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?
JOSHUA GRAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2005 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
Explore the ways Shakespeare presents the concept of authority in Antony and Cleopatra
Explore the ways Shakespeare presents the concept of authority in Antony and Cleopatra The play's main characters are two of the most powerful people in the world, Antony being a member of the triumvirate, a coalition controlling the majority of the globe, and Cleopatra the Queen of Egypt, a feisty lady with a strong will who in the past has been linked with many other world leaders, a point which is often referred to throughout the play; "Cleopatra: Did I, Charmian, / Ever love Caesar so?". Due to their status, the authority they hold and the power they have over people is clearly going to be a main theme as it affects many of their actions, decisions and feelings as the play progresses, to great consequence. There are a number of strong characters all trying to gain the upper hand at every opportunity. This is shown even in petty matters such as who gives in and sits down first in the falsely courteous power exchange between Antony and Caesar on Antony's visit to Rome in Act 2, Scene 2. Caesar: Welcome to Rome. Antony: Thank you. Caesar: Sit. Antony: Sit, sir. Caesar: Nay then. [Caesar sits, then Antony] This is comic moment from Shakespeare, but it does also outline the ongoing power struggle within the triumvirate. The scene can be looked at from two angles: it could be argued that, as it is Antony who wins this small exchange, the event aims to highlight the
'Cleopatra is often interpreted as the designing woman who brings down a worthy soldier and ruler, but this view is simplistic.' How do you, in the 21st century, respond to Shakespeare's dramatic presentation of Cleopatra?
'Cleopatra is often interpreted as the designing woman who brings down a worthy soldier and ruler, but this view is simplistic.' How do you, in the 21st century, respond to Shakespeare's dramatic presentation of Cleopatra? Cleopatra can only be described as 'designing' when her character is examined on an entirely superficial level. Beyond the obvious fluctuations in mood and volatile behaviour she exhibits throughout the play, there lies an intensely vulnerable and accessible woman, more so than ever to a modern audience. She is, in a sense, a woman well ahead of her times, both that of the Imperial Roman Empire and that of James I in which she was originally portrayed. Her volatility, particularly in the early stages of the play, is easily misconstrued as a Machiavellian tendency to manipulate for the satisfaction of her own whims. On first experience of the play, her request of Antony to 'tell me how much' he loves her seems foolish, even embarrassing, a public taunting of an important man. However, on subsequent re-examination, when the depth of her feeling for Antony (particularly in her anguish at his death) has been demonstrated, her 'taunting' gains another dimension. This question is more than trivial to her, however she might behave; she needs his reassurance. She is desperate to cling on to Antony's love, incredibly sensitive when it is threatened. Her first
Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'
Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in the play 'Antony and Cleopatra' 'A woman of infinite variety'. This may be a very accurate portrayal of Cleopatra in my opinion. Cleopatra is a very interesting character in Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra'. She is presented in many ways; she is a great lover yet childish within her actions. Her actions are a reflection of her personality and shows how her character develops throughout the play. She goes from childish to suffering her consequences of this. The presentation of Cleopatra contributes to the play's audiences and the things she does are a reflection of her love for Antony. Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra helps to make her a credible character and helps audience to relate to her actions taken. An aspect of Cleopatra's presentation is when she is with and without Antony. It is noticeable how her actions change, with the juxtaposition of scenes where she is in Egypt without Antony. Without him, we see her as a woman in love. She spends hours wondering where her beloved Antony is and what is he doing. She often ponders if he is thinking of her. She is infatuated with him. She can't bear to be apart from him. This is shown in act 1 scene 5 when Cleopatra asks to drink 'mandragora'. This is a type of sleeping drug. She is effectively saying that she can't bear to be parted from her lover so she might as
Read the following extract from Act 1 scene 2. In what ways does this passage show the conflict of Rome and Egypt?
AS English Literature - Section A - 'Read the following extract from Act 1 scene 2. In what ways does this passage show the conflict of Rome and Egypt?' - Throughout Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra, location plays an important role in the development of the play. It is one of few plays to have such a frequent interchange between locations and at the heart of this are the two contrasting worlds of Egypt and Rome. The two countries seem to differ completely to each other and this is reflected by the different attitudes of their respective people. Act 1 scene 2 is a pivotal scene in the play as the ladies-in-waiting of Cleopatra's court have their fortunes told by a soothsayer, this turns out to foreshadow the later events of the play. The passage is one of the most accurate at showing the substantial differences between the people and life of Rome and Egypt. It begins with the soothsayer telling the fortune of Charmian and Iras however, the two joke about the predictions and it is in this part that Shakespeare instils the passage full of sexual innuendo between the women to show the nature of the Egyptian women. Shakespeare's famous wit with wordplay is seen clearly as Charmian hints at the sexual meaning behind the word 'inch' while Iras clearly confirms both their intentions with the statement that were she to have an extra inch it would 'Not [go] in my husband's nose'.
'Ruthless leader....loving brother....boring Puritan....gracious victor.' Explore the way in which Shakespeare presents the character of Octavius Caesar in 'Antony
'Ruthless leader....loving brother....boring Puritan....gracious victor.' Explore the way in which Shakespeare presents the character of Octavius Caesar in 'Antony and Cleopatra' Shakespeare portrays Octavius Caesar as a very complex character in 'Antony and Cleopatra.' Shakespeare shows the audience how he has very strong feelings about War, leadership, the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, and his sister Octavia. These attitudes can be seen as being too rational, too ambitious, and too efficient. However it is these characteristics which in some ways, form the particular contrast with Antony, which shows us his complex character, which also contributes to the conflicts which arise in the play. Shakespeare is very clever in the portrayal of Caesar; he uses Caesar as a foil for Antony, however he is a character in his own right. Shakespeare shows Caesar to be, what you could say, a contradiction. The audience see how Caesar respects Antony's soldier-ship yet still fights him; they see how he clearly loves his sister, but uses her unscrupulously as a political device; and they are shown how he is very rational and dull, yet he surprisingly tells his soldiers, as well as some Egyptians about how he would parade the defeated Cleopatra. He wants to do this because he feels that 'her life in Rome would be eternal in our triumph.' This shows the reader how Caesar has