Read Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Online


William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" is the historical drama based on the lives of its title characters. Mark Antony is part of the ruling triumvirate of Rome and at the outset of the play he is living in Egypt engaged in an affair with the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. When the word that his wife has died and that Pompey is raising an army to challenge theWilliam Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" is the historical drama based on the lives of its title characters. Mark Antony is part of the ruling triumvirate of Rome and at the outset of the play he is living in Egypt engaged in an affair with the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. When the word that his wife has died and that Pompey is raising an army to challenge the authority of the triumvirate, Mark Antony returns to Rome to help manage the situation. "Antony and Cleopatra" is one of Shakespeare's great historical dramas....

Title : Anthony and Cleopatra
Author :
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ISBN : 22912980
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 40 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Anthony and Cleopatra Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2019-02-11 17:16

    This play is so good, it is not merely a masterpiece: it is a mystery. The two protagonists are alternately noble and petty, wise and foolish, and yet they never seem inconsistent or self-contradictory because Shakespeare--here is the mystery--consistently maintains a tone that is paradoxically both ironic and heroic. Part of it is the language, which shifts seamlessly from mellifluous monologues adorned with cosmic imagery (comparing Anthony and Cleopatra to continents, stars,etc.) to the most modern-sounding, most casual and wittiest dialogue of Shakespeare's career. Part of it is the larger-than-life characterization which transforms each vicious and pathetic absurdity into a privilege of the lovers' protean magnificence--as undeniable and unquestionable as the sovreign acts of Olympian gods. Whatever the reason, this play makes me laugh and cry and leaves me with a deep spiritual reverence for the possibilities of the human heart.I wrote the paragraph above two and a half years ago, and it still reflects my opinion of the play. This time through, though, I was particularly struck by how much the voices of the military subordinates and servants--Enobarbus and Charmion, Ventidius and Alexis, and many others, including even unnamed messengers and soldiers--contribute to this double movement of the ironic and heroic, celebrating the leaders' mythic qualities but also commenting on their great flaws. Enobarbus--with his loyal (albeit amused) appreciation, his disillusioned betrayal, and his subsequent death from what can best be described as a broken heart--is central to this aspect of the play.

  • Nayra.Hassan
    2019-01-30 16:25

    ا"لقد خدعتني هذه المصرية الحمقاء"ا هكذا هتف انطونيو بعد ان باعته كيلوبترا في عز المعركةسبع ملكات حملن اسم كيلوبترا في مصر و لكن تظل اخرهن اشهرهن. .بفضل شكسبير..فقد منحها طابع عملي عنيف ..تحمل الكثير من قوة الشخصية الذكورية و ايجابيتها بينما منح انطونيو المسكين ..دور العاشق الرومانسيا"امنحيني قبلة..و هذا سيفى بكل شيء"ا معظم تصرفاته خرجت من هذا المنطلق العاطفي ..الذي ينتهي دائما في داهية ما و لكن يظل الكبرياء هو مفتاح شخصية كيلوبترا حاربت ..انتصرت..انهزمت ..و رحلت🐍 بشروطها و كان عرشها دائما فوق قلبها درست هذه المسرحية بالتفصيل الممل في تانية ثانوى..مما اورثني حقدا دفينا ...و بالتالي صار تقييمي مشكوك فيه و اضطررت لقراءتها مرة اخري في مطلع الالفيةو دائما يعلق يوليوس قيصر في ذهني أكثر من الحبيبيناللدودين..

  • Henry Avila
    2019-02-17 18:11

    Mark Antony the Roman general , right- hand man of the great Caesar, a shadow to be sure of the most famous ruler of Rome, and his unsurpassed conquests in the history of the Empire , yet he , Antony , had ability, just not enough to overcome his weaknesses. Excessive drinking and chasing beautiful women and ignoring his duty, a bit coarse in truth. The fatal meeting with Queen Cleopatra v11, Greek in blood, little of it Egyptian, in what is now modern Turkey, she dazzled him floating down a river, the Cydnus ( now called Berdan) on a large barge , all that sparkling opulence, the purple sails, silver oars, golden canopy under which the queen lies, dressed like a Greek goddess, the perfumed vessel's delicious aroma spread by the gentle wind, crossing the waters to its banks, crowds gather, the music plays, everyone hears, loves...awed and fascinated at the spectacular sight . Not a beauty, no Elizabeth Taylor...what she lacked physically, the temptress made up by her intelligence, speaking at least seven languages, today the monarch of the Nile would be called an intellectual. Cleopatra's main interest was preserving the independence of her beloved , ancient Egypt, she gave it all. Nevertheless the queen who became his fifth wife, her third husband, ( having married her two younger brothers previously) must of realized, Mark was no Caesar, his adopted son, biologically grand- nephew, Octavian, soon to be called Augustus Caesar, was the closest to Julius in ability, if not a good military leader that men would trust and follow into deadly battle. But he choose well his generals and admirals, the massive sea battle of Actium, off the coast of Greece, September 2, 31 B.C. over 500 ships and many thousands of crewmen fought and died proved it. The final struggle, the inevitable contest to be the supreme leader of the Roman world came and the winner ...well you can read the results in a history book or see a film. Shakespeare's poetry makes a tragedy come to life, the magic continues in the words, page after page , the sentences wonderfully connect, the emotions and fears grip the reader, we may know the outcome, still the interest never evaporates, the facts are not important, the enchantment is... They Antony and Cleopatra were buried in the same tomb now lost and unknown, near Alexandria, but as the desert winds shifted and the sands flowed into the air and came down again, covering all... the memory of man is short...

  • Dolors
    2019-02-05 23:01

    Shakespeare does it again.He mingles the historical with the imaginary, the public with the private, the tragedy with the theatrical to infuse life into one the most popular couples in ancient Rome; the star-crossed lovers Anthony and Cleopatra. Love and war were never more indistinguishably fused.The fact that the Bard brings forth his masterful descriptive skills almost avoiding the use of the soliloquy, his trump car and most employed device to create poignant psychological portraits, makes the characterization of the protagonists all the more an astonishing feat. Because Anthony, Cleopatra and Octavius are presented as contradictory individuals, whose passions represent public symbols in the realm of political machinations, and the burden of their pressing responsibilities eschews easy stereotyping.Anthony is a man of action with grand aspirations. He attempts to rationalize his ardent love for Cleopatra and capitulates to his ancestry, acting like a uniting bridge between the Roman and the Egyptian values. His ultimate self-sacrifice in front of Caesar’s hegemony after his boundless desire has overpowered his warrior’s ambition is an act of equal nobleness and desperation, worthy of “A Roman, by a Roman; Valiantly vanquished”, instead of the humiliated hero.Cleopatramight easily be the most complex and thought-provoking of Shakespeare’s female characters, which is denoted in the unusually poetic, allegoric language she employs. She refers to herself as the “Nile” and her words acquire a particular cadence that could be associated with water. What a better metaphorical antithesis for the classical notion of fixed and stable identity? For Cleopatra embodies such radical “otherness”, such histrionic voluptuousness, capricious and dangerously tantalizing that in her converges the exoticism of the “Eastern” mysteries that both repel and attract the self-restrained Roman leaders, first Julius Caesar, and then Marc Anthony.“She shall be buried with Anthony-No grave upon earth shall clip in itA pair so famous. High events as theseStrike those that make them; and their story isNo less in pity than his glory whichBrought them to be lamented.”Such is the tribute Octavius pays to his rival, displaying a remarkable empathy that bespeaks of the Emperor’s unwavering sense of justice. Anthony and Cleopatra’s surrender anticipates the end of an era, the dissolution of Egypt as a powerful opponent to the Roman Empire and the beginning of unrestful times, precluding the expansion of Christianity and posterior entrance into the obscure Middle Ages.And so again, the reader is left wondering whether Shakespeare was writing a love-tragedy, a historical play with a rather anti-climatic conclusion or a nostalgic elegy to a splendorous past that saw its end coming.Whatever the case, I envision joyful times ahead trying to figure out Shakespeare’s teasing riddles and contradicting myself as I change perspectives throughout my life. Few things are so comforting like such thought. Few things are this precious.

