Powerplays; Antony and Cleopatra, the Last of the Mohicans, Animal Farm
“Relationships at all levels include intricate power play.” The term ‘power play’ describes the political, social, militaristic, sexual and personal struggles in between opposing forces. All relationships, no matter how intimate or far-off they may be, include various ideas of intricate power plays. These ideas are exemplified in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra which demonstrates military power, the physical application of political power, in between opposing forces as a method of getting power over Rome and Egypt.
The main power play in this text focuses on the concept of politics and is seen between Antony and Caesar throughout the first act of this play. From the very starting we are offered no impression regarding the nature of the relationship which exists between the 2 with the very first sentence we hear Caesar speak referring to Antony as “our fantastic competitor”.
This is the platform on which the power play of the text evolves, reaching a peak at the beginning of the second act where lives are altered not out of love, describing the set up marital relationship in between Antony and Octavia, but out of a concept that maybe an advantage might lie in the organized marriage. In Egypt, the convoluted sexual power play occurs in between Antony and Cleopatra. At first, she is described as a ‘lustful gypsy’, a ‘wrangling queen’, and ‘shrewd previous guy’s idea’, to ‘an Egyptian dish’.
The power which she uses over Antony is a various kind of power to that of the Roman Empire, typically sexually promoted with continuous psychological blackmail; “So strongly betrayed! Yet at the very first I saw the treasons planted”, her power is something that Antony has actually never ever met. This serves to keep Antony as Cleopatra’s loyal family pet, always on the defensive and in the eyes of others especially the ones viewing from Rome, this adversely influence on his when undeniable power status, “Nay, but this dotage of our general’s o’erflows the step”.
Even within their casual day-to-day speech, there is a sort of power play included. Antony’s stoic, colourless mode of speech stands in total contrast to the hyperbolic and over dramatized speeches Cleopatra constantly utilizes to attempt and pull on the heart strings of Antony. These continuous displays of power in between Antony and Cleopatra have actually added to the main power play in Egypt. Concepts of military, sexual and political power are also conveyed in Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans where military power is being contested for by the French and the British over newfound America. This spect of gaining power through violence ascertains the reality that deceit and materialistic power, power that is gained by having more possessions, are approaches of obtaining and reinforcing power. These methods of gaining power appear in Antony and Cleopatra through Octavius who manipulates and uses innocent individuals, his sibling for example, for royal and individual power. This reveals that power play has an effect on the little people who are manipulated. In The Last of the Mohicans, the struggle of power between the French and the English affect the smaller Native American people, who are at the disposal of both opposing sides.
Panoramic shots, integrated with both diegetic and non-diegetic sound, along with low angle shots used on the locals, highlights the amount of power they keep in turning the tide of the battle. The English are continuously deceiving the natives, by lying and deceiving them into believing that they might go back to protect their houses in the circumstances required them to, as a method to ensure their help on the frontline, for that reason trying to gain power through lies and treachery.
This element of gaining power is shown in Antony and Cleopatra once again through Octavius, where after consenting to a truce, he breaks it not long after with the help of his allies and overcomes Pompey. This emphasizes the reality that power corrupts which sincerity and frankness are not the very best approaches in acquiring power. The women in The Last of the Mohicans are seen to hold no military power at all. This is conveyed in all scenes combating is included, with close-up and mid-range shots used to catch the minutes, where the women are constantly shown defenseless and in need of rescue.
This displays the absence of militaristic power in ladies, who are captured by patriarchal power, where they are powerless and should send to the will of guys. Cleopatra also displays this absence of military power where she flees the battleground whilst battling together with her fan, Antony, hence highlighting the reality sexual power is the most easily obtainable type of power for ladies. When Hawkeye states “I have actually got a reason to stay,” it shows that sexual power of the English lady, Cora, has actually affected him to bypass an essential mission with his individuals, demonstrating her sexual power play.
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm both political and militaristic power are plainly communicated through Napoleon, the dictator of Animal Farm. At first the pigs manage the animals on the farm blindly however soon realize that they require a power base, the support of the people, represented by the animals, prior to they can declare power over the farm. They achieve this through offering the seven rules which appear to supply the animas with a much better life, thus acquiring their support. “All animals are equal … all animals nodded in agreement”.
In Antony and Cleopatra the significance of preserving political power is likewise strengthened through the concept of a power base. Continuation of power counts on the assistance of individuals– the ‘power base’. Individuals of Rome are indecisive and are easily swayed by showiness and ceremony. Both Antony and Caesar keep in mind the significance of holding a strong power base and this is shown when Antony leaves Cleopatra to return to Rome to strengthen his relationship with his individuals who are waiting on their excellent General, “Our Italy shines o’er with civil swords”.
Political leadership and military expertise are both associated within the two texts due to the duration in history in which they were set. Napoleon’s military power is communicated through the use of his qualified army of pets which he uses to beat and exile Snowball. Likewise whilst Caesar gains power due to his military expertise, Antony is losing military power and regard due to his lack of releasing his responsibilities in Rome. The fight in between Antony and Caesar is the epitome of Antony’s demise of military power and Caesar’s rise. Animal Farm also utilizes a various kind of power play, the power of deception.
It is utilized to trick someone in order to manipulate the situation to gain power. The pigs deceive the animals stating they are all equal, when in truth “Some animals are more equivalent than others”. This deceptive power play is communicated in Antony and Cleopatra when Antony marries Octavia. He does this to produce peace within the set of three, so that he would not lose his power and impact in Rome, and cement his political position, while in fact, his love lies with Cleopatra, “And thou I make this marital relationship for my peace, in the East my enjoyment lie”.
Cleopatra’s mind video games likewise enable her to manipulate the actions of Antony, “If you discover him sad, state I am dancing”. Unquestionably, power plays are complexly associated with all relationships. They can be discovered in lots of texts of English literature and supply us with the ideas and thoughts needed to much better comprehend the messages and/or themes being expressed. The various interpretations that apply to power play make the texts completely puzzling and boost our ideas of the convolutions of power undoubtedly increased through its numerous meanings. WILLIAM PARK