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GCSE: Antony & Cleopatra
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Consider the variety and range of Enobarbus' dramatic contribution to the play 'Antony and Cleopatra'.
Shakespeare shows Enobarbus to be more respected through juxtaposition. He juxtaposes an area of speech where Antony is rash and rude to a messenger with a part where he is seeking advice from Enobarbus. This is a dramatic contrast and therefore allows us to see, very clearly how much Enobarbus means to Antony. "well, what worst?" Antony snaps at the messenger, in this small line all the words begin with 'W' this means that Shakespeare did this deliberately. The alliteration used here feels very impersonal, rash and heated , this is very different to the relaxed poetry Antony uses in this next discussion with Enobarbus.
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Obviously not just anybody would be able to get away with saying something like that to his leader. This also means that Antony trusts Enobarbus's judgement although he doesn't always listen to what he has to say. It seems that one of the main purposes of Enobarbus in the play is to exaggerate the lives and relationship of Antony and Cleopatra. The 'barge speech' in scene 2 in Act 2 is perhaps one of the most famous speeches in all Shakespeare plays and is deservedly so.
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Discuss the Ways Shakespeare Presents the Differences Between Rome and Egypt in 'Antony and Cleopatra'.
'Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears belong to Egypt.' Rome is presented as strict, hierarchical and hostile. Romans are ordered, and political. It is a very masculine country which is ruled by males. The harsh characteristics of Rome are shown through one of its three triumvirs- Caesar. Caesar is the youngest triumvir and is the most powerful as he will soon be the future of Rome. 'The scarce -bearded Caesar' There is no gender equality in Rome, they do not value females, they are seen as inferior to males which adds to the negative image we are given on Rome.
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"The Triple Pillar of the World Transformed into a Strumpet's Fool." Is this an accurate view of Antony?
In addition to this, Antony surrenders to Cleopatra: "Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch of the ranged empire fall!" Antony is defeated by Cleopatra, which demonstrates him as weak, and clearly expresses no intentions of returning to his duty, and therefore encourages the audience to see him as a "strumpet's fool". As Antony is a frequent source of conversation, different character's opinions of him become apparent and are influential to the audience. For example, Scarus refers to him as a "Noble ruin" that "claps on his sea wing, and like a doting mallard, leaving the fight in
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As a result this present scene prepares the audience for her meeting with her brother in act 3 scene 6, it shows the rift between Antony and Caesar starting to develop rapidly, much more rapidly than in historical fact. Enobarbuses prediction at the end of act 2 scene 6 is now proving correct. Act 3 scene 5 Location Alexandria Several historical events are compressed into the scene including Caesars dismissal of Lepidus from the triumvirate, and the murder of Pompey lines 18-19.
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The power of Antony's love for soldiering even made him do the strangest of things if called upon, for example " thou didst eat strange flesh" this just goes to show how much of an effect power can take on people. We do not only find that the power of love affects just Antony and Cleopatra, it can also take a hold of the most political and serious of people. Take for example Caesar, although he appears to be a man of no feeling and he is very serious about his political position in Rome, the love he has for his sister is of great strength.
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Shakespeare is making it seem as though Antony is fake and he isn't what he says he is. Scene three concentrates on Cleopatra's messenger giving Cleopatra the description of Octavia. It is a very comic scene because the messenger was 'scared out of his wits' last time he was with Cleopatra and so this time, he tells Cleopatra everything that will make her feel happy and friendly towards him. I think Shakespeare has put this particular scene here because it breaks up the more important action between the triumvirate and Pompey. The audience find it comical and it reinforces how serious and determined the other characters are in the following scenes.
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In Shakespeare's tragedy/history/Roman play Antony and Cleopatra, we are told the story of two passionate and power-hungry lovers.
