Antony And Cleopatre - Powerplay

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Power in Rome during the time of Antony and Cleopatra was highly military in nature. This is not surprising due to the amazing gains achieved by the Roman Empire through military conquest. Rome, or as described in the text as '"'the ranged empire'"' (1.1.36) was certainly very prosperous at this time with most of the known world under its control. The phrase "'"all roads lead to Rome"'", still recognized in this day and age stands testament to the amazing power of Rome in it hay-day. Rome, however, still remained a democratic state, so while military had a huge presence and sway in the roman political sphere it was the senate which ultimately decided what and what not was to be done. In Rome the image of power is very stoic and composed, with leaders realizing that they need the respect of the roman people to retain their power. Powerplay in Rome was dominated by the three triumvirs Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar and to a lesser extent Lepidus. Antony held sway over the military, was considered the greatest general of his time and is the most senior figure in age and rank of the three. Octavius Caesar, who was politically more secure than Antony and seems the more educated of the three, is described by Cleopatra as no more that an adolescent in act 1, scene 1, line 22 when he is referred to as "'"scarce-bearded"'" and his speech imitated to make it sound like that of a spoilt brat (1.1.23-25). He however is well versed in the politics of the time and knows the value of the pen over the sword. Lepidus is described by all accounts as the weakling of the three, Pompey tells of how he "'"flatters both, and of both is flattered"'" but in the end is neither cared for by Antony or Caesar. In the scheme of "'"powerplay in Rome"'" Pompey acts as a mediator between tow great forces without been one himself. The main power play in this text is seen between Antony and Caesar
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