  • James
    2019-01-19 14:56

    Book Review4 out of 5 stars to Antony and Cleopatra, a play published in 1606 by William Shakespeare.This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, partially for some of the reality on which it is based. Some know the full story, others know bits and pieces. Cleopatra, famous in her own right, is the Queen of Egypt. Caeser is conquering the world. Antony rules Rome for a while. The love affair between these three, plus a former wife and the sister, Octavia, create such a beautiful and tragic story. Misunderstood messages. Betrayal. Hatred. Anger. Love. It's a reflection on all the human emotions, wondering why we are tested at so many points in our lives. Where does a man's heart lie? How honest is the woman he loves? Can you trust your own staff? Time-tested questions we've faced for nearly 400 years since this was written, but also the thousands of years before it. This one had a bit of everything and was one of the more easily understood plays. It tugs a little at your emotions while pushing you to root for the right people. And if you are a history buff, it makes it all that much more enjoyable.About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Bradley
    2019-02-09 22:23

    I wish you all the joys of the worm.You know, for the longest time, I had placed this of all of Shakespeare's plays among the highest in my estimation, for where else could I have so many references to melting or even have an early punk band write a song about it? (Melt, Siouxsie and the Banshees)Indeed, Let Rome in Tiber melt! I really enjoyed the triumvirate of powers, the play on politics and the whole chaos of such an equal footing between Ceasar, Antony, and Cleopatra. Can we blame the woman? Should we rather blame the man? Could it just be the ego and pride of Ceasar we should point a finger at? The whole world was at all of their feet, and yet all of their egos were too big for the Earth to hold them.Honestly, the first portion of the play was easily the worst and I didn't love it nearly as much as my first reading. Rather, I enjoyed the play of words and the references to the classic legends surrounding Cleopatra and the rug more than the actual revolving scenes and action.This isn't quite true for the unfurling of the real tragedy, however. I did love that as much as I had remembered.But I can't, in all fairness, keep the last star just for the strength of the end, so I struck it. I let Eros be my scholar.Still, not dead, not dead.

  • Barry Pierce
    2019-02-15 23:18

    Mark Antony is a real pain in the asp.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-01-24 15:04

    “Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me” ― William Shakespeare, Antony and CleopatraA great Shakespeare play, but one (for me) that is still overpowered by Shakespeare's earlier tragedies. The story is based on Plutarch's Lives (North's translation). The weight and strength of this play is, obviously, going to center on Cleopatra and Antony. They are fascinating as a couple (literary and political binaries) and Cleopatra is amazingly, spectacularly, flushed-out by Shakespeare. Their "love" story, even before Shakespeare, was destined for myth. But Shaksepeare makes us both root for their survival and their love even as we know the dark worm turns, the golden snake bites, and opportunism and luck eventually both come to an abrubt and tragic end. Even with ALL of that, there isn't enough in this play (for me) to launch it into the highest Shakespearean orbit. I think part of this blame lies with me. I think I need to spend MORE time with the play. I think there are textures and shades that I missed. This play needs more than days, it needs and demands (like Cleopatra and Antony) attention. So, perhaps, I am giving too short of a stick to this play. I can buy that. I should also mention, beyond Antony and Cleopatra (and perhaps Caesar Augustus), the best lines of this play all come from Enobarbus.Favorite Lines:“In time we hate that which we often fear.”- Act I, Scene 3"WE, ignorant of ourselves,Beg often our own harms, which the wise powersDeny us for our good; so find we profitBy losin gof our prayers." - Act II, Scene 1"The Barge she sat in, like a burnished throwne,Burned on the water."- Act II, Scene 2"And for his ordinary pays his heartFor what his eyes eat only."- Act II, Scene 2"Good madam, keep yourself within yourself"- Act II, Scene 5“The breaking of so great a thing should makeA greater crack: the round worldShould have shook lions into civil streets,And citizens to their dens.” - Act V, Scene 1

  • Ahmed Ibrahim
    2019-02-10 18:56

    كليوباترا الفاتنة، كليوباترا العاشقة، كليوباترا الخائنة، كليوباترا المتكبرة، كليوباترا المخادعة، كليوباترا التي تفعل أي شيء في سبيل التاج، كليوباترا المخلصة... تبًا لكليوباترا التي لم استطع أن أفهمها على مدار المسرحية! شكسبير رسم شخصية معقدة ومتناقضة بشكل كبير.من يتتبع التاريخ يعلم هذه الفترة الزمنية حيث طُردت كليوباترا من حكم مصر على يد أخيها بطليموس الثالث عشر، وبعدها لجئت هي بحيلها إلى يوليوس قيصر وأوقعته في غرامها لكي تستعيد حكم مصر، وتزوجا وأنجبت منه قيصرون.. ثم بعد موت قيصر عادت إلى مصر مرة أخرى إلى أن استدعاها أنطونيو الذي آل إليه الحكم هو وأكتافيان قيصر بعد موت يوليوس.. ومن هنا تبدأ أحداث المسرحية حيث أفتتن أنطونيو بها وذهبا للعيش معًا في مصر. ما يجعل هذه المسرحية ليست مجرد سرد تاريخي هو تناولها للعلاقة بين أنطونيو وكليوباترا وما يعتريها من تغيرات باحتذاء مسار التاريخ. أجاد شكسبير في رسم دواخل شخصياته، وبالذات شخصية كليوباترا المعقدة التي لن تستطيع تحديد مشاعرها على مدار المسرحية، فهي تحب أنطونيو، ومرة تريد أن تتخلى عنه وتخونه لمصلحة قيصر لكي تحافظ على تاجها، وتجدها تتخلى عنه في الحرب، وتجلب له الموت، ثم انتحرت في النهاية لكي تصبح معه!واحدة من المآسي الرائعة لشكسبير التي يحتذي فيها التاريخ القديم مع الرومانسية.

  • Joudy
    2019-02-04 17:25

    The dotage of our general'sOverflows the measure: those his goodly eyesThat o'er the files and musters of the warHave glowed like plated Mars, now bend, now turnthe office and devotion of their viewUpon a tawny front. His captain's heart,Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst And is become the bellows and the fan To cool a gipsy's lust.Shakespeare used Plutarch's Parallel of the Greeks and Romans as a source for his play,the play is the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king. The Romantics, on the other hand were almost pathetically eager to snuggle up close to you and tell you all about their inner lives!Only far from land , far from the paddling little insecurities individual humans and out amid the mightily currents of history and the world , can stories find the room and energy they need to become true.While my teenage mind is still developing I decide to give this book a read , and of course it is not at all the kind of book i'm capable of understanding without several patient hands, then I was hesitating on whether to post this or not as I know there are people on this forum that are much more highly knowledgeable in Shakespeare than myself!Shakespeare description of Cleopatra's charms lay not in her looks, the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation and the character that attended all she said or did , was something bewitching, a complex and changeable character that has been subject to a multiplicity of interpretation.Her beauty was not so passing as unmatchable of other women nor yet such as upon present view did enamor men with her but so sweet was her company and conversation that a man could not possibly but be taken." Age cannot wither her, nor custom staleher infinite variety"He also gave the man , with all his contradiction , staring at the pages and lost to the world, he would excel in his life if he had control over his impulses, he let his passions carry him easily back to the old course of life that was familiar to himHis fortunes sinks most lamentably , had he been what he knew himself, it had gone well'.The battle between love and war , desire and duty , the personal and political is at the heart of Antony and Cleopatra, great sentences recede beneath the greater whole , so it is hard to mine out the brightest nuggets in so rich in vein , Shakespeare wrote matchlessly and moved between abortively blunt, common dialog and high-flown daring and transcendent passages, he could keenly observe the passage of man through the world and there is a wealth of social satire and psychological accuracy.The splendid variety of words long with each world's creative possibilities, lift our incessant babbling into a heavenly height that almost reaches the rafters of human experience.We can feel that one is dealing with men and women ; there one hates and loves, there one murders one's enemy and curses his issue through all generations- there one sinsA pair so famous . High events as these Strike those that make them; and their story is No less in pity than his glory whichBrought them to be lamented.

