Analyse Shakespeares presentation of the characters of Antony and Cleopatra in Act 1.

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Analyse Shakespeare’s presentation of the characters of Antony and Cleopatra in Act 1.

Shakespeare presents the characters of Antony and Cleopatra as being passionate, intricate and multifaceted but climactically deeply charming and appealing.  Antony can be seen as being incredibly masculine, a great ruler and extremely powerful.  Cleopatra can be seen as being impulsive, alluring and bewitching.

Antony was a great Roman ruler and is part of the Triumvirate with Octavius Caesar and Lepidus, the joint rulers of the Roman world.  Philo in Scene 1 describes that Antony used to be a “triple pillar” this can connote imagery of strength and power, things Antony used to be.  Philo goes on to say that Antony is not just a fool, he is Cleopatra’s fool and that he in fact belongs to her suggesting that his pleasure is entirety in Egypt.  Antony does realise the importance of his duties in Rome but these realisations do not come very often, in Scene 2 Antony is reminded of his Roman duties when told that Fulvia is dead and that Pompey is a threat to Rome.

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Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt and a Jacobean audience would have related to her in several ways.  Cleopatra in the play is unmarried and this could help the Jacobean audience to communicate with as their past monarch Queen Elizabeth I was an unmarried queen.  Cleopatra can be related to Queen Elizabeth I again when Charmian tells her in Scene 3 that she would be a submissive woman.  In Jacobean times and Egyptian times woman were meant to be submissive and Cleopatra is clearly not as is Queen Elizabeth as they both were very powerful rulers.

The relationship between Antony ...

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