Suggested Essay Topics
Act I, Scenes 1 and 2
1. Charmian is Cleopatra’s servant, but the queen depends heavily on her in several ways. List some of these ways and discuss whether Charmian appeared worthy of such trust.
2. Antony obviously has fallen into considerable lassitude as a result of his relationship with Cleopatra. Are there any indications that Antony might return to the stature he enjoyed as the leader of the triumvirate’s forces against Brutus and Cassius at Philippi several years earlier? If so, what are they?
Act I, Scene 3
1. In this and the two previous scenes, the character of Antony and Cleopatra is revealed, but Cleopatra is subjected to more character development here than is Antony. Describe, by using specific references from the text, how Shakespeare proceeds to develop Cleopatra’s character.
2. Charmian, up to this point, has received about as much character development as has Cleopatra. Based on this and the two previous scenes, suggest how Cleopatra might have acted if Charmian or someone similar to her had not been available. Would Cleopatra’s approach to Antony and the solving of her emotional problems have been different without Charmian? Why, or why not?
Act I, Scenes 4 and 5
1. Scene 4 is, essentially, a conversation between Octavius (Caesar) and Lepidus. Both characters will receive much more development later in the play. Based on what transpires in Scene 4,...
(The entire section is 2604 words.)
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