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Compare The Leadership Qualities Shown By Caesar, Antony And Lepidus So Far. How Effective Is Each As A Leader And Why?

1440 words - 6 pages

The story of Antony and Cleopatra is set just as world leaders began evolving. Prior to this change a good leader was seen as being a mighty warrior, someone who was skilful in the battlefield, but as demands of the world began changing, leaders began evolving into politicians. There was no need for them to be great warriors; they had to be cunning, manipulative and intelligent. Antony, Caesar and Lepidus are all different types of leaders and are each effective in their own way.In a play, first impressions of a character are very important as they set a base that can be built on throughout the play. The first time the audience sees Antony he is in Egypt being self-indulgent with Cleopatra. The audience sees him as being carefree, lazy and over dramatic. "There's not a minute of our lives should stretch/Without some pleasure now," shows the audience that Antony likes to relax and enjoy his time. Here, Shakespeare writes in verse, which emphasises the lustrous nature of Egypt and everyone in it, Antony does not seem to be at all concerned with anything else other than himself and Cleopatra. In contrast, when the audience first sees Antony and Lepidus, the difference is huge. The scene is set in Rome and Shakespeare writes in rigid prose, which gives the impression of order and structure. Caesar and Lepidus are talking about what a disgrace Antony has become and are very focussed on their goals, winning the battle. Caesar says "Let's grant it is not/Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy...yet must/Antony/No way excuse his foils when we do bear/So great weight in his lightness." This shows the audience the difference between Antony and Caesar. Caesar is not angered by the fact that Antony is being indulgent in Egypt, he is angered by the fact that he is neglecting his duties as a leader.When the audience is first introduced to Lepidus he does not make much of an impression. Caesar is obviously the dominant one out of the two and so Lepidus seems to fade into the background. He does not seem very confident and is seen simply agreeing with Caesar or announcing messengers. For example, "Here's more news." Lepidus says very little and when he does speak he seems to be defending Antony's ways, "I must not think these are/Evils enough to darken all his goodness." By doing this he comes across as being weak and unimportant in the shadow of Caesar.From the first few scenes the audience has a sense of the qualities of these three leaders. Antony, whilst he was once a very strong courageous warrior who "didst drink/The stale of horses," to survive has succumb to the opulent ways of Egypt. Therefore he is seen to be weak willed and not very ambitious. Caesar is seen as being very rigid and strong. He is confident and focussed on what he has to do to remain in power. The audience does not really get much of an impression of Lepidus. He is seen as being weak and unable to control the conversation the way Caesar does. He is focussed on his goals but the audience...

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