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

Discuss what Enobarbus calls Cleopatra's "infinite variety"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss what Enobarbus calls Cleopatra's "infinite variety" In Act 2 Scene 2 of the play Enobarbus refers to Cleopatra as having an "infinite variety", this is conceivably in reference to her ever changing personality and her rapidly shifting moods. Throughout the play a wide range of moods are displayed by Shakespeare through her character, from a loving and caring woman, to an evil and manipulative queen. In the scene where she is described as having "infinite variety" Enobarbus is giving an overall description of her boat and its magnificence which only compliments the beauty of Cleopatra herself. This suggestion of her being of extraordinary beauty is carried right through the play through many other characters actions and descriptions. Not only do we gather the impression that she is beautiful form the way Antony is so seduced and enticed by her but also descriptions from characters like Enobarbus. It is apparent that the boat is set to symbolise her in likeness and beauty. "...like a burnished throne" Quotations like this again exemplify the thought and history of her successful reign over Egypt and her unpredictable success as a female ruler. ...read more.

Middle

When she is with him she behaves like a dominant and controlling woman, in the relationship between the two protagonists she is clearly the one in charge. By doing this she is able to manipulate Antony into getting her own way and keep complete control over him. This idea is also closely linked with the theme and idea of her intelligence and general superiority over all others, hence why she is queen of Egypt. We see a drastic change in her behaviour when she eventually loses this power and Antony returns to Rome due to the death of his wife Fulvia. Here she is seen to be an insecure and dependent woman who longs for the return of Antony and struggles to live without him. Without him by her side she becomes an erratic and unpredictable character which is clearly displayed to the audience in Act 2 Scene 5 when a messenger brings her news of Antony. Impatience and frustration is an obvious focus of the scene as she doesn't allow the messenger to speak before she is threatening to kill him if he tells her anything that she does not want to hear. ...read more.

Conclusion

The variations in Cleopatra's character are further highlighted through the contrasting character of Octavia who becomes Antony's wife over Cleopatra. She is seen to be very undemanding and have little say in the relationship. In the case of her marriage with Antony she is purely used as a political device and to gain more power and bring the triumvirate together; very much in opposition to Cleopatra who is the driving force of the relationship and commands all actions. Octavia can be seen as the model wife of that era as she does what she is told and obeys her husband. This is why I believe Cleopatra appeals to the modern audience much more as she shows, at times, strength for woman kind. Overall I believe that despite the clash between Shakespeare's opinions and other historical ones she is still a very demanding and entertaining character to read/watch. Shakespeare delivers her role in an effective and conflicting manner which displays the characteristics of some women in a engaging way; the use of a variety of techniques aids this also. ?? ?? ?? ?? Toby Humphreys ...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 Shakespeare's presentation of EITHER Cleopatra OR Antony in Act three Scene thirteen. How ...

    Cleopatra seem correct whereas if it was a male who was disagreeing with her, he may well be seen as the one who is right. Because Shakespeare implies that Cleopatra does have flaws, the audience who may have previously been thinking that they don't like her character, now begin become

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

    Cleopatra still dominated his mind. Antony then led his men into battle and deserted them by fleeing after Cleopatra, then blamed her for his running away, saying, "My sword, made weak by my affection, would obey it on all cause."

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

    My lord!". This scene is very dramatic and she later refers to herself as just a "maid that milks / And does the meanest chares." Without Antony, her life seems meaningless, even with royal status. She wants to "throw [her] sceptre at the injurious gods".

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

    Give me to drink mandragora", and jokes with Mardian, a eunuch, about his sexual impotence. When the messenger tells Cleopatra that Antony is married to Octavia, in Act 2 Scene 5, she asks "for what good turn?" and he, in his nervousness, responds with a completely inappropriate bawdy joke of

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

    Even using the insect imagery it is a very derogatory way of talking about superiors. It belittles Caesars power. Enobarbus reacts quickly when hearing the news of Lepidus' impending execution by saying, 'World, thou hast a pair of chaps, no more' this image of destruction, dissolution and annihilation portrays Enobarbus

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

    Because Shakespeare has presented Cleopatra becoming a bit apprehensive of the situation she is in, the audience are kept intrigued as to what will occur next. When Cleopatra is her usual ambiguous self, as said before, she can sometimes be quite predictable, but in this situation, the audience are now left to assume what might happen next.

  1. In the play "Antony and Cleopatra", the character of Cleopatra is one of many ...

    To some extent this is not an accurate perception of Cleopatra's personality because Enobarbus is under the influence of the Egyptian delights and enjoyments but it does not mean that he is not telling the truth about Cleo. Enobarbus' speech is followed by a less lyrical and exotic description of Cleopatra.

  2. In the play Antony and Cleopatra, the character of Cleopatra is one of many ...

    "To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool" This paradox of fire and water (glow and cool), portrays that, is this the reality of Cleopatra? , Or is it just an imaginative perception of Cleopatra. Is this the infinite variety Enobarbus is talking about, to some extent this is

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