Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Essay

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Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra is a play in which the balance of power swings interestingly between two lovers. It is set in the First Century BC between Rome and Egypt. Antony is one of the three members of the second triumvirate who jointly rule the Roman Empire. Antony is the eponymous tragic hero, who allows his love for Cleopatra to cloud his judgement. According to Aristotle this is hamartia, an error of judgment caused by fate. This leads to his downfall. Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt; she is a very clever yet volatile lady. We follow their relationship and changes in power between them throughout the play in chronological order. The great feeling of…show more content…
In scene one we also see the first example of Cleopatra's domineering nature as she declares: "I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd". This lets us know that she is defiantly in charge of the relationship at this point. In Roman times women were seen as weak characters, Cleopatra's proves to be different. Her volatile, controlling and clever personality allows she to show how dominating she can be. We see that at the beginning of the play the balance of power most defiantly lies with her. In Act one Scene two were learn that Antony is aware that Cleopatra is his downfall. This is what makes him the tragic hero: he is fully aware of his flaw but unable to stop it. His love for Cleopatra is leading him astray. Antony has two realisations in the scene, in his first he knows his love for Cleopatra shall be his undoing. His self awareness is obvious when he says "These strong Egyptian fetters,I must break,/Or lose myself in dotage." Later in the scene Shakespeare uses a soliloquy to put across how Antony is feeling; "I must from this enchanting queen break off./ Ten thousand harms,more than the ills I know,/my idleness doth hatch." This reinforces the control and power Cleopatra has in the relationship as the use of the word "enchanting" shows how he is mesmerised by her. In Scene three, however, the balance of power changes
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