Sex and passion are central to Antony and Cleopatra for its role in the main characters’ relationship, but also to how the pair makes the decisions that will ripple into their personal and political lives. Essential questions are raised about whether passion is a debilitating or empowering force in love and politics. Passion is especially important when it comes to decision-making in the play: decisions made in haste are often foolish, or impermanent. The interplay between passion and reason is often at stake, as to whether passion interferes with, or can augment, reason.
Cleopatra is an inherently calculating woman, in contrast to the passion that Antony feels for her. Antony makes all of his flawed decisions out of his passion for Cleopatra, whereas she only makes decisions to benefit her, like her willingness to listen to Thidias, based on the fact that allying with Caesar would be an advantageous act.