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Remind yourself of Act 3: Scene 2, in which Antony and Octavia take leave of Caesar. Write a detailed exploration on the scene paying particular attention to the dramatic function of Enobarbus and Agrippa and also the words of Caesar, Antony and Octavia.

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Introduction

Antony and Cleopatra essay 2: Remind yourself of Act 3: Scene 2, in which Antony and Octavia take leave of Caesar. Write a detailed exploration on the scene paying particular attention to the dramatic function of Enobarbus and Agrippa and also the words of Caesar, Antony and Octavia. When we look at Act 3: Scene 2, we can see that it is in an important and prominent place in the play. It is a continuation from the drunken scene on Pompey's boat and here, we see the characters in a very different view: sober and distressed. The scene starts with lesser characters, as it does in many of the scenes in this play. This is a common convention of Shakespeare's to prepare us for the entrance of the more important characters and to give us a different view. To understand this use more, I will study the text in more detail. The beginning is very different to the main part of this scene. We see, which is usual from Shakespeare, Enobarbus and Agrippa: the lesser characters. They start the scene in a high-spirited tone and humorous tone. They are conversing about the members of the triumvirate, particularly Lepidus. These two characters think that Lepidus is the weakest member of the triumvirate, and that he only takes the orders of Antony and Caesar, instead of proposing his own ideas: " 'Tis a noble Lepidus." ...read more.

Middle

When we look at Octavia we can see that she is as before: very timid and shy. As always she does not say much, but we can still explore the meaning of this scene through her words. This scene has been put at this part of the play for different meaning and Octavia may be one of them. In the last scene in which she was present: Act 2: Scene 3 we saw how loyal she was to both Caesar and Antony. Shakespeare has put her in this scene, to remind the audience of her and her comparison with Cleopatra, who is in the next scene, and how much more flamboyant and confident she is. When Caesar begins his farewell, Octavia breaks down in tears: "My noble brother!" We can see that she is a weak character. Our thoughts of her timid character are supported when she whispers to Caesar instead of speaking to him. The audience may become more agitated with her because of this, which is a clever device of Shakespeare because Cleopatra is in the next scene, and we are supposed to favour her over Octavia. Antony then supports our view of her being shy as he compares her to a feather: "That stands upon the swell at full tide," This shows her as brittle and weak, as we already know. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare has put this scene at this part in the play to show the relationship between the two members of the triumvirate. Further on in this play this may be of some relevance, as we already know that Cleopatra used to be married to Julius Caesar, and as Antony was so close to him there may be some friction later in the play. In the next scene we see Cleopatra questioning the Messenger about Octavia's looks: "Guess at her years, I prithee." Act 3: Scene 2 is a link to this as we have just seen Octavia on stage, so this scene will be humorous and Octavia's appearance will be clear in our heads. As we can see Shakespeare has used lesser characters and main characters to create different tones in this scene: from mocking and humorous to a sombre and distressing tone. He has also used the main characters words to develop their characters more as we have seen more emotion from Caesar and Octavia. Finally when we look at the place of this scene in the play, we can see that Shakespeare has cleverly placed it here to show us a sombre mood after the drunken scene on Pompey's boat and how situations have gone back to normal and everything is not perfect. After this scene we see Cleopatra, so this scene has reminded us of Octavia and how much more boring and unattractive she is compared to the queen of Egypt. ...read more.

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