Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare by Sara Munson Deats

By Sara Munson Deats

Complementing different volumes within the Shakespeare feedback sequence, this selection of twenty unique essays will extend the severe contexts during which Antony and Cleopatra might be loved as either literature and theater. The essays will conceal a large spectrum of issues and make the most of a variety of scholarly methodologies, together with textual and performance-oriented techniques, intertextual stories, in addition to feminist, psychoanalytical, Marxist, and postcolonial inquiries. the amount also will characteristic an intensive advent through the editor surveying the under-examined functionality historical past and significant trends/legacy of this advanced play. members comprise renowned Shakespeare students David Bevington, Dympna Callaghan, Leeds Barroll, David Fuller, Dorothea Kehler, and Linda Woodbridge.

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Extra resources for Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism)

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Again, as with Cleopatra, the majority of expositors maneuver a middle way between these polarities. Critics from the seventeenth century until the present have commented on Antony’s famed magnanimity, his exuberance, his vitality, and his excess. Almost all agree that his capacity for experience—for drinking life to the lees—o’erflows the measure, but they disagree as to the expected audience response to this excess. For most moralistic expositors, such as Gentleman (1774), this lust for life renders Antony a “flighty, infatuated slave to an excess of love and luxury” (261).

Does she kill herself to avoid the degradation of being carried in triumph to Rome, or does she commit suicide because she finds life without Antony to be meaningless? Because for many critics Cleopatra’s tragic greatness derives solely from her willingness to martyr herself for love, her motivation for suicide becomes a crucial issue (Hughes-Hallett, 1990). ” Yet many commentators berate her for vacillating, adducing the scene in which her treasurer Seleucus accuses her of withholding money and other assets from Caesar as proof that she is not resolute for death and is keeping all options open.

L. T. Fitz) adds another profile to Cleopatra’s multifaceted portrait, depicting her as a bold international gambler, who with great finesse plays for high stakes and, although losing big, in the moment of her death trumps the Roman Empire. Productions of the play during the past three decades reflect the influence of Cleopatra’s many new personae, placing her center stage and portraying her as both androgynous queen and passionate lover, while also stressing the political aspects of the tragedy. There have even been a few black Cleopatras.

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