Download Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare by Sara Munson Deats PDF

By Sara Munson Deats

Complementing different volumes within the Shakespeare feedback sequence, this number of twenty unique essays will extend the severe contexts during which Antony and Cleopatra could be loved as either literature and theater. The essays will hide a large spectrum of subject matters and make the most of a range of scholarly methodologies, together with textual and performance-oriented ways, intertextual reports, in addition to feminist, psychoanalytical, Marxist, and postcolonial inquiries. the quantity also will characteristic an in depth creation via the editor surveying the under-examined functionality background and significant trends/legacy of this complicated play. individuals contain favorite Shakespeare students David Bevington, Dympna Callaghan, Leeds Barroll, David Fuller, Dorothea Kehler, and Linda Woodbridge.

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She is a born commander. She is a born slave. She is innately faithful. She is innately deceitful—deceitful even to the man she worships so passionately that she would rather die than live without him. (171) Whether an actor playing Cleopatra need be all of these things is debatable, but audiences have traditionally expected Cleopatra to display abundant, if not perhaps infinite variety. Similarly, the actor performing Antony must capture both the titan’s greatness and the lover’s vulnerability; he must join in Cleopatra’s sportive seduction, indulge in debilitating sexual infatuation, explode into jealous rages, and survive his blotched suicide and his hoisting onto Cleopatra’s monument, all without diminishing his heroic stature and without forfeiting the sympathy and respect of the audience.

She is cruel. She is cowardly. She is a born commander. She is a born slave. She is innately faithful. She is innately deceitful—deceitful even to the man she worships so passionately that she would rather die than live without him. (171) Whether an actor playing Cleopatra need be all of these things is debatable, but audiences have traditionally expected Cleopatra to display abundant, if not perhaps infinite variety. Similarly, the actor performing Antony must capture both the titan’s greatness and the lover’s vulnerability; he must join in Cleopatra’s sportive seduction, indulge in debilitating sexual infatuation, explode into jealous rages, and survive his blotched suicide and his hoisting onto Cleopatra’s monument, all without diminishing his heroic stature and without forfeiting the sympathy and respect of the audience.

These monumental prob- Shakespeare’s Anamorphic Drama 35 lems may be one reason that the play, alone among Shakespeare’s great tragedies, was not staged for over 150 years after its presumed premiere in 1607—and even then in a truncated form. Even today, it is performed much less frequently than Shakespeare’s more popular tragedies, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. The primary reasons for the play’s initial neglect appear to be the following: first, the difficulty of staging the drama’s forty-two scenes in the proscenium mode of the Restoration and eighteenth-century theaters, which privileged spectacle and scenery; second, the candid treatment of illicit sexual passion and emotional turmoil; and third, the almost insuperable challenge of finding actors to play the roles of the legendary eponymous heroes.

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