Antony and Cleopatra

Authors Avatar
How does Cleopatra present her 'infinite variety'?

In the play 'Antony and Cleopatra' Shakespeare has made Cleopatra be seen as having infinite variety. She can present herself in many different ways with her being a queen with royalty, a mother, a lover to Antony and also a true friend. She can be a warm hearted mother and wife but she can also become a hardened warrior when it comes to battle.

Throughout the play Cleopatra has a changeable nature; this is shown when she is talking to the messenger. She takes out her anger on the messenger because she is frightened that Antony might leave her. This shows the cruel, violent side of her and uses insults and threats towards the messenger.

'Horrible villain, or I'll spurn

thine eyes like balls before me'

The fact that she would rather the messenger lied to her so she could still be happy than know the truth, shows a lot about her character, with it showing her immense love for Antony.

Should I lie, madam?

O, I would thou didst,

So half my Egypt were submerged and made

A cistern for scaled snakes!

By then she shows regret for taking her rage and anger out on the messenger, this showing that she has changes in moods suddenly, without warning.

'A meaner than myself; since I myself

Have given myself the cause'

This quotation shows how she changes character easily whilst speaking to Charmian. It also shows her angry, vindictive side not just when it comes to talking to messengers, but even to those most important to her, such as Antony. Also the fact that she uses not only verbal abuse, but physical force, too show how powerful she can be, a side of her which we see again later in the play when in battle.
Join now!

(Cleo as a general)

Through her love for Antony she tries to control him and to do this, she behaves in whatever way necessary. The fact that she pretends to have an illness to gain his attention shows a lot about her character.

'I am sick and sullen'

She is willing to go to any lengths to get Antony back. Also with her in the end also faking her own death just to get Antony's attention this also shows what extremes she is prepared to go to and also it shows her immense love for ...

This is a preview of the whole essay