He wants Antony to eat and sleep until death. Pompey feels that Antony is not a threat while he is with Cleopatra. Shakespeare presents Antony, through Pompey, as a soldier who does not fight. He has done this to show a non-biased view of Antony, this is important as wee need to see this side of him. As the play progresses we are seeing Antony as more of a leader and a fighter. In Act 2: scene 2, Shakespeare supports this and presents him as stronger than Caesar, to explain his fear. We see Antony as a very calm man, while Caesar gets agitated. Caesar makes long speeches, while Antony’s are very short:
“How intends you, ‘practis’d? ” (line 46) Shakespeare presents Antony as a ‘cool’ and ‘calm’ character, but not in the same sense as in Egypt, where he is a relaxed calm. In this scene we see a confident calm. He is conciliatory, while Caesar is not so convinced. Eventually the two leaders become friends, the cause being Agrippa’s idea about marriage to Caesar’s sister. This scene comes to an end and Antony had been presented to us as a confident leader, but when Cleopatra is mentioned he dismisses her: “I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear Agrippa further speak. ” (line 130)
This shows that he wants the Roman Empire to be the best empire in the world, portraying a man we have not seen yet, whom is concerned about his political duties. If Antony did not marry Caesar’s wife, then the dispute between him and Caesar would carry on and the Roman Empire would be in ruins. Throughout the rest of the play we see Antony as a good politician, who manages to settle arguments with Pompey as he did Caesar. In Act 2: scene 7, Antony, along with Lepidus and other Roman soldiers, becomes very drunk. Shakespeare presents Antony as a drunken man to us, to show us he can still be relaxed and joyful without Cleopatra.
Shakespeare has shown many characteristics in Antony, but we are to see more as the play progresses. When we move onto Cleopatra, we can immediately see how different she is to Antony. Shakespeare presents her this way to show the audience the difference between Egypt and Rome. Egypt is very feminine and relaxed, whereas Rome is masculine and stern. The contrast of personalities between the two lovers portrays this. In her beginning scene Act 1: scene 1, we see that she dominates Antony portraying her as a confident, powerful woman. Shakespeare uses this to represent a beautiful woman, who will get what she wants:
” your dismission Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. ” (line 26) Antony obeys this command from Cleopatra showing he is under her influence. Cleopatra is dominant throughout most of Act 1. Shakespeare has perhaps done this, so that when we see her distraught and upset, it will be a shock. In Act 1: scene 3 she is very melodramatic: she feigns illness when she hears that Antony is in high spirits: “Help me away, dear Charmian! I shall fall! ” (line 16) She is very deceptive and cunning and Shakespeare has presented with this personality, so that we enjoy her character.
We must like her because she is a type of heroine in the play and so when she dies at the end, we will feel saddened. Cleopatra dominates this scene, but this time in a different way. She is both powerful and cunning, as fools Antony into thinking she is ill. We also see a vain side to her; Charmian offers her advice about keeping a man, but she dismisses this as she has been with many men: she knows that she is clever and good with men. We also see her as a very confident woman in this scene, as she wishes she were bigger, so she could beat up Antony:
“I would I had thy inches! Thou shouldst know There were a heart in Egypt! ” (line 42) This would be quite comical, which is another device of Shakespeare’s to make the audience enjoy her character. At the end of this scene we receive a shock, because even though she has done a lot of pleading, she cannot make Antony stay. This shows that she does not have as much power as she shows and Shakespeare has presented her like this to show that she does have weaknesses. She also wishes Antony on his way that shows a kind woman.
Shakespeare has presented a lot of aspects to her personality in this scene, showing how different and capricious Cleopatra can be. In Act 2: scene 1 we meet with Pompey who is talking with Menacretes about Antony and Cleopatra. Pompey thinks that Antony is not a threat while he is with Cleopatra, showing that he also thinks she is very domineering. He also thinks that Cleopatra has put a spell on Antony to make him love her. This may change the view of the audience and make them think that she is a witch, but Pompey is an enemy of Antony, so the audience would not agree with him.