Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra: Act 1 Theatre Literature

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1. Act 1 scene 1 Antony and Cleopatra. 2. Act 1 scene 1: Philo is bemused at Cleopatra’s power over Antony. Antony declares his love for Cleopatra and she taunts him…
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  • 1. Act 1 scene 1 Antony and Cleopatra.
  • 2. Act 1 scene 1: Philo is bemused at Cleopatra’s power over Antony. Antony declares his love for Cleopatra and she taunts him over the hold that Rome has on him, including his wife. Philo and Demetrius discuss Antony’s poor conduct. Reading task (as a class) There will be 5 speakers, the rest of you will be either Romans or Egyptians. As the characters read the lines it is your job to echo key words or phrases. Romans should repeat phrases to do with Rome, war and empire. Egyptians should repeat words or phrases to do with Egypt, love and pleasure. Now repeat but this time Romans will echo everything Roman with approval and everything Egyptian with disdain. Egyptians will do the opposite.
  • 3. “Without conflict, there is no drama.” Conflict on the stage is everywhere, from language (contrast, antithesis, juxtaposition, oxymoron) and characterization, to action and setting. Divide your page into 4 (language, action, setting, character) and identify some of the key points of conflict.
  • 4. “Those his goodly eyes… Have glowed like plated Mars, now bend, now turn The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front.” In what ways is the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra made to seem a turbulent one?
  • 5. PHILO Nay, but this dotage of our general's O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper, And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy's lust. Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her Ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her Look, where they come: Take but good note, and you shall see in him. The triple pillar of the world transform'd Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.
  • 6. CLEOPATRA If it be love indeed, tell me how much. MARK ANTONY There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd. CLEOPATRA I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved. MARK ANTONY Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth. Enter an Attendant Attendant News, my good lord, from Rome. MARK ANTONY Grates me: the sum. CLEOPATRA Nay, hear them, Antony: Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, 'Do this, or this; Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that; Perform 't, or else we damn thee.' MARK ANTONY How, my love!
  • 7. CLEOPATRA Perchance! nay, and most like: You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say? both? Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers! MARK ANTONY Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair Embracing And such a twain can do't, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless. CLEOPATRA Excellent falsehood! Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony Will be himself.
  • 8. CLEOPATRA Perchance! nay, and most like: You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony. Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say? both? Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers! MARK ANTONY Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space. Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair Embracing And such a twain can do't, in which I bind, On pain of punishment, the world to weet We stand up peerless. CLEOPATRA Excellent falsehood! Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony Will be himself.
  • 9. MARK ANTONY But stirr'd by Cleopatra. Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, Let's not confound the time with conference harsh: There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight? CLEOPATRA Hear the ambassadors. MARK ANTONY Fie, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, To weep; whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admired! No messenger, but thine; and all alone To-night we'll wander through the streets and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen; Last night you did desire it: speak not to us. Exeunt MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with their train DEMETRIUS Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?
  • 10. PHILO Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, He comes too short of that great property Which still should go with Antony. DEMETRIUS I am full sorry That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! Exeunt
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