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GCSE: Antony & Cleopatra
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'Let Rome in Tiber melt' shows Antony declaring that his love is so strong that he is prepared to ignore Caesar's demands and his roman duties in order to stay with her. This declaration of his love creates an image to the audience that Antony is actually in love with her. A further example of his understanding of his roman duties can be seen later on when he announces 'these strong Egyptian fetters I must break or lose myself in dotage' and then again later when speaking to Enobarbus he says 'I must from this enchanting queen break off'.
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Consequently Enobarbus is of great importance as Shakespeare fashioned the character as a means of relaying information to the audience that would otherwise be difficult or awkward to bring forth from other characters - Cleopatra's beauty. The picture of Cleopatra that emerges is not unlike the Roman view expressed by Pompey before the meeting, however, it is presented sympathetically and the fact that it comes from Enobarbus, who usually speaks plainly and in prose rather than verse, adds to its power and effect, 'The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne Burned on the water'.
- Word count: 1560
How does Shakespeare use language to convey Enobarbus's wonder at Cleopatra nd her effect on the environment and Antony ?
Her "triumphant" demeanour appears to have captivated Antony even before they had met and Enobarbus conveys that wonder through his vivid language. Through Enobarbus Shakespeare conveys to the audience that she is a regal and powerful woman, "The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, burn'd on the water . . . purple the sails." The sight of luxury and royalty would have had an amorous effect on the poor people of Egypt as they were not used to seeing such things.
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The Greek historian Mestrius Plutarchus views Cleopatra as a purely negative influence over Antony and this view is displayed in some of his workings. "...if any spark of goodness or hope of rising were left in him, Cleopatra quenched it straight and made it worse than before" "Cleopatra has brought him beside himself by her charms and amorous poisons" This point is reinforced by Shakespeare by the way he represents her as manipulative, in scenes where Antony is not there we can see how her mind process works and her thinking behind her actions.
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However Enobarbus replies that he will "entreat him / To answer like himself." Here we are met with the opposition of authority within the Romans. Lepidus' opening speech shows that he is, indeed, a meek, mild- mannered man who attempts to please and offend no one. He tells the other Triumvirs, "That which combined us was most great, and let not / A leaner action rend us,"... "for I earnestly beseech, touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms, nor curstness grow to the matter." Throughout this scene Lepidus is shown to have the least lines, in the opening of this scene Enobarbus has more lines than Lepidus which tell us as an audience of the structure of the play.
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An exploration of the way in which Shakespeare presents the character of Enobarbus and his role in 'Antony and Cleopatra'. Domitius Enobarbus is a significant character throughout the play
It is his refusal to participate in political posturing that leads to his comments about the union to defeat Pompey. 'If you borrow one others love for the instant, you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again. You shall have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.' There is a cynical change in Enobarbus' tone of voice, which shows his contempt of the situation that he is in. His understands the political posturing of the two leaders and tries to explain that it will only prevent their split for a short while.
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Discuss the 'variety' of Cleopatra, and how successfully Shakespeare presents the contribution, which this makes to the dramatic impact of the play.
Significantly, her first words are "If it be love indeed, tell me how much." She needs reassurance from her lover quite often and we can see that this is an indication of her emotional insecurity. She likes to banter with and tease Antony. Fascinated, the General often responds well to these flirtatious games and values the variety of her unpredictable moods. Of these, he says: "To chide, to laugh, to weep - whose every passion fully drives To make itself in thee, fair and admired."
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How Shakespeare presents the character of Cleopatra in" Anthony and Cleopatra" The play of "Anthony and Cleopatra" is that of one many tragedies
Enobarbus's speech is riddled with examples of hyperbole, exaggeration and paradoxes. Shakespeare uses these literary tools to present Cleopatra's beauty in an unearthly manner. The whole scene has a very seductive and subtly erotic effect and the description is very sensually based. Cleopatra is imagined as " o'erpicturing that Venus where we see/ the fancy outwork nature."2.2/207-208 As mentioned in Enobarbus's speech. There is nature, in the sense of naturally beautiful women we know and acknowledge in the real world and everyday life. Then there is art, through which the imagination of the artist is able to iron out the "imperfections" of nature.
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and "Well, is it, is it?" Enobarbus seems to be the only character in the play that has the courage to criticise Cleopatra. He doesn't give into her, but persists in arguing. This was also demonstrated earlier in the play were Enobarbus spoke out in the forum towards Caesar. Enobarbus tells Cleopatra that "your presence needs must puzzle Antony/Take from his heart, take from his brain, from's time/What should not then be spared." But again Cleopatra doesn't listen. By having Cleopatra ignore Enobarbus' advice, Shakespeare shows the increasing frustration within the character and this is building up to a point were he can no longer bear the frustration and must leave Antony.
