comings and goings of this passage. Even the slightest differences in moods, moves, entrances and exits show the conflicting cultures and highlight the peculiarity of Antony and Cleopatra's relationship. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The effective opening and concluding paragraphs show that the writer understands how the play sets up a conflict between Egypt and Rome, but this notion of conflict is never fully explored.
Any essay which focuses on a particular extract or passage requires close textual analysis of language and stagecraft and there is some, but not enough of this here. The essay should also include reflection on how the themes apparent in extract are developed in the play as a whole.
The essay also illustrates the dangers of failing to proof-read work when it has been completed.

Marked by teacher Val Shore 25/02/2012

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