English 366B, Section S02: Shakespeare's Histories and Tragedies   >   Antony and Cleopatra: Love and Death To the previous page

Love and Death

  • The structure of the play
    • Rome and Egypt: alternating scenes
    • Is there a "turning point" in the tragedy? Antony's return to Egypt? The battle of Actium? Both off-stage.
    • Whose tragedy is it anyway?
  • Does Antony really love Cleopatra?
    • His marriage to Octavia
  • Does Cleopatra really love Antony?
    •                         If you find him sad,
      Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
      That I am sudden sick.
    • The Thyreus/Tidias episode (3.13.46ff)
  • Antony's death
    • Cleopatra's feigned message of death (4.13.7)
    •                         I will be
      A bridegroom in my death and run into't
      As to a loverís bed.
    • Generosity in death: "None about Caesar trust but Proculeius" (4.15.46, 48)
    • "a Roman by a Roman / Valiantly vanquished (4.15.57-8)
  • Cleopatra's death
    • Proculeius betrays her (5.2.32)
    • Her vision of Antony -- and its effect on Dolabella
    • The Seleucus episode (5.2.141ff)
    • She encourages her attendants to follow her example:
                              . . . the quick comedians
      Extemporally will stage us, and present
      Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
      Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
      Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
      I' the posture of a whore.

      The stroke of death is as a loverís pinch,
      Which hurts, and is desired.

Antony is hauled up to the monument in a very nineteenth-century staging.




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This page last updated on 4 March 2007. © Michael Best, 2002.