An Analysis of Major Characters in Antony and Cleopatra, a Play by Shakespeare

An Analysis of Major Characters in Antony and Cleopatra, a Play by Shakespeare

Document details
Category: English Essay
Subcategory: English Literature
Words: 1550
Pages: 4

Antony and Cleopatra is a Shakespearian play that focuses on the events that take place whilst Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and Antony, a member of the triumvirate in Italy, are conducting a highly visible love affair. Whilst Cleopatra is portrayed as a strong, manipulative and selfish woman, Antony is shown to be weak and easily influenced when with Cleopatra, but powerful and level-headed when running his country. However, it is hard to determine whether Antony is the "strumpet's fool" he appears to be when he is with Cleopatra, or the "triple pillar of the world" he should be. After Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Antony joined Lepidus and Octavius Caesar to make up the triumvirate - the three leaders of Italy. Despite being criticised by many at the start of the play, he is also highly praised for being a dedicated and hard working leader. In Act One Scene One, Philo describes his heart as one "which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst the buckles on his breast", showing that he loved fighting for his country and was a proud and brave leader and warrior. Philo also says that Antony has a "great property" (Act One Scene One), meaning he has admirable qualities. The fact that someone who can condemn him in this way can also praise him highly shows just how respected and admired he was. Also, despite the fact that Antony is in Egypt, Octavius still keeps him informed of events in Rome by sending messengers, which shows that he does not disregard Antony because he is so far away, he still wants him to be part of the triumvirate. When with others, Antony is still bold and decisive. He won't take any nonsense from people and makes sure he knows exactly what is going on, for example, in Act One Scene Two he tells the messenger to "mince not the general tongue", showing he would rather hear...

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