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

How does Shakespeare present the idea of Cleopatra as a powerful character?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hannah Greenslade English Coursework Jan2004 How does Shakespeare present the idea of Cleopatra as a powerful character? The essential part of Cleopatra's motivation is towards Antony. She also needs to be the most powerful person in their relationship, for example when they first met, she insisted "it should be better he became her guest" (2.2.231). She likes to have the final say in things and maintain control over him, such as near the beginning of the play when she makes him listen to the messenger, "hear them, Antony" (1.1.20) One of her largest statements of power over him is when he follows her when she flees the sea battle. This shows her need to have power over him as a woman and in their personal relationship rather than as the Queen of Egypt with a need for power over Rome; her and Antony are fighting on the same side. ...read more.

Middle

She appears desperate for power over him and always has a backup plan in case he fails to comply. Shakespeare illustrates this throughout the play, but one of the scenes where it is most noticeable is at the very start, - Act1, Scene3. Antony is breaking the news to Cleopatra that he has to leave Egypt and return to Rome, she uses many different approaches to try to change his mind. Whilst keeping Antony in the dark, Shakespeare reveals a lot about Cleopatra's character to the audience, meaning they can follow her manipulation of Antony and have an insight into her tactics and motives. At the start of the scene, Cleopatra is anxious to know why Antony is not with her and instructs Charmian to "see where he is, who's with him, what he does" (1.3.3). This is an insight into her need for control over Antony. ...read more.

Conclusion

(1.3.4-6) In doing this, Cleopatra is showing that although she wants Antony to worry about her Cleopatra has power over other people in their love for her. She is a strong, beautiful woman, who uses her beauty to her advantage. Enobarbus' description of the barge scene is a good example of how enrapturing she can be. The scene was constructed for Antony, but the fact that even level-headed Enobarbus was caught up in it shows the extent of this power that she has over people. The language used in this scene is very powerful, made even more so by the fact that it is recounted by Enobarbus. There is a lot of sensory language used, such as "to the tune of flutes" (2.2.205) and "flower-soft hands" (2.2.220). This emphasis on the sensuousness of the scene helps the audience to understand the way Cleopatra captivates her audiences. ...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 the love between antony and cleopatra throughout shakespeares play

    pack'd cards with Caesar, and false-play'd my glory unto an enemies triumph?' However once he learns the news of Cleopatra's apparent death he appears distraught, 'the sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep the battery from my heart' and concludes that the only way to stay with his love is to

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

    says, "Let him that loves me, strike me dead" When Antony is then brought dying to the foot of the monument we are reminded of how Antony is viewed in the eyes of Cleopatra, as she wants the world to go into mourning for Antony when she says, "Darkling stand

  1. How, in your opinion, does Shakespeare use language throughout the play to present Cleopatra's

    As Antony prepares for his second battle with Caesar in Act 4 Scene 4 he refers to Cleopatra as "my chuck" and "Dame" which are colloquial terms of address. This makes Cleopatra and her relationship with Antony seem very typical as he is using the same everyday language as normal people.

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

    she is being unreasonable: we continue to wish that their relationship would resume the blissful quality it had at the start of the play. Her reaction to Antony's behaviour at Fulvia's death is an example of her melodramatic and self-absorbed nature, and acts as evidence for Enobarbus's comment of "I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment".

  1. Antony And Cleopatra

    To cement the alliance and 'loyalty' to Rome the marriage to Octavia is raised. "Thou hast a sister by the mother's side, admired Octavia,"... "To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts with an unslipping knot, take Antony Octavia to his wife; whose

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

    of control, it is this power over nature that really pushes Cleopatra's mythical status. The comparison of a mermaid, a lustful and lascivious image whom can lure any men, to Cleopatra illustrates Cleopatra's supernatural power over men, however Enobarbus comments that it is not only men who are attracted to

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

    Please, do not circulate this writing elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned. Charmian's opinion of the opposite sex is in great comparison to Cleopatra's, (1.3.9) 'In each thing, give him way, cross him in nothing', meaning give him everything he wants and let him have his space.

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

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

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