This paper compares Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra with his play Romeo and Juliet. There are many quotes from the plays.
In order to understand the attitudes of society in the early seventeenth century, one must first understand the politics that shaped societies attitude. Shakespeare was born into Elizabethan England in 1564. Elizabeth 1 was the first Queen of England to never marry and this significant in understanding how Cleopatra is conveyed so powerfully. Since the Middle Ages, marriages had always been arranged and this meant that it was almost impossible for a woman to avoid marriage, unless of course the woman was the queen. Although the law gave women virtually the same rights as a man while unmarried, as soon as a woman was married she became the property of her husband. Elizabeth 1 remained unmarried in order to maintain her right to be equal to man and to maintain her power.