Antony and Cleopatra Essay

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There is much critical debate about the true nature of Shakespeare's Cleopatra. Maurice Charney calls her "the most puzzling figure in Antony and Cleopatra" and examines the ways in which other characters view her. Charney notes that Enobarbus refers to Cleopatra as no longer young even as he asserts that she is fascinating to men. Charney quotes Cleopatra's own instructions to her maid Charmian concerning Antony as an example of her "infinite variety"_: If you find him sad, / Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report / That I am sudden sick" Ultimately, Chamey suggests that Cleopatra is a proud figure desiring both admiration and sympathy.

Richard C Harrier describes her as the embodiment of Egypt, possessing "vitality and change, the fecund earth, the Nile's slime and ooze, and the inconstant moon-sea spirit." Harrier holds the more traditional view of Cleopatra as a negative force- arguing that her "selfish...

(read more from the Critical Essay #10 section)

This section contains 7,801 words
(approx. 20 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Antony and Cleopatra Study Guide
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Antony and Cleopatra from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.