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

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Introduction

In Shakespeare's tragedy/history/Roman play Antony and Cleopatra, we are told the story of two passionate and power-hungry lovers. In the first two Acts of the play we are introduced to some of the problems and dilemmas facing the couple (such as the fact that they are entwined in an adulterous relationship, and that both of them are forced to show their devotion to Caesar). Along with being introduced to Antony and Cleopatra's strange love affair, we are introduced to some interesting secondary characters. One of these characters is Enobarbus. Enobarbus is a high-ranking soldier in Antony's army who it seems is very close to his commander. We know this by the way Enobarbus is permitted to speak freely (at least in private) with Antony, and often is used as a person to whom Antony confides in. We see Antony confiding in Enobarbus in Act I, Scene ii, as Antony explains how Cleopatra is "cunning past man's thought" (I.ii.146). ...read more.

Middle

Which he does so well in the following statements: When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus. (II.ii.188-189) The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver, (II.ii.193-197) And, for his ordinary, pays his heart For what his eyes eat only. (II.ii.227-228) Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety.... (II.ii.237-238) In these passages, Enobarbus turns Antony's and Cleopatra's meeting into a fairy tale and leads the audience into believing the two are inseparable. His speeches in Act II are absolutely vital to the play in that this is what Shakespeare wants the audience to view Antony and Cleopatra. Also, in these passages, Cleopatra is described as irresistible and beautiful beyond belief-another view that is necessary for us to believe in order to buy the fact that a man with so much to lose would be willing to risk it all in order to win her love. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evidence of this comes in Enobarbus' affinity for drunkenness. In both Act I and Act II Enobarbus purports the joys of drink: Bring in the banquet quickly: wine enough Cleopatra's health to drink. (I.ii.13-24) Mine, and most of our fortunes, tonight, shall be-drunk to bed. (I.ii.47-48) He even caps off Act II with a song for Bacchus and a request for drunken celebration. In short, Enobarbus is used as any good secondary character should be; he relays information between characters, exposes other characters and their traits, gives background information, and lets the audience in on his surroundings and the general moods and beliefs of the times he lived in. He is not just used as a database however, through his speeches and his actions we find a fully developed person, someone with thoughts, motives, and feelings all his own-a character who can't be summed up in just a few sentences. ...read more.

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