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Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
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Antony and Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,111431,801 (3.74)108
  1. 10
    Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy (laura_88)
  2. 00
    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Shakespeare's treatments of passionate, irrational and self-destructive love between teenagers (R&J) and mature people (A&C) make for a truly fascinating comparison. The vastly greater political and metaphysical implications, as well as the extreme concentration of the language, in the later play show how far Shakespeare developed for just over a decade.… (more)
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English (41)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I found this so-so. Both Antony and Cleopatra are portrayed as fickle individuals absorbed in their love-making to the exclusion of everything else. Cleopatra in particular is whiny and manipulative; Antony plainly gives up on all duties. The play only becomes tragic and imbued with grandeur once I allow myself to not think of these people as, well, humans but as larger-than-life figures, household names straight out of Great (Wo)Man History. I’m not sure I want to do that.

The quality picks up towards the end, but the earlier acts contain some good back-and-forth banter and penis jokes. ( )
  Petroglyph | May 15, 2019 |
Non sono molto avvezza ai libri di Shakespeare (devo ancora recuperarne molti) ma quei pochi che ho letto sono stati sicuramente più avvincenti ed interessanti di questo che mi ha un po' annoiato.
Antonio e Cleopatra vivono un amore clandestino in Egitto e quando lui è costretto a tornare a Roma per la morte della moglie Fulvia non si fa remore a sposare la sorella di Ottaviano. Questo amore non sembra reale ma solo dettato dalla passione del momento e dalle scelte strategiche e politiche che collegano l'asse Roma-Alessandria.
Quello che non mi è proprio piaciuto è il poco spazio dato alla psicologia dei personaggi e all'approfondimento delle scelte personali. Credo non sia una tra le migliori opere di Shakespeare ma ho letto troppo poco per valutare obiettivamente. ( )
  Feseven78 | Apr 17, 2019 |
This edition of Antony and Cleopatra is definitely not recommended. First, the introductory essays are poorly written and provide little of value for general readers. Second, the e-book version has a terrible way of handling footnotes. Instead of marking the play's text to show where there are footnotes, the reader needs to randomly touch the play's text to see whether or not there is a footnote linked to it. Of course, if there is not footnote, touching the text results in turning the page. This annoying aspect is a reason to avoid this as an e-book. ( )
  M_Clark | Feb 12, 2019 |
Huh. I'd have put money on my having read this before, though quite a while back, but I sure don't remember finding Cleopatra so loathsome before. I've read enough histories that cover the whole Julius Caesar/Mark Antony/Cleopatra/Octavius/death by asps thing that maybe I hadn't read Shakespeare's version before. At any rate, history suggests that Cleopatra was canny, intelligent, and deliberate, but Shakespeare's Cleopatra is a silly, fickle, whining brat. Character after character tells us that she is bewitching, glorious, and desirable, but every time we meet her she is whimpering and simpering, telling silly lies to manipulate Antony, swanning around in a way that would embarrass a sensible teenager, much less a matronly queen. And Antony isn't much better. Far from taking his position in the triumvirate seriously, he tosses his responsibilities to Rome and his family there aside to frisk, puppy-like, around his Egyptian mistress. Yuck. Neither one comes off as grown-up, much less as noble figures whose tragic fates we should find regrettable. And yet...

Despite the characters' manifold flaws, the play is deeply compelling. Somehow both Antony and Cleopatra, for all their foolish choices and pettinesses, transcend all and appear, in the end, to be outsize, even archetypal figures. Their bad decisions, which so many other people must pay for, somehow end with a sort of grandeur and mythic feel that, logically, the details don't support. They are so convinced of the earth shattering significance of their lives that they convince us it is so. Having turned these historical figures into melodramatic children Shakespeare uses his art to transform them further into great tragic lovers.

Part of my extreme distaste for Cleopatra may be thanks to the very excellent Arkangel recording of the play that I listened to along with my reading of the Arden Shakespeare edition. Estelle Kohler, who plays Cleopatra, doesn't hold back anything in her emotional performance. All the weeping, whining, wheedling, and cattiness is going full throttle. The asp could have showed up in, say, Act 2, and Antony could have settled down with Octavia, who seemed a nice, sensible sort of woman, and things would have been much simpler. But that wouldn't have made much of a story, would it? Marjorie Garber's wonderful essay, in her “Shakespeare After All,” helped me appreciate the play, though she couldn't make the main characters any less annoying. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote meandmybooks | Nov 7, 2017 |
Tragic, but excellent (of course it is, it's Shakespeare). Note the comparisons between Rome and Egypt. It's really interesting. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (100 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrew, Stephen A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bate, JonathanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevington, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canby, Henry Seidelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dennis, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Everett, BarbaraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neill, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sagarra, Josep M. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, ByamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weis, RenéIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weis, ReneEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Nay, but this dotage of our general's
O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
That o'er the files and musters of the war
Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
The office and devotion of their view
Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
And is become the bellows and the fan
To cool a gipsy's lust.
Quotations
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety.
Small to greater matters must give way.
Since Cleopatra died,
I have liv'd in such dishonour that the gods
Detest my baseness.
I have
Immortal longings in me.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete Antony and Cleopatra only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or simplifications (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743482859, Mass Market Paperback)

Each edition includes:

· Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

· Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

· Scene-by-scene plot summaries

· A key to famous lines and phrases

· An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

· An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

· Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Cynthia Marshall

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe.

In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:22 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Blending history and high drama, Antony and Cleopatra remains one of Shakespeare's finest achievements.

» see all 24 descriptions

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