Monday, December 29, 2014

Review of Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare


In this extraordinary play, one of Shakespeare's finest tragedies, a once-great general finds himself torn between his duty to the Roman Empire and his passionate attachment to Cleopatra, the alluring "Queen of the Nile." In depicting the collision of two contrasting cultures — Antony's world of political conniving and the hedonistic pleasures of Cleopatra's court — the playwright portrays a timeless paradox of human nature, the quest for seemingly irreconcilable goals.
The action of the play ranges from Alexandria and Rome to Syria and Athens, from the rugged quarters of military camps to the luxurious atmosphere of the Egyptian court. In the latter milieu Antony lingers, shamed by his overwhelming passion for Cleopatra yet irresistibly drawn toward love as a source of vitality and renewal. After ignoring increasingly urgent demands by his co-ruler, Octavius Caesar, for his return to Rome, Antony reluctantly obeys at last, marrying Octavius's sister and forming a fragile political alliance. This bond shatters when he returns to Cleopatra's side. Octavius declares war on the lovers, forcing them into a battle for world domination with dramatic and unforgettable consequences.
Brimming with Shakespeare's matchless poetry, Antony and Cleopatra is one of the world's great plays. In this inexpensive edition, it will enthrall students of drama and literature, poetry lovers, and all who appreciate Shakespeare's art.

Leona's Review:
I have not read Shakespeare for years and so decided to read Antony & Cleopatra. As usual it is hard to understand Shakespeare but I imagined Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra and Richard Burton as Antony.
It was an interesting read of a play. I will read it again in the future.  There are five acts and scenes in each act.
There is the cast of characters at the front of the book which helps the reader identify the people in the play. There is also an explanation of words such as "Nay if an oily palm" is a sweaty palm (page 5) and "Be a child o' the time" which is comply with the humor of the minute. (page 43).
The publication is Dover Publications. www.DOVERPUBLICATIONS.COM.  The cost is reasonable and 115 pages.
For those interested in the history of Antony and Cleopatra, this is a good read. I will have to give William Shakespeare a 5 star rating.
I won this book frpm and the opinions are my own.
Leona  Olson

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