Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the three great leaders: Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, through the changing fortunes of Acts III and IV. Explain how the balance of audience sympathy shifts

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Juana O


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October 8, 2014








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In Act III, Scene 12, Shakespeare presents Caesar as a callous and cruel leader, as he hears the requests of Antony for peace and ignores them, declaring, "For Antony, / I have no ears to his request", which indicates his determination to destroy Antony. Additionally, Shakespeare further alienates the audience from Caesar through his display of his treacherous nature, "she / From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend / Or take his life there?From Antony win Cleopatra"...
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This illustrates his sly, brutal and merciless nature, and further enforces the separation the audience feels from him. Moreover, Caesar's treachery creates a rift between Antony and Cleopatra, and this causes the audience's sympathy to shift even further away from Caesar. In addition, Shakespeare guides audience sympathy away from Caesar through the perfidious tactic that he uses of placing "those that served Mark Antony but late" at the front of the battle in order to demoralise Antony's army, and thus "fetch him in"...
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