The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
Character Role Analysis
Calling Antony the sole protagonist is arguable, because Cleopatra shares top billing in the play. However, if we think about a protagonist as the center around which the actions of the play turn, we see that Antony does a lot of the acting, and Cleopatra a lot of reacting. This isn’t to dog her importance at all; it’s just that in this play, characters don’t fit neatly into one role or another. They’re all pretty multifaceted, tempestuous, lovable, and despicable in turn. Anyway, now that we’ve said that, we can go ahead and pigeonhole Antony. He is constantly changing his mind, his location, and his resolve. These flip-flops manage to affect Rome, Alexandria, and every other spot he controls for the republic in one way or another. Whether he’s causing a quarrel or mending one, he’s always at the center of the action. It’s his personal development that we witness most closely, and his personal tragedy that we feel most poignantly at the end.