Antony and Cleopatra
Drama has been described as a verse or prose composition that tends to present a story in form of dialogue. In a dramatic performance the actors must be convincing enough to bring about actual anxiety, sympathy, and feelings of struggle in the audience. Moreover, writing a drama can be characterized by using your imagination as a writer, to morph an ordinary situation or scene into something over the top. Drama has been categorized into comedy and tragedy. In addition, drama is identified to be guided by several elements such as dialog, plot diction, song, thought, and character. This paper aims at explaining how select characters in a play are chosen to contribute in a building mood, theme, or tone by describing their growth across the play.
The relationship between Antony and Cleopatra has been observed to be powerful but one-sided. Their relationship on many occasions is described to be intense, interesting and passionate though eventually morphing into something strange. However, their relationship is also described to be a love built on both, ulterior, and deceitful motives. The author thus creates a relationship by which their love feels sloppy as if they are two gears who just don’t turn together. Moreover, both characters have been known to use their love for each other for both personal and political gains. Antony has been described to experience betrayal given that he had sacrificed his country. Cleopatra, on the other hand, is described to have used infatuations from Antony in order to acquire political power, increase self-esteem and give birth to a boy child who would be her heir. In addition, Cleopatra has been described to express her love to Antony with some ultimatums. Antony infatuated by her thereby turned his back on his fellow countrymen, which eventually resulted in his demise.
How it works
The relationship between Antony and Cleopatra has been described to be strange. Their relationship is built on both love and lies throughout the play. Antony has been so blinded by his love for Cleopatra that he even betrays his country in the name of love. The author portrays Antony as a manipulated individual. Cleopatra is constantly toying with the mind of Antony in order to acquire what she desires. Therefore, Antony serves as an weapon for Cleopatra over her enemies. The relationship is described to have a dramatic development across the play explained by the author. During the first scene, Antony has been described to be intoxicated by both the exoticness and beauty held by Cleopatra. For example, when a message arrives from Rome he is observed to dismiss it quickly. Moreover, he continues to suggest that the world should admit how of a great couple they both are. On the other hand, Cleopatra has been observed to mutter on her plan to deceive Antony. The author describes Cleopatra playing fool where she even convinces her chairman that it would be a foolish move not to use him. Cleopatra is also described to hold some degree of love for Antony throughout the play. She is observed to reveal passionate feelings for Antony that are identified as being genuine on a frequent basis. In addition, conversations between Cleopatra and the chairman also disclose her passionate feelings for Antony. For example, the author explains how Cleopatra would ask for a drug to put her into a deep sleep whenever Antony was not near. However, the author tends to explain that Cleopatra’s feelings for Antony are strange since she is not really in love with him. The author describes that not only does she miss her lover but men in general. She is described to mention her former lovers often when airing her views on Antony’s future. Therefore, the author describes her to be in a relationship where she only cares about herself and her own desires. On the other hand, Antony marries Octavia even though he clearly loves Cleopatra.
Honor has been portrayed as a common theme throughout the play in ways perceived as nonintuitive. The author links honor with death through Antony where he is quoted saying that would live or bathe his honor in blood and make it live again. The ideology expressed by the author here is to explain that in order to achieve honour death had to occur. Moreover, both Antony’s and Cleopatra’s death is described by the author as being honorable even though they killed themselves for distinct reasons. Antony is described to reacquire his honour through returning to his true self in death. Cleopatra kills herself in order to avoid capture and humiliation from Romans thereby suggesting she experienced an honorable death. The author also expresses that Cleopatra’s death ensures she was uncompromised and remained true to herself. Therefore, their denial for compromising themselves is attributed to resulting in honorable deaths.
The concept of betrayal has been applied to a large extent across the play. Antony feels betrayed by Cleopatra after turning against his country for love. Instead, Cleopatra is only interested in using Antony in order to achieve her sexual and political desires. The author describes Antony as an individual willing to forget and go against his duty in order to defend his love. On the contrary, Cleopatra seizes the opportunity to gain political power. The author also expresses an aspect of betrayal in the incidence where Cleopatra finds out about Antony’s marriage to Octavia. Cleopatra feels betrayed since she loved Antony and hoped to be married one day. Rather, Antony’s marriage is aimed at gaining Caesar’s trust in order to escape a long life in Egypt. The author identifies Antony as being unwilling ‘to attend his wife’s funeral back in Rome. Antony is guilt tripped by Cleopatra in order to ensure that he does not leave her and head home. This results in delaying his departure in order to avoid hurting Cleopatra’s feelings, as she would feel betrayed.
In addition, Antony’s love, in the end, ensures his death because of love for Cleopatra. The author describes in detail that Antony gave a significant portion of his life in order to express his love for Cleopatra. Nevertheless, Cleopatra has been identified to have ulterior motives. The author explains that Cleopatra was mainly interested in an engaging a romantic relationship with Antony in order to gain what she desires. She used Antony to gain political power and raise an heir. Therefore, she did not mind exchanging sexual favor with a Roman as long as she gained from it. Thus, the characters are observed to contribute significantly towards building the theme of betrayal in the play.
The author dictates that tragic love is the primary theme in the play. In many scenes the author describes that both characters tend to contribute towards tragedy, saying the love between both characters is tragic (Traci .56). Instead of having a happy ending, their love ends in both of their deaths.
The author identifies Antony to have real feelings for Cleopatra despite her being an Egyptian. Moreover, the author explains that their love experiences many constraints that hinder them from being together. Antony is also described to give up everything important in his life in the name of love for Cleopatra. For example, Antony dismisses message from Rome quickly and declares that his feeling of love are great.
In conclusion, the play would be characterized as a tragedy drama since at the end the main characters die. In the play, themes such as love, betrayal, and honour have been identified to play a significant role. Moreover, both characters have been observed to contribute significantly to building themes and tones identified in the play.
- Traci, Philip J. The love play of Antony and Cleopatra: a critical study of Shakespeare’s play. Vol. 64. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2018.
- Mowat, Barbara A. Antony and Cleopatra. Simon & Schuster, 2005.