Read the following passage carefully at least twice. What does it tell us about Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra?
In this passage Plutarch initially portrays the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra as classic lovers, infatuated and passionate with one and other. Their relationship appears to have elements that are consistent of any relationship “there was great laughter, as was natural” (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, P18) and Cleopatra would entertain Antony during his “hours of seriousness or mirth,” (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, P18).
However Plutarch also viewed Cleopatra as the dominant force in the relationship and a motherly figure towards Antony. By keeping Antony “in constant tutelage” (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, P18) and not releasing “him neither night nor day” (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, P18), Cleopatra was able to manipulate Antony into behaviour that was considered unacceptable for a Roman General. She guided him into situations that without her influence he would not have found himself in. She would accompany Antony “on his round of mad follies” (Plutarch, in Assignment Booklet, 2011, P18.) Despite knowing the abuse Antony would receive, Cleopatra never discouraged him from these excursions even though Plutarch believed she had the influence to do so.
Antony’s behaviour towards Cleopatra is viewed by Plutarch as childlike. By becoming “vexed” (Plutarch, in AA100 Assignment booklet, 2011, P18) at his bad luck at fishing and resorting to trickery to impress his lover, he comes across as a child trying to impress his elders. Plutarch blamed this adolescent behaviour on Cleopatra, claiming she turned Antony into “a spoilt youth” (Fear.T.2008).
The Term Paper on What Does the Paragraph Tell Us About Plutarch’s View of the Relationship Between Antony and Cleopatra?
... her presence was irresistible (assignment booklet AA100 pg. 18). Plutarch emphasises this point by comparing the love for Cleopatra by Antony as a madness to ... the paragraph tell us about Plutarch’s view of the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra? Plutarch first introduces us to Antony and Cleopatra by immediately trying to ...
Cleopatra is portrayed by Plutarch as being intellectually superior to Antony, quickly recognizing his deception and exploiting it for her own amusement. Although Plutarch doesn’t deny the love Cleopatra and Antony had for each other he does suggest that Cleopatra uses Antony’s infatuation for her as a way to make a mockery out of him, something which mirrors Plutarch’s account of their first meeting.
Throughout the passage Plutarch conveys Cleopatra’s authority within the relationship. She guides, entertains and disciplines Antony the way a mother would her own child and in return she gets his undivided affection and willingness to do anything to please her.
In conclusion Plutarch viewed Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship as an infatuation dominated by Cleopatra’s manipulative persona. He saw her as a cunning temptress who was able to seduce Antony into circumstances and behaviour that were considered by Plutarch to be weak and “a lack of self control” (Fear.T.2008) on Antony’s part. He implies that Cleopatra had control over Antony and that she ultimately lead to his demise.
Plutarch, Life of Antony, 29-30; reprinted in AA100 Assignment Booklet (October 2011), Milton Keynes, The Open University, P18.
Fear,T.(2008), “Cleopatra”, in Mooha, E. (ed), Reputations, (AA100 book 1), Milton Keynes, Open University, P 1-28.