By William Shakespeare, Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom, Neil Heims PH.D.
Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' has been noticeable at the one hand as a romance concerning the transcendence of affection, and at the different as a lesson opposed to overlook of accountability. This examine consultant includes a number of feedback during the centuries at the play, in addition to a precis, research of key passages and a entire personality checklist.
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Additional info for Antony and Cleopatra (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)
When he hears the news of Antony’s death, he begins a funereal oration. He is playing Caesar. By paying homage to Antony, he pays greater homage to himself: It is nothing to have conquered a puny man but greatness to have prevailed over a man of Olympian proportions. But even as he speaks of Antony’s greatness, Caesar diminishes it. “The breaking of so great a thing should make / A greater crack,” he says, belittling Antony in his first words. QQQ Act V, ii, 21–34 Proculeius: Be of good cheer; You’re fall’n into a princely hand, fear nothing: Make your full reference freely to my lord, Who is so full of grace, that it flows over On all that need: let me report to him Your sweet dependency; and you shall find A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness, Where he for grace is kneel’d to.
It symbolically suggests that the force of Antony’s animal passion overwhelms his faculty for rational discourse, which is Caesar’s view of Antony. QQQ Act II, ii, 241–246 Enobarbus: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety: other women cloy Key Passages in Antony and Cleopatra 23 The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies; for vilest things Become themselves in her: that the holy priests Bless her when she is riggish. Enobarbus’s summation of Cleopatra follows immediately upon his sensuous monologue describing Cleopatra on her barge on the Nile the day she met Antony.
Demetrius is a follower of Antony. Ventidius is the commander of one of Antony’s armies, in Syria. Silius is an officer in one of Antony’s armies commanded by Ventidius. The schoolmaster serves as a messenger from Antony to Octavius, showing how far Antony’s fortunes have fallen. Maecenas is one of Octavius Caesar’s men. Agrippa is a follower of Octavius Caesar. Thidias is a messenger whom Octavius Caesar sends to Cleopatra to win her away from Antony. When he kisses her hand, he inflames Antony’s jealous anger and suffers a whipping.