Antony and Cleopatra Research paper

Antony and Cleopatra Research paper - Harriott|1 The Power...

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H a r r i o t t | 1 The Power of Love and Infatuation Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most powerful and moving tragic plays. His use of love and passion during a time of war creates a solid foundation for a tragedy between a powerful Roman emperor and a seductive Egyptian Queen. Throughout Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra the difference between love and infatuation is not clear but both are major parts of the play. Sex, manipulation, selfishness, obsession, and dramatic interactions are also present in Antony and Cleopatra and are aspects to the downfall of characters. The play shows the inevitability of mishap with the misuse of strong feelings and the psychological effects of power and desperation (Preston). What’s said about love and infatuation in this tragic Shakespearean play is that both can be beautiful but when mistaken for one another or misunderstood can lead to -in this case the destruction of lives and an empire. However, the difference between love and infatuation is revealed when Antony and Cleopatra are put through a test of war, power and love. Although the characters fail to realize it, love is beyond relations. In this play there are two types of love displayed between characters, romantic love and platonic love. Romantic love is a combination of intimacy and passion with strong affection and personal attachment . But Antony confuses infatuation and obsession for love. Antony thinks he loves Cleopatra, he is so sure of it that he puts his political status as a Roman general at risk by not putting his position as a general at the top of his priority list (Coleridge). This supposed love for Cleopatra is a weakness and even a fault. His passion makes him forget his duty as a general. On Cleopatra's advice he decides to fight at sea although his chances would be much better on land. Antony’s infatuation with Cleopatra and his inability to make decisions make him appear weak as Caesar elaborates:
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H a r r i o t t | 2 “The lamps of night in revel; Is not more manlike than Cleopatra, Nor the queen of Ptolemy more womanly than he…” (1.4.4-7) Enobarbus Antony’s close friend shows platonic love; love without intimacy. Antony is so blinded by Cleopatra that he doesn’t even see that Enobarbus is the only one who shows both loyalty and love. What Antony seems to not understand is that infatuation is merely a deep lust and based only on physical attraction. From the beginning of the play Enobarbus has been faithful and loyal to Antony. When Antony believes his duel with Caesar will end badly he gives a speech explaining that this may be his last night with his fellowmen: “Haply you shall not see me more, or if, A mangled shadow: perchance to-morrow You’ll serve another master.” (4.2.37-38) This speech caused Enobarbus to weep for his beloved ‘master’ and gets upset with
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Antony and Cleopatra Research paper - Harriott|1 The Power...

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