After Brutus is defeated, Mark Antony, the friend of the
dead Julius Caesar, is one of several rulers of the Roman
Empire. However, he has become captivated by the beautiful
Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. Antony, who has left his wife
and his duties for Cleopatra, receives news that his wife
has died and the Roman Empire is under attack from outside
forces. Antony has to leave Cleopatra to defend the Roman
Empire and get his estate in order, and with a romantic
farewell from Cleopatra he leaves to go back to Rome.
Unfortunately, to ease tension between Antony and another
ruler of the empire, Octavius Caesar, Antony marries his
sister Octavia. When news of his marriage reaches Cleopatra
she is despondent of Antony’s fickle heart.
Soon Octavius Caesar’s need for power overcomes the co-
rulership of the empire and Antony finds he needs to fight
Caesar to regain power. When Antony returns to Cleopatra,
thus deserting Octavius’ sister, and makes the Egyptian
queen ruler of all the African lands, Octavius vows
vengeance over both lovers. At a sea battle in Actium,
Antony is defeated by Octavius after Cleopatra’s fleet
suddenly retreats and leaves him to his fate.
deeply upset by Cleopatra’s cowardice, again tries to
battle with Octavius, this time in hand to hand combat, but
Octavius refuses and their armies battle for Alexandria.
Cleopatra’s armies again let Antony down and he is defeated
once more. After hearing of Cleopatra’s supposed death,
Antony commits suicide by falling on his sword. Cleopatra,
alive takes refuge in a monument and after being reunited
with the dying Antony, she decides to take her own life
rather than submit to Octavius. Cleopatra dies by being
killed by an asp and the two lovers are united in death.
The power of this tragedy by Shakespeare are the scenes
between Cleopatra and Antony. One of the biggest female
roles by Shakespeare, Cleopatra is both passionate,
sensual, and jealous. Her deep love of Antony is not
without it’s flaws and the lovers have a much more human
love for one another rather than merely romantic or