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Show how Shakespeare brings out the duality in Antonys character in Act 1.

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Introduction

´╗┐Show how Shakespeare brings out the duality in Antony?s character in Act 1. ?Antony and Cleopatra? by William Shakespeare is a play revolving around the destructive duality of Antony?s character. Shakespeare uses Antony?s transformation from Roman to Egyptian to cause constant conflict between the Roman side of Antony, defined by Empire and duty, and the Egyptian side of Antony, defined by folly and lust. ?Antony and Cleopatra? is a tragedy involving Antony, one of the triumvirates who rule the world, who falls in love with, and has an affair with Cleopatra: the seductive queen of Egypt. Throughout the whole of the play Antony is caught in a tug-of-war between Antony the lover and Antony the leader. Shakespeare makes repeated references to Antony?s duality in character through the views of many characters throughout the play. Philo and Demetrius? views of Antony at the very beginning of the play give the audience their first impressions of Antony?s character. Cleopatra and Octavius Caesar?s comments throughout Act 1 on Antony allow the audience to distinguish between his differing personalities. Furthermore, Antony?s own statements reinforce his duality. From the onset of the play, it is not entirely obvious to the audience that there is a duality in Antony?s character, however Antony?s responses throughout Act One give the audience clues of his split character. In Act 1 Scene 1, Antony is approached by a messenger bringing news of Rome. Antony?s initial reply of ?Grates me! ...read more.

Middle

Overall, it can clearly be seen that there is a duality in Antony?s character. At first introduction of Antony?s character, his disregard for his Roman responsibilities was prominent. However, it is only further into Act One that his split character?s allegiance is shown. Antony?s responses throughout Act One show the audience that there is a duality in his character, but a very one sided duality that is heavily focused on his Egyptian, hedonistic lover side. However, Octavius Caesar?s comments and remarks on Antony display him as a more faithful soldier of Rome. Octavius offers strong words of Antony?s past, reminiscing when Antony ?thous didst drink the stale of horses?. Octavius is referring to Antony?s past greatness. The act screams the epitome of a great soldier, performing what must be done for self-preservation. It was a show of phenomenal stoicism. This point is further emphases by Octavius when he states how: ?It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh, Which some did die to look on.? This information reinforces the idea of Antony?s past greatness and the lengths he would go to during the times of hardship. It shows that Antony was a great Roman figure and the memories of his acts have never been forgotten. Octavius describes how Antony ?was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek/ So much as lanked not.? This supports Octavius? argument of Antony?s past greatness as he describes how Antony didn?t even go pale as he endured these horrors. ...read more.

Conclusion

great property Which still should go with Antony.? It reminds the audience how great Antony was as a great roman, a great leader, strong politician and statesman. Through the conversation of Philo and Demetrius, it can therefore be seen that Antony is indeed caught in a tug-of-war between his Roman and Egyptian loyalty ties. He is supposedly loyal to Rome, yet he is loyal to Cleopatra and the inhabitants of her Kingdom in Egypt. In conclusion, it is the differing character?s comments and views that bring out the duality in Antony?s character in Act One. The comments from Antony uncover an underlying battle within himself, a battle fought by both his Egyptian and Roman side. Antony himself acts madly in love with Cleopatra, yet aside, he seems to know that his real loyalty lies with Rome, and his love with the queen can only lead to destruction and danger. Octavius Caesar?s remarks inform the audience of Antony?s past as a great and respected soldier of Rome. This reinforces the audience?s view of Antony?s character division and allows the audience to fully appreciate the difficult choice that Antony will have to make. In addition, Cleopatra?s comments on her lover give the audience her true personality traits of being manipulative and dramatic. These qualities fascinate Antony and encourage his lust and strengthen his Egyptian loyalty ties. Finally, Philo?s own observations of Antony give the notion of Cleopatra being a poison that has transformed Antony from a fully pledged guardian of Rome to an irresponsible and pleasure seeking fool. ...read more.

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