Shakespeares Plays A Tale Of Betrayal English Literature Essay

Literary plants ; be they dramas, short narratives, or novels, normally describe events with a position to showing assorted subjects to audiences. Such plants build on their several subjects based on the single characters ‘ actions, experiences, temperaments, or vocalizations. Like a typical literary work, William Shakespeare ‘s seventeenth century Antony and Cleopatra play nowadayss audiences with a figure of important subjects. For case, through the drama, Shakespeare builds on the subjects of treachery every bit good as the clang between emotion and ground. To get down with, the dramatist describes different characters ‘ actions to build a subject of treachery that pervades the full drama. Notably, Mark Antony ‘s act of abandoning his fatherland of Rome depicts betrayal on the portion of this character against both Antony ‘s married woman every bit good as his state. Furthermore, Antony betrays his committedness to Cleopatra by get marrieding Octavia. Conversely, Menas betrays Antony, Lepidus, and Caesar by proposing that Pompey kill the three. Further, Lepidus and Caesar betray Antony by traveling to war against Pompey in dispute of an earlier treaty made with Antony. Conversely, Cleopatra betrays Antony by go forthing him exposed to Caesar ‘s military personnels in two separate cases. Further, by entertaining the message that Caesar has sent through a courier, Cleopatra betrays her fondness for Antony. In another case, Cleopatra pretends to be dead, therefore finally aching Antony. This evident decease, though good intentioned, sums to betrayal of Antony by Cleopatra. On the other manus, Ahenobarbus betrays Antony by abandoning Antony when the latter is at his most vulnerable point in life. As if to literally turn tabular arraies, Cleopatra herself endures treachery from both Caesar every bit good as her ain financial officer. For case, the financial officer lies to Caesar that Cleopatra has hidden some of Cleopatra ‘s wealths, therefore ask foring Caesar to maltreat Cleopatra. This misrepresentation, coming from among one ‘s cupboard retainers, constitutes great treachery. On his portion, Caesar betrays the treaty he has entered into with Cleopatra by meaning to utilize her as a presentation of his war art. Such a malicious and black act finally pushes Cleopatra to take her ain life, therefore get awaying the possible shame that would ensue from Caesar ‘s average act ( Fawkner 79 ) . Sing the clang between emotion and ground, this subject plays out in assorted cases. For illustration, the comments that Philo, one of Antony ‘s friends, makes delineates Antony as person who has permitted emotion to stamp down his power of ground. For case, Philo comments ‘but this second childhood of our general’s/ O’erflows the step ‘ in mention to Antony ( Shakespeare 127 ) . All in all, through the Antony and Cleopatra drama, Shakespeare builds upon the subjects of the struggle between emotions and ground every bit good as treachery through assorted characters ‘ actions, experiences, and vocalizations.

