Antony and Cleopatra

Topics: Augustus, Roman Empire, Julius Caesar Pages: 4 (1371 words) Published: February 8, 2014
‘Antony and Cleopatra’ composed by Shakespeare presents different types of power which people exercise to manipulate and to control others. Sometimes the use of power can have tragic results where people become victims of their own desires. At other times, power can be used to enhance somebody’s reputation and position in life. The types of power that are highlighted in this play include, power of a sexual nature, political or military power, the power of persuasion and manipulation. The exercise of power can be used for selfish purposes to gain influence over personalities, in relationships and in a variety of experience. Power is the ability to exercise the control over the thoughts and actions of individuals or groups to gain and to hold influence and superiority. It involves overt and covert manipulation and persuasion to control the hearts and minds of those around the individual. Power involves the strategies and techniques used by a person to wield influence and control over a personal attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and emotions. Power can be used for positive purpose, or in a deceptive and corrupt manner to influence someone in a more vulnerable state. Throughout the play, Antony grapples with the conflict between his love for Cleopatra and his duties to the Roman Empire, which has caused a variety of consequences. The classical allusion, ‘glowed like plated Mars,’ describes Antony as a God of war. It highlights the power Antony obtained as a great military leader and soldier. However, the consequence of Antony’s surrender to the temptation of the East, is perceived by many to be the source of his ruin, ‘the triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpets fool.’ The mythological allusion in stark contrast with the idea of Antony being a strumpet’s fool, emphasises that his political and status power has become emasculated by his infatuation for Cleopatra. It is clear that Antony’s infatuation with Queen of Egypt is negatively affecting his...
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