Antony and Cleopatra: Analysis of Mark Antony

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Mark Antony is one of the Triumvir, along with Octavius and Lepidus, who rules the Roman Empire when this play was set between 40 and 30BC. He is a dedicated and talented soldier descended from an ancient Roman family, though of recent the family has fallen into disfavour. It is learnt from Shakespeare's previous play 'Julius Caesar' that Antony formerly greatly enjoyed drinking and socialising. He made his soldierly fortunes at Philippi, in Macedonia Greece, when he outwitted Brutus and Cassius, Julius Caesar's murderers. Previously, because he was greatly liked by his soldiers and courageous on the battlefield, he became lieutenant in Gaul to Julius Caesar, before being appointed chief deputy to Caesar and then his partner as consul of Rome. Though highly regarded in Rome for his military successes, in Egypt, Antony neglects his state duties and instead revels in debauchery.  

Antony submits himself to Cleopatra, in a similar way to how he had dedicated himself to his military duties in Rome. Since residing in Egypt and falling in love with Cleopatra, Antony comes to reveling in the sensuous pleasures of the exotic land. However, he remains fatally divided between his duties to his own state and his loyalty to Cleopatra. Though he admits the presence of this conflict, he continues to believe that the situation is personal, not political. When he is not completely overpowered by his adoration of Cleopatra and takes note of political affairs, he acts nobly and graciously. For instance, Antony greets Pompey with honesty and affection. When Enobarbus, Antony's most loyal friend, deserts


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