Antony and Octavius Caesar are great roman of their age i.e. first century B.C. In the play,Antony and Cleopatra. Antony is a mature middle-aged general of fifty years, whereas Octavius is a young man of twenty-two whom Antony calls a ‘boy’. After the murder of Julius Caesar, Antony, a great friend of Julius Caesar makes the people continue their love and loyalty to the dead Caesar as beautifully brought out in Shakespeare Roman tragedy, Julius Caesar. Octavius is a nephew of Caesar and successor bearing his name ‘Caesar’. Both combine their forced to defeat the Republicans, Brutus and Cassius divided the vast Roman empire for governance in their parts. Octavius rules over the northern and western part. Lepidus is given Italy and Antonty is made ruler of the eastern part of the empire including Syria, near east and Africa. All the three titans have their ambitions to become the sole ruler of the Roman empire. Thus Antony and Octavius, though friends and brothers after Octavia, elder widowed sister of octavius, marries Antony,are political rivals.
Antony-the creation Shakespeare’s imagination
The play Antony and Cleopatra is based on Plutarch’s life of Mark Antony. Shakespeare follows history of Rome as sketched by Plutarch pretty closely as compared to his other historical plays. Plutarch doesn’t give a rosy picture of Antony or Cleopatra character. Antony has excessive passion for love and pleasures. He drinks, love rivalries, courteans, grandeur to the extent of vulgarity. In his love for Cleopatra he forgets his political duties, welfare of the kingdom and wastes his time in luxury, lust and rivalry at Alexandria with Cleopatra. In the play, Antony is a great soldier ‘a Mars’ in armour, a descendent of Herculues, a generous person and humane, whom his followers and Cleoparta adore. He is highly respected by Octavius and also his adversary, Pompey. While he is enjoying his life in luxury at Alexandria in Cleopatra’s bed, Pompey threatens...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document