The Major Theme of Dryden’s All for Love
The major theme of Dryden’s All for Love was the love between Antony and Cleopatra, the unlawful love. Antony and Cleopatra admitted that their love was a crime which led them to their ruin.
Cleopatra’s love for Antony had been shown in Act one when Alexas told Serpaion about Cleopatra’s order, that today’s Antony’s birthday and it should be a holiday and all the people should decorate the pavements with flowers also the priests should give sacrifice to the Gods as an honor to Antony for being born.Cleopatra loved Antony very much that she refused Octavius offer – Octavius offered her Egypt and Syria to forsake Antony to him and be his ally- When Antony saw the letter which was given by Octavius and he knew Octavius handwriting, he knew that Cleopatra was loyal to him, so Antony decided to stay with her when he was –in Act two- blaming Cleopatra for his ruin and accused her by that he wasn’t her first man in her life and she was behind Fuliva’s death because Fuliva was jealous from Cleopatra, also for marrying Octavia – Octavius’ sister- and for losing against Octavius in Actium because he was better on land than sea, also for leaving him in Actium but she defended herself from this accusation that she loved Antony more than Julius Caesar, she was a woman and afraid that was the reason she left him alone, and if she was a man, she would have stayed with him and never left his side and then she gave him Octavius’ letter as a prove for her love to him.Then Antony followed him then Cleopatra came in a haste to meet Antony; when she knew that Alexas told Antony about her fake death to tell him the truth, but she was too late to save him then she promised Antony that she would follow him quickly, and then Antony died, so Cleopatra ordered her maids –Charmion and Iras – to bring her the Asp to commit suicide then she also ordered the maids to dress her as a Queen and bring a crown to Antony and she called herself Antony’s wife because she was going to die after him, so she wanted to meet him in her beautiful clothes then she died and Charmion and Iras followed her. When Antony and Cleopatra committed their own suicide for the sake of love, to prove to the whole world how much they loved each other that everything for them was unimportant and their love was the greatest thing they did in their life.