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Antony And Cleopatra Analysis

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One of the most famous scenes in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, the description by Enobarbus of the Antony’s first encounter with Cleopatra is an evocative one. It conveys many different feelings in the audience, one of which is the sense of mystery and enchantment. This essay will be examining how Shakespeare evocatively conveys this sense through the use of language, imagery, syntax and form as well as relating it to the overall themes of the play From the very outset of the passage, a sense of mystery and awe is conjured up with description of Cleopatra’s ‘barge’ being ‘like a burnish’d throne’ which creates the image of a mystical and mysterious, omnipotent god-like figure, gliding along the water on their regal throne. This image is furthered with the description that the barge ‘Burn’d on the water’ which suggests…show more content…
This also furthers Cleopatra’s seductive nature, as it is as if she is hypnotising those around her with her ‘strange’, enchanting and mysterious ways. Antony decided to ‘[invite her to supper’ but instead ‘she [replies]/It should be better he became her guest’ which suggests a power and command that was uncommon in Roman times, continuing her seductive and alluring nature. Enobarbus’ description of Cleopatra is very reminiscent of Philo’s description of her at the beginning of the play, such as ‘she makes hungry/Where most she satisfies’ and ‘the holy priests/Bless her when she is riggish’, yet Enobarbus seems to see these as positive traits rather than Philo who sees them as negative, calling her a ‘gypsy’ and a ‘strumpet’. This adds to Cleopatra’s enchanting nature as Enobarbus has spent a lot of time around her while Philo hasn’t which shows that it is very true that ‘the vilest things/Become themselves in her’, highlighting her enchanting and alluring
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