Antony and Cleopatra Essay

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J. Leeds Barroll observes that the character Octavius Caesar has been described as "mysterious" and "remote," and notes that Octavius does not deliver a soliloquy in the play, nor does he speak in self-revealing asides or even utter more than a few lines at a time. He suggests that this taciturnity of Caesar's makes him seem a distant, unapproachable character. Gordon Ross Smith sees Octavius's brief comments as an intentional contrast to and puritanical criticism of the hyperbolic, flamboyant speeches of Antony and Cleopatra; further, Smith interprets such brevity in Octavius Caesar as a sign that he is "self-controlled"- witness his apparent sobriety during the orgy on Pompey's ship. Finally, Smith regards Octavius as cruel and Machiavellian in his arrest of the third and weakest member of the triumvirate, Lepidus. Richard C Harrier describes Octavius as a "cool manipulator" who looks closely at the out. comes of...

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This section contains 8,379 words
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Antony and Cleopatra from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.