Words of Wisdom:

"I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment." - Indofreker

Carefully Read the Following Extract Several Times. Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which the Passage Below Attempts to Discredit Antony with the Ways This Is Done in the Speech Attributed to Octavian by Cassius Dio (

  • Date Submitted: 11/30/2015 09:40 AM
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Antony has been discredited in numerous way in both extracts. The key figure involved which led to the negative portrayal of Antony is the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Cleopatra.

Contextually, Octavian already had a vendetta against Antony. Roman marriage was seen as a political coalition between families. Before the speech attributed to Octavian, Antony had abandoned his wife (the sister of Octavian) to pursue his life with Cleopatra.

Continuing with the theme of Cleopatra, both texts depict her as having complete control over Antony. Plutarch and Cassius Dio both illustrate a negative image of Antony due to Cleopatra’s influence. Cassius Dio claims Octavian said in a speech to his army before the battle of Actium that Antony ‘is either blind to reason or mad, for I have heard and can believe that he is bewitched by that accursed woman’ (Scott-Kilvert, 1987, Reputations, 2008, p. 27).   Plutarch suggests the same control due to Antony’s will explaining ‘if he were to die in Rome, his body should be carried in state through the Forum and then sent to Cleopatra in Egypt’ (Plutarch, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2013, p. 19) in case he died during the battle against his home country proving his loyalties now lie with Cleopatra in Egypt.

Cleopatra became a large influence in Antony’s life even ‘Clavisius, one of Octavian’s friends, accused Antony of a number of other excesses in his behaviour towards Cleopatra’ (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2013, p. 19). This behaviour became noticeable during formal events as   ‘Antony leaped to his feet from his tribunal, walked out of the trial and accompanied Cleopatra on her way, hanging onto her litter’ (Plutarch, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2013, p. 19).   In Antony’s defence, Plutarch expresses him as a loyal family man. However, departing during any trial is unforeseen as well as rude especially when ‘love-letters from her written on tablets of onyx’ (Plutarch, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2013, p.19) were...

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