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

Consider the variety and range of Enobarbus' dramatic contribution to the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'.

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare uses Enobarbus in a number of ways during the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'. Primarily his strong fraternal bond with Antony allows Shakespeare to reveal Antony's inner thoughts and feelings to a loyal and trusted counsellor. But he has more significance than simply as an 'ear' or a shoulder to lean on for Antony. He also acts as a go-between for the audience expressing support, doubts, caution and warmth as occasion requires. He is a man of intellect, experience, perception, intuition and often Shakespeare uses him to anticipate future events and comment on past follies. At times Shakespeare gives Enobarbus great poetry and at other times the cynical prose of the realist. Shakespeare uses Enobarbus's betrayal of Antony and subsequent death to intensify the feeling of the tragedy as the play draws to a close. The first time Enobarbus begins to build his character is in I,ii, where Antony is talking to him about how he must leave Egypt and go to Rome. This is when we notice the extent of Enobarbus and Antony's fraternity with one another. Shakespeare shows Enobarbus to be more respected through juxtaposition. ...read more.


This hints that she was so great she was God-like, a Goddess amongst humans. Enobarbus goes on to describe her sailing into shore with her women attendants to be like a flock of mermaids. He says there was ' a strange invisible perfume' that 'hits the sense of the adjacent wharf's', the language gives a beautiful image of a boat sailing slowly into dock with an aura that consumes all in its way. After all of this beautiful language and 'out of this world' imagery Enobarbus brings her down to earth. He tells of how he had seen her once hopping 'forty paces through the public street'. This is something one would not expect from a queen, but he explains that 'she did make defect perfection'. He also says, a very important quote about her 'age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety' this means that she has a number of different sides to her personality - not too far from Enobarbus himself. The effect of Enobarbus making this long and inspiring speech has a number of different level's. The first and most obvious is that they (the Romans) ...read more.


He begs forgiveness from Antony and asks that the world registers him as a 'master-leaver' and a 'fugitive'. As we can see from this Enobarbus has no self respect left and the only way he can generate some dignity is to kill himself in the noble way, by falling on his sword. His last words were 'Antony' which illustrates his love and bond he had with Antony. Enobarbus's death is made so poignant and tragic because of what it symbolises. Enobarbus has always been a voice of reason and wisdom to Antony and his death meant that Antony was imminently doomed. The reason it is so tragic is because of the love the audience has for Enobarbus, and we get that love from watching all his other sides. The showman; the drinking partner; the wise foreseer; the shoulder to lean on; the good friend and the noble soldier are all sides that appeal to us and make us connect with Enobarbus so when he dies we all despair. Therefore the range of Enobarbus is all of these things and there contribution to the play is effectively a sense of poignancy, regret and tragedy. - 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 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. What is the Role Of Enobarbus In This Play?

    And "Mine, and most of our fortunes, tonight, shall be-drunk to bed." This shows that he is not the regimented roman soldier he is depicted as. This may also explain why he has become so close to Antony, as he has an Egyptian way about him of liking to enjoy himself, much like Antony.

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

    In this case Antony has been misinformed of his beloved's death and attempts to take his own life but messes up in the process. 'His death upon us, but not dead.' This gives the two lovers a final chance to speak, at which point Antony appears concerned about her safety

  1. Enobarbus describes Cleopatra as 'a wonderful piece of work' How far would you agree ...

    Antony reassures her by saying that he will always follow in her direction. 'The purposes I bear, which are, or cease, As you shall give th'advice. By the fire That quickens Nilus' slime' His words with Cleopatra are tender and loving and In this grim and frustration conversation he still remains loyal to Cleopatra.

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

    to meet his sworn obligations when he says, "you have broken the article of your oath". Antony accepts this, and offers a dignified apology for his failings and upon the suggestion of Agrippa agrees to marry Caesars sister Octavia in order to cement their reconciliation.

  1. Discuss what Enobarbus calls Cleopatra's "infinite variety"

    It is hard when analysing the text to fully understand reasons why Shakespeare made this character behave in such away however it is clear that part of her behaviour is controlled by what other people around her say and the way that they act.

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

    pretending to be surprised that such a great man would show a human weakness. He also describes the masters of the world, saying 'they are his shards, and he their beetle'; although this can be construed in two ways the most probable was of the dung beetle and pats of dung.

  1. Discuss the 'variety' of Cleopatra, and how successfully Shakespeare presents the contribution, which this ...

    Her character shown on stage is dramatic and she comes across as an actress, elevating her passion, grief and outrage. In this way, Cleopatra is said to make Antony "the noble ruin of her magic". When under the spell of her charm, the audience even see Antony echoing Cleopatra's mood changes.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of EITHER Cleopatra OR Antony in Act three Scene thirteen. How ...

    I think Shakespeare has presented Cleopatra very carefully and has taken into account the stereotypical female life in this time. In the sixteenth century, the effect on the audience of Cleopatra's strong, powerful presence that shines through continuously in the play would be of utter shock.

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