"In 'Antony and Cleopatra', Shakespeare is particularly interested in the psychological burdens that those in positions of power must endure". Examine the different representations of leadership in the play.
"In 'Antony and Cleopatra', Shakespeare is particularly interested in the psychological burdens that those in positions of power must endure". Examine the different representations of leadership in the play. As is often true of the study of history in general, the people who dominate Shakespeare's historical plays are those in positions of power and authority. This is simply because such people will be the ones to effect history in the most significant way. In 'Antony and Cleopatra' we see several different leadership figures, who show all of the range of burdens, strains and qualities that those in positions of power can have (such as Antony himself, Cleopatra, Caesar, Lepidus and Pompey). In terms of leadership, Classical Renaissance ideas can be very helpful when trying to approach Antony and Cleopatra for the first time. The traditional idea of heroism and leadership was summed up in the quality known as 'virtus', which describes the characteristics of a virile nature, military strength, and old ideas of chivalry and honour. Renaissance artists such as Machiavelli in 'The Prince', modified this to emphasise calm ruthlessness and intellectual power. As we shall see, these two opposing views of what a leader should be (the traditional and renaissance ideals) are reflected in the struggle between Antony and Caesar. Antony, representing the old 'virus' values, is defeated and
Analyse the way that Shakespeare uses language to compare roles of Enobarbus and Charmian and the ways they behave with their principles From Shakespeare's use of language it is very easy to become enthralled by the lives of these characters. They are all individuals yet they are also couples, Cleopatra and Antony, Charmian and Cleopatra, Enobarbus and Antony. They all have their own unique relationships which are different but often the same in many respects. With all of them it is easy to see their loyalty but also their deceit, for example when Antony marries Octavia, Cleopatra finds it very hard to believe and she feels betrayed and upset as she makes clear to Charmian on page 73 lines 120-1 'pity me, Charmian, but do not speak to me'. Antony is a well respected and well known general who fought alongside the late Julius Caesar in some of the best planned battles known to man, even today, and because of this Antony is generally spoken to with respect by most people. It is clear he is well respected and sought after when even Caesar admits he is in need of Antony's help on page 51 line 95-6 when Caesar claims he asked Antony 'to lend me arms and aid when I required them, the which you both denied' this shows how powerful Antony has become when the Emperor of Rome asks him for his help. He and Cleopatra are lovers, but it would seem that there are very few who
Laura Malcolmson 2LS An exploration of Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra In the play, Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare presents Rome and Egypt to be very contrasting areas, showing how dissimilar the two places are, such as culture and lifestyle. Although Shakespeare portrays the cultures to be very different he also shows some similarities between the two societies, such as the influence the opposing vicinities hold over people and how the cultures can manipulate people's beliefs and views. Egypt is portrayed as being Epicurean, meaning they enjoy the finer things in life. The Epicurean lifestyle also shows how the Egyptians are relaxed and relatively carefree and how they are passionate about food, drink and luxuries. Rome, on the other hand, is revealed as being stoic, meaning they are authoritative, demanding and respectful. They are willing to fight for land, power and respect. When Antony was in Egypt, he was influenced to adapt to the Egyptian lifestyle. I feel this shows how persuasive and influential Egypt and Cleopatra is. It is obvious that Antony has changed from his stoic lifestyle and adapted into the epicurean way of life, at the opening of the play when Philo speaks "Take but good note, and you shall see him the triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpets fool." From looking at what Philo is saying it think
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
English Prep Antony and Cleopatra Question: What do we learn about Antony and Cleopatra and their relationship from this opening scene? Answer: This scene presents the readers with a brief preface to the universally known love story of Antony, the 'triple power of this world', and Cleopatra, his 'wrangling strumpet'. The scene opens with two Romans, Philo and Demetrius, discussing the incredible power Cleopatra has over Antony and the remarkable change they can perceive in Antony's character. Through Philo's opening speech we are told that Antony's former qualities included those of a strong-minded ruler and a valiant warrior, including physical prowess and military skill. However, the Romans now see him as a changed man who is no longer behaving like a ruler; instead of fulfilling the duties of a leader and returning to Rome, he is being ruled by a "tawny gypsy". Thus, before meeting the lovers themselves, we are presented with the Roman attitude towards the relationship; responsibility and allegiance has been abandoned for love. We sense that Antony must be debating in his mind whether to pursue his passion or perform his duty, and those around him are anxiously waiting for him to embrace his role as a leader again and return to his former self. On observing the interaction between the two characters, I found myself accepting Philo's objections to the relationship
Antony and Cleopatra - How has Shakespeare presented the three main characters to us by the end of Act 2?
