Title: Antony and Cleopatra
Author: William Shakespeare
Genre: Classic Plays
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Shakespeare
I admit that my view of this play is colored by the amazing tv production that was Rome. I can’t ever hear about Marc Antony or Cleopatra now without thinking of those specific portrayals. It was definitely a problem going into this play.
I did find some interesting aspects of the play. There is such a difference between the Roman characters and the Egyptian characters. Rome is all business without any flowery language. We get many more descriptive pieces from Cleopatra’s side. And speaking of Cleopatra… she’s such a complex character. One minute I hate her, the next I sympathize. I didn’t think I could have such conflicting feelings for a notorious historical figure. Ultimately I see her as a ruler trying to hold onto her power any way she can. First with Caesar, and then with Antony, she tries in vain to keep Rome from displacing her from the throne. Even through that, I see a woman stuck in a much larger battle centered in Rome but being fought in Egypt. Maybe that’s why I feel for her. At any rate, I loved Shakespeare’s complex portrayals of the characters. It’s not one of my ultimate favorites, but it’s a good history/tragedy. And it’s definitely a much better tragedy than Romeo and Juliet.