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Shakespeare gives his language dramatic power through his use of certain devices. The most common of these are imagery (metaphor, simile, and personification), antithesis, repetition, lists and verse. Always remember that Shakespeare did not have the spectacular realism that film and television can generate, nor that modern theatre can attempt. His theatre was non-realist, non-naturalistic, relying on conversations shared by actors and audiences, a few props, elaborate costumes, but above all on language and the human voice. Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. William Shakespeare From The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1 Think again about the hyperbole below. Your initial response may well differ to that of a Shakespearean audience. Would they think it undermines or supports the image of Antony and Cleopatra's transcendental love? 'thou needs find out new heaven, new earth' Antony's speech is immediately notable for his use of hyperbole, particularly when discussing his feelings for Cleopatra. When he claims that she would have to find, 'new heaven, new earth' if she were to measure his love, it is an important technique to help his audience appreciate the scale of his feelings, which are transcendental. This contrast with how Philo presents the love forces the audience to choose who to believe, the famous General or Roman opinion, a conflict that shall continue throughout the play. Cleopatra Enobarbus, Act 2, Scene 2: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety: other women cloy The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies; for vilest things Become themselves in her, that the holy priests Bless her when she is riggish. cloy - disgust riggish - licentious Cleopatra is an extremely complex character: she is labelled a, 'gypsy', during the very first lines of the play, poetically professes the transcendental nature of her love, violently admonishes a servant, is clearly both beautiful and alluring, clever and manipulative, and poses a great threat to Rome. 'Cleopatra is always at a disadvantage as a woman in a maledominated world'. What in your opinion are the main strengths and weaknesses she shows? Explore the role and significance of Cleopatra in the play. and don't forget she abandons Antony twice during battle!