For illustration, the subject of treachery is apparent via Antony ‘s black act of pretermiting his responsibilities as a co-ruler of Rome to illicitly spend clip with Egypt ‘s beautiful Queen Cleopatra. It is noteworthy that despite being among the three Triumvirs who rule over Rome, Antony polemically finds clip to bask clip with Cleopatra. Such an act sums to Antony ‘s disloyalty to Fulvia, one of his married womans, every bit good as to his Roman authorities of which he is an built-in portion. In add-on, Antony ‘s act of get marrieding Octavia, who is Caesar ‘s sister, constitutes disloyalty to Cleopatra to whom Antony is already intimate. To exemplify Antony ‘s discourtesy against Cleopatra, after she learns of Antony ‘s matrimony, Cleopatra becomes really ferocious. For illustration, she cries out ‘Some monstrous criminal. Prithee, friend, /Pour out the battalion of affair to mine ear, / The good and bad together ‘ ( Shakespeare 183 ) .Conversely, Menas ‘ act of pressing Pompey, his military foreman, to slay Antony, Caesar, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus ; the three Roman generals, constitutes betrayal. This is because the three Roman co-rulers have entered into a armistice with Pompey, therefore leting him ( Pompey ) to govern over Sardinia and Sicily. Menas ‘ suggestion therefore grossly violates this amicable gentleman ‘s understanding. In add-on, Lepidus and Caesar ‘s determination of junking the peace treaty that they have entered into with Pompey by contending against Pompey illustrates betrayal. This is because by prosecuting Pompey in conflict, the two work forces demonstrate disloyalty to non merely Antony, but besides to Pompey himself. Antony and Pompey are therefore shortchanged by the two work forces ‘s one-sided determination. Antony ‘s rage at his co-rulers ‘ action clearly illustrates this treachery. For illustration, while turn toing Caesar, Antony says ‘Nay, nay, Octavia, non merely that, — , — but he hath waged/ New wars ‘gainst Pompey ‘ ( Shakespeare 173 ) . On the other manus, Cleopatra ‘s determination to fly from the conflict of Actium, therefore go forthing Antony ‘s forces vulnerable to Caesar ‘s onslaughts, illustrates betrayal. This is because Cleopatra is good cognizant of the built-in lack in Antony ‘s military personnels while contending at sea but alternatively wantonnesss Antony at the hr of demand. Further, Cleopatra had volitionally pledged support for Antony and his military personnels merely to subsequently expose him to Caesar ‘s military personnels. To exemplify, Antony ‘s ‘Give me a buss ; even this repays me ‘ phrase demonstrates his letdown with Cleopatra ‘s unpatriotic behaviour ( Shakespeare 194 ) . Further, Cleopatra ‘s behaviour of prosecuting in junior-grade talk with Caesar ‘s courier, who seeks to win over Cleopatra to Octavian ‘s side, demonstrates her treachery of her love for Antony. To show his dissatisfaction with this evident treachery, Antony orders that Caesar ‘s courier be flogged. Further, Antony at some clip plaints that ‘This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me ‘ while mentioning to Cleopatra ( Shakespeare 197 ) . Apart from Cleopatra, Ahenobarbus, who has been Antony ‘s staunchest protagonist, besides betrays Antony. This disloyalty becomes apparent when Ahenobarbus has the thought that Antony ‘s political calling is coming to a stopping point after Caesar ‘s about successful efforts to court Cleopatra to his side. Ahenobarbus therefore defects to Caesar ‘s political divide, go forthing his former foreman. Ahenobarbus therefore demonstrates great disloyalty and treachery to his ideological foreman ( Deats 168 ) . On the other manus, Cleopatra once more betrays Antony by hatching a strategy that she has taken her ain life in a command to bestir Antony ‘s bleached emotions towards her. Although slightly non ill-intentioned, Cleopatra ‘s fast one proves fatal when, after larning of Cleopatra ‘s supposed decease, Antony attempts to kill himself. Cleopatra ‘s gambit therefore sums to betrayal for her lover because it makes him to unnecessarily harm himself, finally deceasing ( Bains 298 ) . On her portion, Cleopatra endures treachery after she falls under Caesar ‘s authorization. This is because Caesar misleads her that he does non mean to take over her wealth while in the existent sense he yearns to have Cleopatra ‘s wealths. This misrepresentation, which succeeds an otherwise affable treaty between Caesar and Cleopatra that he, will non harm her, amounts to betrayal of Cleopatra ‘s trust in Caesar ‘s word. In add-on, Cleopatra ‘s financial officer ‘s malicious allegation that Cleopatra has hidden some of her wealths from Octavian constitutes betrayal on the portion of the financial officer. Such treachery, coupled with the 1 that Cleopatra faces due to Caesar ‘s maliciousness, pushes her to finally kill herself. Shakespeare therefore efficaciously builds the subject of betray through the behavior of assorted characters in the Antony and Cleopatra drama.

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On the other manus, through the drama, Shakespeare presents his audiences with the subject of the clang between emotion and ground in a figure of occasions. For illustration, Philo, Antony ‘s friend, unfortunately remarks that the military general has neglected his responsibilities, alternatively taking to pass clip with Egypt ‘s Cleopatra. Further, Philo references that Antony has trashed duties which make his ( Antony ‘s ) repute. To show his anger at Antony ‘s insensitiveness, Philo footings the former ‘s actions as amounting to stupid ‘dotage ‘ ( Shakespeare 204 ) .

