Cleopatra Essay Thesis

Cleopatra Essay Thesis-70
Because of the limited range of Octavius's vision and interests, he often appears cold and calculating, and many of his actions are indeed calculated ones.In betrothing his beloved sister to Antony, his long-time rival, he shows that he is capable of placing political expediency above family loyalty.Knowing that she lost her love and would become a prisoner, Cleopatra committed suicide as well by a having a cobra bite her.

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His treatment of Lepidus is one example of how he can cast aside presumed friends in order to achieve even more power.

It is possible, of course, that Antony might have treated Lepidus unfairly, but in fact, it was Octavius who imprisoned the third member of the Triumvirate and confiscated his lands.

Quite naturally, Octavius is insecure about his ability to succeed in an arena where Antony has been active for close to twenty years.

But he gains confidence as he observes Antony's dissipated life in Egypt, and he takes advantage of every situation he can.

Octavius struggles for supremacy within the Triumvirate, but interestingly, his contest is only with Antony, for neither he nor Antony considers Lepidus an equal.

Throughout the drama, neither Antony nor Octavius trusts the other.Octavius, at times, seems almost without principle.For example, one of Octavius's closest friends, his officer Dolabella, surreptitiously helps Cleopatra by warning her that Octavius plans to take her to Rome in disgrace if she is captured.Octavius has few devoted friends, and Shakespeare seemingly uses him to illustrate the lot of the ruler who must sacrifice everything to stay in power.He trusts no one, and he fears to let himself be close to few, if any, of his men.This all happened just weeks before Cleopatra was getting ready to deliver twins. Since Antony has doubts about the true loyalties of Octavian, he left a pregnant Octavia and went back to Cleopatra.Shortly after Octavian assembled a military attack on Antony and Cleopatra, while they were in Egypt.Nothing exists for young Caesar except the single goal of acquiring and maintaining power.As such, he is the antithesis of Antony, who becomes involved in a love affair that ultimately outweighs his own quest for mastery of the world.Conversely, when Antony abandons Octavia, Octavius acts like the outraged brother who wishes to avenge his sister's honor.While his pride is understandably piqued, his anger also hints of opportunism, for here is the perfect pretext for attacking his rival.


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