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Shakespeares Antony and Cleopatra.

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Introduction

However, as Act 1 progresses, arguments between the pair become much more frequent and it becomes obvious their relationship is not always a happy one. The topic of Antony's wife, Fulvia, causes much disruption between the pair, and following news of her death in Scene 2, Cleopatra still finds it hard to believe that Antony truly loves her, and is slightly hostile toward him. At one point she says "O, my oblivion is a very Antony", suggesting she is extremely insecure. Examples of this throughout the act suggest that Cleopatra is very fragile, especially when Antony is concerned. Antony's behaviour suggests he is a very unsure person, who is constantly two-minded about what he should be doing. Part of the reason for this is his split in loyalty; he would ask himself the question of where his priority lies, with Cleopatra, the woman he says he loves, or with his Pietus, his loyalty to Rome. The split is revealed during his oxymoron, after he hears of Fulvia's death during Scene 2, in which he states "I must from this enchanting ...read more.

Middle

Antony's failure to communicate with Cleopatra's servants and eunuchs suggest that he does not wish to appear disloyal to Rome. Also, the fact that the first person he confides in upon hearing of Fulvia's death is Enobarbus, showing he feels he can relate to people of Roman society more than Egyptian society. Antony's relationships with other people indicate that he is torn between his love for Rome and Cleopatra, because when Cleopatra is around he will deny interest in Rome, but when she is not Antony appears to feel to return home to Rome in order to aid the triumvirate, (the group of Lepidus, Octavius Caesar and Marc Antony). A year prior to the production of this play to the Shakespearean audience, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was a popular play, and is a tale of Julius Caesars murder, and the upcoming of Marc Antony and the rest of the triumvirate in waging war against Brutus and Cassius, who vanquished Caesar. The audience were likely to have seen this play, and Antony's role in it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not only does Octavius describe him as a "great competitor", he also states that Antony is a "rebel". There seems to be a difference in the characters, used to portray the difference in the lovers' cultures. While Cleopatra is portrayed as a creative but laid-back woman, who puts love first, to represent Egyptian society, Antony is very much a serious man who will take what Cleopatra says to heart, and will contemplate serious news such as the invasion by Pompey and Fulvia's death. This presents the difference between what was then a serious Roman Empire ruled by Military and a relaxed Egyptian kingdom ruled by Culture. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses a number of factors to present Antony and Cleopatra. A number of factors combine to show Cleopatra as an insecure woman who shows off two different sides to her personality depending on who is present and how she feels, or if she desires something. Shakespeare uses a number of factors to present Antony, mainly interactions with other characters, and presents Antony as a man who is torn between his honour and his love, and as a man who takes matters to heart. ...read more.

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