Antony and Cleopatra essay: How has Shakespeare presented the three main characters to us by the end of Act 2? When we look at Antony, Cleopatra and Caesar, we immediately see that they are completely different characters. Our first impressions of Antony are a laid-back, relaxed man, who is obsessed with Cleopatra, as any man would be. We see Cleopatra as a queen, who has power over anyone she wants to. She is also very flamboyant. Caesar, meanwhile, seems not the type of person to rule a third of the Roman Empire, as he is too young, but as the play progresses, we see a different side to him, as a more ruling and powerful man. To understand these characters more, I will study the text in more detail. When we first see Antony, in Act 1: Scene1, we get the impression that he is devoted to Cleopatra and he is a loyal lover to her, but not to his wife: Fulvia: "There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd." (line15) Shakespeare has presented him to us in this way because then later on in the play, when we see him as a politician, the audience will see that Antony can be more than the tranquil, carefree leader he is supposed to be. Philo tells us that Antony is a great soldier, but because of Cleopatra, he is not interested in the Roman world anymore. He used to be like the military hero: Mars. We also hear that he does not respect Caesar as greatly as he should. All this
Caesar is portrayed as the real hero of the play whereas Antony is seen as weak. Throughout the play we are given many references to how much more power Caesar has than Antony. Caesar can be portrayed as the stronger of the two. The entire play, the audience perceive Antony as weak. This is because he is supposed to be seen as a very manly, strong and independent man. The play actually converts this image, he is being bossed around by his mistress and seems so love struck that he is actually unable to function correctly. Rome is a very powerful and political city, they are a very dominant city and when they see their leader being dragged around by a woman, this causes them to loose some of the dignity they had for him. This ultimately leads Antony to be the weaker character of he and Caesar, as Caesar does not get involved with such nonsense. In Act 2, Scene 2, there are many revelations of Antony as a character. He admits that he couldn't control his wife and this is revealed in lines 61-69. In the times that this play was set in, this is unacceptable, men control their wives and the fact that Antony cannot do this means that he is weak. More revelations occur when in lines 97-100 he actually admits he's weak. Furthermore, in Act 2, Scene 2, He has to apologise to Caesar as his wife and brother are plotting war against him. This shows that Caesar is the stronger force of
OPPOSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra is aptly named, not just because the play centers around these two characters, but also because it encompasses the play's fixation on the lovers' oppositional relationship. On the surface level, Antony embodies the Roman ideals of a good, noble man, while Cleopatra represents the hyper-sexualized, dangerous Eastern woman. However, upon further examination both Antony and Cleopatra display complicated internal conflicts that effectively reverse these polar positions repeatedly throughout the play. In this way, the opposition between Antony and Cleopatra that exists on a simple, interpersonal level is echoed by more complicated, internal conflicts within each of these characters on a deeper, more individual level. The tension between the title characters creates the love that draws them together at the same time as it drives them further apart, thus establishing yet another layer of antagonistic relationships within the play. The importance of these oppositional relationships is underlined most starkly in Act II.2. In particular Enobarbus' speech describing Cleopatra's beauty functions as one of the greatest statements of the play's conflicting themes. This speech reflects the antagonistic nature of the play's central relationships through the invocation of equivalent antagonistic
Within Act 2, Scene 3, Antony encounters the Soothsayer, who was previously in Act 1, Scene 2. Within the second Act, the Soothsayer says a number of things which highlights the fate of Antony. The Soothsayer also gives expression to Antony's thoughts and feelings. The Soothsayer gives Antony an excuse for him to return to Egypt and Cleopatra and maybe the verbalisation of Antony's fate as described by the Soothsayer, gives Antony a god enough reason for him to return to Egypt. The significance of this encounter with the Soothsayer is that Antony is a Roman, but to consult a Soothsayer seems to be a typically Egyptian thing to do. This type of fortune reading is seen as nothing but nonsense by Romans and always dismissed as superstition. This becomes particularly apparent in Act 1, Scene 2, when Enobarbus shows what he thinks of the Soothsayer and fortune reading, when he says: "Mine, and most of our fortunes tonight, shall be - drunk to bed." This shows that Enobarbus is not taking the Soothsayer seriously, and Enobarbus believes that people's lives are not mapped out and there is no way of predicting what is going to happen. This is the general view of fortune reading by the Roman people, however, Antony takes a great interest in what the Soothsayer has to say and he takes the advice he receives very seriously. Firstly, Antony asks the Soothsayer if he would rather be
Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare Essay 2 Question: Discuss the presentation and dynamics of the triumvirate. In Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, the presentation and development of the relationships among the triumvirs, Caesar, Antony and Lepidus becomes a pivotal concern. As the play progresses, the dynamics of the triumvirate changes and becomes more complicated, providing the audience with the main political conflict that sometimes overshadows the romance of the title characters in the play. Shakespeare provides the audience with several different images of the triumvirate through different characters. The play's first mentioning of the triumvirate is, in essence, a masculine Roman perspective of a soldier. This is brought about through Philo and Demetrius in the opening act of the play with both the characters remaining anonymous to the audience. Therefore, they represent the 'common liar' among the Roman soldiers about the triumvirate. Philo's first introduction of the triumvirate to the audience comes in his opening speech, 'the triple pillar of the world'. The word 'pillar' which literally means a firm upright support for a superstructure or a chief supporter is indicative of the strength and force of the political union between Caesar, Antony and Lepidus. Later in Act II Scene VII, the audience is given a parallel perspective of the triumvirate. The