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"Antony seems totally dominated by Cleopatra, and as such loses any sympathy or respect we have for him in the play"
Antony asks them to finish the job, but the guards cannot bring themselves to do it. The god Hercules may have been said to have left him, but antonym is still a god to them, and they are not worthy to strike down upon such a figure. Decretas, once a follower of Antony wants to become a traitor and take Antony's sword, to show to Caesar. In doing so, symbolically, he would be taking much more. Antony's greatness, manhood and soldiership are always linked to this sword in some way throughout the play, and so in taking it from his side, he would ultimately be destroying everything that Antony has left.
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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
When the Triumvirate exit a conversation emerges between Enobarbus and Agrippa, two loyal followers of Antony and Caesar. Enobarbus tells Agrippa of the life they lived in Egypt and describes the first meeting of Antony and Cleopatra. He says that she "pursed up his heart", which is a reference to her power, as "pursed" suggests that she was in control, seducing him. As he describes the boat she was in on the day they met, Enobarbus' language gives connotations of wealth and extremity. He portrays the boat as a "burnish'd throne", that "the poop was beaten gold" and "the oars were silver".
- Word count: 715
Explore Shakespeare's presentation of EITHER Cleopatra OR Antony in Act three Scene thirteen. How typical is their presentation here of the rest of the play?The presentation of Cleopatra in Act three Scene thirteen
Here, Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra highlights her unique female qualities in a way that represents women throughout the play and Cleopatra as an individual. I believe this works well because the other main characters in this play are males and so are in contrast to the stereotypical female behaviour.cocc ccr seccccw orcc cck incc focc cc. Cleopatra's persistency is shown when she answers Antony back instantly demanding the truth. Again she is shown as 'playing certain games'. Perhaps she is required to act like this toward Antony to declare herself in the male-dominated situation in which the play is set.
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Enobarbus's famous speech clearly shows an admiring opinion of Cleopatra from a Roman perspective. He begins by intensely describing 'the barge she sat in' had 'burned on the water
Enobarbus's famous speech clearly shows an admiring opinion of Cleopatra from a Roman perspective. He begins by intensely describing 'the barge she sat in' had 'burned on the water.' This cosmic imagery of the barge reveals to us that it was so captivating it overrides the known fact that water extinguishes fire; Enobarbus is exclaiming that the burning barge is so powerful it reverses the role of the elements. I think this could also symbolise Cleopatra's personality. The elements are also perceived to be in awe of Cleopatra as well as 'her people', and clearly Enobarbus; 'the winds were lovesick' 'the water which they beat...
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In the play "Antony and Cleopatra", the character of Cleopatra is one of many dimensions and she can be seen a person of complex diversity.
But she deserves this famous tribute from Enobarbus for many reasons. "Her infinite variety" Firstly, in Act 2:Scene 2 sees Enobarbus talking openly to Agrippa and Maecenas about Cleopatra's wild and wonderful ways. He describes in intricate detail "The barge in which she sat in, like a burnished throne" and 'Whistling to th'air, which, for vacancy, had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature'. This portrays her queen-like status and beauty and it is easy to see why Antony falls in love with her. Is the exotic perception of Cleopatra made my Enobarbus a realistic one?
- Word count: 1998
In the play Antony and Cleopatra, the character of Cleopatra is one of many dimensions and be seen a person of complex diversity. Her personality is mainly about taking life as one big celebration most of her time in Egypt. Cleopatra loves the richness of
Firstly Act 2:Scene 2 sees Enobarbus talking openly to Agrippa and Maecenas about Cleopatra's wild and wonderful ways. He describes in intricate detail the barge she sailed to the harbour in and how even the air would gaze upon her if it could. 'Whistling to th'air, which, for vacancy, /had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,/ And made a gap in nature'. This portrays her queen-like status and beauty and it is easy to see why Antony falls in love with her. Is the romantic perception of Cleopatra made my Enobarbus a realistic one? You hardly ever see her being romantic so therefore Enobarbus' perception of Cleopatra may not be an accurate perception of Cleopatra.
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In their conversations at the beginning and in his role throughout, Enobarbus seems to represent an ordinary reflection of something in Antony himself, as in a mirror. His humour in response to the announcement of Fulvia's death, anticipate the jovial side of Antony that will manifest itself in the galley scene. Before the triumvirs meet, the diplomatic Lepidus tries to persuade Enobarbus to keep Antony calm. Enobarbus however refuses saying that he much prefers that Antony should speak his mind.
