Antony and Cleopatra Hardcover – Oct 5 2007
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|Hardcover, Oct 5 2007||
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About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But, in spite of that little problem, I really did enjoy the play and had little problem following the broad outline of what was happening to whom and why. Yep, I found this to be a very enjoyable dramatization, and I do not hesitate to recommend it!
And she's the center of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra," a play that follows the tragic affair between Cleopatra and her second high-profile Roman lover. The tragedy is undermined by the fact that Cleopatra and Antony aren't very likable people, but the story does have an empire-ending grandeur.
Mark Antony has been neglecting his duties as a Roman soldier ever since he fell in love with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. But eventually Octavian calls him back to Rome, and Antony is even pressured into marrying Octavia's sister -- which unsurprisingly throws a wrench into his relationship with Cleopatra. She's only soothed by the assurances that Octavia is ugly.
In the meantime, tensions between the Romans and the increasingly Egyptophilic Antony are getting worse, until finally they break into full-out war -- despite the prophecy that Antony will lose if he fights Octavian. And the tempestuous love between Cleopatra and Antony takes a terrible turn as Egypt is about to fall...
"Antony and Cleopatra" is sort of a sequel to "Julius Caesar," and it's also half epic romance and half tragedy. On one hand, it's all about the passionate, stormy love affair between Antony and Cleopatra; on the other, it's also about the final crash of an empire that had endured for thousands of years, and its last monarch.
Shakespeare manages to fill the story with a sense of epic grandeur, and his writing really gets across that these conflicts and people are deeply important. Aside from the famous "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/her infinite variety" speech, there's a lot of powerful writing in here, particularly the climactic scene between Cleopatra and her maidservants.
The biggest drawback of the play is... well, Antony and Cleopatra are pretty nasty people. Antony is no longer the heroic Roman soldier of "Julius Caesar," and Cleopatra throws bratty tantrums and spreads false rumors to keep her boyfriend in love with her. They're a little like A-list celebrities -- they're weirdly fascinating, but you wouldn't want them as friends.
"Antony and Cleopatra" is a grand, engaging epic about how a love affair helped bring down the last remnants of an empire, and its nasty characters don't stop it from being fascinating.