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In What Ways and by What Means Is Cleopatra Presented as a Woman That Challenges the Ideals and Conventions of the Period of the Play ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and the 16th – 17th Century England? Essay

  • Submitted by: greensarah
  • on November 25, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 567 words

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Below is an essay on "In What Ways and by What Means Is Cleopatra Presented as a Woman That Challenges the Ideals and Conventions of the Period of the Play ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and the 16th – 17th Century England?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Both Antony and Cleopatra and the 16th – 17th century were both at a time when the role of women in life was not valued as much as men and the principles of ruling Rome, Egypt and England in a well-ordered society were of great concern. In Shakespearean time (16th-17th century) rules and values of discrimination towards women and the way in which they were treated and presented were very much similar to the opinions and the way in which women were treated in 40-30 BC, in the time Antony and Cleopatra were set in.
An example of this would be in the play of Antony and Cleopatra where Cleopatra is being described by Enobarbus (Act 2 Scene 2, Page 142):
“Age cannot wither her,
Nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless she is riggish.”
Where Enobarbus is describing how all women can feed a man’s appetite and give them whatever they want or need (“The appetites they feed, but she makes me hungry”), displays how all women in the time of the play were stereotyped as an invaluable prize that could satisfy men if they were ever desired. Cleopatra being notorious for being strong-minded, strong-willed and tyrannical; and frequently described as a ‘whore’ within the play; she is looked upon as an exception or rarity. Enobarbus describes this as if he is baffled at the fact Cleopatra -being a woman -had this effect on him and many other men – this known from all of her previous lovers and spouses. The inequality and juxtaposition between men and women is clearly indicated here. This would relate to Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespearean times. Queen Elizabeth was well known for also being ruthless and head-strong. She was also one of the most desired queens, however she would deny with the principle of “being married to her country”, this relating to her frequently referred to name of ‘The Virgin Queen’. Despite...

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MLA Citation

"In What Ways and by What Means Is Cleopatra Presented as a Woman That Challenges the Ideals and Conventions of the Period of the Play ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and the 16th – 17th Century England?". Anti Essays. 18 Dec. 2018

<http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/In-What-Ways-And-By-What-357745.html>

APA Citation

In What Ways and by What Means Is Cleopatra Presented as a Woman That Challenges the Ideals and Conventions of the Period of the Play ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and the 16th – 17th Century England?. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/In-What-Ways-And-By-What-357745.html