Analysis of scene one - Antony and Cleopatra
ANLYSIS OF SCENE ONE : ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Scene One. Cleopatra's palace, in Alexandria. Philo complains to Demetrius that Cleopatra has transformed Antony from a great general to a whore's fool. Antony and Cleopatra enter, with Cleopatra pushing Antony to describe how much he loves her. A messenger comes from Octavius, but Antony, clearly annoyed, commands the messenger to be brief. Cleopatra, partly mocking, partly serious, chides Antony and tells him to hear the message. But in the end Antony refuses to hear the message, and he and Cleopatra set out for a night in the city. Philo and Demetrius do not approve. Scene Two. Cleopatra's palace, in Alexandria. The servants of Cleopatra's court ask a soothsayer to predict their futures. The soothsayer seems to start out well, telling Charmian that she will outlive her mistress, but then he warns that the days to come will be worse than the days past. When the soothsayer insinuates that Charmian's loose, she's had enough. The soothsayer tells Iras that her fortune will be like Charmian's. Cleopatra enters looking for Antony, and the man himself enters shortly after. Cleopatra takes off with a huff, taking her servants with her. Antony hears the messenger: his wife, Fulvia, and his brother have united in a war against Caesar, and have been driven from Italy. The other news is worse: Rome's most powerful adversaries, the
Essentially Antony and Cleopatra is a story of power politics; its theme is not love but empire.
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
Shakespear's Anthony and Cleopatra.
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
Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra
Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Cleopatra in 'Antony and Cleopatra' Shakespeare cleverly dupes the audience into something of a pre-disposed opinion of Cleopatra before we have even met her, based on the conversation in the opening scene between Philo and Demetrius. Philo, addressing his fellow Roman soldier, denounces Antony's love for Cleopatra, regarding it as nothing more than a demeaning infatuation with a lustful harlot which is tarnishing their general's former greatness. Philo's opinion that Antony's 'dotage o'erflows the measure', i.e. that his infatuation is out of control in its abundance, causes the audience to make an early judgement of their relationship before the couple have even come on stage. It should be noted that Philo's opinion, as a Roman soldier, is likely to be rather biased, because to Romans duty to the Empire came way before duty to one's lover. The matter of Roman and, by contrast, Egyptian values and attitudes is an important theme of the play, especially in acts 1 and 2. Philo's use of the word 'gipsy' with reference to Cleopatra is perhaps the most revealing of all about the Roman view of Cleopatra in this short passage. Gipsies were widely thought to have come from Egypt and had a reputation for cunning, fortune-telling and loose behaviour, and certainly shows she was hardly held in wide regard by Philo, and by representation
Do you agree that this is essentially how Shakespeare presents the opposition between East and West in 'Antony and Cleopatra?'
Shakespeare used as his source for the play North's translation of Plutarch's 'Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans.' Plutarch, along with other Greek and Roman authors, saw an opposition between the conquering West, standing for moral and political virtue, and the conquered East, representing luxury and decadence. Do you agree that this is essentially how Shakespeare presents the opposition between East and West in 'Antony and Cleopatra?' 'Rome' and 'Egypt' have significance far beyond physical locations; they symbolize two oppositional value systems essential within both society and the psyche. The world of 'Antony and Cleopatra' is riddled with polarised opposites, such as civilisation and nature, public and private, and, perhaps most importantly, passion and honour. The inability of the East and West to reconcile their values inevitably causes conflict, forcing Antony, the tragic protagonist, to choose between the spheres. In suicide, he transcends the limitations the world thrusts upon him; joined later by Cleopatra, who finally discovers the significance of Western values, in a triumphant death. The notion of either sphere having moral superiority to the other is moot; Shakespeare passes no concrete judgement, and no simple platitude of 'good and evil' could suffice to explain the complex behaviour of the principal characters. Neither Egypt nor Rome seems to be
Antony was a strong leader in Rome; he met Cleopatra after his friend Julius Caesar was murdered.
