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

It is said of Enobarbus that he understands everyone but himself. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


It is said of Enobarbus that he understands everyone but himself. Do you agree? Enobarbus, Antony's most loyal supporter, is worldly and cynical; Enobarbus is friendly with the subordinates of both Pompey and Caesar, yet stays faithful to his master even after Antony makes grave political and military missteps. The fact that he is worldly and cynical could mean that he is quick to criticise and speak about others but what does Enobarbus know about himself? Being Antony's most loyal supporter Enobarbus shows not resistance or fear to be able to speak freely, mainly in private, with Antony, and often is used as a person to whom Antony confides in. This is demonstrated in Act I, Scene ii, as Antony explains how Cleopatra is "cunning past man's thought" (I.ii.146). In reply to this Enobarbus speaks very freely of his view of Cleopatra describing that '...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. ...read more.


(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.') 'Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety....' (II.ii.237-238) In these above quotations, Enobarbus turns Antony's and Cleopatra's encounter into a fairy tale and leads the audience into believing the two are inseparable. The speeches which he makes in Act II are extremely important to the play in that this is how Shakespeare wants the audience to view Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra is described in the quotations by Enobarbus highly attractive. Enobarbus may be saying this because he is aware and understands that Antony has so much to loose by having her. Again this shows that Enobarbus has a vast understanding of the relationship between the two Characters. He seems to have been included in the play by Shakespeare as somewhat of a story telling character as he frequently is informing the audience about the two characters as well as others. ...read more.


(III.ii.18-19) this again is showing that Enobarbus understands about Lepidus's feelings towards Antony. Above we can see that Enobarbus has a very good and clear understanding about the characters of Antony, Cleopatra and Lepidus. However to what extent does he understand himself? Towards the start of this essay I examined how he looked at the Cleopatra. He used a variety of flowery language which was highly roman romantic such as 'her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love.' To come up with such vivid descriptions of Cleopatra could imply something that Enobarbus is not aware of. It could imply that he is in love with Cleopatra and he may not be aware of this but the language that he uses in describing her certainly suggests that this could be a possibility. All in all, based on the quotations found in the play, I believe the statement: 'It has been said of Enobarbus that he understands everyone but himself' to be true. He certainly knows in depth about the relationship of Antony and Cleopatra and he also knows about Lepidus as well, but he still seems to lack knowledge about himself. ?? ?? ?? ?? Louis Redman 08/05/2007 ...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 Shakespeare's presentation of EITHER Cleopatra OR Antony in Act three Scene thirteen. How ...

    characters but more like normal human beings, proving it to be an enticing play. 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. Explore the love between antony and cleopatra throughout shakespeares play

    displayed as a trophy, her pride won't allow that to happen, hence her suicide. Whilst preparing for her death she tells Charmian 'go fetch my best attires; - I am again for Cydnas to meet Mark Antony'.

  1. Enobarbus describes Cleopatra as 'a wonderful piece of work' How far would you agree ...

    Cleopatra nature seems to be cautious and presumptuous as soon as the messenger enters. She assumes immediately that news about Antony concerns his death. 'Antonio's dead, if thou say so,villain' She bids that if he is alive then there is gold for the messenger.

  2. How does Shakespeare make the audience aware of Cleopatra's 'infinite variety' in the opening ...

    Enobarbus replies saying that Cleopatra should accept no blame and it was all Antony's fault, 'Antony only that would make his will Lord of reason. What though you fled from that Great War, whose several ranges frightened each other, why should he follow?'

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

    Shapiro defines the effect in this way: "The play does not end with Antony's death, and so the audience cannot quite accept Antony's image of himself because the meaning of Antony's death hinges upon Cleopatra's response to it". Antony marries Octavia, thus bringing in another woman between Cleopatra and himself

  2. An examination of Shakespeare's treatment towards suicide between Antony, Cleopatra and Enobarbus

    For Caesar, the death of Antony and Cleopatra changes his attitudes and this is made apparent in the last speech which is carried out by Caesar himself. As he delivers his speech, it seems as though he is now different.

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

    Cleopatra asks "did I, Charmian, ever love Caesar so?" and Charmian, rather than responding, mocks Cleopatra's previous exclamations of, "O, that brave Caesar!" and "the valiant Caesar!", later saying, "I sing but after you". This is all done in good humour, and neither woman thinks to be offended.

  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

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