Betrayal in “Antony and Cleopatra”


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Essay #: 061746
Total text length is 6,908 characters (approximately 4.8 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Betrayal in “Antony and Cleopatra”
The speech to be discussed (not part of page count):
All is lost:
This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me:
My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder
They cast their caps up, and carouse together
Like friends long lost. Triple-turn'd whore, 'tis thou
Hast sold me to this novice, and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly:
For when I am reveng'd upon my charm,
I have done all. Bid them all fly, be gone.
Oh sun, thy uprise shall I see no more,
Fortune, and Anthony part here, even here
Do we shake hands? All come to this? The hearts
That paneled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do dis-candie, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar: And this pine is barkt,
That over-top'd them all. Betray'd...
The end:
.....rums him from his sport and speaks as loud
As his own state and ours, ’tis to be chid
As we rate boys who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure
And so rebel to judgment.
In sum, “Antony and Cleopatra” is a play filled with the consequences that arise out of an irreconcilable inner opposition between duty and desire, and this opposition is brought into outward (dramatic) form in the many betrayals that the main characters participate in, either as victims or as perpetrators. In the end these betrayals bring both protagonists to disaster.
Work Cited
Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. I. Gen. Ed. W.H. Abrams. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.