Antony and Cleopatra

Essay by SkyronHigh School, 10th grade September 2014

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Antony and Cleopatra Essay

"In Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare creates a timeless text that still resonates with audiences today. How has he achieved this?

In Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, the development of fallible and complex characters facilitates the establishment of enduring ideologies concerning loyalty, the misuse of power, and the struggle for dominance of one culture over another. Accordingly, it has become a timeless text that still resonates with today's audiences. The play's exploration of relationships signifies the notion that loyalty can easily be compromised and influenced. Likewise, the ruthless nature of Octavius Caesar along with the unscrupulous Cleopatra, demonstrate how the powerful will continue to manipulate and conspire in order to attain and preserve their power. However, Caesar and Cleopatra's divergence respectively epitomise the engagement concerning the West and the East, which has persevered to the present day and corresponds with present-day audiences.

Shakespeare's exposition of power as a compelling motive for the influential to be devious and manoeuvring reflects the veracity of how power is exploited in our modern world.

Although global supremacy is shared between the three triumvirs, Caesar is driven by selfish desires, as he endeavours to seize power from others. Positioning the men who fled from Antony's army at the front, Caesar believes Antony "may seem to spend the fury on himself." The situational irony of Caesar's ploy demonstrates his cunning and pragmatic persona, which manipulates the more emotionally unstable Antony in a form of psychological power play that remains prevalent in the modern world. Furthermore, Antony utilises the paradox 'terms of honour' and 'cold and sickly' to depict Caesar's unwillingness to share power, proving an ironic perspective on how Caesar rarely commends him for his services to the empire. By contrast, Cleopatra exploits her sexual attraction to obtain power, in a world...