  • Abdelrahman fathy
    2019-01-27 16:02

    لم احبب يوما الأعمال المسرحية ! .لكنني قررت منح نفسي فرصة أخيرة . كانت تلك هي تجربتي الأولى وربما الأخيرة في هذا العالم الغريب عني ..ربما ساغامر بشوقي ومصرع كليوباترا ! ** عودة لشكسبير** لم يعجبني العمل كثيرا ..وجدت أن الشخصيات كلها هامشية يشوبها الغموض والسخافة ..تقلب في المزاجيات لكل الشخصيات بطريقة غريبة ..كليوباترا التي لم تحب أحدا غير نفسها المتعجرفة الحمقاء المتهورة الساحرة الهوجاء والقاسية الحنونة. .لا أدري ما أراده ويليام حقيقة ! أنطونيو : العاشق الواهم التائه الضائع ! المحارب النبيل الملم بجوانب الحرب ..ولكن في حالة عدم وجود امرأة ! تقلب في أطوار المسرحية ..وتقلب في الأحداث وفي الحالات النفسية لكل الشخصيات بالأخص أنطونيو .. لم تفهم قصدي ! اقرأ فصلين فقط وربما فصل سيفي بالغرض! لن أكمل ثرثرة في شيئ أزعجني به عدة نقاط .ولكن ما أعجبني حقا ..هو الأسلوب الخصب والتشابيه العبقرية ..لن تعجبني الأحداث برمتها إلا في مشهد الموت والرومانسية التي بدت حقيقية أخيرا ومتأخرا أيضا !! وداعا للعمل المسرحي ..فقد احتضر في عقلي أثر (أنطونيو وكليوباترا ) ..نجمتين بكامل الرضا ✋

  • Ümit
    2019-02-11 21:59

    Kleopatra cidden süper karakter. Tıpkı bahsedildiği gibi saçma sapan bir coşkunlukta, delilikte; asaletini hiçbir an kaybetmese de çoğu zaman ergen bir kız gibi de davranabilmekte. Antonius ise tam bir trajedi kurbanı, yaptığı hatalar ve femme fatale'ı sonunda ölümüne sebep oluyor. Ve tabii bu hem bir aşk hikayesi hem de tarihi bir kurmaca; Roma'nın yıkılışına bile ışık tutabilir üstüne düşünülürse zira Roma çoğu zaman uçkur sevdası yönünde şekillenmiştir. Yine de Roma'yı severiz ahlaksızlığından ötürü.Antonius'un da dediği gibi:"Kader bilir ki biz, Sillesini yesek de kaderi küçümseriz!"

  • Carlo
    2019-02-10 18:56

    I read this directly following on from Julius Caesar, expecting more of the same. Imho however the play isn't in the same class. It's lack a certain "omph" and urgency. Even the chemistry between the two protagonists only really gets going, ironically, towards the end.

  • Alp Turgut
    2019-01-28 22:14

    "Julius Caesar"ın devamı niteliğindeki "Antonius ve Kleopatra / Antony and Cleopatra", ünlü Roma generali Mark Anthony'nin Kleopatra'yla olan destansı ve trajik aşk hikayesini okuyucuya sunan Shakespeare'in en başarılı tragedyalarından biri. "Romeo ve Juliet"le saf ve çocuksu aşkı işleyen Shakespeare'in bu oyunla aşkın daha tutkulu ve olgun kıyılarına yelken açtığını söylemek gerek. Bu yüzden oyun yer yer "Romeo ve Juliet"le benzerlik taşısa da karakterleri sebebiyle oldukça özgün Shakespeare karakterlerini barındırmakta. Özellikle Kleopatra karakteri herhalde yazarın kaleme aldığı en güçlü kadın karakterlerden biri olduğunu söyleyebilirim. Aynı "Julius Caesar" gibi yaşanmış tarihsel olaylara dayanan oyunda Aktium Muharebesi'ni de yakından okuma şansı buluyoruz; fakat hikaye itibariyle yukarıda bahsettiğim iki oyunun da seviyesinde ne yazık ki değil. Shakespeare'in en iyisi değil belki; ama en iyilerinden biri olmakla beraber son oyunlarından biri olması sebebiyle kesinlikle okuması gereken eserleri arasında.21.07.2016İstanbul, TürkiyeAlp Turgut

  • فهد الفهد
    2019-01-27 15:24

    أنطونيو وكليوباترا تعلمنا في (روميو وجولييت) أنه عندما يحب فتى وفتاة، فإن الأمر ينتهي بموتى وعوائل مكلومة، أما هنا فنتعلم أنه عندما يحب ملك وملكة، فإن الأمر ينتهي بحرب وأمة مغلوبة. إن قصة كليوباترا من دون حتى أن تقرن بأنطونيو هي قصة مثيرة، إنها ملكة وعشيقة، عشقت أولاً وتزوجت يوليوس قيصر الذي وصلت إليه كما تقول الأسطورة ملفوفة في سجادة، ثم بعدما قتل على يد المتآمرين في روما، عشقت مارك أنطونيو حتى انتحرت بعد موته، كل هذه الحياة المليئة بالحروب والدسائس والمؤمرات، وكل ما قيل عن جمالها الأخاذ يجعلها مثالاً للمرأة المثيرة، المغوية والخطرة. وقد صدرت مؤخراً ترجمة كتاب (كليوباترا: حياة) وهي سيرة متكاملة وضعتها (ستايسي شيف) الكاتبة المتخصصة في السير الذاتية، والتي حصلت على البوليتزر عن سير ذاتية كتبتها عن (سانت إكسوبري) و(فيرا: زوجة نابوكوف)، فلذا أتمنى أن يكون كتابها هذا مثيراً بإثارة شخصية كليوباترا. في مسرحيته هذه، شكسبير غير معني إلا بالمرحلة الأخيرة من حياة كليوباترا، أي علاقتها بأنطونيو وموتها، إن علاقة الحب العنيفة، وشخصية كليوباترا المضطربة، وشخصية أنطونيو الشجاعة ولكن سيئة الحظ أو لنقل الساذجة هي ما يتسيد النص الشكسبيري، والذي يفتتح بكلمات مارك أنطونيو المدوية العنيفة التي تعبر عن الحب الذي يكنه لكليوباترا:فلتذب روما في نهر التيبرولتسقط تلك القبة الشماء للصرح العظيم، صرح الإمبراطوريةفإن موقعي الجدير بي هنا !إن الممالك من ترابوأرضنا التي يعلوها الروث، تغذو البهائم مثلما تغذو البشروالمجد في الدنيا هو الذي نقوم به ها هنا(يقول هذه الكلمات ثم يعانق كليوباترا) لم يكن قائل هذه الكلمات إلا ثالث ثلاثة يحكمون حينها الإمبراطورية الرومانية الضخمة، ولكن سرعان ما سيصبح الثلاثة واحداً عندما يعزل أولهم (ماركوس لبيدوس)، وينتحر الثاني (مارك أنطونيو) بعدما يهزم في معركة (آكتيوم) البحرية، ليتسيد أوكتافيوس (أغسطس). يبدع شكسبير في هذه المسرحية في إظهار العلاقة بين كليوباترا وأنطونيو، الغيرة المتقدة من جهتها، والتصرفات الجنونية التي تقود حبيبها إلى الهزيمة والموت، كما تظهر شخصية أنطونيو الشجاعة ولكن الساذجة في ذات الوقت، وكيف انحط الرجل الذي كان يمكن له أن يكون سيد العالم الأوحد إلى رجل مهزوم، يتخلى عنه خلصائه، كما أبدع في إظهار الصراع النفسي الذي يمر به أحد رجال أنطونيو وهو (اينوباربوس)، وكيف بدأ يساءل وفائه لأنطونيو المشتت، والسائر في طريق الضياع: "إن عقلي قد بدأ يثور على وفائي، فالولاء الأعمى للحمقى يجعل من الوفاء حماقة بلهاء، بيد أن من كابد الولاء لمولاه بعد أن هوى من علاه، فإنما يقهر قاهر مولاه، ويفسح لنفسه مكاناً في السيرة حين يجري بذكرها الرواة"، ثم يعرض لنا بعد ذلك تأنيب الضمير الذي يكابده بعدما تخلى عن أنطونيو، وكيف يموت بكمده وحسرته مع أنه صار في ركاب المنتصرين. المسرحية جميلة، وقد عزمت على منحها نجوماً أربعة لولا الترجمة الرديئة التي قرأتها متفاجئاً، وهي ترجمة لويس عوض، من أراد أن يستمتع بالمسرحية فليبحث عن ترجمة أفضل.

