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February 28, 2006

Tricky and sly he is

Article: Levin -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

I enjoyed reading this academic article because there were so many different claims and ideas that Levin held. I particularly liked how he thought Caesar understood Cleopatra’s game and worked with and against it to win Egypt’s land and power.

Claim: A duel of wits goes on through out the play; however, Caesar understands how Cleopatra gains her power, by seducing Roman soldiers. Caesar is well aware of her "hook" on Antony that diminishes Rome's sway, through his strength as a strategist, and knows if his sister marries Antony that Cleopatra's power and so called love will dwindle and come to an end leaving Egypt to him. The “hook” will not work on Caesar and in fact he will in the end come close to “hooking” her.

Data: Knowing how Cleopatra swings like branches in the wind, he will "bait Cleopatra with hints of his sexual interest." This will leave her with an opportunity to get more power; however, she doesn't really know that it would work against her. Cleopatra makes it known that she will try to survive in Caesar’s world in 5.1 52-56. This shows that she will do anything to seduce men to get her power. Caesar understands that “death is only one of several ways by which Cleopatra could seek to mar his triumph…..his failure to Cleopatra’s sexual enticement suggests that he wishes to appear implacable to her and thereby prompt her suicide.” He can gain power either dead or alive.

Warrant: Caesar knows how she plays and he wasn’t go to play by her rules, he made his own by having Antony marry his sister, trick her by saying he wanted her and etc. Cleopatra knew that in order to stay alive and have power was to manipulate him. Caesar is smarter than to give in to her seductive ways. Before she died she even tried to lure on of the Roman soldiers, however, Proculeius was aware and was cautious. Caesar was “immune to her charms”. Caesar’s intentions all along were to drive her insane and to death, Dolabella brings the news forth to her and says his intentions we to have you die and “within three days, you and your children will he send before.” He won, he got the land and the power and Cleopatra is out of the picture.

Posted by Denamarie at February 28, 2006 12:24 PM

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I think it's interesting that Levin mentions that this is Antony and Cleopatra's story and not Caesar's. But, like you mentioned in the Claim, Caesar has the upper hand on the whole situation. He's got Cleo figured out and he definately has Antony figured out.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at February 28, 2006 03:39 PM

Both you and LoNigro couldn't have explained this better...way to be helpful classmates!! :)

Posted by: ElyseBranam at February 28, 2006 07:18 PM

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