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Shakespeare's Plays Of Love And Tragedy:Romeo & Juliet/Antony & Cleopatra.

2264 words - 9 pages

IntroductionWhat is love? This is a question that many people wonder about and often spend much of their lives in pursuit of. If you look in the dictionary love is simply defined as- 1) strong affection, 2) warm attachment, or 3) beloved perfection. (Webster's Dictionary, 2001) Even with this definition, the concept of love goes further than any concrete definition. My description of love is a force, a feeling, a gift that one should be so lucky to experience within their life; an experience where two people care so much for each other that they both become the center of love and inspiration within their lives. William Shakespeare is a man who was fascinated with the concept of true love. He has focused many of his successful plays on such a theme.In this essay I will be exploring the classic love stories and tragic relationships of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Antony and Cleopatra." Both plays are timeless classics of love greater than life itself.Romeo and Juliet (c1596)In summary: There is a bitter feud between two Italian families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo (son of the Montague family) sneaks into a ball being held by the Capulets, where he sees Juliet (daughter of the Capulets). The two fall in love at first sight. After the ball there is a fight between Tybalt (family of the Capulets) and Mercutio (Romeo's best friend), in which Tylbalt kills Mercutio. Romeo then kills Tybalt in revenge.Romeo is banished from the town. Then Juliet's parents decide to marry her to Paris whom she does not love. Juliet seeks the help of Friar Lawrence who gives her a drug to fake her death. Her plan is to fake her death and be buried alive to later escape to elope with Romeo. But Romeo does not know of the plan, and finds the Juliet before she wakes up. Thinking Juliet to be dead Romeo kills him self. When Juliet wakes up and realises Romeo is dead she kills herself as well.It seems that just about everyone knows of the tragic story of "Romeo and Juliet." This play has turned into modern motion pictures, and inspired countless love songs. This play is Shakespeare's timeless story of young, pure, romantic love.Anthony and Cleopatra (1607)In summary: Caesar and Antony are the rulers of the Roman Empire. Antony, though married to Fulvia, lives Egypt with his mistress Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Caesar becomes mad at Antony's lifestyle in Egypt and Caesar calls Antony home to Rome. Antony agrees, but only after Fulvia dies of an illness. Once in Rome, Caesar and Antony try to make amends through the marriage of Antony to Caesar's sister, Octavia.Antony soon leaves Octavia, however, and returns to live with Cleopatra. Caesar, enraged, vows to attack and win control of Egypt from Antony and Cleopatra. Caesar's army approaches to defeat Antony. Enobarbus, Antony's best friend, deserts him and joins Caesar's army. However, Enobarbus becomes overcome with regret and remorse for leaving Antony, and kills himself. Antony, facing defeat of Ceasar and the thought...

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