There is a constant battle between her passion towards the mighty Roman and her yearning for sovereignty and the glory of Egypt on her own terms. This question certainly embroils the mind of Mark Antony, at least. All of this however, only adds to her enigmatic depth of character and mystique. Cleopatra, despite being cunning and even manipulative can be defined as one of literature’s great lovers. She was a lover of men and a lover of her country.
Othello: the Unquestionable Sexism Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello features sexism as regular fare – initially from Brabantio and Iago, and finally from Othello. Let us in this essay explore the occurrences and severity of sexism in the drama. In “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” Valerie Wayne implicates Iago in sexism. He is one who is almost incapable of any other perspective on women than a sexist one: Iago’s worry that he cannot do what Desdemona asks implies that his dispraise of women was candid and easily produced, while the praise requires labour and inspiration from a source beyond himself. His insufficiency is more surprising because elsewhere in the play Iago appears as a master rhetorician, but as Bloch explains, ‘the misogynistic writer uses rhetoric as a means of renouncing it, and, by extension, woman.’ (163) Even the noble general yielded to the sexist remarks and insinuations of his ancient, thus developing a reprehensible attitude toward his lovely and faithful wife.
Dio had similar views, as he says that the fact that Rome’s ruin was brought by a woman ‘caused them the greatest shame’. In going on to describe her terrifying stature and fierce demeanour, Roman writing is shown to reduce Boudicca to little more than a barbarian, in order to lessen their discomfort with Boudicca’s defiance of gender stereotypes. Because these are the sole accounts of Boudicca from classical times, this image has continued throughout history. During the rule of James I (1603-25), the first male monarch since Boudicca’s rise in popularity during the Renaissance, people focused on the negative portrayals perpetuated by the Romans. John Flet... ... middle of paper ... ... the ancient queen.
Shakespeare constantly invites comparison and contrast between Egypt and Rome .The Roman world seems to look with disapproval on Cleopatra and the frivolous, sexualized world of Egypt. A good example of this is in scene one when Philo a Roman speaks of Cleopatra, 'the office and devotion of their view. Upon a tawny front'. Philo is speaking of Cleopatra in a very derogative way, showing Roman prejudice against Egyptians, 'tawny', meaning dark skinned. Pg 2 Anthony has fallen for a beautiful, exotic woman and he shouldn't have, and we soon discover that Rome is embarrassed by his indulgence, but as we as the audience warm to him the reason being because Shakespeare has brought to our attention a great bond between the couple.
William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra is aptly named, not just because the play centers around these two characters, but also because it encompasses the play’s fixation on the lovers’ oppositional relationship. On the surface level, Antony embodies the Roman ideals of a good, noble man, while Cleopatra represents the hyper-sexualized, dangerous Eastern woman. However, upon further examination both Antony and Cleopatra display complicated internal conflicts that effectively reverse these polar positions repeatedly throughout the play. In this way, the opposition between Antony and Cleopatra that exists on a simple, interpersonal level is echoed by more complicated, internal conflicts within each of these characters on a deeper, more individual level. The tension between the title characters creates the love that draws them together at the same time as it drives them further apart, thus establishing yet another layer of antagonistic relationships within the play.
William Shakespeare's Presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra The presentation of Cleopatra in Act three Scene thirteen is quite ambiguous. Her presentation in the rest of the play is also very contrasting and distinct. I believe Shakespeare concentrated on demonstrating Cleopatra's personality and ambiguity to emphasise that, being the only central female in the play, it is even more surprising that she manages to act the way she does, with such an alarming range of emotions, for example forging illness for attention and accusing Antony of leaving Egypt for the wrong reasons. I think that Shakespeare wanted her character to be spontaneous, dramatic and attractive towards men so that the audience would build up very strong opinions of her, whether they are good or bad. Throughout the play so far, Cleopatra has been presented as a very confident woman who adores playing numerous tricks with Antony.
History is told by the victors, thereby in many instances the sources and evidence surrounding significant figures are biased or incorrect by omission. Two examples of such misrepresentation are the last Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater and Queen of the Iceni tribe, Boudicca. Prejudice is obvious in various Roman sources surrounding these women. This is due to the texts being written by men whose view of women was tainted by their culture; as a result, these women were represented with lies and misogyny. This has shaped the negative way in which modern society views Cleopatra and Boudicca.
Confusion in Macbeth The instances words and actions needing clarification in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth are numerous. Let us in this essay look at some of the more serious instances lacking clear meaning in the play. Lily B. Campbell in her volume of criticism, Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion, confesses that critics are at a loss in trying to explain the reference to "Bellona's bridegroom": Macbeth is, indeed, "Bellona's bridegroom", though critics seem rather at a loss to know just who Bellona's bridegroom may have been. (213) Blanche Coles states in Shakespeare's Four Giants that there is a common mistake which literary critics of the play make: Not enough stress has been laid upon Duncan's unaccountably sudden and arbitrary appointment of Malcolm to the royal succession in the very hour of Macbeth's triumph [. .
Although circumstance plays a part, the tragic hero is damned by what he himself does and is an active participant in his own downfall. In this sense, Antony is a tragic hero, although Shakespeare also presents him as a man torn between the tragedy of a powerful Rome and comedy in the pleasurable Egypt. In due course Antony could not sustain his duty to Rome, confused by his unwillingness and incapability to disregard his passion for Cleopatra. He most flippantly wed Octavia knowing fully that he could not give up his prior love. He relayed "I will to Egypt: And though I make this marriage for my peace, I’ th’ East my pleasure lies" (2.3.39-41).
Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994. (page 68-90) Shakespeare, W. (1997) Othello (c. 1602) E. A. J Honigmann (Ed.) Surrey: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd. Snyder, Susan. "Beyond the Comedy: Othello" Modern Critical Interpretations, Othello Ed.