New PDF release: Antony and Cleopatra (Cliffs Notes)

By James F. Bellman, Kathryn Bellman

ISBN-10: 0822000024

ISBN-13: 9780822000020

ISBN-10: 0822070111

ISBN-13: 9780822070115

The hindrance among middle, head, romance, and ambition has no longer been instructed with such splendor and intensity as in Shakespeare's play. With revelries of poetic love and the drudgery of tragedy, this drama of the Egyptian queen and the Roman army chief is absolutely a microcosm of existence.

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Additional resources for Antony and Cleopatra (Cliffs Notes)

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Even now we have words based on such notions-"moonstruck," "lunatic," and "1ooney," for example. It is not clear from the stage instructions whether Enobarbus falls on his sword or whether he simply dies of self-inflicted wounds. Perhaps he has already stabbed himself, and we are hearing his last words. It is possible, however, that "the flint and hardness" of his fault is figurative only, and that he dies of grief and of a broken heart. ACT IV--SCENE 10 Summary On the battlefield, between the two camps, Antony and Scarus are conversing.

Thus his victory on land is not altogether a surprise. The battle at sea, however, is another matter. Antony is courageous, but he is not the careful tactician that Caesar is. ACT IV--SCENE 11 Summary We now return briefly to Caesar and his army, also on the battlefield. He instructs his men that unless they are attacked, they should keep their strongest forces on land, to hold the positions they have. Commentary Caesar's apparent sea preparations are a ruse. He hopes, by this maneuver, to draw off Antony's best men to sea and take advantage of this strategy on land, where, thus far, Antony has been the victor.

He lacks something of the larger-than-life humanity of Antony and Cleopatra. Yet Shakespeare does not falsely idealize the lovers either. Their faults are visible to the end, but they do not overshadow the lovers' honor. If there is any ultimate character flaw in this play, it is one that all three of the main figures possess: lack of proportion. Caesar single-mindedly pursues power and, as a result, he seems too often to be merely a cold and calculating person. Antony and Cleopatra exalt love above their responsibilities; their respective realms, as a result, suffer.

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Antony and Cleopatra (Cliffs Notes) by James F. Bellman, Kathryn Bellman

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