In reply to this Enobarbus speaks very freely of his view of Cleopatra, even if what he says is very positive: ...her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if it be she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove. (I, ii, 147-152) After Antony reveals that he has just heard news of his wife's death, we are once again offered an example of Enobarbus' freedom to
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Remind yourself of Act 3: Scene 2, in which Antony and Octavia take leave of Caesar. Write a detailed exploration on the scene paying particular attention to the dramatic function of Enobarbus and Agrippa and also the words of Caesar, Antony and Octavia.
They make fun of him and tell each other of how they think he would do anything for either Caesar or Antony. Shakespeare has put these characters at this place in the scene to give the audience a separate view to that of Caesar's and Antony's. Enobarbus and Agrippa continue their conversation about Lepidus and laugh and joke about him until the more important characters enter: Caesar, Antony and Octavia. Shakespeare has put Enobarbus and Agrippa at this part of the scene to prepare us for the entering of the other three characters.
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Comparative Commentary - Enobarbus' discourse in Act II Scene 2 of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" & TS. Eliot's poem "A Game of Chess"
This makes the setting and the atmosphere of the two passages key to the understanding of whom each woman is, since they are the reader's only source of information concerning her. Therefore, instead of being directly and explicitly described, each woman gradually and implicitly takes shape in the reader's mind as the details of her effects and influences on her surroundings are revealed. Language plays an extremely important role in the comparison of these two passages since, after all, it is the language, the words chosen by the poet that create the divergences and contrasts between the two women.
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We are introduced to the problems Antony endorses in his love life where due to Fulvia rebelling against Caesar he is frightened that Cleopatra may "rail him in Fulvia's phrase." Upon hearing of his wife's death, his true thoughts on fulvia is revealed, again expressing a fickle opinion on her death, he "wished" this "great spirit gone" but now "desires to "pluck her back.." The tugging in his mind is further reinforced by the roman thoughts he has towards Cleopatra.
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Cleopatra's credibility as a bewitching and paradoxical, "Royal Wench," relies heavily on Shakespeare's deliberate structure and use of language In Act 2 Scene 2?
It is also a paradoxical statement, linking to Cleopatra's paradoxical and contradictory personality. The concept that an individual can be paradoxical implies a supernatural character. A physical depiction of this paradox is shown in this quotation. Enobarbus then goes on to use a lot of colour in his speech. For example, "purple," "silver," and "gold" are all very deep, royal and rich colours, adding to her sensuality. Gold and Silver are two very precious metals, they are rare and wanted by so many. The thought of possessing these riches can become compelling, and people can become obsessed with its beauty.
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How is Cleopatra's infinite variety' reflected in the language that she uses? In your answer, you should include detailed references to at least two passages from the play.
This brings a sense of dramatic irony to the play, as the audience is aware of Cleopatra' love for Antony may be too intense. Cleopatra waits to hear the news about Antony from the messenger; she uses metaphorical language to make it clear to the messenger that he should not bring bad news. 'Thou shoulds't come like a fury crown'd with snakes, not like a formal man'. This is a sign that she can be easily angered, the metaphor she uses illustrates that she may be ready for bad news as she knows Antony has been away in Rome away on business.
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Antony however feared death. Shakespeare gives the audience the impression that he is scared of mortality. But when he hears the news that his beloved Cleopatra has apparently committed suicide he attempts suicide himself because without her in his life, he has nothing to live for. It is Eros who kills himself first after Antony asks Eros to kill him as he cannot bring himself to carry out the act. At this point Shakespeare encourages the audience to believe that Antony is going to die using the sword, but when Antony falls on Eros' sword afterwards, he fails to kill himself outright.
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What do you think about the ways in which Shakespeare presents two of his main characters in Act One?
In this opening speech Shakespeare confronts any of the audience's preconceptions of Anthony being a strong, dominant character and challenges them. Instead, he presents him as a weaker individual who has succumbed to the human basic instinct of l**t. Despite hearing from one of Anthony's officers that Anthony has become a 'strumpet's fool,' the audience remain unconvinced. They wish to see this so called 'fool' and judge him for themselves, and only then will they label him accordingly. It is through this defamiliarisation that Shakespeare creates tension and sets the audience up as a critical body for the remainder of the play.
