Antony and Cleopatra Essay

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J. Leeds Barroll describes Mark Antony as "one of Shakespeare's most complexly imagined tragic heroes," and indeed, scholarly response to Antony has been various. Barroll characterizes him as lacking in conventional ideas of "social responsibility" - Antony does not, for example, feel the duty toward Rome that characters such as Octavius Caesar and Enobarbus feel he should. Nor does he feel ashamed when he neglects Roman politics or when he indulges himself in Egypt. Barroll notes that Antony does, however, feel ashamed when he flees the fighting at Actium; thus Barroll concludes that Antony is not motivated by orthodox theories of politics as Caesar is, but by his own personal notion of chivalry and public honor.

Much of the critical discussion regarding Antony has focused on his conflicting ties to Rome and Egypt. Like Barroll, Paul A. Cantor observes that despite his extravagant claims to the contrary, Antony...

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This section contains 3,734 words
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Antony and Cleopatra from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.