Compare the leadership qualities shown by Caesar, Antony and Lepidus so far. How effective is each as a leader and why?

Essay by dickweedHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2004

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The story of Antony and Cleopatra is set just as world leaders began evolving. Prior to this change a good leader was seen as being a mighty warrior, someone who was skilful in the battlefield, but as demands of the world began changing, leaders began evolving into politicians. There was no need for them to be great warriors; they had to be cunning, manipulative and intelligent. Antony, Caesar and Lepidus are all different types of leaders and are each effective in their own way.

In a play, first impressions of a character are very important as they set a base that can be built on throughout the play. The first time the audience sees Antony he is in Egypt being self-indulgent with Cleopatra. The audience sees him as being carefree, lazy and over dramatic. "There's not a minute of our lives should stretch/Without some pleasure now," shows the audience that Antony likes to relax and enjoy his time.

Here, Shakespeare writes in verse, which emphasises the lustrous nature of Egypt and everyone in it, Antony does not seem to be at all concerned with anything else other than himself and Cleopatra. In contrast, when the audience first sees Antony and Lepidus, the difference is huge. The scene is set in Rome and Shakespeare writes in rigid prose, which gives the impression of order and structure. Caesar and Lepidus are talking about what a disgrace Antony has become and are very focussed on their goals, winning the battle. Caesar says "Let's grant it is not/Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy...yet must/Antony/No way excuse his foils when we do bear/So great weight in his lightness." This shows the audience the difference between Antony and Caesar. Caesar is not angered by the fact that Antony is being indulgent in Egypt,