Analysis of Literature and Paintings

Topics: Painting, Mark Antony, Augustus Pages: 6 (1195 words) Published: January 31, 2015
Part 1 Cleopatra
Carefully read the following extract several times. How does this passage characterise the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra and how does this compare to its portrayal in other Roman Sources in Book 1, Chapter 1? In this extract Antony is portrayed as being besotted with Cleopatra even after she had betrayed him. The extract also indicates Antony cannot live without Cleopatra ‘Why delay any longer, Antony? Fate has taken away the one excuse which could still make you desire to live’ (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2012, p. 20). Cleopatra also seems to have more power over their relationship and has captivated Antony that much he too feels he should take his own life after being told of her death ‘O,Cleopatra, it does not hurt me to lose you, for I shall soon be with you’ (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2012, p. 20. The strong hold Cleopatra has over Antony also has a negative impact on his capability of being a Roman Leader. Towards the end of the extract Antony is ashamed of what he has become we can see this from the extract ‘I am ashamed that an Imperator such as I have been should prove in the end to have less courage than a woman’ (Plutarch, in Assignment Booklet, 2012, p. 20). In another accounts of Antony and Cleopatra’s meetings Plutarch again, also portrays Cleopatra as having a hold over Antony and has manipulated him to get what she wants. (Fear, 2008, p.10) Cassius Dio also portrays Cleopatra as having a strong hold over her relationship with Antony, as in his speech on Augustus on Cleopatra he states she ‘enslaved’ Antony and was bewitched by her (Scott Kilvert, 1965 in Fear, 2008, p.27). Both Cassius Dio and Plutarch characterise Cleopatra as having a lethal influence on Antony and their relationship. Plutarch wrote ‘The love for Cleopatra which now entered his life came as the final and crowning mischief which could befall him’ (Scott Kilvert, 1965 in Fear, 2008, p.9). Cassius Dio in his speech Augustus on Cleopatra writes ‘And so, being enslaved by her, he plunges into war with all its attendant dangers which he has accepted for her sake’ (Scott Kilvert, 1987 in Fear, 2008, p. 27) When reading Horace Ode 1.37 Antony is not mentioned specifically in the poem, but like Plutarch and Cassius Dio he also portrays Cleopatra not only having a negative impact but also possessing the more superior role in the relationship. Horace portrays this when he says ‘While the mad queen with her contaminated flock of men diseased by vice’ (West, 2004 in Fear, 2008, p. 28) In conclusion, looking at this passage by Plutarch and other passages by Plutarch in Chapter 1 and comparing them with Cassius Dio’s passage and the poem by Horace, the portrayal and characterisations are very similar as they all appear to suggest Cleopatra as having a strong and dominate hold over their relationship. All three sources also seem to suggest the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra as having a positive impact on Cleopatra’s character and a negative impact on Antony’s character. Word Count 480

Fear, T. (2008) Moohan, E. (ed) AA100 The Arts Past and Present Book 1 Reputations, Oxfordshire, The Open University. Scott-Kilvert, I. (2014) AA100 The Arts Past and Present Assignment Booklet, The Open University.

Part 2 Cezanne
Compare and contrast Cézanne’s Bathers (Plate 1.3.4) with Correggio’s Leda with the Swan (Plate 1.3.8). Cézanne’s Bathers and Correggio’s Leda with the Swan are both oil paintings on canvas. Although the genre of both paintings are Bathers, there and many differences between the two paintings. The picture space of Cézanne’s Bathers is in an open, and very bright space, whereas Correggio’s Leda with the Swan picture space is very dense. Both artists have used an outdoor setting with the use of trees in the back ground. The eye is immediately drawn to the nude woman portrayed as Leda in Correggio’s painting, this is also the...
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