Cleopatra Essay

1137 Words5 Pages
Assignment 1 Part 1 Read the following passage carefully at least twice. What does it tell us about Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra? We have grown up viewing Cleopatra in various depictions through film, the arts and historical figures. She is often portrayed as a beauty with an insatiable hold over men. However she is also depicted as ugly and manipulative. This second view is often held by Roman historians, one of whom, Plutarch, wrote the Life of Antony and whose interpretation of Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship we will now look at. Plutarch’s writings about the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra tell us how she manipulates Antony via her power, charm and sexual bearing. She clearly dominates the relationship and systematically breaks down the former Roman General. Cleopatra dominates every hour of Antony; this is clearly highlighted by the phrase “kept him in constant tutelage” (Plutarch, Life of Mark Antony p.29). Hunting, dice and drinking were mostly male dominated activities at the time yet Cleopatra would accompany Antony when he was doing these. This must me Plutarch’s view emphasising again the control that Cleopatra holds over Antony. Antony clearly endures her constant companionship as he wishes to seek further approval of the much vaunted Egyptian Queen. This must have been very difficult for Antony, especially as the former Roman General would have seen the nation of Egypt as nothing more than a mere province that was subservient to the mighty Roman Empire. Plutarch clearly thinks that Antony endures this for his own personal gratification. Love and attachment were not redeeming qualities (REF) of a Roman at the time and Plutarch see this as further evidence how Antony has lost his belief in Roman culture and is now self-indulgent and losing his self-control. The passage on Antony’s

More about Cleopatra Essay

Open Document