Read the Following Passage Carefully. What Does It Tell Us About Plutarch’S View of the Relationship Between Antony and Cleopatra?

Read the following passage carefully. What does it tell us about Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra?

It has to be remembered that Plutarch’s Life of Antony was written one hundred years after the event in an era when Rome was at the top of its game. It is well known that ‘Cleopatra she lost and, as the winners in conflicts tend to write history, it is their images of the losers that prevail.’ (Fear, 2008. P.7)

Plutarch wrote the ‘Life of Antony’ in a Roman context. He was a moralist of the old school and although he was well read and well bread, he was a garrulous, sententious and not interested in evolution of civilisation. This is very clear in this extract. Romans believed that romantic infatuation was a weakness of character. Plutarch manifests this with ‘Antony’s involvement with Cleopatra becomes a sort of parable of how the great can be destroyed by their moral flaws’ (Fear 2008. P.14)

From the beginning of this extract it seems like any normal courtship between two people.   With the help of emotive words such as, ‘Fresh delight’ and ‘Charm,’ arousing feelings using imagery, that she can deliver solace to him. He then brings in a negative tone, especially with Cleopatra, by saying, ‘kept him in constant tutelage and released him neither night nor day.’ It characterises her as having an unnatural hold over.   Cassius Dio states, ‘Antony is characterised as a shadow of his former, manly Roman, self. He has.... and become bewitched and enslaved by Cleopatra.’ (Fear 2008. P.7)

Plutarch’s hostility continues with letting the reader believe that, she is just a woman of no great importance so, wearing the garb of a serving maiden, and passing for one is easy where a Roman general would not be able to pass himself off as a servant because of the air of nobility he carries. Calling her the ‘Egyptian’ is used in a negative way taking away her individuality undermining her as a person and Queen. ‘The notion of a ‘queen’ was even...