2008 BM1 Assignment 2: Antony and Cleopatra

From Angl-Am
Jump to: navigation, search

William Shakespeare, Antony and Clopatra [c. 1607] (1623), 2.2.123-161 (you may also refer to the text in your Arden edition):

Agri. Giue me leaue Caesar.
Caesar. Speake Agrippa.
Agri. Thou hast a Sister by the Mothers side, admir'd
Octauia: Great Mark Anthony is now a widdower.
Caesar. Say not, say Agrippa ; if Cleopater heard you, your
proofe were well deserued of rashnesse.
Anth. I am not marryed Caesar : let me heere Agrippa
further speake.
Agri. To hold you in perpetuall amitie,
To make you Brothers, and to knit your hearts
With an vn-slipping knot, take Anthony ,
Octauia to his wife: whose beauty claimes
No worse a husband then the best of men: whose
Vertue, and whose generall graces, speake
That which none else can vtter. By this marriage,
All little Ielousies which now seeme great,
And all great feares, which now import their dangers,
Would then be nothing. Truth's would be tales,
Where now halfe tales be truth's: her loue to both,
Would each to other, and all loues to both
Draw after her. Pardon what I haue spoke,
For 'tis a studied not a present thought,
By duty ruminated.
Anth. Will Caesar speake?
Caesar. Not till he heares how Anthony is toucht,
With what is spoke already.
Anth. What power is in Agrippa,
If I would say Agrippa, be it so,
To make this good?
Caesar. The power of Caesar ,
And his power, vnto Octauia.
Anth. May I neuer
(To this good purpose, that so fairely shewes)
Dreame of impediment: let me haue thy hand
Further this act of Grace: and from this houre,
The heart of Brothers gouerne in our Loues,
And sway our great Designes.
Caesar. There's my hand:
A Sister I bequeath you, whom no Brother
Did euer loue so deerely. Let her liue
To ioyne our kingdomes, and our hearts, and neuer
Flie off our Loues againe.
Lepi.Happily, Amen.

from Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria

Please address the following tasks!

  1. Dramatic communication: Analyse the communicative situation in this dialogue. Concentrate on the form and length of individual speeches, interruptions and the domination of one speaker or idea.
  2. Against the background of this analysis, divide the passage into sections and give a structured summary of it.
  3. Characterisation: What do you find out about the three characters in this dialogue? In order to address this task, identify different modes of characterisation and analyse their effect.
  4. Rhetoric: In lines 132 to 146, which stylistic level predominates? Give three reasons that support your choice and back them up with quotations.
  5. Criticism and interpretation: Give a wider significance to one or several aspects in this scene by discussing them in the light of your knowledge of the entire play. Possibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • the characters of Antony and Caesar, and the relationship between the two
  • gender aspects
  • tragedy
  • politics
  • the role of minor characters
  • ...

Format your text according to the directions given on the style sheet!

You may write up to three pages of text, using complete sentences only. Any text beyond the third page will be disregarded!

In each question you may earn a maximum of 20 points.


  • 81 – 100 = 1
  • 71 – 80 = 2
  • 61 – 70 = 3
  • 50 – 60 = 4
  • 35 – 49 = 5
  • 0 – 35 = 6 (i.e.: re-do the assignment in order to gain a 5, which will allow you to continue in the module)