Antony and Cleopatra - Study Guide Act 5, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

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Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

Dercetas arrives with the sword that killed Antony, and tells Caesar of his suicide. Caesar seems genuinely regretful, and praises him. He sends word to Cleopatra that he will show mercy to her.

Act 5, Scene 1 Analysis

In this scene, Caesar shows humane qualities. He mentions his writings, which he says demonstrate his peaceful nature and sense of justice. This recalls Dercetas' image from lines 21-22, which compares Antony's sword to a pen, and emphasizes again the contrast in the natures of the two leaders. The sword has written of honorable feats and glorious battles, and records its owner's greatness in his own blood. Caesar's pen is the pen of a politician, who acts out of necessity to preserve what he governs. Both the pen and the sword can be seen as phallic symbols, for each can be used as a tool of authority, although each...

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This section contains 182 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Antony and Cleopatra Study Guide
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Antony and Cleopatra from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.