In add-on, the pointed discourse that Cleopatra and Antony have points to the clang between emotion and ground. For illustration, the 2 lovers wonder whether their common fondness can be comprehended and logically explained or if its description remains elusive to mental modules. To exemplify his destabilized mental build, Antony comments ‘Let Rome in Tiber thaw, and the broad arch / Of the ranged imperium autumn ‘ ( Shakespeare 216 ) . This excessively imbalanced statement shows that emotion and ground are at struggle. Antony therefore feels the impulse to restart his responsibilities as a military officer but is at he same clip pulled towards Cleopatra on history of her keen appeal ( Eggert 138 ) . For illustration, Ahenobarbus testifies to Cleopatra ‘s excellence by asseverating that ‘Age can non shrivel her, nor custom stale / Her infinite assortment: other adult females cloy / The appetencies they feed, but she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies ‘ ( Shakespeare 71 ) . To show his witting, but uneffective, desire to return to Rome and take on his responsibilities as a military leader, after coolly disregarding Caesar ‘s courier, Antony appears to alter tact. For illustration, he reprimands himself on history of his black disregard of his fatherland ( Cahn 299 ) . Further, to show his evident resoluteness to travel back to Rome, Antony comments that he wishes to travel back to avoid ‘lose ( ing ) ( him ) ego in second childhood ‘ ( Shakespeare 226 ) . Through the drama, Shakespeare therefore efficaciously constructs the subject of the struggle between emotion and ground.

In decision, as is the usage of most literary plants, Shakespeare ‘s Antony and Cleopatra play constructs a figure of important subjects, the most noteworthy being treachery every bit good as the category between emotion and ground. Sing treachery, the characters of Antony, Cleopatra, Menas, Caesar, Lepidus, Cleopatra ‘s financial officer, Ahenobarbus, every bit good as Pompey demonstrate treachery through the several actions every bit good as experiences. For illustration, Cleopatra betrays Antony by, foremost, prosecuting in junior-grade talk with Caesar ‘s courier, and secondly, by subsequently abandoning Antony to fall in Caesar. Further, she betrays Antony by go forthing him vulnerable in conflict. Cleopatra ‘s pretentions ploy that she is dead besides finally serves to bewray Antony ‘s love for her. Conversely, Caesar and Lepidus betray both Pompey every bit good as Antony by warring against Pompey. On the other manus, Menas suggestion that Pompey should slay Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus sums to a treachery of the 3 work forces ‘s trust in Pompey. Conversely, Antony betrays his married woman by get marrieding Cleopatra. Further, Cleopatra is betrayed by Antony when he becomes intimate with Cleopatra. On her portion, Cleopatra herself is betrayed by both Caesar and her financial officer. Refering the clang between emotion and ground, Cleopatra and Antony ‘s actions every bit good as vocalizations demonstrate this struggle. For illustration, at one point, Antony seems to value his function as a Roman military functionary through his words. At other times, Antony seems to hold wholly permitted his emotions and passions to steer his activities. At the latter times, Antony even seems to hold verbally relinquished his place as a high-level Roman authorities functionary, alternatively preferring company with Cleopatra.

Plants Cited

Bains, Y. S. Antony and Cleopatra: An Annotated Bibliography. Mortimer Street, London: Taylor & A ; Francis, 1998.

Cahn, Victor L. The Plays of Shakespeare: A Thematic Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.

Deats, Sara Munson. Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays. London: Routledge, 2005.

Eggert, Katherine. Showing like A Queen: Female Authority and Literary Experiment in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.

Fawkner, Harald William. Shakespeare ‘s Hyperontology: Antony and Cleopatra. Madison, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson Unit Press, 1990.

Shakespeare. William. Antony and Cleopatra, Volume 24A by William Shakespeare. Washington, D.C: Plain Label Books, 1950.


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