  • Mounir
    2019-02-13 17:23

    مجهود جبار قام به الأستاذ الدكتور محمد عناني في هذه الترجمة الرائعة، وهي ليست مجرد ترجمة لنص شكسبير، إذ يشمل الكتاب1. دراسة نقدية مفصلة أورد فيها د. محمد عناني أهم الآراء النقدية في المسرحية على مدار 400 سنة منذ تأيفها، ويبرز في هذه المقدمة كيف أن نقاد كل عصر يضفون على نص شكسبير مشاكل عصرهم وفلسفته وطريقته في النظر إلى الأمور2. ترجمة لنص المسرحية بلغة عربية رصينة وكلاسيكية وبالتشكيل, وكعادة د. محمد عناني فإنه يترجم الأجزاء الشعرية شعرا والأجزاء النثرية نثرا. كما أنه مثل أي محرر محترم لشكسبير يعطي نفسه شيء من الحرية في الاختيار بين القراءات المختلفة أو المعاني الملتبسة للنص 3. هوامش لشرح النص ولمشكلات الترجمة في كثير من العبارات الغامضة والتي فسرها محررو طبعات شكسبير المختلفة بطرق مختلفةأنطونيو وكليوباترا تعتبر من المسرحيات غير التقليدية لشكسبير، حيث أنه هنا يتمرد على كل القواعد الكلاسيكية للمسرح وخصوصا القواعد الثلاث التي كانت تعتبر مقدسة: وحدة المكان ووحدة الزمان ووحدة الحدث. فبدلا من مكان واحد محدد فإن أحداث المسرحية تدور بين الإسكندرية وروما وأماكن مختلفة في إيطاليا واليونان وغرب آسيا وبعض جزر البحر المتوسط، أي تقريبا في أهم مراكز العالم القديم كله. وبدلا من زمن محدد بعدة ساعات أو يوم واحد، تدور الأحداث على مدى عدة شهور أو ربما سنوات [وإن كان شكسبير يختصر كثيرا من الأحداث التاريخية التي استغرقت في الواقع حوال 12 سنة ويوحي لنا أنها حدثت خلال عدة شهور فقط، وهو تركيز مطلوب دائما في المسرح]. أما بالنسبة لوحدة الحدث فإن المسرحية ذات موضوعات متشعبة وهناك بعض المشاهد التي كان يمكن نظريا الإستغناء عنها، لدرجة أن أحد النقاد يقول عنها أنها ليست مسرحية وإنما مجموعة كبيرة من المشاهد لبعض الشخصيات. وكان شكسبير قد اعتمد بصورة كبيرة جدا على كتابات المؤرخ الروماني بلوتارك [أو بلوتارخوس] الذي كتب عن حياة مشاهير اليونانيين والرومان في عصره، وهو يورد الكثير من التفاصيل الدقيقة والمضحكة أيضا التي وصفها بلوتارك، وربما كان لذلك دخل في تشعب أحداث المسرحية وعدم التزامها بالحدود التقليدية لكتابة المسرحيات. وفي مقال عن المسرحية أورده د. لويس عوض في ترجمته للمسرحية هناك مقارنة بين أسلوب شكسبير هنا وبين أسلوب الكاتب المسرحي الفرنسي راسين لو أنه كان قد كتب هذه المسرحية بأسلوبه الكلاسيكي الصارمأما بالنسبة لشخصيات المسرحية فبدلا من شخصية واحدة رئيسية تعاني من صراع معين مع القدر أو مع التقاليد والقيم أو مع الآلهة كما في مسرحيات شكسبير الكبرى، فإننا نجد هنا شخصيتين رئيسيتين: أنطونيو وكليوباترا وإحداهما أنثى وهو شيء غير معتاد لدى شكسبير. وإلى جانب ذلك هناك عدد كبير جدا من الشخصيات الجانبية والهامشية ولكن منها بعض الشخصيات التي تلفت نظرنا طول الوقت مثل دوميتيوس إنوباربوس الذي يقوم بدور مهم في التعليق على الأحداث والسخرية من الشخصيات الأخرى بطريقة فجة أحيانا لدرجة تكسر الإيهام المسرحي على طريقة برتولد بريشت، وهذه السخرية - ليس فقط من الشخصيات بل أيضا من الحدث المسرحي نفسه - عنصر مهم جدا في هذه المسرحية كما يشير د. عناني في المقدمة: فكأن أحد أهداف المسرحية تحطيم نظرة الإحترام والقداسة والمهابة التي ننظر بها للشخصيات التاريخية وكشف حقيقة هذه الشخصيات وكيف أنهم مجرد بشر تافهين ومبتذلين. ويظهر ذلك بصفة خاصة أثناء حديث أنطونيو مع أوكتافيوس قيصر وهما يتفقان على كيفية التصالح حتى يواجها معا عدوهما المشترك بومبي، فيتدخل إنوباربوس بالسخرية منهم فيقول ما معناه: يمكنكما التصالح الآن حتى تتخلصا من بومبي وبعد ذلك تعودان لعداوتكما التقليدية. فيثور عليه أنطونيو ويطلب منه أن "يخرس" باعتباره مجرد جندي وأن تطفله على "الكبار" في هذا المجلس يقلل من مهابته، أما أوكتافيوس فيقول إن إنوباربوس مضمون كلامه صحيح ولكن "أسلوبه وطريقته في الكلام" غير لائق. قام شكسبير بكتابة هذه المسرحية في عام 1606 أو 1607, وكان قد انتهى من كتابة تراجيدياته الكبيرة: هاملت والملك لير وعطيل وماكبث، ويرى النقاد أنه كان قد وصل إلى قمة نضجه أثناء كتابة هذه المسرحية، وربما أعطاه ذلك شيء من الحرية في تكسير قواعد كتابة المسرحيات التي كانت شائعة في ذلك الوقت. ومن ذلك مثلا أن أنطونيو وكليوباترا يصعب تصنيفها: فهل هي تراجيديا أم كوميديا؟ ويقول بعض النقاد أنه يصعب تصنيفها على أنها تراجيديا بسبب "بشاشتها" الزائدة والمشاهد الساخرة العديدة بها. وهي ليست تراجيديا بالمعنى الأرسطي التقليدي حيث أنه لا يبدو عليهم أي مظاهر للصراع مع القدر مثلا, ولأن الأبطال في النهاية رغم انتحارهم فإنهم يبدو وكأنهم قد انتصروا وحصلوا على الخلود في الحب معا [ وكلمة المهرج الذي أتي لكليوباترا بسلة التين وبها الثعبان مهمة هنا حيث يقول لها ما يبدو وكأنه فلتة لسان: إن "عضة الثعبان تأتي بالخلود" بدلا من الموت] وكليوباترا تبدو في كثير من المشاهد مهرجة، وكثيرا ما تتلفظ بعبارات مكشوفة، وتتصرف بطريقة هستيرية وملفتة للانتباه، وهو عكس ما هو معتاد في المسرحيات الكلاسيكية التي تظهر الشخصيات التاريخية بمنتهى الوقار والرصانة لدرجة الجمود. وأنطونيو يتصرف بطريقة طائشة ويترك نفسه للهو والسكر والعربدة ولا يلقي بالا لمسئولياته السياسية والعسكرية، وهو بذلك يحطم تماما المثل الأعلى للقيم الرومانية العسكرية القائمة على التقشف والتجرد واحتمال المصاعب وهي كلها قيم "رجولية"، وذلك في مقابل القيم "الأنثوية" التي يفترض أن كليوباترا تمثلها والتي يفترض أن أنطونيو اعتنقها لدرجة أن كليوباترا تحكي أنها في أحد المرات وأثناء سُكر أنطونيو جعلته يرتدي ملابسها وتزينت هي بأسلحته. بل يبدو في المسرحية نوع من الاستقطاب بين نوعين من الحياة: الحياة في مصر كنموذج للبذخ الشرقي والحياة المنعمة المترفة اللاهية، في مقابل الحياة في روما حيث الجدية والانضباط والصرامة والتقشف وحياة الجندية. ويحلل بعض النقاد عبارات ولغة كل طرف من الطرفين ويقولون أن هذين الأسلوبين من الحياة ينعكسان على اللغة التي يتحدث بها كل طرف. وهناك آراء كثير في المقدمة حول موضوع الصراع بين الذكورة والأنوثة في المسرحية. فبدلا من القيم السائدة حتى وقت شكسبير التي تعلي من قيم الذكورة والتي تمثلها روما وأوكتافيوس قيصر، نرى أن كليوباترا باستخدامها للروح الأنثوية القوية وبالقيم التي تنسب عادة للبلاط الملكي الشرقي من بذخ وتبذير ورفاهية تبدو وكأنها تهديد لقيم روما العسكرية الصارمة. ولنا أن نقارن بين أوكتافيا أخت أوكتافيوس [التي توصف بالهدوء والرزانة والأخلاق وتُعامل في المسرحية معاملة "الشيء" لدرجة أنها تجد نفسها قد تزوجت أنطونيو - ربما على غير رغبة منها - ضمن صفقة سياسية] وبين كليوباترا التي تذكّر الجميع طوال الوقت أنها ملكة مصر وترفض تماما أن يُفرض عليها أي شيء، وترفض الالتزام بأي قيود في سبيل الاستمتاع بالحياة وبالعشق، بل أنه حسب التقاليد الرومانية لا يمكن تصور سيدة في موقع قائدة أو إمبراطورة، حيث كان موقع النساء في المجتمع الروماني في أسفل الدرجات في مقابل النساء في مصر اللاتي كن يتمتعن بالمساواة التامة مع الرجال، حتى أن عرش مصر كان يورث عن طريق أكبر بنات الفرعون من الزوجة الرئيسية. وكليوباترا في المشاهد الأخيرة تصر على قيادة أسطولها بنفسها رغم إعتراض أصدقاء أنطونيو على اشتراك سيدة في المعارك وسخريتهم المكشوفة من ذلك. وبذلك فإن استحواذ كليوباترا على قلب أنطونيو يساوي تقريبا انتصارها على القيم الرومانية، وتخلي أنطونيو عن القيم الرومانية "الرجولية" يعتبر تهديدا لقيم روما العسكرية. والملاحظ أن كليوباترا تم النظر إليها على مدى قرون طويلة باعتبارها "مصرية" أو "شرقية" بالرغم من معرفة الجميع أنها أصلا يونانية مقدونية، أي تنتمي أصلا لأوربا. وروما كانت في عداوة مع مصر في ذلك الوقت وتريد الاستحواذ عليها‘ وتمت هزيمة أنطونيو وكليوباترا في موقعة أكتيوم عام 31 ق.م. على يد أوكتافيوس قيصر الذي أصبح له بذلك السلطان على البحر المتوسط كله تقريبا لدرجة أن الرومان أطلقوا عليه "ماري نوسترام" أي بحرنا. ولأن التاريخ يكتبه المنتصرون فإن صورة كليوباترا منذ ذلك الوقت أصبحت هي صورة المرأة الشهوانية اللعوب التي تغوي الرجال وتريد تحطيم "قيم الحضارة" كما تمثلها روما، وتم تجاهل دور كليوباترا المهم في محاولة الحفاظ على استقلال مصر حتى بعد تيقنها من هزيمتها أمام روما, ويبدو ذلك بوضوح في مسرحية شكسبير في المشاهد الأخيرة عندما تحاول كليوباترا أن تساوم أوكتافيوس قيصر المنتصر على أن يضمن لأبنائها حكم مصر من بعدها. ويمكن أن نعتبر أن شكسبير حاول رد الاعتبار لكليوباترا في هذه المسرحية، وذلك حتى بالرغم من تصويرها في بعض المشاهد بصورة هزليةوهناك الكثير من الآراء في المقدمة عن أسلوب شكسبير في هذه المسرحية والمتمرد على الأساليب التقليدية، وكيف أنه في كثير من المشاهد هناك نوع من الافتعال المقصود وكأن الشخصيات تسخر حتى من الأسلوب الدرامي ومن قواعد الكتابة للمسرح - وهو ما يساوي التمرد على السلطة أيا كان نوعهاأقترح على المبتدئين في قراءة مسرحيات لشكسبير ان يبدأوا بعطيل أو ماكبث، ثم الملك لير وهاملت، وبعد ذلك يمكنهم أن يستمتعوا بهذه المسرحية الفريدة من نوعها

  • David
    2019-02-02 19:56

    What does it say about me that I find myself so much in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra? More-so even than in Hamlet. In Cleopatra I see my many shortcomings in love: my possessiveness, my jealousies, my need for attention and affection, and most of all the need to have love proven again and again; and ultimately these are the foibles which bring about my own destruction in love. Like Cleopatra, I think I know my advantages, what angles I look best, where best to drive conversation, what activities most flatter me. But also like her, I am unsure in whole of my lovers. There is no barometer for another's heart, and though their love may be proven again and again, it is impossible for me to truly believe in the reading. Like Cleopatra, I am a great actor when need be, but ultimately even my acting is swept away by my sometimes desperate need to have my love validated. I can imagine Cleopatra today, sitting on her divan, prostrate, wondering "will he text me? It has been hours!"Cleopatra is perhaps hopelessly overwrought in her emotions, a bit too theatrical to always be taken seriously in her love. It is the trouble with ego that makes love so potent, so unstable. Antony and Cleopatra rival each other in their estimations of themselves. While the pride of Othello is balanced by the serving diminution of Desdemona, the egos of Cleopatra and Antony are mirrored and enhanced in each other. For me, I often wonder where self-love and self-esteem fit into love of the other: is it better to be balanced, or matched? The stories of Othello and Antony and Cleopatra would seem to indicate the inadequacy of either arrangement. But can I conceive a love between two people with no pride or estimation of themselves? So little self-valuation seems an unhealthy virtue - certainly one that is impossible for many (myself included). I was wondering yesterday, which is what compelled me to this review, "Is it possible to love myself so much that I make my own happiness in love impossible?" and I have been haunted by this question in it's exact phrasing since then. The notion of self-love is not to say a true over-estimation of oneself, but an outward confidence worn like a loose robe, the measurements are uncertain and their motives are unclear. Self-love is often compensatory for slighted esteem, covering up your faults with what you know (or believe) to be your best qualities.But love forces you to be naked. In the literal and metaphorical senses. Stripped of this robe, I feel I am especially on display: my body and character are scrutinized by the other, I am forced to drop away my protective garments, my shields and defenses. I am stripped and standing awkwardly, and there is no way to know what estimates I am registering in the mind of the other. Cleopatra feels this nakedness acutely. She feels insane and sometimes undirected jealousy, unfounded hatreds and insecurities. She ruins her lover in an attempt to see if his love is true, only to give birth to his anger:CLEOPATRA:O my lord, my lord,Forgive my fearful sails! I little thoughtYou would have followed.ANTONY:Egypt, thou knew'st too wellMy heart was to thy rudder tied by th' strings,And thou shouldst tow me after. O'er my spiritThy full supremacy thou knew'st, and thatThy beck might from the bidding of the godsCommand me.CLEOPATRA:O, my pardon!Cleopatra's understanding of love leverages on the currency of forgiveness. "How much am I worth to Antony" is answered by "What will he sacrifice for me, what will he forgive me for?" There are only two ways to have love proven: the positive and the reactive. The former is impossible to force, it comes from the other unprompted. It is the unexpected gift, the unexpected call, the seemingly-unnoticed glance. It is perfect in it's completeness, it is most assuring, but it loses all value when it is prodded. The reactive is the tool of Cleopatra. It is the apology, it is forgiveness, it is the quieting kiss, the forced or guilted penance. Reactive proofs of love have diminishing returns, it "makes hungry where most it satisfies" like Cleopatra herself. Each proof of love in this sense produces more questions and uncertainties than it answers or quells. It will always beg the question of "Why?" which is unanswerable. No "I love you" purchased in this way can be fully believed because it is motivated, and love is unmotivated.I have heard much about love. I have read many books, seen many movies, watched the stages of friendship blossom into the buds of love with friends and family, but I am yet experienced in this all-consuming and self-stripping love. I fall too quickly and repent my trippings, I mortgage my pride on unsteady affections, I am untrusting of stalks of green loves. All that is new is too tenuous for me, not sturdy enough to carry my expectations of overwrought emotions. Even now I am writing this review to distract myself for the begging question of "will he text me" - why do I need this validation? Will I always be doomed to suffer the asperities of Cleopatra's fate? But is it better to be Antony? Is it better to be always hot with love, and carry the heavy burdens of disillusion? Or never feel that heat: be always secure but cool to the touch? (Someone tells me: this kind of love is not viable. But how can you evaluate viability? Why is the viable a Good Thing? Why is it better to last than to burn?)Is it better to last than to burn? If death is the mother of beauty, then my tragedy has beauty to it. In love I am the balance of life and death; a pharamacopoeia poison and panacea in equal parts. I suffer, I struggle, I endure.Tragedy is life, but not life is pure tragedy, there always elements of comedy. If it is self-love that forces this play to it's dual-suicide, it is also the catalyst for perhaps one of the finest moments of tragicomedy in Shakespeare:MARK ANTONYI am dying, Egypt, dying:Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.CLEOPATRANo, let me speak; and let me rail so high,That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,Provoked by my offence.MARK ANTONYOne word, sweet queen:Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!CLEOPATRAThey do not go together.MARK ANTONYGentle, hear me:...Antony's and Cleopatra's loves of themselves are the only forces in them which survive the bleak gravitas of Antony's death. The constant need to have the last word: the need for victory. While Desdemona serviley accepts her husband's hatred and condemnation, and then his murder, Cleopatra nor Antony can accept the possibility of losing the last word to the other. While their love and adoration of each other seems genuine, their loves of their own self-image of victors hopelessly prevails, leading to Antony's death amidst a moment of comedy and contention with his love. "No, let me speak..."

  • David Sarkies
    2019-01-26 18:07

    The Final Saga of the Roman Republic19 May 2012 This is truly a play of epic proportions, taking place in areas from the centre of Rome to her periphery, such as Egypt and the borders of Parthia. It is one of Shakespeare's later works, and the skill in which he brings so much together onto the stage simply goes to show how skillful he was at producing drama. Now, some scholars like to argue that Shakespeare could not have been responsible for so many plays of such high quality, however I personally find such research and argument to be quite useless. In the end, I tend to, and have always tended to, lean towards the mythological than the scientific, and while it may be the case that Shakespeare was not responsible for the plays, I personally see no benefit in such argument. One of the things that I struggle with these plays is that they can be difficult to follow at times with the poetical language of the 17th Century and the difficulties in determining which character is what (and in some cases involves flipping back to the dramatis personae). I have also been watching the series Rome, and the characters of Mark Antony and Cleopatra seem to invade my mind from that show making it a little difficult differentiating the characters. The Mark Antony of the TV series is a much more brutal and despotic character than is Shakespeare's. However, we must remember two things, and they are that Shakespeare is not attempting to give us an insight into the culture and lifestyles of Ancient Romans, while Bruno Heller is not trying to produce, or even rewrite Shakespeare. In fact it is very clear that Heller, in his TV series, is giving Shakespeare a very wide berth. I find the topics of Shakespeare's plays quite interesting though because I have noted that Shakespeare seems to steer clear of writing any plays based upon biblical stories, even tragedies (and there are many stories in the bible that a skillful playwright could transform into a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions), but rather he seems to lean much closer to the secular world of Ancient Rome. Further, he does not seem to go to rewrite the ancient tragedies, even those of Seneca (Shakespeare did not know Greek therefore he only had access to Greek texts that had been translated, such as Plutarch's Lives). Even then, Shakespeare only borrow three stories from Plutarch's lives, that being Coriolanus, Julius Ceaser, and Mark Antony (even though Julius Ceaser is the tragedy of Brutus). I am almost inclined to suggest that if it was not for this play or for Julius Ceaser, that the characters of Ceaser, Brutus, Antony, and Cleopatra, would probably not be as dominant in our culture as they are. In a way, Shakespeare took one of the defining periods of Roman History, namely the period in which the republic collapsed to be replaced by the empire, and placed them onto the stage. Whether this play is supposed to be a 'sequel' to Julius Ceaser is difficult to determine, though it is interesting to note that Bernard Shaw later wrote a third play, Ceaser and Cleopatra, to turn this into a trilogy. The background of these events is when Ceaser Augustus finally came in on his own and ascended to the throne as the first emperor of Rome. However, it is also interesting that after this we have another great shift in European history, in that we shift from the west, back to the east, to the birth, life, and death, of the Messiah. However, this is not mentioned in the play, though there are some hints to the appearance of Herod of the Jews. It is difficult to tell whether there is truly a fatal flaw in Mark Antony, and it is also difficult to determine whether Cleopatra actually loved. Her trick at the end of the play, where she feigns death, and as a result, Antony kills himself, is not the action of somebody in love, even chivalrous love. In a way she has been testing Antony's love throughout the play, but whether she loved him, or simply lusted after him, is difficult to tell. Many of us like to see this as a love story, but to me, it is not. It is a story about a man who let himself become possessed by a wiry woman and in turn brought about his downfall. Remember two things about Egypt of this period, it was not a part of Rome, rather it was a protectorate, and secondly, Cleopatra considered herself a god. While she was subservient to Rome, she still did not recognise Rome as her ruler. As such, by sinking her claws into Antony proved a way of enabling her to shift the balance of power back to her. It is interesting that Shakespeare uses the serpent as the means of her death. It is almost as if the serpent is submitting herself to a serpent. She wrapped her coils around Antony and enchanted him, and in doing so set his downfall in motion (remembering that this is not the Mark Antony that is portrayed elsewhere). Ceaser tries everything to break her spell, including marrying him to his sister, but he fails. In the middle of an important battle with the pirates that are preventing wheat shipments from reaching Rome, Antony deserts and travels to Egypt. In Egypt he finds that his soldiers are deserting, and even though he wins the first battle, he makes a tactical error, by fighting at sea instead of land, and as a result, he is defeated. However, it is interesting that Ceaser does not condemn or punish him for his crimes. It appears that Ceaser understands that it was Cleopatra's whiles that dragged him to this point, and has his body carried off in honour, and leaves his legacy intact. However, Cleopatra, recognising that her life in luxury and as a queen of Egypt is over, instead of going into slavery, she poisons herself. We hear her speak of being a slave and of watching plays where she is turned into a whore and mocked on stage. It is not her position that leads her to her death, but her legacy. However, it is not the legacy that has come down to us, as we, today, know of Cleopatra as the beautiful queen of Egypt. I have also written a blog post on a version of the play by the Royal Shakespeare Company that I recently saw in the cinema.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-16 20:00

    Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare عنوان: آنتونی و کلئوپاترا؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: علاالدین پازارگادی؛ نمایشنامه غم انگیز آنتونی و کلئوپاترا؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه، 1334؛ چاپ دیگر: 1359؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1379، در 245 ص؛ شابک: 9789644452581؛ چاپ هفتم 1392؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 16 معنوان: آنتونی و کلئوپاترا؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: محمدعلی اسلامی ندوشن؛ تهران، یزدان، 1363؛ در 238 ص؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 16 معنوان: آنتونی و کلئوپاترا؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: هادی عادلپور؛ تهران، سمیر، 1392؛ در 527 ص؛ شابک: 9789642201068؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 16 معنوان: آنتونی و کلئوپاترا؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: فرینوش رمضانی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1393؛ در 58 ص؛ شابک: 9789642131655؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 16 م

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-02-01 15:00

    LEPIDUS: What manner o’ thing is your crocodile? ANTONY: It is shaped, sir, like itself, and is as broad as it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and, the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.LEPIDUS: What color is it?ANTONY: Of its own color too.This is Shakespeare’s most exiting play. The many and rapid changes of scene function like the shaky, shifting camera angles in a Jason Bourne movie: both accelerating the pace, and showing us a variety of perspectives from which to view the action, all the while keeping some angles carefully hidden from view. We see too much and not enough. The play is exhausting to read or watch, a constant torrent of development and action; and yet, by the end, it is terribly difficult to decide what stance to take towards the principle characters.Antony cuts a poor figure in this play. Unlike the persuasive and savvy politician of Julius Caesar, here he is a bungler past his prime. In this he reminded me most strongly of Macbeth, another ruler who botches everything he tries to do (Antony even botches his own suicide). The two of them are charismatic, independent, and powerful personalities who, nevertheless, are much too susceptible to suggestion. I should say, rather, that they are too apt to ignore good and to follow bad advice. Antony illustrates this even more than Macbeth: all the play long, he is continually waving away his best counselors to follow the unruly impulses of his heart. He has no ability to put aside pleasure for practicality. It is impossible not to sympathize with him—the play would be tedious and dreary if he were totally unsympathetic—but it was, for me, also impossible to root for him. Octavius is the perfect foil for this passionate hero. I admit that I like Octavius perhaps more than Shakespeare intended. He is so wonderfully efficient and commanding. In every scene he is issuing orders, rapid-fire, and every one of these orders is calculated and shrewd. He takes in all the essential facts of every situation at a glance, and at once his mind hits upon the correct course of action. He is unbending and unrelenting in his pursuit of his goal. Compared with Antony’s agonizing indecision about whether he wants to be a Roman commander or an Egyptian paramour, this is terribly refreshing. There is no question—in my mind at least—that he should and must be the ruler of Rome, since Antony is so manifestly unfit for the role. And yet, for all his single-minded pursuit of his aims, there is an undercurrent of pity and tenderness—his love of his sister and his outrage at her betrayal, and his tears for Antony’s death—that makes him a complete, sympathetic character.Cleopatra is the most complex character in this play. Like Antony, she is passionate and mercurial; but unlike Antony, there always seems to be a part of herself that is unconquered by her impulses, a more calculating awareness that allows her to cast a spell over everyone in her presence. Like Iago, she is always acting, playing the part of herself, although to what end is not always clear. Unlike Iago, we never see Cleopatra in private, and have no windows into her solitary consciousness. Also unlike Iago, Cleopatra is constantly overwhelmed by her circumstances; the play she is trying to write never goes according to plan, usually thanks to Octavius. Indeed, the only person impervious to her is Octavius, whose cold, stiff demeanor wards off her dramatic performance. That being said, Cleopatra is the only character whom Octavius can neither understand nor conquer. His silver-tongued messengers to her end up getting manipulated, ignored, or conquered themselves (as in the case of Dolabella).By chance, I watched this play while making my way through Alexandre Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel, much of which focuses on the famous Master-Slave dialectic. Whatever the applicability of Kojève’s thesis to Hegel’s ideas (that’s for another review), it strikes me that this scheme sheds some light on this play. The Master, in Hegel’s famous chapter, is stuck in a paradoxical situation. He craves the recognition of another self-consciousness, and will risk his life for this recognition; and yet his desire leads him to subjugate the Other to the role of Slave, whose recognition cannot satisfy the Master, since the Slave is not supposed to have any perspective whatever.Now, it seems that Antony and Cleopatra’s erratic and passionate behavior is shaped by this paradox. The two of them are the masters of the world, surrounded by servants and slaves. They command, and are obeyed. But—unlike Octavius, who is comfortable with the role of impersonal master—neither can be satisfied with this obedience. They are bored by it. The two of them do not wish to be recognized simply as “masters,” but as individuals: as Antony and as Cleopatra. Yet this recognition can only come from an equal, from another master: from each other. This is why, in every scene, they always seem to be performing for each other. They are the only suitable audience for each other’s performance, the only audience that can give the satisfaction of individual recognition.I think this is why critics have disagreed about whether they truly “love” one another. They seem to be using one another, intimately but self-interestedly, to achieve the full feeling of selfhood. They are like two mirrors reflecting each other’s light. This recognition is so vital that they will risk power, fortune, even life itself, only to sustain it one moment longer. Octavius cannot play this role for either of them. He wishes only to be obeyed; his personality, his private feelings and sympathies, are ruthlessly repressed in order to be the ideal master. Likewise, neither Antony nor Cleopatra can give Octavius what he wants: unconditional obedience. Octavius quite literally wants to reduce them to slavery, dragged in chains in a triumphal procession. This would be a fate worse than death for these two actors.It is only in the final act, after Antony’s death, that Cleopatra seems to discover that she does not need Antony: she can be an audience to herself, she can recognize her own individuality. This is what makes her performance in Act V so overwhelming. She emerges from the circumstances that constantly thwart her plans, she breaks free of the need to be seen to feel complete. At this moment, the only action which will preserve her autonomy and her individuality is her self-destruction, since Octavius will reduce her to the level of a trophy if she allows herself to live. Her death is not wholly tragic, therefore, but has the pathos of self-transcendence.Then Octavius strides in, and true to form he begins issuing orders for their burial and mourning. (I wonder what percentage of his lines are direct orders.) This is the play's emotionally ambiguous end. We miss the passionate intensity of Antony and Cleopatra. Octavius may be compelling in his way, but he is certainly not charismatic. And yet we can’t helping feeling—or I can’t, at least—that the self-destructive, wasteful, and egotistical love affair between these two mortal gods had to end, for the world’s sake if not for theirs.

