Antony and Cleopatra

Questionable Triumph: Does Caesar Achieve Complete Victory? 11th Grade

By the end of the play, the eponymous, tragic hero Antony has lost the battle of Actium and ultimately kills himself after the defeat. Due to this many would say that Caesar has achieved a complete victory over his rival; however, is it this simple? Whilst Caesar has achieved a military victory in the battle that takes place at the climax of the play, this does not necessarily mean he has achieved a victory that is complete. The play is not just about military conflict and in the same way the overall victor of the play cannot be decided purely based upon the Battle of Actium.

One the one hand, the title of the play refers to both Antony and Cleopatra and makes no reference to Caesar; this is because amongst the political strife and conflict this play is about love. Antony has such a strong love for Cleopatra that for her he would “Let Rome in Tiber melt” and for him she would “unpeople Egypt”. For one another they would give up their title’s and epithets, their power and everything they have previously stood for, Antony has been the epitome of a roman man and Cleopatra’s name has been synonymous her country, in his final moments as he dies in her arms Antony says “I am dying, Egypt, Dying”. To be willing to give up everything...

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