Antony and Cleopatra- powerplay

Essay by tynikacampbell August 2014

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Power Play- Antony and Cleopatra

Power plays are plots and machinations to gain control over their professional and personal lives. They are used as a tactic to manipulate and gain control over people of those who are equally, less or ever more powerful than themselves. Shakespeare conveys these ideas throughout the tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra. Antony and Cleopatra focuses mainly on the ideas of sexual power, political power and personal power. Antony, a major Roman political figure that has fallen in love with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Antony has abandoned his responsibilities and duties in Rome to remain with Cleopatra in Egypt. Shakespeare uses a variety of literacy and visual techniques, to raise contrasting representations about the nature and roles involved within power plays.

Antony becomes self-indulgent, and tends to blur the line between duty and romance. Antony highlights his passion for Cleopatra, undermining the duties he has neglected for his lover, "Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the ranged empire fall."

Antony does not wish to be burdened by his responsibilities towards Rome. This reflects on how irresponsible and irrational his behaviour becomes. Antony often refers to the golden days of his own heroism, but now that he is entangled in an affair with the Egyptian queen, his memories only emphasise how far he has strayed from his ideal self. This is evident when Antony is discussing his honour with Octavia. "If I lose my honour, I lose myself. Better I were not yours ,than yours so branchless." If Antony loses his honour and pride he will intern no longer be himself.

Enobarbus is Antony's most devoted friend; he is trusted and loyal to Antony. Enobarbus is ale to speak freely toward Antony even if it is critical of his actions. When Antony...