A Study Of Shakespeare Essay Research Paper

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A Study Of Shakespeare Essay, Research Paper We can explore the nature of power and authority through many characters in Shakespeare?s , Antony and Cleopatra . First we look to the Triumvirate as a whole . Although they do not appear as a whole many times in the play, they create a feeling of authority and power just by the speech used to describe them . The three bear the world on their shoulders and seem to hold all of the power and prestige of kings and emperors . The concept of power becomes alittle less defined when Pompey enters the picture . The Triumvirate is threatened by Pompey?s power on the sea . He has more power than they do as one man . This is because he has more ships and a stronger fleet . Time collapses this truth when the three men go to visit Pompey, in

all of their glorious authority, and form a truce . Pompey relents easily because he knows he cannot beat this union of three men, the superpowers of the world . (Act III.) The most important example of power and authority comes when the Triumvirate is broken up into three individuals working independently . Mark Antony and Octavious Caesar are the two strong legs of the Triumvirate, while Lepidus is the weak man who follows the lead of the most powerful and authoritative of the two . Ocatvius Caesar is the most authoritative man in this play . I believe this to be because he is the most intelligent of the three, thinking of conquest rather than love . Caesar is never likened to a God, but rather, is a master of speech and marks his words and actions carefully so as to conquer

the world, alone . Mark Antony, on the other side, shows us love and physical power . He is likened to a God by everyone who crosses his path . By Cleopatra especially , ?demi-Atlas? (I.v.23.); ?Mars? (I.v.18.) . Antony is revered in this grace, physical presence and deft ability on the battle field . As a whole, the two form a terrific alliance, but separate one has to rise . Antony has huge authority struggles . He wants to be part of the Triumvirate, but his love is so strong it pulls him to Egypt . The union with Cleopatra does not give him enough power, he loses to Caesar, and also lessens his authority because of her . He is so guided by his infatuation with this woman that his men begin to defect to Caesar?s side. This is also because Caesar is more competent and knows how

to rule the world, he does not let his love for any woman come between him and his quest for power . The power and authority struggle is one-to-one between Caesar and Antony through most of the book . We always see Caesar on top, because he has the conniving mind to rule . He has Antony marry his sister, so then he has complete control over him . By making him part of his family, Caesar can take personal action against Antony if he does anything to harm his sister . Caesar also does not make the mistake of lowering himself to the ranks of his servants . Antony is constantly drinking with his as equals, or thanking them for their help . It is a very noble position, but one forgets who is in charge half of the time . Caesar never makes that mistake, we always know who is in power

when Caesar speaks . I think the best example of this is while the Triumvirate is on Pompey?s ship, Lepidus has passed out and Antony and Caesar have a few words, ?Pompey: This is not an Alexandrian feast. Antony : It ripens toward it. Strike the vessels,ho! Here?s to Caesar! Caesar : I could well forbear?t It is monstrous labor when I was my brain And it grows fowler. Antony : Be a child o? th? time . Caesar : Posess it, I?ll make answer; But I had rather fast from all, four days, Than drink so much in one .? ( II.vii.98-104) This shows how differently Antony and Caesar think . Caesar always needs control of his brain and does not like to forget time . He always likes to be in control, one step above everyone else . He demands this respect, and everyone knows it, including