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

The personal and political are inseparable in 'Antonyand Cleopatra'; the one informs the other. To what extent do you agree with this view of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

India Silvani- Jones 12J Mr. Thorpe 25th March The personal and political are inseparable in 'Antony and Cleopatra'; the one informs the other. To what extent do you agree with this view of the play? The political and personal issues in 'Antony and Cleopatra' are often closely linked and it is often the case that political events are results of personal issues. Relationships are also affected by both the personal and political. This is shown when Caesar enforces the idea that Antony should marry his sister, Octavia. Caesar perhaps exploits his sister to an extent, using her as a means of solidifying a link and loyalty of alliance between the second triumvirate in order to defeat Pompey. Caesar's lack of respect for Octavia, shown in this way is something you would not expect from siblings in such a respected position in society. Antony is bound to snub Octavia for Cleopatra, as Enobarbus predicts to Caesar's men, leaving her extremely upset and with this as a possible reason for Caesar to propose war. Antony agrees to the idea, perhaps to attempt to strengthen the links between him and Caesar for his own benefits, by bringing himself into the family. This shows that such personal issues such as love and marriage, which should normally be taken so seriously, are used for the advantage of political affairs. ...read more.

Middle

This is shown by the marriage between Octavia and Antony, where she is so greatly used. The exception to these women is Cleopatra. She shows her powers of manipulation and the control she has over Antony, although in my opinion she does not only want to have power over him, she genuinely does love him. This is shown by the time when they appear together publicly at the Donation Ceremony in Rome. This has the possibility of looking like a political move, on the surface, but it is also likely that Antony and Cleopatra are using this occasion as a way to display their love for each other. Antony perhaps realises his stupidity and the way that he made the wrong decision by following Cleopatra's ship in her flee during the battle. His decision, which was one that affected the political side of things, was based on his personal feelings for Cleopatra. Shakespeare uses effective imagery when Antony says to Cleopatra, "My heart was to thy rudder tied to the strings, And thou shouldst tow me after." Antony is aware of this fact and here, the mixture between the political and personal has only caused problems. Antony is embarrassed about this, "Hark, the land bids me tread no more upon't, It is ashamed to bear me. ...read more.

Conclusion

From his reaction to the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, Caesar appears in a more human light. The political result of the death of Antony affects Caesar's personal opinion of him and perhaps even of himself. The way his feelings are so mixed about Antony convinces us that he is not as obsessed with victory and power when it comes down to it, as he portrays. He had appeared, throughout most of the play that he would like nothing more than to destroy Antony, yet when he achieves this he is not smug or happy with the result. The way in which he commands that Antony and Cleopatra are put to rest beside one another, shows that he is trying to be fair and that he is perhaps feeling guilty about Antony's death. Caesar himself is quite aware of this variation in his own character. The self- realisation here is brought on by the fact that Caesar is shocked at the way that he reacts when finally achieving what he had wanted all along. He speaks with such maturity and genuine fairness that it is easy to see why he is such a strong and respected leader by many. "...A pair so famous. High events as these Strike those that make them; and their story is No less in pity than his glory which Brought them to be lamented." (V. ii. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one.In your ...

    3 star(s)

    different sources to write Cleopatra, and this enables us to have an insight as to why things happen. The first three scenes of act one all takes place in Queen Cleopatra's palace in Alexandria. Promptly establishing the conflict between duty and passion, ambition and pleasure, Rome and Egypt.

  2. Peer reviewed

    'Ruthless leader....loving brother....boring Puritan....gracious victor.' Explore the way in which Shakespeare presents the character ...

    probably discomforts him; this again emphasises the characteristics of Caesar; showing the audience his rigid, Patrician character. What Caesar disagrees with is what Antony, pursues when in Egypt. Caesar doesn't admire the weakness of people who enjoy these activities, he believes that it is un-soldierlike.

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

    The noble suicides of Antony and Cleopatra, however, undermine his glory because he is unable to achieve this aim. He is outwitted and does not receive the public adulation for which he had hoped. The audience are glad that Caesar's Roman conquest pales in comparison to the heart-rending suicides of both Antony and Cleopatra, and his triumph is so reduced.

  2. Examine the Strengths and Weaknesses of Antony and Cleopatra's relationship and the significance love ...

    "O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!"(I.5.21)4 from this Cleopatra is showing the magnitude and importance of Antony's splendour. Cleopatra describes here that the horse should be flattered to be supporting such a wonderful man, although this is slightly humorous, as the horse would not feel any honour,

  1. Examine the contrast between Cleopatra and Octavia. How do they embody different aspects of ...

    Cleopatra is a irrational and irratic character who often reacts to menial things, however this can be seen as her way of reacting to the fear of losing what she knows: Egypt and Antony. Her fear for losing and her sense of insecurity is seen through her jealously, that Shakespeare

  2. Analysis of scene one - Antony and Cleopatra

    They also showcase Cleopatra's complexity: her incredible emotional vicissitudes, her theatricality, her manipulative streak, and her genuine passion for Antony. They also hint at the destructive powers of historical necessity, a great theme of the play, through the figure of the soothsayer and the juxtaposition of his unsettling presence with the gayness of Cleopatra's court.

  1. OPPOSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

    He goes on to describe the poop deck as being "beaten gold" (Antony and Cleopatra, II, 2, line CCII). In these lines, Enobarbus holds Cleopatra up for praise by describing her in the context of a brilliant throne, yet

  2. Antony was a strong leader in Rome; he met Cleopatra after his friend Julius ...

    "And for his ordinary, pays his heart, For what his eyes eat only" II, ii, 225-226 Enobabus embellishes Antony and Cleopatras meeting until it is almost a fantasy. He is so inspired that it makes the reader wonder whether Enobarbus himself is in love with Cleopatra.

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