Antony And Cleopatra Literary Analysis

Decent Essays

Throughout William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, the titular characters are not often painted in the best of lights. Quite often seen as selfish, overbearing, lazy, arrogant or obsessive, one nevertheless feels drawn to them on the stage and much of that is to do with the grandeur of their language where grandeur in this sense meaning eloquent and poetic language that utilises an abundance of metaphors and hyperboles This essay will be examining the difference in speech between the principal characters characters (that being Antony, Cleopatra, and Caesar) and how that affects the audience’s view of them, how the grandeur of the language of the principal characters changes over the course of the play and if grandeur of language does indeed make up for a lack of other types of greatness. Throughout the play, the audience can hear how both Antony’s and Cleopatra’s conception of themselves is expressed through the hyperbolic language when talking about themselves and each other and also when other characters are talking about them. From the very outset of the play, the audience gets a grasp on the perceived greatness of Antony from Philo’s speech about his transformation from the ‘triple pillar of the world’ to the ‘strumpet’s fool’. In belittling Antony, Philo also causes him to seem greater as he uses great hyperboles and heroic metaphors such as describing Antony’s ‘captain’s heart…burst[ing]/The buckles on his breast’ and using over complicated language to describe a

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