Antony and Cleopatra Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra book cover
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What are the differences between Dryden's "All for Love" and Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra," specifically, in terms of using language, plot, and characterization of Cleopatra? 

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The Characterization of Cleopatra. 

In Shakespeare's play, Cleopatra is characterized as an enigmatic, sensual, and charismatic figure. Shakespeare's Cleopatra dominates rather than submits to fate. In Act 1 Scene 5, we discover that she has commissioned twenty different messengers to bear daily messages to Antony. She proclaims to Charmian that, if need be, she will "unpeople Egypt" to ensure that Antony receives daily messages of love from her. Enobarbus describes Cleopatra's brilliance and magnetic allure in Act 2 Scene 2 of Antony and Cleopatra

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumèd that
The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue—
O’erpicturing that Venus where...

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write3,263 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics