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Shakespearian Tragedy


            Temptation is an urge everybody has no matter whom, where, or what you are. This stimulating desire is only a decision made by yourself, but brought on by others. The large question is whether to fall into temptation or to hold firm ground and escape this feeling. Shakespeare explores the temptations of many characters and the choices they make through the plays of Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth, and Othello. In the tragedies, the ¬†challenge or obstacle is the pride of a tragic hero who suffers some downfall. ¬† The challenge of the hero is how to respond to the downfall. ¬† Will the hero submit his pride to truth and justice (and ultimately, to God), or will he remain fixed in a defiance which demands his own way. .
             In the first act of Antony and Cleopatra, comedy is involved: the lovers insist upon their love's hype and specifically upon Antony's rejection of his earlier life. In a pretense of negatives, he states his real concerns:.
             Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch.
             Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.
             Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike.
             Feeds beast as man.
             (1. 1. 33-36).
             These lines exibits Antony's infatuation over Cleopatra. At this point, Antony is in a preoccupation with a single object. The great man's nobleness of life is lust in which he doesn't want the lovers to be apart. Anytony wants nobody else in his life and could care less about the Empire. Antony's infatuation is also vividly suggested by these lines:.
             .
             His captain's heart,.
             Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst.
             The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,.
             And is become the bellows and the fan.
             To cool a gipsy's lust.
             .
             The paradox is that the bellows and the fan which "cool a gipsy's lust" do not cool but enflame; their purpose, as instruments, is to do so. The image of the cyclical cooling and enflaming, then, can suggest that fluctuating course Antony will follow, and, in its apparent preoccupation with a single object, the man himself: a man of complexity, a colossus and a ruffian who consumes himself in the love that, by devouring him, transforms him into a being the military Antony, noble as he might be, could not imagine.


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