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By close analysis of the passage (Line 200-250), explain what this adds to our understanding of Cleopatra and how she holds power over Antony

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Introduction

By close analysis of the passage (Line 200-250), explain what this adds to our understanding of Cleopatra and how she holds power over Antony. At this point in the play, Shakespeare has previously established the character of Cleopatra, as well as the nature of her relationship with Antony. She is portrayed as possessive, commanding and dramatic. Her own emotions are of supreme importance to her, and she has a violent temper. The relationship between Antony and Cleopatra appears as though there is an imbalance of power, Cleopatra maintaining the more dominant role. Her influence over men is notorious in the play, as her previous relationships with powerful men such as Julius Caesar are frequently mentioned. When the Triumvirate exit a conversation emerges between Enobarbus and Agrippa, two loyal followers of Antony and Caesar. ...read more.

Middle

as he hears the tales. This mirrors many other events in the play, where Cleopatra is condemned by the Romans, not only for seducing the great soldier Antony, but for her Egyptian heritage. An example of this is in Act I, when Philo and Demetrius criticize Antony's neglected, labelling Cleopatra as a "wrangling queen" and a "slave". She is also called "Salt Cleopatra" and an enchantress who has made Antony "the noble ruin of her magic" later on in the play. But to view Cleopatra as such is to reduce her character to the rather narrow perspective of the Romans, who standing to lose their honour through her agency, are most threatened by her. This threat has much to do with Cleopatra's beauty and open sexuality, which, as Enobarbus points out, is "awe-inspiring". ...read more.

Conclusion

The language is hugely contrasting from that used before, such as "flower-soft hands" and "perfumed". These are very sensual words, used to describe the moment when Cleopatra is coming to meet Antony in her magnificent boat. These also contrast Egypt to Rome, which is very logical, dutiful and seemingly dull compared with the emotional and mysterious Egyptian ways. Comparing the queen to Venus, Goddess of love, Enobarbus maintains that Antony will never be able to leave her, despite obstacles such as his marriage to Octavia. This passage lets us see that Enobarbus is obviously quite sensitive to the charms of the East, and more importantly, to the charms of Cleopatra. He predicts, indiscreetly considering he is speaking with a close associate of Caesar, correctly that Antony will never leave her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Claire Jones 12LRD ...read more.

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