Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one.In your opinion which one of the characters is portrayed in a more positive light?

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Compare and contest the differing perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one.

In your opinion which one of the characters is portrayed in a more positive light?

Act one of Anthony and Cleopatra deals immediately with the different personalities of Anthony and Cleopatra. It shows the pressure of the outside world on their relationship. By the end of the act you are left unsure as to who is the more treacherous, who is more loving and are given different perspectives of Anthony and Cleopatra. At a quick glance over the act the reader would automatically point the finger at Cleopatra as being the more sinister of the two. However, with a more in depth look it would appear that this is not the case, and we are left challenged as to whom is seem in a more positive light.

Anthony and Cleopatra was written in 1607 during a time of great change in Western Europe. Christian and Pagan world views interacted with each other in rich and often paradoxical ways and signs of that complicated interaction are present in many of Shakespeare works and is clearly evident in Anthony and Cleopatra.

Anthony and Cleopatra is sometimes classified as a tragedy, however, because of it's uniqueness it is difficult to categorize. Many place it with the Roman plays, Julius Caesar and Cariallunis, all three use Plucharch's view of the noble Grecians and Romans as their primary source and all three have concerns steeped in historical and political queries. Shakespeare may also have taken inspiration from Robert Games tragedy 'Marc Antoine', Shakespeare with the famous classical treatment of the clash between love and Roman duty in his mind. The poet Virgil wrote, the aenid, which is a Latin epic poem. The poem tells the story of the hero Aneas, whose mission it is to lead the Trojans to a God-given district in Italy. On being shipwrecked of the African coast he meets Dido, queen of Cartage, and falls in love with her and has to be reminded of his mission. He then does the Roman thing and leaves for Italy to find the city Latium, which is to become the parent city of Rome itself. It is easy to see how Shakespeare has consumed information from all the different sources to write Cleopatra, and this enables us to have an insight as to why things happen.
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The first three scenes of act one all takes place in Queen Cleopatra's palace in Alexandria. Promptly establishing the conflict between duty and passion, ambition and pleasure, Rome and Egypt. The complexity of Cleopatra's character manifests itself, her incredible emotional vicissitudes, her theatricalllity, her manipulative streak and her genuine passion for Anthony. We are immediately greeted with a less than kind impression of Cleopatra when Philo and Elemetrius have a conversation where they imply that she is a whore "gipsys lust" In Shakespeare's time this connotated sorcery, treachery and cheap trickery. However their view is simple and straight ...

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The writer has made many valid points about the two characters in Act 1, though there is some doubt about whether secondary sources have been quoted without being acknowledged. This, together with the misspelling of names, misquotations and inaccurate grammar, means that only *** can be awarded.