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Powerplay In Shakespeare's, 'antony And Cleopatra'

945 words - 4 pages

Antony and CleopatraThroughout the play, Antony and Cleopatra, the charactors' use and manipulation of power have certain impacts on their decisions and their lives. Right from the outset, the audience is made aware of certain plays on power and the impact this has on the delicate relationships in the play. The plays theme of power play circulates mostly around the politics surrounding Antony and the Triumvirs and Antony's relationship with Cleopatra and the impact of this.The opening of the play with Philo's comments on Antony's transformation from 'the triple pillar of the world' into 'a strumpet's fool' due to a 'gypsy' depicts, not only the power of Cleopatra over Antony but also the ...view middle of the document...

In an effort to prevent Antony from leaving she says, 'Please, sir, forgive me, / Since my becomings kill me when they do not / Eye well to you'. Here she is using her skills to manipulate Antony into feeling quilt if he leaves her. At one stage she likens him to a fish she has caught, a metaphor for the power she has over him, to judge him or throw him back at will.Shakespeare's use of many angles and viewpoints to describe Antony and Cleopatra is effective in making the audience aware of the varying impact their lives and powers have on the rest of the world. When we hear the great Octavius Caesar praising Antony, this confirms the generals military might, however this is counteracted by Philo's perception of Antony who has sacrifices his better self for the sake of 'gypsy lust'The complex relationship and division of power between the Triumvirs is a delicate one and it is obvious that through each charactors play with power it would not stay buoyant forever. Without a doubt the biggest manipulator of his power is Octavius Caesar. Octavius is in stark contrast to Antony, as a man ruled by duty rather than desire and believes Antony is the greatest threat to his power goes to great length to ensure that Antony cannot take away any of his power. Although the triumvirs start on relatively good terms, divisions quickly arise. Caesar begins by complaining to Antony that he neglects his duties...

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