Anthony And Cleopatra

Part 1

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

Plutarch, a Greek Historian whom lived some 150 years after Cleopatra and Anthony, viewed the relationship between Cleopatra and Anthony as fatal for Anthony. In describing Anthony’s love for her he states ‘it stifled or corrupted all those redeeming qualities in him’, (Scott-Kilvert,1965, Fear,2008, p.9)

In the first part of the passage, Plutarch describes how Cleopatra would use her charm and sexuality to manipulate Anthony. She was always by his side controlling and influencing his moods. Plutarch describes how, ‘She played dice with him, drank with him and hunted with him’ (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment booklet, 2011, p.18). In this statement, it shows how Cleopatra was a manipulator, not subservient as was expected of females in Roman society. Plutarch viewed this as a lack of respect of the once great General, as he states in his account of the meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra in Tarsus, ‘she treated him with such disdain that when she appeared it was as if in mockery of his orders’, (Scott-kilvert, 1965, in Fear, 2008 p.10).

Plutarch’s describes Anthony as a childish figure, lacking in sense. When describing Anthony’s ‘mad follies’, Plutarch states that Anthony and Cleopatra would dress as servants. Anthony would harass the ordinary common folk and make fun of them. Anthony’s victims knew who he was, yet still, they would give him abuse and often beat him. The childishness of Anthony, and the commoners’ lack of respect towards him, cast doubt over Anthony’s masculinity and greatness. Plutarch conveys the message that Anthony was indeed responsible for his own fall. As Cassius Dio wrote when depicting the speech Augustus gave before the battle of Actim, ‘Who would not weep when he sees and hears what Anthony has become?’ (Scott-Kilvert, 1987, in Fear 2008 p. 27). Anthony who was once seen as a.