The Dramatic Nature of Cleopatra and Antony’s Relationship

Her odd relationship with Antony is because of her duel emotions for him, as if she doesn’t like him when he is present, but misses him dearly when he is absent. Although she is such a dominant, almost arrogant character it seems that she does have some insecurities. During the first exchange, when she belittles Antony, there is a hint of jealousy and this introduces tension into the play. This idea that she is jealous of Fulvia is furthered later when she calls Fulvia a nagging wife: “Shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds” and asks: “Why did he marry Fulvia and not love her?”, and by using the 3rd person in reference to Antony, she starts to show her jealousy.

These exchanges illustrate Cleopatra to be quite insecure and unsure about Antony when it comes to Fulvia his wife; however this certain jealousy is short lived with Fulvia dying soon after. In addition it could be that she constantly needs to be centre of attention, and needs compliments to keep her self esteem high.

In the same scene she appears to be quite ego mongering and is always fishing for compliments like: “If it be love indeed, tell me how much”. When Antony replies with a flattering phrase about their love, she takes control again and says: “I’ll set a bourn how far to be beloved”, as if his limit of love is not enough and so she must limit on how much he may love her, which again links in with the theme of excess, and this also demonstrates further her personality as being dominant and controlling.

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Another trait that Cleopatra has been presented with in Act 1 is the dramatic nature of her personality which is also reflected in her speech. When she talks of Fulvia she talks in a very dramatic vain and the constant use of punctuation and rhetorical questions show this. Her dramatic being resurfaces later on, in scene 2, when she says: “I am sick and sullen…help me away, dear Charmain! I shall fall…” at the sight of Antony and also in scene 5 in the exchange between her and Alexas: “Note him…note him…note him”, suggesting that the triple “note him” adds to the idea that there is evidence of theatrical conciseness, and highlights the dramatic nature of Cleopatra.

The final characteristic of Cleopatra is the idea of mysticism. This is a current theme in the play and applies to Egypt but also to Cleopatra to an extent. She is described as a: “gipsy” and an “enchanting queen”, which links to this idea but also to the fact that many felt she was keeping Antony almost under a spell and her antics are often described as: “witchcraft”. The idea of her keeping Antony away from Rome is reiterated in Antony’s words: “These strong Egyptian fetters I must break…”, picturing Cleopatra as a temptress keeping Antony in Egypt rather that Rome neglecting his responsibilities as a leader.

In conclusion Cleopatra is presented as a dominant typically passionately Egyptian women especially when loving Antony. She epitomizes Egypt and all that it stands for, that is: overindulgence, and a women who is presented as being very complicated when it comes to her feelings.

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The Dramatic Nature of Cleopatra and Antony’s Relationship. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

The Dramatic Nature of Cleopatra and Antony’s Relationship
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