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There is use of hyperbole here when Antony says, "the shirt of Nessus is upon me" (4.12.43). He sees parallels between himself and Hercules, destroyed by Cleopatra as Hercules was by Deianira. This shows Antony's high opinion of himself and his status As a woman she loses out in love to Octavia. The point in which Antony first leaves her is when the audience sees the first signs of Cleopatra's love for him. She calls for narcotics to "sleep out this great gap of time/ My Antony is away."(1.5.5) Cleopatra believes that she has more power than she actually possesses.
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In the prior scenes we see rapid and decisive changes in his fortunes. In the war "Actium" Anthony loses to Caesar and is therefore lost his confidence and is no longer the great general he once was. His loss can't just be a result of a poor army many of his own failings cause his downfall in battle like his "passion" for Cleopatra. His allies desertion has a profound impact on Anthony whose left at a low ebb. However there's consolation for Anthony as Enobarbus commits suicide as a result of his treachery.
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How does Shakespeare make the audience aware of Cleopatra's 'infinite variety' in the opening act and maintain this impression throughout the play?
An attendant enters with a message from Rome. Antony asks for a quick summary but Cleopatra says, 'Nay, hear them, Antony: Fuliva, perchance, is angry; or, who knows if the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent his powerful mandate to you, 'do this, or this; take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that; perform't, or else we damn thee.' Here Cleopatra is being sarcastic, she is telling Antony to listen because it may be that Fulvia - his wife - is angry or it might be a message from Caesar telling him to do some thing.
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I believe this is of further importance to Cleopatra's presentation because Antony's death is of great significance and what is said will have more of an impact on the audience. Shakespeare also shows Cleopatra as a queen in her own death scene. Cleopatra desires to die in royal clothing when in Act 5 Scene 2 she commands "Give me my robe; put on my crown". Without any action on stage the language alone is enough to create an image of Cleopatra looking very regal.
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Evaluate his taints and honours, thus enabling us to draw our own conclusions about the character of Antony.
Military prowess, stern leadership, stability of purpose, self-restraint, and by these standards Antony is degrading himself. In Philo's speech we have the first of which L.C Knights calls 'different and apparently irreconcilable evaluations of the central experience'. Moments later we see the 'central experience' for ourselves. In forty lines Shakespeare evokes most of the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship through the strong language used by Antony, when he speaks of his love for Cleopatra when he says, "the nobleness of life is to do thus", thus suggesting that their relationship is more than just a sordid affair.
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However, against all odds he manages to defeat Caesar and "beat him back to his camp". Anthony here uses very monosyllabic language, which reflects on newfound unity of self. This is a moment of triumph and glory for Anthony it is also a high point for the audience. Although this is supposed to be Anthony's big moment, he is supposed to bask in glory, his first thoughts are of Cleopatra "Let the queen know of our gests". He wants to let his "Queen" know of his achievements so that she is not to worry.
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Compare and contrast Shakespeare and North's version of the first meeting between Anthony and Cleopatra.
Shakespeare uses alliteration to add rhythm; this was done deliberately and sounds more poetic this way. It adds to the flow, "barge she sat in like a banished throne, burned on the water". The word throne suggests majesty. In North's version he fails to make use of alliteration thus taking away the flow and rhythm that is seen in Shakespeare's version. Shakespeare's language here creates bright burning colours, which are designed to stand out like Cleopatra. Shakespeare uses the metaphor "Burned on water" creating a paradox combining two elements that are completely the opposite from one and other.
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This cannot be cunning in her; if it be she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.' (I, ii, 147-152). This quotation, spoken by Enobarbus, is showing that he has no fear in talking about people who are considerably more superior to himself. It is also showing that he not only has a rough understanding of Cleopatra but a detailed one, as he understands her to be a passionate lover of extreme beauty. Enobarbus may not be recognised as a key character in the play, in terms of importance compared to some of the others, especially in the early scenes.
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Enobarbus describes Cleopatra as 'a wonderful piece of work' How far would you agree with this view? In your answer you should include detail and reference to the language and action of at least two passages.
Her approach to men is infamous and as we can already see that she has a very toying approach. Her relationship with Antony has something of the feeling of a game to it. She seeks to play him in a way that will keep him hers, and although she decries falseness in a man, sees nothing wrong with keeping Antony on his toes with a few placed lies. She likes to play games rather than the direct approach Charmain would encourage.
- Word count: 2663