Aa100 Tma01

Part 1 Cleopatra

Carefully read the following extract (Plutarch, Life of Antony, 76 [abridged]; quoted from Scott-Kilvert, I. (trans.) [1965] Plutarch: Makers of Rome, Penguin Books, cited in AA100 Assignment Booklet, October 2014, p.20 - hereafter referred to as 'Plutarch, 2014, p.20') several times. How does this passage characterise the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra and how does this compare to its portrayal in other Roman sources in Book 1, chapter 1?
The passage is extracted from a series of biographies that Plutarch wrote approximately 150 years after the events, and is written from a Roman standpoint. Plutarch was aiming to give a moralistic judgement on Antony with his account of Antony’s life and the emphasis is very much on this, rather than actual historical facts. Therefore we have no way of knowing how much truth there was in his portrayal of Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship.
Relationships and marriages in the Roman Empire were quite often conducted for political reasons ‘…mutual attachment and love are not redeeming qualities.’ (Fear, 2008, P.11).   So Plutarch naturally took quite a dim view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra.  
Plutarch appears to portray Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship as passionate and tumultuous. After Cleopatra allegedly abandons Antony at the battle of Actium he is described as ‘…crying out in his rage…’ (Plutarch, 2014, p.20).   Then as result, Cleopatra is ‘…in terror at his fury and despair…’ (Plutarch, 2014, p.20).  
Cleopatra is depicted as the more powerful one in the relationship, with Antony always one step behind.   When Antony chases after Cleopatra, he is told she is dead and decides to kill himself.   The Romans held firm beliefs about how men and women should behave and showing any sign of weakness was seen as typically feminine and therefore unmanly. Plutarch clearly depicts Antony as being weak and cowardly when he attributes these words to him; ‘…Fate has taken away the one...