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

The presentation of Rome and Egypt in the Play Antony and Cleopatra

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The presentation of Rome and Egypt in the Play Antony and Cleopatra One of the foremost of themes in the play of Antony and Cleopatra alongside "tragedy" and "love" is the differences between the two "worlds" of Rome and Egypt. Throughout the play, Shakespeare frequently presents and demonstrates to the audience the reality and differences between these two "worlds" in many ways and forms. In this essay I will discuss how Shakespeare does this and how he presents it to the audience. Antony, who is the primary character in the play, portrays the ideas of the two "worlds" of Egypt and Rome very clearly. Shakespeare presents Antony as a different man when in Rome and a different one when in Egypt. Shakespeare organises the plot of Antony and Cleopatra around the theme of conflict between Rome and Egypt immediately. In the opening scene the two soldiers Philo and Demetrius discuss Antony's surrendering of his military duties to the exotic pleasures of Egypt and Cleopatra. ...read more.

Middle

He is tempted to stay in Egypt because of his love for Cleopatra and also because he is free from his political duties and being soldier. At the beginning of the play he says to Cleopatra "Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay. Our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man", This shows his yearning to stay with Cleopatra and to stay in Egypt. However later he says " I must from this enchanting queen break off". He realises that his obsession with Cleopatra is not strong enough to overcome his responsibilities in Rome. Cleopatra's character is a true representative of the state of Egypt. The Egyptian principles of love and romance are symbolised in the figure of Cleopatra. We see this by the way she rules Egypt and her affair with Antony illustrates a "world" ruled with passion, pleasure and love. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the women also gain power over men, which was the case in Antony's affair. Cleopatra gains power over Antony through love and passion and she continually deceives Antony. When Antony leaves Egypt to go back to Rome, Cleopatra sends a messenger to him, and she tell the messenger, "Well, go to, I will. But there's no goodness in thy face if Antony be free and healthful- so tart a favour, to trumpet such good tidings. If not well, thou shouldst come like a fury crowned with snakes, not like a formal man" Cleopatra sends the messenger and tells him that if he sees Antony with a miserable face, be "healthful" i.e. happy, and if he sees him with a glad face, then "come like a fury crowned with snakes". Cleopatra deliberately deceives Antony with the power of love and passion. Shakespeare presents ideas of conflict and differences between Rome and Egypt very clearly. He continuously raises the question to the audience as to which "world" is more superior and more powerful. Shakespeare leaves it to the audience to come to their own judgment ?? ?? ?? ?? Mubashar Ishfaq English Coursework 1 ...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

    Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'

    3 star(s)

    When Cleopatra says 'Spend that kiss which is my heaven to have,' this Cleopatra wanting to be the first to kiss him. By describing it as heaven shows her longing to be with him, with heaven as a connotation for the highest place a person can be.

  2. An exploration of Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra

    but fled from the battle, "Leaving the fight in height, flies after her." As she has such a great influence over Antony, when she left the battle he followed. I feel Cleopatra fleeing battle shows how her epicurean culture influences her decisions, as the epicurean lifestyle doesn't encourage battle.

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra

    The scene begins with the Queen fondly recalling experiences with Antony. She had out-drunk him, dressed him up in her clothes and worn his sword, with which he had won the battle of Philippi. Her daydreaming and the sudden interruption that follows set up an antithesis between her fantasizing and the harsh reality of what has just happened.

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

    It is not just love in the abstract, however, that grows in value as the play progresses but the love between the two protagonists. It could be interpreted from the 'twenty several messengers' Cleopatra sends to Antony, that she has a great strength of love for him.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare develops the themes of duty

    or his wife Fulvia, both of whom represent his responsibilities at home and both of whom he dismisses in his grand and dramatic statements that he provides her in response to her teasing ("let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch of the ranged empire fall!"), reassuring her that

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra

    In one instance, he is the rancorous war hero whom Caesar eulogizes and fears. Almost immediately after that, he surrenders his military designation by foolishly allowing Cleopatra to establish his course of action. As his Roman friends, even the faithful Enobarbus desert him, Antony feels that he has, without a

  1. Explore the presentation and effects of love in Antony and Cleopatra.

    However this is not the case and his judgement is often affected by his feeling for Cleopatra. In turn this dramatically affects his actions, which contradicts with his ethics of work and responsibility: "Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch of the ranged empire fall" (1, 1, 33-4)5.

  2. Discuss the presentation and dynamics of the triumvirate in Antony and Cleopatra

    His claim that Antony has 'vouchsafed to think he had partners' and his knowledge of Antony's behavior of reeling 'the streets at noon' and 'stand the buffet with knaves that smells of sweat' is a reflection of his displeasure towards his political partner.

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