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How does Shakespeare present the action in Act three?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the action in Act three? The point of Act three Scene one is to show the audience the political side of Antony and Cleopatra. All of the triumvirate are worried about their reputations and this short scene suggests that they are not that generous. Shakespeare makes Scene two seem comic because Enobarbus and Agrippa mock Lepidus and say that he is Caesar and Antony's 'beetle', 'They are his shards, and he their beetle'. The way in which Shakespeare has presents Enobarbus's and Agrippa's speech, allow the audience to have a bit more background information about the main characters from a completely different, unbiased point of view. Shakespeare gets rid of Lepidus quickly and quietly. Act three Scene two is his last scene and he only speaks one line. I think Shakespeare wants to get rid of Lepidus to emphasise the action that is about to happen between Caesar and Antony and other main characters. At the end of this scene, Enobarbus begins to mock Antony. Shakespeare is making it seem as though Antony is fake and he isn't what he says he is. ...read more.

Middle

In this scene, Antony ascends the thrown with Cleopatra and Octavia is yet to find out from Caesar. This scene proves how quickly things are taking place in this play. During the last two scenes, the subject has been about Antony and his progression in the war and then, in this scene, Shakespeare has concentrated on Caesar. Shakespeare presents Caesar clearly in this scene and he 'emerges as a commanding figure'. He very confidently acts, speaks and plans his route in the war. Act three Scene seven is the scene in which Antony decides to fight at sea although he is much weaker than Caesar at sea. Antonys generals tell him that 'no disgrace will fall on him' for refusing Caesars offer of fighting at sea. But Antony refuses because he says Caesar has in a way dared him to and he doesn't want to look like a wimp in front of Caesar. This scene keeps us informed of the advancing state of both sides and reveals at the end how Caesar had deceived Antony by sending small amounts of his men out at a time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare presents Caesar as being totally in control of everyone when he tells Cleopatra she must either turn Antony in to him or kill him herself. This scene also shows how un-noble Antony is because the way he treats Thidias is much like the way in which Cleopatra treated her messenger in Scene three. Shakespeare has presented them like this to reveal how similar they are to each other - they are both easily provoked and agitated when things don't go their way. Enobarbus's role in this scene 'mirrors his larger role in the whole of the play'. He is present for the entire scene and judges the characters for the audience. Shakespeare confidently places Enobarbus at the end of Act three to tell the audience how he feels about Antony. The audience throughout this act will have gradually been building up their thoughts on Antony as Shakespeare has presented him in many different ways and so by placing Enobarbus at the very end of the Act (just before more events begin to happen) the audiences mind can be made up for them. 28/04/2007 Katie Messmer ...read more.

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