TMA 01
Part 1 – Cleopatra
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?
Within this essay, I will explain how Plutarch’s passage characterises the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra and how it compares to its portrayal in other Roman sources. Therefore, explicating how their relationship coincides and differs.
Cleopatra is envisaged as the dominating, almost superior one in the relationship. She possesses the power to control and negatively influence Antony’s behaviour; using her seductive, alluring charm, to weaken him from an honourable soldier into an infatuated, besotted soul. As depicted by Plutarch ‘Cleopatra brings out the worst in Antony and supresses the best’ (Fear, 2008, p.9). This is supported by Cassius Dio, whom refers to Antony as becoming a shadow of his former self ‘abandoned his whole ancestral way of life’ (Scott-Kilvert, 1987, in Fear, 2008, p.27). Antony was a Roman soldier who chose to fight alongside Cleopatra, against his Roman kin ‘fighting on her behalf against his own country’ (Fear, 2008, p.7). Consequently, Antony, was indeed the more besotted one.
During the battle, Cleopatra betrayed Antony by running off; Antony followed suit. Running after a woman can be deemed a weakness. Not only was Antony running after Cleopatra, he was running away from battle; turning his back on his morals as a Roman soldier. Gone were the stereotypical traits of a Roman leader; in its place stood a weaker man. Antony knew that his transformation from an honourable Roman Soldier into this man that possessed no bravery; whom had fled from battle was irreversible. Thus, it might be argued that within their relationship, Cleopatra really was as Plutarch presented her in Chapter 1 ‘a fatal influence on Antony’ (Fear, 2008, p.9).
In Plutarch’s passage on the other hand, Cleopatra is not portrayed in a negative, preponderant...