Aisleen Ward L6COT (final essay) Essentially Antony and Cleopatra is a story of power politics; its theme is not love but empire. Empire is clearly an important theme in Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra'. Love is also a key theme within the play, and, perhaps, an even more central theme than empire. Yet, interestingly, the distinction between the two themes is not as absolute as it may at first appear. The Romans are absorbed in Empire. Scenes involving Rome and Romans are generally shorter and of a much quicker pace. This reflects the Roman's preoccupation with business and action and their disinterest in much else. These scenes are frequent to emphasise the influence that empire has upon the play. In addition, the word 'world' is mentioned approximately 45 times. The triumvirate, '[s]enators alone of this great world', control the world. The frequency of the word's use emphasises the greatness of the Roman Empire and its importance to the play. Furthermore, important plot developments stem from issues central to the Roman Empire: the competition for power, and the constant vying for control. Love, too, is a central theme. Its importance is borne out through the title of the play, 'Antony and Cleopatra'. Moreover, the ending of the play focuses on the pair and their downfall. The audience sees Cleopatra's sensuous and gallant suicide, her means to 'meet Mark
What Do You Consider To Be the Function Enorbarbus Has In Act I and Act II? Enorbarbus is Antony's lieutenant and friend and Shakespeare continually develops Enorbarbus' character, role and functions within the plot throughout the first two acts. This cynically acclaimed character is one of the most remarkable in the play and contributes to the drama in many ways. From the very first time the audience sees Enorbarbus we can sense that one of his purposes to the play is that he is very sympathetic and supportive to his friend Antony. In Act I Scene 2 when Antony confesses he wished he had never met Cleopatra; "I must from this enchanting queen break off". Instead of going along with what he said Enorbarbus suggests that if that did happen then Antony would have missed "wonderful piece of work". Enorbarbus shows another service to the play, which is faithfulness, and comradeship that helps to show the kindness of his friend in the course of this action. Enorbarbus obviously does not agree with his fellow Roman comrades, Demetrius and Philo in the opening scene, where they call Cleopatra a "gypsy". When Antony says Cleopatra is "cunning past man's thought" it is Enorbarbus that comes in and objects mentioning; "Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love". In this discussion and the others in the first two acts Enorbarbus plays the role of a part
Cleopatra is not at a disadvantage in a male dominated world. To what extent do you think Shakespeare elevates Cleopatra over the other characters in the play. Cleopatra is Shakespeare's greatest invention; a masterpiece full of colour and vitality. All of Shakespeare's female characters provide vivid contrast to Cleopatra. Juliet, the young naïve girl and Lady Macbeth the powerful figure, are no match for the engaging and intoxicating Cleopatra. Juliet and Lady Macbeth seem to affect little control over their destiny but Cleopatra clearly asserts power over her own fate. She is so much the consummate actress that it is extremely difficult to define her true personality from the façade she adopts. She is a dominant and sensual character who is as ever-changing as the Nile running through Egypt. No single incident in the play could encapsulate Cleopatra's 'infinite variety.' Cleopatra personifies the elusiveness- the enigma which generates desire. In her, Shakespeare presents 'the mystery of woman, sensuality and the exploration of the hidden energies of life.' Instead of being thwarted by her gender, Cleopatra uses her femininity to dominate not only other females, but also male protagonists. We are first introduced to Cleopatra at the beginning of the play through two Roman soldiers as they derogatory label her a 'gypsy' and a 'strumpet.' Cleopatra is felt to
Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Rome and Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra As the title clearly suggests, Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra is based around the extraordinary relationship among two distinctive individuals, one a Roman general and the other an Egyptian queen. Along with Caesar who is also a Roman general, these entities dominate the play's tragic storyline progression. However whilst Antony and Cleopatra centres around a provocative love affair, Shakespeare makes it evident that there is a good deal larger tensions involved, a collision course between two worlds. Antony and Cleopatra details the conflict between Rome and Egypt, it demonstrates the differences between Eastern and Western cultures, however it does not make a clear statement over which culture ultimately triumphs. In the play the Western and Eastern cultures of the world are symbolised by those who reside in them. Caesar for example, personifies the strict and unbending duty of the West. While Cleopatra, in all her pretentious magnificence, embodies the graceful passions of the East. Caesar's anxieties right through the play are undoubtedly imposing: he means to occupy foreign lands in order to endow them with traditions of his own. But the play opposes siding with this imposing impulse. The Roman perceptiveness of Cleopatra and her kingdom seems very shallow. To Caesar Cleopatra is a
'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
Rossetti's poetry has been described as "both controlled and passionate". Making clear what you understand by the terms discuss which of these two views you have more sympathy with and why. Refer closely to atleast three of the set poems. Christina Rossetti poetry uses concise structures but through these she expresses immense emotion; in this respect her poetry can accurately described as "both controlled and passionate" yet the two words are almost a paradox as passion is frequently seen to be at odds with controlled tight structures. Other poets have also followed in Rossetti's footsteps by combining tight structured poetic forms with emotion e.g. Dylan Thomas. L.E.L is a prime example of Rossetti's technique; it combines a complex structure with a very emotive outcry. The structure is very precise with each verse not only rhyming within itself, in an A, B, A, B, C, C, C pattern, but also within pairs of stanzas containing a pattern between them on the 5th to 8th lines. The 2nd and fourth lines provide visually rhyming lines throughout the poem connecting each verse although when the poem is read aloud the lines do not rhyme verbally. Rossetti also plays with structures in the poem, beginning with an elegiac stanza form ("a Quatrain of four iambic pentameters rhyming A, B, A, B" - Pears Cyclopaedia) before diversifying into her own version ending with C, C, C. The elegiac
Antony and Cleopatra - Act one scene one in structure and imagery is a microcosm of the play - Examine this scene in detail assessing what clues there are about the future.
