File Name: antony and cleopatra as a romantic tragedy .zip
For,' he explained, 'the chief persons represented were famous patterns of unlawfullove, and their end accordingly was unfortunate. Nine years before, in the Essay of Dramatic Poesy, Dryden had included a clause in his working definition of a play in which it was declared that plays are written 'for the delight and instruction of mankind. In fact, the tone ofthe last act is one of triumph rather than of shame and defeat: the lovers have escaped from the traps set for them by their enemies and are eternally reunited in death.
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra details the affair between Antony of Roman fame and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and the ensuing complications that arise from the triumvirate that was formed after the assassination of Julius Caesar. After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B. Antony, however, is not all that interested in ruling; instead, he spends most of his time in Alexandria with his lover, Cleopatra. A displeased Octavius and Lepidus send for Antony to return to Rome.
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Antony tells Cleopatra that his love has no bounds, and often it certainly does seem excessive. It keeps him from important business in Rome, clouds his judgment, and is at the very least a contributing factor to his downfall. Moreover, the close bond between Octavius and his sister Octavia suggests the positive nature of familial love. And indeed it is not merely love that Antony indulges in while in Egypt. He and Cleopatra feast, drink, and carouse decadently. Cleopatra herself seems at times obsessed with beauty and pleasure. All of Egypt becomes associated in the play with a decadent, luxurious lifestyle.
When the play opens, Antony has neglected his duties as a ruler in order to live in Egypt, where he carries on a highly visible love affair with Cleopatra. His loyalty is divided between the Western and Eastern worlds; he is torn between the sense of duty and the desire to seek pleasure, between reason and passion. A highly attractive woman who once seduced Julius Caesar, Cleopatra delights in the thought that she has caught Antony like a fish. In matters of love, as in all things, Cleopatra favors high drama: her emotions are as volatile as they are theatrical, and, regardless of whether her audience is her handmaid or the emperor of Rome, she always offers a top-notch performance. Although she tends to make a spectacle of her emotions, one cannot doubt the genuine nature of her love for Antony. Shakespeare makes clear that the queen does love the general, even if her loyalty is sometimes misplaced. The nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar.
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. Take but good note, and you shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transform'd Into a strumpet's fool. Behold and see. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Pride, love, and the Fall all factor into the play as much as does the contest between temporal politics and eternal love. Antony and Cleopatra.
Composition and First Performance. William Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra between and The acting troupe to which Shakespeare belonged, the King's Men, performed the play in London in either at the Globe Theatre or the Blackfriars Theatre. The play was published in as part of the First Folio , the first authorized collection of Shakespeare's plays.
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