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

Show how Shakespeare establishes the main issues of the play in the first scene of "Antony and Cleopatra"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Show how Shakespeare establishes the main issues of the play in the first scene of "Antony and Cleopatra" Shakespeare opens the play with a speech by Philo which is contemptuous and reveals a lot about the play itself: "Nay, but this dotage of our General's O'erflows the measure" Philo is referring to his "General" Mark Antony as loosing control and becoming soft headed. Philo and the Romans believe Mark Antony is foolish because he has become a hedonist who is cooling a "gypsy's lust" of course referring to Cleopatra. This is a key theme of the novel because the Romans dislike Antony's relationship with this "gypsy" because she is keeping him from his duties in Rome and the Romans do not ...read more.

Middle

of the Romans because he is one of "The triple pillars of the world" and Antony is a gifted soldier but this gifted god like soldier has turned his attention "Upon a tawny front". North African people are "tawny" or olive coloured. This is Antony's distraction, the tawny woman Cleopatra. Throughout the play Mark Antony's torn between the Roman Empire and Cleopatra. "The triple pillar of the world transformed Into a strumpets fool." Antony has supposedly become a fool to a woman Cleopatra and to the Romans a woman was someone lower than them who had no power but Cleopatra has immense power over Antony and this is totally unacceptable for the Romans. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is true of Antony's attitude throughout the play. The reason for this behaviour of Antony's is he is torn, torn between the Roman Empire and his burning passion and desire for Cleopatra. Antony is so in love with Cleopatra that he would rather "Let Rome in Tiber melt" because he is convinced "Here is my space" in Egypt. Another theme revealed in the opening by Shakespeare is pleasure and Antony's pleasure is always hindered by the call of duty, the call of the Roman Empire but from the opening scene we know which one Antony prefers: "There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now." ...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. Explore how Shakespeare develops the themes of duty

    Although Philo's serious and disparaging descriptions of her in the first act make her out to be a harlot and a temptress, Enobarbus's descriptions of her in Act 1, Scene 2 are much more bawdy, light hearted and sympathetic (Shakespeare conveys this through the use of prose)

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

    This could relate to Antony's suggestion that '[they] stand up peerless.' Both Antony and Cleopatra feel that their love transcends the limits of the world. There is further implication that they will go on to rule in the Elysian Fields, the idea of an after-life, a concept that would have

  1. Write a concise account of the history of the Lutheran passion up to Bach's ...

    Sch�tz also wrote a passion on the seven last words of Christ on the cross and is remarkable because it marks the beginning of instrumentation in passions. It has a non-biblical text for the opening and explores a mirrored structure that other composers will later adopt.

  2. Examine Shakespeare's handling of one of these relationships in any one of the plays ...

    The language Philo uses shows how he feel as "strumpet" and "gypsy" are very derogatory terms to use to describe a queen. They also add to the total paradox of Cleopatra's character she is always seen in two lights. In scene one we also see the first example of Cleopatra's

  1. Analysis of scene one - Antony and Cleopatra

    Her purposes for doing so are not entirely clear: she may be using reverse psychology on her lover, and her arguments already have a hint of irony, which can be played up in productions of the play. The theme of duty versus passion, and Rome versus Egypt, both come together in this scene.

  2. How does Shakespeare's play present these oppositions? In Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians ...

    This overstatement uses imagery where there is a direct link of the heart acting 'as a fan'. Another example of how Shakespeare presents the opposition between Egypt and Rome can be found in the description that Enobarbus gives of Cleopatra.

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