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Antony and Cleopatra Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

Source: "Antony and Cleopatra," in The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Stephen Greenblatt, W. W. Norton & Company, 1997, pp. 2619-27.

[In this introduction, Cohen places Antony and Cleopatra within its literary context- with Shakespeare's own Julius Caesar as its prequel and the writings of Plutarch as its source. Cohen also remarks an the dualism and eroticism that pervade the play, and notes that Shakespeare is asking us to consider whether heroic acts can survive in the "post-heroic world" of

Octavius Caesar's Rome or in the "private terrain" of Antony and Cleopatra's love. Finally, Cohen briefly examines Shakespeare's characterizations of Octavius, Antony, and Cleopatra.]

Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07) picks up where Julius Caesar leaves off. It presupposes familiarity not only with events dramatized in that play but also with earlier Roman conflicts. During the first century B.C., Rome, the overwhelming military power throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, entered into a...

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This section contains 3,884 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Antony and Cleopatra Study Guide
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Antony and Cleopatra from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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