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William Shakespeare's Presentation Of Cleopatra In Antony And Cleopatra

2998 words - 12 pages

William Shakespeare's Presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra

The presentation of Cleopatra in Act three Scene thirteen is quite
ambiguous. Her presentation in the rest of the play is also very
contrasting and distinct. I believe Shakespeare concentrated on
demonstrating Cleopatra's personality and ambiguity to emphasise that,
being the only central female in the play, it is even more surprising
that she manages to act the way she does, with such an alarming range
of emotions, for example forging illness for attention and accusing
Antony of leaving Egypt for the wrong reasons. I think that
Shakespeare wanted her character to be spontaneous, dramatic and
attractive towards men so that the audience would build up very strong
opinions of her, whether they are good or bad.

Throughout the play so far, Cleopatra has been presented as a very
confident woman who adores playing numerous tricks with Antony. By
Shakespeare creating the sense that Cleopatra controls Antony through
her witty actions and words, it re-enforces her role in the novel as
an independent, slightly deceitful woman. (1.1.14) 'If it be love
indeed, tell me how much', this displays Cleopatra's clear
determination in wanting to know how she is thought of by Antony.
Shakespeare presents Cleopatra like this to prove that both her image
and personality are very important to her because she is so desperate
to know what Antonys opinion of her is. Here, Shakespeare's
presentation of Cleopatra highlights her unique female qualities in a
way that represents women throughout the play and Cleopatra as an
individual. I believe this works well because the other main
characters in this play are males and so are in contrast to the
stereotypical female behaviour.cocc ccr seccccw orcc cck incc focc cc.

Cleopatra's persistency is shown when she answers Antony back
instantly demanding the truth. Again she is shown as 'playing certain
games'. Perhaps she is required to act like this toward Antony to
declare herself in the male-dominated situation in which the play is
set.

Most of the time in the play, Cleopatra does not need to be persistent
towards Antony because he listens to first time, for example in Act
three Scene seven when Antony is debating to himself whether to fight
at sea or land, Cleopatra tells him confidently that he should fight
at sea. After she makes this remark, Antony refuses to change his mind
even though both Camidius and Enobarbus try to persuade him not to
fight at sea. This emphasises Cleopatras easy control over Antony even
more.

At the beginning of the play in Act one Scene three, Cleopatra is
heard having a conversation with her two personal attendants about the
ways in which you can attract a man. Cleopatra's side of the argument,
(1.3.2) 'See where he is, who's with him, what he does: I...

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