There are different types of writing assignments you will be handling, during your course of education, especially if you are a literature student. You will be writing many essays, which will vary in its content. It could be a synopsis of a particular work or a character or plot analysis. William Shakespeare’s plays come up very often for character analysis due to the depth of the characters in his works. And out of them a very common one is a character analysis of Antony and Cleopatra, one of the famous tragedies by the famous playwright.
The play of Antony and Cleopatra revolves around the love affair between Marc Antony, a Roman general and Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. Antony’s basic nature is not discussed much in the play except for one or two instances. His character in this particular play is strongly affected by his mad obsession with Cleopatra. And hence he plays a character that is highly deceitful to his wives and neglectful to his family and duties towards his country. We see him try to come out of his uncontrollable love for Cleopatra but he fails to do so. Every time he moves away from her, he is drawn back to her by the power of his love for her.
Cleopatra also loves Antony the same way but we are left wondering about how genuine her love is when she deserts Antony during his war with Augustus Caesar towards the end of the play. She comes across with many negative temperaments, some of them which are usually associated with women who have power, which includes short temper and possessiveness and some which are typical to her, which are cowardice and selfishness of nature. She deserts Antony twice during his war with Caesar even though she is well aware that she is the one who has caused the war. This leaves a very bad impression of her, on the reader.
Augustus Caesar or Octavius Caesar does not come across as a very straight forward person either. He is quite deceitful in his war techniques. He is power-hungry and mean but even he resents Antony’s shameful behavior in relation to his love for Cleopatra. Caesar is disgusted by the weakness Antony shows for Cleopatra. His cruelty is apparent in certain scenes but the reader’s hatred remains with Cleopatra most of the time.
We also meet a few of the faithful servants of Antony and Cleopatra who die out of grief for them towards the end of the play. While doing a character analysis of Antony and Cleopatra, you will have to include these other characters also as they also play their essential parts in the play.
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