'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary'. Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use.

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'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary'

Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use

In act 1 scene 1, Philo begins by complaining to Demetrius that Cleopatra has transformed Antony from a great general to a whore's fool. The scene is based on the true love affair and the romance between the two characters. However there is an ambiguous nature to the passage, as we are not given a clear indication of Cleopatra's feelings, whether she is angry or whether it is all light hearted. The scene begins with Antony and Cleopatra entering, with great drama as Cleopatra has Eunuchs fanning her and attending her every need. Cleopatra is pushing Antony to describe how much he loves her and this shows her power and demand for the declaration of Antony's love.

'If it be love indeed, tell me how much.'

Antony however is calmer and softer in his language. He uses natural imagery by comparing his love for her to the 'new heaven, new earth.' This shows that Cleopatra is more dramatic and that Anthony is more poetic in his choice of language. A messenger then comes from Octavius, but Antony, clearly annoyed, commands the messenger to be brief.

'Grates me! The sum'

This short sharp sentence expresses Antony's anger but it also portrays the language of Rome, which is confident and direct. By saying 'The sum' we can see that he is not interested in Roman problems as he is too engrossed in Cleopatra and this love affair. Cleopatra, partly mocking, partly serious, chides Antony and tells him to hear the message. But in the end Antony refuses to hear the message. Cleopatra speaks with sarcasm and has a mocking tone but it can be seen that there is a clear serious undertone to that mannerisms of her speech. Though mocking of Antony's Roman duties, she does in fact encourage him to hear the message. However her purposes for doing so are not entirely clear: she may be using reverse psychology on her lover, and her arguments have a hint of irony within them.
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'You must not stay here longer,-your dismission

Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony.-

Where's Fulvia's process?-Caesar's I would say?-Both?'

'When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.-The messengers!'

Cleopatra often associates herself with her country and is proud in doing so. She exclaims that 'I am Egypt's queen' thus showing her dominating character with the use of the word 'queen'. Antony dramatically responds with, 'Here is my space' in order to recapitulate his feelings towards her. The possessive pronoun, 'my' emphasises his connection to both Cleopatra but also Egypt. This presents the idea that his love ...

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