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Antony And Cleopatra

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the way in which Roman values are presented in Act II Scene II and the way that Egyptian values begin to impinge upon the value of the Roman states and know how exactly other Romans fall under the spell Act II Scene II is a rich piece of text, replete with oppositional imagery. We have the duty, honour and strategical strength of Rome pitted against the description of Cleopatra and the world of Egypt in a profligate hyperbolic manner. From the very commencement of Act II Scene II we are met with the third Triumvir, Lepidus, who is neither gallant like Antony nor politically judicious like Caesar. He lacks the power and command of his fellow triumvirs, he vainly tries to maintain a balance of power by keeping Caesar and Antony on amiable terms. He attempts to enlist the support of Enobarbus, Antony's trusted friend. The language Lepidus uses is far from authoritative even though he is a Triumvir, "Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed, and shall become you well, to entreat your captain, to soft and gentle speech." However Enobarbus replies that he will "entreat him / To answer like himself." ...read more.

Middle

or upholders of very masculine ideals and producers of soldiers. Caesar is quite unlike Antony when it comes to women and regards them as mere objects and is uncontrolled by them , whereas Antony does not handle his women as well as he handles Caesar; he is unable to control them in any way. Earlier in the play, Cleopatra was able to easily manipulate Antony. Now he admits that he could not control his own wife, Fulvia, "As for my wife, I would you had her spirit in such another: The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle, you may pace easy, but not such a wife." Obviously everything is not perfect between the two of them. This is further proven when he agrees to marry Octavia, Caesar's sister, in order to attempt reconciliation between Caesar and himself. For the moment, he is more concerned about his political life than his love affair with Cleopatra. The implications of this heated conversation between Antony and Caesar tells us of the disintegration between the relationship of the two triumvirs and the opinion that Caesar holds of Antony. ...read more.

Conclusion

North's pretty boys simply fan wind on Cleopatra, while Shakespeare has us look at her "delicate cheeks." North's "Some of them followed the barge" becomes "The city cast Her people out upon her." North ends his description with Antony alone in the market-place, but Shakespeare adds a final reference to Cleopatra, "and Antony, enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone, whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy, had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, and made a gap in nature." The verse by Enobarbus reflects Shakespeare's opulent mood here. The description of Cleopatra on her barge is described in such ornate, flowery verbose detail, Shakespeare adds words, notably adjectives, like "beaten." Ordinarily, Enobarbus sees events prosaically, rationally, realistically, ironically. When he tries to describe the image of Cleopatra, though, he becomes a poet. He uses language replete with hyperboles, i.e. "winds were love-sick" similes i.e. "Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides," and also paradoxes. Shakespeare started with North's "appareled and attired like the goddess Venus, commonly drawn in picture." He changed the ordinary text to "O'er picturing that Venus where we see / The fancy outwork nature," hence Enobarbus the hard-headed Roman transforms in which imagination surpasses nature. Shakespeare gives us the repetition of "burnish'd throne / Burnt on the water. ...read more.

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