Carefully read the following extract several times. What does the passage tell us about Plutarch’s view of the effect of Cleopatra on Antony, and how does this viewpoint relate to the wider Roman perspective on Cleopatra and Egypt?

The Roman view of Cleopatra was a dim one to say the least. The political leaders of Rome were constantly battling to protect themselves and their reputations and at the same time eradicate that of rivals. It seems that the Roman leaders knew Cleopatra was a strong, powerful, intellectual politician, and being a woman, at this time made her one of the biggest rivals of all.
Plutarch, a Roman who wrote about ‘The life of Antony’ over 100 years after the deaths of Cleopatra and her lover, had a similar opinion to the rest of Rome on how she affected him. It appears that Plutarch thought Antony’s love for Cleopatra was his downfall and that she ‘corrupted’ him (Scott-Kilvert, 1965, p. 9). Cleopatra is conveyed by Rome as bewitching and the love which Antony has for her is seen as madness, and it could be argued that it was due to her that he lost all of his Roman morals and ‘abandoned his ancestral way of life’ and instead indulged ‘in a life of royal luxury’ and was unable to ‘conceive a manly thought or do a manly deed’ (Scott-Kilvert, 1987, p. 27).
Plutarch believed that Antony ‘allowed the queen to carry him off to Alexandria’ where he was ‘content to squander’ his ‘precious’ time on ‘idle pleasures’. This implies that Antony was weak under the influence of Cleopatra. He had given up all responsibilities to live a life of extravagance and was socialising within a group of friends they called the ‘Inimitable Livers’ another sign to show   that Antony was now more concerned with indulging ‘himself in the amusements and diversions of a young man’ (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Book, 2009, p.17). That Plutarch believed Antony ‘allowed’ Cleopatra to take him to Egypt also portrays the queen as manipulative. This is also shown in...