Antony and Cleopatra | Critical Essay by Jacqueline Vanhoutte

This literature criticism consists of approximately 29 pages of analysis & critique of Antony and Cleopatra.
This section contains 8,551 words
(approx. 29 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Jacqueline Vanhoutte

SOURCE: Vanhoutte, Jacqueline. “Antony's ‘Secret House of Death’: Suicide and Sovereignty in Antony and Cleopatra.Philological Quarterly 79, no. 2 (spring 2000): 153-75.

In the following essay, Vanhoutte argues that Shakespeare's depiction of Antony's suicide precludes judgments of it as either ignoble or praiseworthy. Drawing on the writings of Donne and Montaigne, she explicates early modern views of self-slaughter and concludes that although Antony initially contemplates death at his own hands in a despairing frame of mind, he ultimately regards his suicide as a self-assertive act that will thwart the attempts of others to define him.

Just after Antony dies from a self-inflicted wound, Shakespeare's Cleopatra asks, “is it sin, / To rush into the secret house of death / Ere death dare come to us?”1 The question appears to be rhetorical; Cleopatra soon announces...

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This section contains 8,551 words
(approx. 29 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jacqueline Vanhoutte