Antony and Cleopatra

Imagery in Antony and Cleopatra College

In Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare uses grand evocative imagery for a variety of reasons such as juxtaposing Rome against Egypt, and to add different dimensions to the main characters. Moreover, there are a few overriding themes throughout the play such as the exhibition of imperial affluence, notions of honour, and that of love. There is a constant assertion of the high stakes involved in the story, for it isn’t a simple tale of romance about ordinary men and women, but rather a story of two empires and the interrelations between its rulers, bearing far-reaching consequences from the personal to the political. As a result, the potent triumvir image is brought up from time to time, and ample cosmic allusions and analogies are evident in the play. However, at the same time, Shakespeare also seems to be hinting at how such larger-than-life royals too, were in the end, mere mortals suffering from their own sets of desires, insecurities and transgressions. This could be further interpreted as commentary upon the unfairness of a political system, wherein a few individuals decide the fate of entire populations based on their whims and fancies.

Scenes abound in Antony and Cleopatra that produce fantastical images of extreme...

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