Antony And Cleopatra

Antony And Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

Hardcover(Bound for Schools & Libraries ed.)

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Overview

Mark Antony, one of the three rulers of the Roman Empire, spends his time in Egypt, living a life of decadence and conducting an affair with the country's beautiful queen, Cleopatra. When a message arrives informing him that his wife, Fulvia, is dead and that Pompey is raising an army to rebel against the triumvirate, Antony decides to return to Rome. In Antony's absence, Octavius Caesar and Lepidus, his fellow triumvirs, worry about Pompey's increasing strength. Caesar condemns Antony for neglecting his duties as a statesman and military officer in order to live a decadent life by Cleopatra's side.
The news of his wife's death and imminent battle pricks Antony's sense of duty, and he feels compelled to return to Rome. Upon his arrival, he and Caesar quarrel, while Lepidus ineffectually tries to make peace. Realizing that an alliance is necessary to defeat Pompey, Antony and Caesar agree that Antony will marry Caesar's sister, Octavia, who will solidify their loyalty to one another. Enobarbus, Antony's closest friend, predicts to Caesar's men that, despite the marriage, Antony will surely return to Cleopatra.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780606386074
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 09/11/2006
Series: No Fear Shakespeare Series
Edition description: Bound for Schools & Libraries ed.
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Playwright

Date of Death:

2018

Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

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Antony and Cleopatra 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
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Conrad_Jalowski More than 1 year ago
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare represents the pinnacle of tragic effect. Through its purpose as an ecphonesis, or an emotional exclamation that evokes pathos, instills catharsis within the audience and an epiphany that provokes the audience to intense oscillations of emotion in the phantasmagorical layout of this tragedy, dramatic effect and superiority is achieved.

English tragedy such as of Nathaniel Lee and William Shakespeare did not adhere closely to the dramatic theories of Aristotle, the theories of Lodovico Castelvetro of Renaissance theory and Neo-Classical theory of Moliere, Racine and Corneille. It did not adhere to the Three Unities, or the Unity of Time, the Unity of Space and the Unity of Action. Aristotle argued that the time should not succeed a twenty-four hour period whilst Lodovico Castelvetro argued that the tragedy should not succeed twelve hours; that the tragedy should take place at the same area of space and that it should have no subplots, or nothing that would impair the ability to adhere to the grand theme and essence of the tragedy; all aspects must serve the main theme of the tragedy. Along with the utilization of chorus, Aristotle, Lodovico Castelvetro, Friedrich Schiller, John Dryden, Racine, Moliere and Corneille all adhered to the "Classical Theme". Furthermore, William Shakespeare deviates from Aristotelian concepts through the concept of a contradictory plot that serves not to further the purpose of a single and grand theme but that of itself. Though containing a tragic hero is central to the tragedy as defined by Aristotle, such is shifted in a future date by the Hegelian World-Historical Individual although it too has its roots to the Aristotelian tragic hero. First and foremost is the "hamartia" or the tragic flaw being "hubris" or overvaulting arrogance. Such a hubristic demeanour brings low the tragic hero. From "peripeteia" and "anagnorisis" the tragic play advances culminating in an emotional purgation of the tragic hero and the ennoblement of the audience at hand. However, William Shakespeare deviates from such a concept. (Tragedy is to abjurate the pre-existing equipollence.)

William Shakespeare's theme is contradictory and conflicting. However, this adds a further testiment to the depth of his creativity. It adds the theme of internecine chaos, governmental kleptocracy, etc as the very involiable institutions are torn asunder to hubris. In the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, there is a dichotomy present: austere Rome and histrionic and sensuous Egypt. Egypt is seen as voluptuous: a world filled with eunuchs, concubines, lascivious desires and an ostentatious appearance, including the flosculation and grandiloquence that is featured within the promulgations, orders, decrees, and daily speech of the histrionic queen Cleopatra VII and the effeminate Marc Antony. This dichotomy is one filled with contradictions on multitudinous levels: from the differntiating situations in the two opposing cultures and the personalities of the main characters. Such a situation issues forth a semi-allegorical personage within the play of hubris personified, and the degeneration and denigration of the individual's self-worth to licentious passions.

I recommend the Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra as it incorporates a dense conglomerate of themes and issues that will forever be relevant: the theme of hubris and at the same time,