Essay about Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

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Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

In Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, the presentation and development of the relationships among the triumvirs, Caesar, Antony and Lepidus becomes a pivotal concern. As the play progresses, the dynamics of the triumvirate changes and becomes more complicated, providing the audience with the main political conflict that sometimes overshadows the romance of the title characters in the play. Shakespeare provides the audience with several different images of the triumvirate through different characters.

The play’s first mentioning of the triumvirate is, in essence, a masculine Roman perspective of a soldier. This is brought about through Philo and
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By the end of Act I Scene I, the audience sees two Roman soldiers, speaking with disappointment of their once great general, Mark Antony, who has turned into a ‘strumpet’s fool’. Apparently enough, Antony’s disregard towards the messengers from Rome, which prompts Demetrius to say ‘Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?’ is an indication to the possible collapse of the triumvirate. Philo’s comment, ‘sometimes when he is not Antony he comes too short of that great property which still should go with Antony’ displays clearly Antony’s failure in his duty as one of the three emperors. The servants, on the contrary recognize Lepidus’s failure in playing his role as a peace maker among the members of the triumvirate. He is compared to ‘a reed’ and does not live up his position and compares his effectiveness to ‘the holes where eyes should be’. It becomes clear that the relationships among the members of the triumvirs is a cause for attention as we are introduced by Philo to Antony’s disregard for Caesar’s messages and Lepidus’s failure in his effort at peacemaking. The supposed strength of this union is subjected to doubts and reservations as unity among the members is deficient.

Shakespeare also presents
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