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In Terms Of Attitude To Love, What Are The Similarities/Differences Between “Romeo And Juliet” And “Antony And Cleopatra”?

915 words - 4 pages

English essay In terms of attitude to love, what are the similarities/differences between "Romeo and Juliet" and "Antony and Cleopatra"? These two Shakespearian plays are very similar in setting and plot. There seems to be a similar balance of corresponding characters who are fairly alike in each play, for examples Antony and Romeo, Cleopatra and Juliet, Enobarbus and Mercutio etc, although the time and geographical setting is different. In both plays the two main characters experience love and a relationship in terms of passion that is pushed and pulled to all extremities. All the main characters' attitude to love means ultimately that the only resolution to their problems that they find is tragedy, consisting of deaths and suicides.One attitude towards love is that the heart is allowed to rule the head, and passion is all. This means the character allows him or herself to be carried away by love's excitement and passion, and not consider the consequences. This is the category that most of the characters from both plays fall into; Romeo, Juliet, the nurse, Antony and Cleopatra are similar in their attitude to love.Romeo is the character who portrays an extreme example of this category, in that he has no other concern but his passion. As soon as we are introduced to him, he is sad because he is in love with Rosaline and wants to have sex with her, but she has vowed to remain chaste.However, when he meets Juliet at the party, she becomes his number one priority and he pursues her at all costs, even to the point of taking his own life because he thinks he has lost her. "For fear of that I still will stay with thee And never from this place of dim night Depart again. Here I will remain" (Act 5 Scene 3) Juliet also allows her heart to rule her head, for she lets herself get carried away in the excitement and joy of love, but she seems slightly more cautious and practical than Cleopatra in that she makes sure Romeo means his proclamations of love and faithfulness."If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow," (Act2 scene 2) Similarly, Anthony is carried away by his passion and love for Cleopatra, but is slightly different in his attitude than Romeo in that he also acknowledges his political obligations and leaves Egypt to pursue them, despite her demands that he stay.*** Cleopatra also has political intents and therefore they both have other concerns than just their passion. However, their love is also politically linked. Antony is very obedient and loyal to Cleopatra, although he does not let it control his world completely, unlike in Romeo and Juliet. This is...

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