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

Antony & Cleopatra - Cleopatra

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A critical commentary on all the poetic descriptions of Cleopatra by Enobarbus - Act 2 Scene 2 Line 183 - end Shakespeare created Enobarbus in order to project our own judgmental dilemma onto a character whose very life depends on a comparable choice. Enobarbus's speech being analysed shows how he responds, like Antony and his great predecessors, to Cleopatra's power to provoke desire and compel the imagination. Enobarbus is also often a chorus to the action, from time to time he voices that common-sense wisdom which is usually forgotten. His descriptions of Cleopatra's magic fascination; both appreciative and critical, which is why the reader believes and trusts what he says. As a result of this, with his commentary on Cleopatra he is able to lead the audience into believing the two are inseparable without the reader presuming exaggeration. Firstly, in these speeches Cleopatra is described as irresistible and beautiful beyond belief, a view that is necessary for us to believe in order to buy the fact that a man with so much to lose would be willing to risk it all in order to win her love. ...read more.

Middle

The passage is one of such substance because Enobarbus usually sees events prosaically and rationally, yet when he tries to describe the image of Cleopatra he becomes a poet which shows her aura is one that cannot be uncommented on. He uses hyperboles, similes, and paradoxes. Enobarbus's language he uses to describe Cleopatra is obviously in a Roman style, realistic where the nouns march rhythmically, yet on the other hand, he also elaborates simplicity by the adjectives etc associated with the Egyptian style and his language portrays a golden world in which imagination outdoes nature. It is as though Enobarbus himself is transfigured, even feminized and emasculated, by remembering the sight of Cleopatra in her barge. Enobarbus introduces the idea of Cleopatra on a throne in the opening line, and ends with Antony 'enthron'd' which creates a link between the two, suggesting love and destiny. Therefore the reader can infer their relationship is special, yet the hyperbole language used to praise Cleopatra could in some lights also suggest she is too good to be true, and that she and the setting described as so opulent could be negative as if there is too much it becomes decadence. ...read more.

Conclusion

When discussing Egypt, the structure is in long, elegant, poetic prose, whereas Rome is short sharp sentences, direct and to the point. The passage and structure therefore inform the reader of the wonders of Egypt and the harsh and unsettling dealings of their political world in Rome become momentarily infused with the colour, warmth and splendour of an alternative and enigmatic land. In conclusion, throughout his speech, Enobarbus uses language, form and structure to create effect. He sets up the metaphorical as the real and establishes its priority over the literal. 'The barge she sat in...burned on the water', the active verb 'burned' allows the metaphorical description to become extraordinarily vibrant, leaping outside of the limiting simile that makes the barge simply 'like a burnished throne'. This metaphorical reality continues to dominate throughout, creating a picture of Cleopatra that makes men powerless at her feet. Enobarbus uses very beautiful, poetic language which the reader could assume he could only use if he was inspired or even lamenting his own passions vicariously through the eyes of Antony. Yet, the reader believes Enobarbus' words to be the truth as he acts as a commentator throughout, truthful and cynical and therefore the reader trusts his description of Cleopatra and consequently how Antony has fallen so suddenly in love with her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emma Williams 12F ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Antony & 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 GCSE Antony & Cleopatra essays

  1. Explore the love between antony and cleopatra throughout shakespeares play

    After the sea battle which Antony had entered into against better judgement, he and Cleopatra are reunited and again he declares his feelings towards her 'Egypt, thou knew'st too well my heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings...'

  2. How Shakespeare presents the character of Cleopatra in" Anthony and Cleopatra" The play of ...

    hails the " beauty, wisdom, modesty" of Octavia, of whom Cleopatra becomes feels initially threatened by. He shows that even the most beautiful of women (as it would seem) would still have very faint feelings of insecurity. The character of Octavia is clearly juxtaposed to the promiscuous nature of Cleopatra.

  1. Enobarbus's famous speech clearly shows an admiring opinion of Cleopatra from a Roman perspective. ...

    for example; this portrays her as a very sexually aware and incredibly flirtatious woman who knows how to use her greatest assets to her favour.

  2. Evaluate his taints and honours, thus enabling us to draw our own conclusions about ...

    Antony, convinced that Cleopatra is in league with Caesar, decides to take his own life, when he says to Eros, "There is left us Ourselves to end ourselves". In death Antony shows his love for Cleopatra, his courage, and the characteristic magnanimity in not uttering a word of reproach at

  1. "Rare Egyptian" or "Foul Egyptian"? Discuss how Cleopatra is presented to us. What is ...

    Caesar also acts as if he is charmed by her powers of seduction; he begins to praise both her and Antony now that he knows he is winning and he has no need to be wary of them. He becomes more gentle and compassionate, and free with his compliments.

  2. Antony And Cleopatra

    For he orders Antony to sit down first. Caesar is thoroughly accusing within this scene, whereas Antony is proving himself to be self-confident and able to handle Caesar's many grievances against him. The idea of Caesar of being accusing is gathered from the alliteration of the word, "you,"...

  1. An exploration of the way in which Shakespeare presents the character of Enobarbus and ...

    ways that gives her an immense sense of superiority and power, 'burned on the water...' It is also his constant description of her using luxurious and vivid colours, 'gold', 'silver' and 'purple' that create her sensuality and royalty. When he says the 'winds were lovesick' it gives a strong feeling

  2. Antony and Cleopatra

    Aside in this scene Enobarbus makes a snide joke, saying that to have Stallions and mares serving together in war is inviting disaster. Enobarbus later in the scene tries to get through to Antony and tell him the futility of fighting Caesar at sea, but Antony does not take his advice and like Cleopatra, ignores all his advice.

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