What Does the Passage Tell Us About Plutarch’S View of the Relationship Between Antony and Cleopatra?

In this passage Plutarch takes us in a number of directions.

At first he describes a relationship both loving and playful, Cleopatra was a constant source of ‘fresh delight and charm’ he reports. He also comments on what appears as a mutual love of mischief and danger expressed through their nocturnal escapades masquerading as common servants.
Plutarch emphasises a marked difference between her roles of participation and observation. Cleopatra accompanies him in the masculine pursuits of gambling, drinking and hunting. In contrast, when he practices fighting skills she displays a distinct deference as she merely watches, undoubtedly with a sense of admiration.
In each of these descriptions Plutarch portrays a relationship that is Other to the Roman paradigm, these are all areas of life that decent Roman women would never usually participate in.

The question refers directly to ‘Plutarch’s view’ which deserves examination in itself. A ‘view’ is generally used in reference to that which has been seen, an alternative meaning though is an opinion, and this is what we get here, Plutarch’s opinion.
As a secondary source, he would have had to rely on previous writers for his information. He probably would have referenced Horace, who was contemporaneous with Antony and Cleopatra. Of course, Horace writes in the style of poetic history which can never be thought of as an accurate narrative, ancient historical writing is never a true account of events. We get a better understanding by considering surrounding influences deemed evidentially factual. This Ode, where she is described as a ‘mad queen’, ‘crazed with hope unlimited’, was set against the historical backdrop of the period when the Roman Republic flexed its muscles as it matured into the Roman Empire.

Plutarch’s view hinges on his concept of ‘constant tutelage’, by implying this master/slave dynamic he paints a picture of a deeply manipulative relationship. This is best illustrated in his telling of the...