Mark Antony, a Roman triumvirate who, in his role of leader, is caught between concern for his people and his love for a woman. Antony shows various human traits as he tries to recapture his position of leadership against invading forces, as he accepts the friendship of his faithful officers, as he considers reconciliation with his wife and family, as he is duped by clever antagonistic individuals, and as he is shown incapable of adapting to these various relationships because of his devotion to Cleopatra, his mistress. Not strong enough or discerning enough to determine her motives, Antony dies a failure.
Cleopatra (klee-oh-PA-truh), the queen of Egypt and mistress of Antony. Steadfast in her love, as she convinces him before his death, she is deluded by some of her servants and shows the vulnerability of the great at the hands of the crafty. Cleopatra is victorious over her peers, in that she averts Antony’s return to his family. She takes her life to avoid the celebration of victory over Antony’s troops, a defeat that prompts Antony’s suicide. Cleopatra glories in imminent death as the poison of the asp she has applied to her arm flows through her body.
Alexas (eh-LEHK-suhs), Cleopatra’s eunuch, opposed to his queen’s and Antony’s love. Scheming Alexas uses flattery, chicanery, and lies to influence people. Knowing that Antony’s troops are about to be attacked, he encourages the troops to celebrate in honor of Antony’s birthday. Learning that Antony has been persuaded by his own officers to defend his position, Alexas connives to have Antony intercepted by Cleopatra as he leaves the city. Alexas also conspires to...
(The entire section is 735 words.)