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GCSE: Antony & Cleopatra

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  1. 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.

    • Word count: 986
  2. 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
  3. 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...

    • Word count: 618
  4. The Character of Enorbarbus

    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.

    • Word count: 858
  5. What is the significance of Act four scene eight?

    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.

    • Word count: 852
  6. It is said of Enobarbus that he understands everyone but himself. Do you agree?

    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.

    • Word count: 941
  7. What is the Role Of Enobarbus In This Play?

    Obviously not just anybody would be able to get away with saying something like that to his leader. This also means that Antony trusts Enobarbus's judgement although he doesn't always listen to what he has to say. It seems that one of the main purposes of Enobarbus in the play is to exaggerate the lives and relationship of Antony and Cleopatra. The 'barge speech' in scene 2 in Act 2 is perhaps one of the most famous speeches in all Shakespeare plays and is deservedly so.

    • Word count: 724
  8. Antony and Cleopatra Scene summary Act 3.

    As a result this present scene prepares the audience for her meeting with her brother in act 3 scene 6, it shows the rift between Antony and Caesar starting to develop rapidly, much more rapidly than in historical fact. Enobarbuses prediction at the end of act 2 scene 6 is now proving correct. Act 3 scene 5 Location Alexandria Several historical events are compressed into the scene including Caesars dismissal of Lepidus from the triumvirate, and the murder of Pompey lines 18-19.

    • Word count: 611
  9. In Shakespeare's tragedy/history/Roman play Antony and Cleopatra, we are told the story of two passionate and power-hungry lovers.

    In reply to this Enobarbus speaks very freely of his view of Cleopatra, even if what he says is very positive: ...her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if it be she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove. (I, ii, 147-152) After Antony reveals that he has just heard news of his wife's death, we are once again offered an example of Enobarbus' freedom to

    • Word count: 885
  10. The struggle in Antony's mind.

    We are introduced to the problems Antony endorses in his love life where due to Fulvia rebelling against Caesar he is frightened that Cleopatra may "rail him in Fulvia's phrase." Upon hearing of his wife's death, his true thoughts on fulvia is revealed, again expressing a fickle opinion on her death, he "wished" this "great spirit gone" but now "desires to "pluck her back.." The tugging in his mind is further reinforced by the roman thoughts he has towards Cleopatra.

    • Word count: 537
  11. How is Cleopatra's infinite variety' reflected in the language that she uses? In your answer, you should include detailed references to at least two passages from the play.

    This brings a sense of dramatic irony to the play, as the audience is aware of Cleopatra' love for Antony may be too intense. Cleopatra waits to hear the news about Antony from the messenger; she uses metaphorical language to make it clear to the messenger that he should not bring bad news. 'Thou shoulds't come like a fury crown'd with snakes, not like a formal man'. This is a sign that she can be easily angered, the metaphor she uses illustrates that she may be ready for bad news as she knows Antony has been away in Rome away on business.

    • Word count: 882
  12. To what purpose did Shakespeare create Enobarbus?

    This cannot be cunning in her; if it be she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.' Another example of his ability to speak freely is when Antony receives the news of Fulvias death Enobarbus tells Antony to 'give the gods a thankful sacrifice' in other words he is saying Fulvia's death is a good thing. Obviously, someone would never say something like this unless they were very close to one another.

    • Word count: 541
  13. What is Lost and what is Gained by Antony in the Play

    for taking away one of their greatest leaders and generals. They think of Cleopatra merely as a whore with a flair for drama (In the first scene Philo, who symbolically represents the Romans, calls Cleopatra a "Strumpet"). But to view Cleopatra in such a way would be wrong because this is only how the Romans portray her to be. The play is also based upon the ideas of politics, such as when Caesar's sister, Octavia marries Antony so that Caesar and Antony would return to good terms again. It would also show the Roman public that Antony had forgotten about his love affair with Cleopatra and had returned to Rome for good.

    • Word count: 766

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