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Plutarch's View of the Relationship Between Anthony and Cleopatra

  • Date Submitted: 01/29/2012 03:59 AM
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The Arts Past and Present; Reputations book 1

      Assignment one

Part 1 Cleopatra

Read the following passage carefully at least twice. What does it tell us about Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra?

Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra tells us it was a mutual affection and it is elaborated by Plutarch very cleverly on how much or less they actually cared for each other.   By what Plutarch has written about how Antony behaves in front of Cleopatra suggests he admired her a lot. It also seems like both enjoyed each other’s company ‘She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him’ and ‘she kept him in constant tutelage’ (Plutarch, in AA100 assignment Booklet, 2011, p.18). This also suggests she wanted to be part of his life and get as much attention as she can by deliberately spending time with him all the time for him to be seduced by her charm and Cleopatra did not care what she had to do. Cleopatra did like Antony’s humour as she went along with everything he did.
      Plutarch emphasises Antony being more attached to Cleopatra than she was. It seems Antony wanted to impress her to keep his pride, respect and not be shown as a loser in front of his lover, by showing he was a good fisherman and Cleopatra did not think about his feelings due to mockery she made of Antony by inviting people to the fishing boats and making a joke of it.   ‘He was fishing once, and had bad luck and was vexed at it because Cleopatra was there to see’ (Plutarch, in AA100 assignment booklet, 2011, p.18).
Plutarch has also written in other sources that many Roman people had strong negative feelings towards Cleopatra by seeing how Antony turned out after being with Cleopatra and becoming ignorant at other duties. He was so infatuated by her that he turned against his own empire, ‘He is either blind to reason or mad, for I have heard and can believe that he is bewitched by that accursed woman’...

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