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Literary Devices in Antony and Cleopatra

Literary Devices Examples in Antony and Cleopatra:

Act I - Act I, Scene 1

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"Let Rome in Tiber melt..."   (Act I - Act I, Scene 1)

Antony stays Cleopatra's rage with this famous line. He denounces Rome, pledging that Rome could melt into the Tiber river for all he cares, as long as he has Cleopatra. He then goes on to denounce all conventional ways of defining one's power and success — empire, nobility — and claims that real nobility is passionate love. The idea of "melting" is a motif within this play that symbolizes both lovers losing control over their realms. Their power and stability melts away from them as they engage in this love affair.

"He hath given his empire Up to a whore;..."   (Act III - Act III, Scene 6)

In this speech, Octavius tells his sister that her husband, Anthony, has abandoned her and Rome for Cleopatra and Egypt. Octavius uses this metaphor to turn Cleopatra into a symbol for the East; her voluptuous and passionate body displaces Antony's Roman empire and becomes his Egyptian empire. Octavius creates a vision of Egypt as the enticing female love object.

"I am dying, Egypt, dying; only I here importune death awhile, until Of many thousand kisses the poor last I lay upon thy lips...."   (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 15)

Antony tells Cleopatra that he is dying and calls her Egypt. In this way, he conflates his lover with the land he claimed and fought for; the land which he lost to Rome. In Antony's final lines, he pledges himself to Cleopatra forever, asking death to wait so that he can kiss her a thousand more times. Antony does not ask for forgiveness for what he has done but only more of his love.

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