Chloë Morris Antony and Cleopatra English Literature Act one scene one in structure and imagery is a microcosm of the play. Examine this scene in detail assessing what clues there are about the future. Act one scene one of 'Antony and Cleopatra' is a microcosm of the whole play, it miniaturises the fundamental themes from the play and sets the atmosphere and tone for the rest of the play. It gives a general idea of the characters personalities, their relationship with each other and possible future plots. The first scene is opened by Philo, a fellow Roman soldier and colleague of Antony's, the fact that he begins the whole play criticising Cleopatra and her country creates a bias view of her before she has even entered the scene. This is true of the whole play and even the scenes set in Egypt are greatly influenced by Roman perspective, as is the way Cleopatra is portrayed to the audience casting aspersions about the relationship which is being represented as doomed from the start. Antony's dilemma is constantly nagging in the back of his mind and he is continually reminded of his predicament by the invariable intrusion from his roman contemporaries, this is evident in this first scene and right the way through the play. The language used by Philo describes Rome and Egypt very contrastingly again generating a negative reflection of Egypt. "And is become the bellows
In Peter Shaffer's Equus, A psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, is conducting an investigation on Alan Strang.
In Peter Shaffer's Equus, A psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, is conducting an investigation on Alan Strang. He is learning, through his investigation of Alan's horrific crime, about what it really means to make someone "normal" and what a psychiatrist really does. It is the job of Dysart to find the motive of Alan's actions, but he is not prepared for what he learns. After meeting Alan, Dysart has a dream. This dream is of a ritual sacrifice in Greece. Dysart's passion lies in Greece. He has always wanted to believe in something greater than himself. He wants to be connected to a greater power and meaning. As he tells Hester on page 82, "The finicky, critical husband looking through is art books on mythical Greece. What worship has he ever known? Real worship! Without worship you shrink, it's as simple as that...I shrank my own life." He is criticizing himself on not trying to achieve that dream of passion he has always had. In this dream he plays the high chief in the ritual. He is the most important person in the ritual, signifying a psychiatrist. Slicing open children and ripping out their intestines. This signifies taking out what makes a person unique. This dream personifies what psychiatry is, its fitting everyone into one mold, taking out their originality and destroying their passion. The next day he starts his investigation of Alan. Trying to piece
How does Shakespeare present the characters of Anthony and Cleopatra in act oneand how does he convey the contrasting worlds and values of Egypt and Rome?
Emma Dwyer Pg 1 5/7/2007 How does Shakespeare present the characters of Anthony and Cleopatra in act one and how does he convey the contrasting worlds and values of Egypt and Rome? The opulent backdrop of the palace at Alexandria provides Shakespeare, his readers and characters with the perfect scene with which to introduce a romance. For a romance it most certainly is, however at this junction it is apparent that all is not as blissful as it should be. The Roman Mark Anthony we understand to be the archetypal macho hero. Comparisons with the Greek God of war Mars are purposeful. After all he is '...the greatest solider of the world'. Certainly he comes across as the strength but also well mannered, quite the gentleman. At times he can be stern, direct; one imagines he doesn't suffer fools gladly, this is apparent during the second scene a he momentarily looses his patience with the messenger whose thankless task is to inform Anthony of his wife's death, 'Speak to me at home, mince not the general tongue'. He is too much in love with Cleopatra and it seems consistently thrives to assure her of his feelings and impress on her his intentions. Shakespeare constantly invites comparison and contrast between Egypt and Rome .The Roman world seems to look with disapproval
Carel Alé Comp Lit 4BW Catherine McGraw Spring 2006 Final Paper: Antony and Cleopatra The Demise of Fraternal Bond Though Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra is undeniably seen as the story of the romantic relationship between these two lovers, it is only through Antony's relationship with Caesar that the most accurate portrayal of events is made clear. As rulers triumvirate of Rome, Caesar and Antony possess a relationship that is not only unique in the world but extraordinary in its implications. Their individual successes and failures are tied to the other's thus creating an intense and seemingly unbreakable bond. It is not until Antony and Cleopatra meet that the weakness of the relationship between the two Roman rulers is evident. The failed relationship between Antony and Caesar demonstrates the futility of Antony's struggle against the fated demise of his rule at the hands of Cleopatra's affection and brings with it a mournful acceptance of human limitations. Antony's inability to adequately prioritize his obligations causes him to neglect his relationship with Caesar in spite of the fact that his true place and most valuable responsibility is in Rome. Being one of the three rulers of Rome bestows upon Antony a very unique task with grave global implications and yet, when he is in Egypt, Antony unashamedly disregards his greater commitment to this