How Does Shakespeare Present Cleopatra In Act 1

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In scene 5 of act 1, Shakespeare concludes the exposition of the play, showing Cleopatra in Egypt without Antony, allowing us to see a different side to her. As the scene begins we see Cleopatra asking for mandragora to drink so that she may ‘ sleep out this great gap of time’ while Antony is away .she is lonely and bored without him, craving oblivion which contrasts greatly with the sense of urgency to take action in Rome, in the previous scene. She then converses with mardian, her eunuch; of Antony that he too like her is would be occupied with thoughts of love if he was not ’unseminar’d’. when mardian mentions ‘what Venus did to mars’ , reminded of her own great love Cleopatra bursts into a speech filled with ecstasy and longing for Antony.…show more content…
Ti which alexas diplomatically answers saying he ‘ was nor sad nor merry’, Cleopatra is satisfied with such an answer, she sees this ‘well- divided disposition’ to be another example of Antony’s greatness, she also assumes that Antony is putting on an act hiding his real emotions from his soldiers and is only his true self when he is with her in Egypt ,this is a striking contrast to when in the first scene she accused him of bring loyal to his roman roots and said his love was an act. She resolves to send messages to Antony everyday and ask charmain if she did’ ever love Caesar so?’ .charmain’s reply is a praise of Caesar to tease Cleopatra, Cleopatra is furious at her reply threatening to ‘give thee bloody teeth’ if anyone ever spoke of Caesar and her ‘salad days’ in the same capacity as her present ‘man of men’ her ’brave Antony’. With this she leaves and the scene…show more content…
this scene ironically shows the two main characters under a illusion of security a well, too wrapped in their love to realize the gravity of the oncoming threats .Antony, despite being portrayed by Cleopatra as a ’demi-god’ on a mission to reclaim glory is actually a man in conflict who has lost what made him great according to his roman peers. Beneath Cleopatra's whims and her girlish melodramatics over her absent lover, there is a hint that the very strength of her feeling portends a deeper affection than her behavior would
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