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What do you find interesting about the way Shakespeare presents the character of either Antony or Cleopatra to an audience?
'Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say! Both!' Here Cleopatra is deliberately being sarcastic towards the orders of Antony. Humour is shown in the way that Cleopatra questions Antony's every move, because she asks, 'Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?' Cleopatra's insecurity is shown here because she feels that because Antony is married to Fulvia yet he is with her. She questions why he does not love his own wife. She feels that Antony does not love her because he does not even seem to love his own wife then how can she even think that she is loved by such a man who has no feelings for his wife.
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"Rare Egyptian" or "Foul Egyptian"? Discuss how Cleopatra is presented to us. What is the audience's final judgement on her? - Antony and Cleopatra
He describes the barge as "like a burnish'd throne", "so perfumed that the winds were love-sick with them", "the oars...which to the tune of flutes kept stroke", "cloth of gold, of tissue" and many other complimentary words. Enobarbus makes a point of mentioning, "purple the sails" - the colour purple connotes richness and grandeur. Enobarbus' use of hyperbolic language is very effective in this. This speech adds to our admiration of Cleopatra, as it is pleasing to all our senses to imagine such luxurious surroundings, and we connect Cleopatra to this emotion.
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This cannot be cunning in her; if it be she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.' Another example of his ability to speak freely is when Antony receives the news of Fulvias death Enobarbus tells Antony to 'give the gods a thankful sacrifice' in other words he is saying Fulvia's death is a good thing. Obviously, someone would never say something like this unless they were very close to one another.
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Enobarbus' actions are an important part of the plot, but his commentaries on the main characters and events are evenly important: Consider the presentation and functions of Enobarbus in the play.
What Shakespeare gives us in Enobarbus an experienced and proficient man-at-arms, tough yet entertaining! Elements of this character in place I have examined in specific and I hope to demonstrate the function and presentation of the character in the workings of the play. Presented as universal down-to-earth persona grata the stalwart veteran is an interpretive commentator in the play. Prior to Antony and Caesar's reconciliation, Shakespeare's Enobarbus explains their relationship exporting visual and audile aspects. These insights he offers produce a reaction Plutarch nor Roman art can provide; the revelation of physiognmy.
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The fact that Cleopatra is often called "Egypt", not only in reference to her political position, but also because of her love for revelling, immediately suggests that the people of Egypt must be of a similar nature to their queen. Chosen to symbolize Rome is Caesar, the inevitable opposite of Cleopatra and near equal to Antony in terms of national importance. The first time that Octavius Caesar appears in the play, he condemns Antony for his extended stay in Alexandria.
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for taking away one of their greatest leaders and generals. They think of Cleopatra merely as a w***e with a flair for drama (In the first scene Philo, who symbolically represents the Romans, calls Cleopatra a "Strumpet"). But to view Cleopatra in such a way would be wrong because this is only how the Romans portray her to be. The play is also based upon the ideas of politics, such as when Caesar's sister, Octavia marries Antony so that Caesar and Antony would return to good terms again. It would also show the Roman public that Antony had forgotten about his love affair with Cleopatra and had returned to Rome for good.
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Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Rome and Egypt. How are the contrasts between them reflected in the characters of ‘Antony and Cleopatra?’
This is evident when he says, "let Rome in Tiber melt." This proves that Antony is frustrated with his responsibilities in Rome, and is one of the causes in his downfall - his irresponsibility of handling his duties. He gives the impression by saying this that he is conscious of the happenings in Rome, but he is not concerned - this could be due to the presence of Cleopatra. An important factor when looking at the play is the fact that in Rome, there are two main powerful figures that have control, Antony and Caesar.
- Word count: 1619