Antony and Cleopatra | Critical Essay by Laura Severt King

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of Antony and Cleopatra.
This section contains 7,743 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Laura Severt King

SOURCE: “Blessed When They Were Riggish: Shakespeare's Cleopatra and Christianity's Penitent Prostitutes,” in Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, Fall, 1992, pp. 429-49.

In the following essay, King suggests that Shakespeare portrays competing images of the “penitent prostitute” in the characterization of Cleopatra, who resembles prostitute-saints of the Middle Ages. Like these women, Cleopatra is associated with both sexual incontinence and supernatural power.

All eroticism has a sacramental character. 

—Georges Bataille, Erotism1

Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. 

—Luke 7:47

Among the extraordinary claims Enobarbus makes for Cleopatra in the second act of Antony and Cleopatra is that “the holy priests / Bless her, when she is riggish” (2.2.239-40).2 Concluding one of Shakespeare's most paradoxical passages, this final paradox...

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This section contains 7,743 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Laura Severt King