Antony and Cleopatra are larger than life super human characters, yet they suffer the psychology and fates of mortal beings. To a Shakespearean as to a modern audience, their drama would have seemed unrealistic and inaccessible. Discuss.
Shakespeare's superhuman characters Antony and Cleopatra would have been accessible to any audience through time, but they would not necessarily have the ability to relate to them as superhuman. Cleopatra is a tempestuous character of infinite variety but also "no more but e"en a woman." This is a play in which human figures are elevated in keeping with classical literary traditions and mythology. Yet Shakespeare is also addressing what it is to be female and a leader in a moral world. Parallels can be made to Elizabeth and Cleopatra, Cleopatra who excels in powerful resonance like Elizabeth 1st a female monarch, who ruled her golden era supreme. "Antony and Cleopatra" was performed in the Elizabethan reign at a time when the first female monarch of England was herself courting suitors. Elizabeth herself never married, questioning the relationship between gender and power as Shakespeare does in "Anthony and Cleopatra".
Shakespeare mythologies Cleopatra through the Roman perspective of Enobarbus, who describes her initial meeting with Antony using evocative, synaesthetic language. In Act 2, scene 2, her poetically elevated nature reflects the superlative beauty of the goddess of love "O"erpicturing that Venus." Through the use of mythological imagery such as "cupids," "Venus," "Neriedes" and "mermaids," Shakespeare creates an ethereal and spiritually elevated tone of mystery, reinforcing Enobarbus's dramatic opening "I will tell you ." The extent of Cleopatra's powerful seductiveness evokes her magical force, the enchantress who works witchcraft," filling the air with "strange invisible music." Even the power of her love is described as being "akin to magic this enchanting queen.