Antony was a strong leader in Rome; he met Cleopatra after his friend Julius Caesar was murdered. Cleopatra was suspected of killing Julius, as she was his lover. Antony helped her escape from Rome. After Julius' death Antony became the second triumvirate along with Lepidus and Octavius Caesar who was Julius Caesers adopted son. At this time he was stereotypical of a Roman head figure according to Shakespeares contrast between Egypt and Rome. Whilst in Egypt he begins to pick up certain Egyptian traits such as indulging himself in an excess of physical pleasures and begins to speak in the languorous tones of Egypt. Cleopatra was a powerful queen; both her and Antony were strong figures at this time. Cleopatra is the representation of Egypt. She is warm and passionate. Both Antony and Cleopatra want power and they saw their relationship as a way to enhance their reputation. She is very insecure and manipulates Antony forcing him to prove his love for her. She wishes to build up a great empire much like Alexander the Great's. The two worlds are extremely different. Rome is cruel, hard and direct whereas Egypt is exotic, luxurious and feminine which is a good way to describe Antony's loss of power. The introduction of the play is a speech from Philo which explains about Antony's past and he was a captain of war. "his captain's heart, which in the scuffles of a
Explore the presentation and effects of love in Antony and Cleopatra.
Jonathan Azah A-level English-Unit 2 Shakespeare Explore the presentation and effects of love in Antony and Cleopatra Antony and Cleopatra is Shakespeare's peculiarly fluid and intimate historical retelling of the love tale of the Roman soldier, Mark Antony, and the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. The male protagonist, Antony, is a noble Roman soldier. That being so Shakespeare introduces him as having many cultural personality traits which in this play are affected, alongside with his judgement, by the love he feels for Cleopatra. From the outset of the play, the audience can see that Antony's judgment has been affected by love. This can be observed from the people in Antony's company. While it is obvious they regard him as a powerful figure they also disapprove of his relationship with Cleopatra. The audience can see this from Philo's description of Antony's "dotage" that "O'erflows the measure" (1, 1, 2)1. This shows that his obsession with Cleopatra surpasses a sensible level. Philo says that Antony's heart has "become the bellows and the fan/ To cool a gypsy's lust". (1, 1, 7-10)2 This shows that some of his former greatness has gone as he has been degraded to serving, what others see as a "gypsy". In addition to this the word "gypsy" also reinforces the Romans disapproval of their relationship as "gypsy" would give the audience connotations of a promiscuous woman.
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
Explain How Shakespeare Uses Language In ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ To Depict the Two Main Protagonists.
Explain how Shakespeare uses language in 'Antony and Cleopatra' to depict the two main protagonists. The epic love affair of Antony and Cleopatra is a great and powerful love shared by two people at the height of their fame and glory. Plutarch's 'Life of Antonius' is the principal source, and Shakespeare has blended this factual evidence together with fiction and drama to create a play that is strikingly different from many of his other works, especially in terms of theme, structure and the impressive and most descriptive language used. Plutarch wrote in the first century AD, probably not more than a hundred years after the death of Antony, but soon enough to hear personal experiences from his great grandfather about the battle of Actium, and from even his grandfather about Antony's generous entertaining in Alexandria. He was a Greek philosopher, and so his sympathies ran more towards his fellow countrymen than the Roman subjects of his detailed studies. Shakespeare, distilling North's version at the time when his creative skills were at their height, was able to use both the language and the stories exactly to suit his intentions. In many cases he remains remarkably faithful to the original, for example in the famous speech by Enobarbus praising Cleopatra (II.2.193), but he sometimes left out unfavourable comments and expanded the material, adding his own events in
How does Shakespeare explore the relationship between man and woman in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’? Examine how both a Jacobean audience and a contemporary audience would respond to these relationships
How does Shakespeare explore the relationship between man and woman in 'Antony and Cleopatra'? Examine how both a Jacobean audience and a contemporary audience would respond to these relationships The interesting thing about the play 'Antony and Cleopatra' is that it touches on issues that are as relevant now as they were in Jacobean times. The issues of forbidden love, of honour and privilege, of the right to give everything up for the one you love. Modern films pull in thousands of pounds at the box office dealing with these subjects, many of which are pathetically inferior to Shakespeare's play. They fail to inject his passion, his intensity or his wit and yet Shakespeare is much overlooked today. Keeping this in mind, I intend to examine how the relationship between the two sexes is explored by Shakespeare and how he makes the play vigorous and enthralling by manipulating this relationship. Also I hope to discover how relevant 'Antony and Cleopatra' is to the modern audience and how, if it is somewhat shocking and ground-breaking in today's society, must it have been received in Jacobean times. The basic relationship between man and woman in the play is, of course, the affair of Antony and Cleopatra. This is rightly so, for none of the other dalliances between the sexes are as varied and complex as theirs. In one