  • Rowland Pasaribu
    2019-01-18 19:10

    Scholars believe that Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra in 1606, immediately after Macbeth, and it is one of the last great tragedies that Shakespeare produced. The most geographically sweeping of Shakespeare’s plays, Antony and Cleopatra’s setting is the entire Roman Empire, its backdrop the well-documented history of Octavius Caesar, Marc Antony, and Cleopatra. Shakespeare’s primary source for Antony and Cleopatra was the Life of Marcus Antonius contained in Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, which was translated into English by Sir Thomas North in 1579. North’s language was so rich that Shakespeare incorporated large, relatively unchanged excerpts of it into his text. The plot of the play also remains close to North’s history, although characters like Enobarbus and Cleopatra’s attendants are largely Shakespearean creations.The action of the story takes place roughly two years after the events of Shakespeare’s earlier play about the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar. At the beginning of that tragedy, Caesar has triumphed over his rival Pompey the Great, the father of young Pompey in Antony and Cleopatra, and aspires to kingship. Caesar is then assassinated by Cassius and Brutus, who hope to preserve the Roman Republic. Instead, Cassius and Brutus are defeated by Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar, Julius’s nephew, who then join Marcus Aemilius Lepidus to create a three-man government, or triumvirate, over the empire.Historically, the action of Antony and Cleopatra takes place over a ten-year span, whereas in the play the story is compressed to fit the needs of the stage. Antony is clearly much older than he was in Julius Caesar, and his political instincts seem to be waning. Octavius Caesar was only a minor character in the earlier play, but here he comes into his own as the man who will rise to become the first Roman emperor. Most of the political battles and machinations depicted are historically accurate, as is the romance of the title characters.In his opening lines to Demetrius, Philo complains that Antony has abandoned the military endeavors on which his reputation is based for Cleopatra’s sake. His criticism of Antony’s “dotage,” or stupidity, introduces a tension between reason and emotion that runs throughout the play (I.i.1). Antony and Cleopatra’s first exchange heightens this tension, as they argue whether their love can be put into words and understood or whether it exceeds such faculties and boundaries of reason. If, according to Roman consensus, Antony is the military hero and disciplined statesmen that Caesar and others believe him to be, then he seems to have happily abandoned his reason in order to pursue his passion. He declares: “Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch / Of the ranged empire fall” (I.i.35–36). The play, however, is more concerned with the battle between reason and emotion than the triumph of one over the other, and this battle is waged most forcefully in the character of Antony. More than any other character in the play, Antony vacillates between Western and Eastern sensibilities, feeling pulled by both his duty to the empire and his desire for pleasure, his want of military glory and his passion for Cleopatra. Soon after his nonchalant dismissal of Caesar’s messenger, the empire, and his duty to it, he chastises himself for his neglect and commits to return to Rome, lest he “lose [him:]self in dotage” (I.ii.106).As the play progresses, Antony continues to inhabit conflicting identities that play out the struggle between reason and emotion. At one moment, he is the vengeful war hero whom Caesar praises and fears. Soon thereafter, he sacrifices his military position by unwisely allowing Cleopatra to determine his course of action. As his Roman allies—even the ever-faithful Enobarbus—abandon him, Antony feels that he has, indeed, lost himself in dotage, and he determines to rescue his noble identity by taking his own life. At first, this course of action may appear to be a triumph of reason over passion, of -Western sensibilities over Eastern ones, but the play is not that simple. Although Antony dies believing himself a man of honor, discipline, and reason, our understanding of him is not nearly as straight-forward. In order to come to terms with Antony’s character, we must analyze the aspects of his identity that he ignores. He is, in the end, a man ruled by passion as much as by reason. Likewise, the play offers us a worldview in which one sensibility cannot easily dominate another. Reason cannot ever fully conquer the passions, nor can passion wholly undo reason.Although Antony and Cleopatra details the conflict between Rome and Egypt, giving us an idea of the Elizabethan perceptions of the difference between Western and Eastern cultures, it does not make a definitive statement about which culture ultimately triumphs. In the play, the Western and Eastern poles of the world are characterized by those who inhabit them: Caesar, for instance, embodies the stoic duty of the West, while Cleopatra, in all her theatrical grandeur, represents the free-flowing passions of the East. Caesar’s concerns throughout the play are certainly imperial: he means to invade foreign lands in order to invest them with traditions and sensibilities of his own. But the play resists siding with this imperialist impulse. Shakespeare, in other words, does not align the play’s sympathies with the West; Antony and Cleopatra can hardly be read as propaganda for Western domination. On the contrary, the Roman understanding of Cleopatra and her kingdom seems exceedingly superficial. To Caesar, the queen of Egypt is little more than a whore with a flair for drama. His perspective allows little room for the real power of Cleopatra’s sexuality—she can, after all, persuade the most decorated of generals to follow her into ignoble retreat. Similarly, it allows little room for the indomitable strength of her will, which she demonstrates so forcefully at the end of the play as she refuses to allow herself to be turned into a “Egyptian puppet” for the entertainment of the Roman masses (V.ii.204).In Antony and Cleopatra, West meets East, but it does not, regardless of Caesar’s triumph over the land of Egypt, conquer it. Cleopatra’s suicide suggests that something of the East’s spirit, the freedoms and passions that are not represented in the play’s conception of the West, cannot be subsumed by Caesar’s victory. The play suggests that the East will live on as a visible and unconquerable counterpoint to the West, bound as inseparably and eternally as Antony and Cleopatra are in their tomb.In one sentence, i will say this is, "The Struggle Between Reason and Emotion"… :D

  • Marnie
    2019-02-03 18:26

    Ah, Shakespeare. How many times will I return to a review of your work, only to realise I have rated it unfairly?

  • R.J. Askew
    2019-01-25 18:16

    A WONDERFUL PIECE OF WORK Love. Power. Love. Power. Which is the eye drawn to? It’s said women love powerful men. So does love follow power? Wealth seems to. Are powerful men happier than all the rest? And powerful women? It’s said that men are terrified of them. And if the lover loves the power more than its holder? Can love conquor power? And if it does? What of power then? Can a powerful man surrender to love and remain powerful? Behind every powerful man… Power. Love. Power. Love. Antony. Cleo. Antony. Cleo. ‘Would I had never seen her!’ says Mark Antony.But he does, and becomes in Rome’s eye, ‘the bellows and the fan to cool a gipsy’s lust,’ and, ‘The triple pillar of the world transform’d into a strumpet’s fool…’ But then she is ‘…a wonderful piece of work…’, as Antony’s supporter Enobarbus says.And she herself says, ‘I was a morsel for a monarch’. ‘Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both’, says Pompey’s son. ‘She is cunning past man’s thought,’ says Antony. Musing on fishing, she says, ‘…my bended hook shall pierce their slimy jaws…I’ll think them every one an Antony, And say, ‘Ah ha!’ you’re caught.’ And he is. On being entertained on her sumptuous barge he ‘…pays with his heart for what his eyes eat only.’ Such is her ‘infinite variety’. Rome is power, the greatest there is. Power brings conquest, treasure, honour. Power is all. Power instinctively grows more powerful, loves power. Rome has been a republic for five hundred years and is governed by a senatorial class of aristocratic families and tribunes elected by the people – the plebians.But the power massed in the hands of men like Julius Caesar – warrior politicians – becomes too great for the old order to curb. Julius Caesar, aided by Antony – a popular general, becomes dictator of Rome. This is the fulcrum in Rome’s history. The crisis deepens when the old order kills Caesar. Antony takes revenge on the murders and joins a new ruling clique – the triumvirate – with the young Octavius Caesar, Julius Caesar’s adopted son and heir, and Lepidus, another of Julius Caesar’s allies. Antony knows the hardships of war, and relates to common soldiers, the ‘lads’, with whom he is on familiar terms. He lives loose, drinks deep, and makes free with other mens’ wives. The luxury of Egypt, in his third of the Roman world, is irresistible to him, as is its famous queen. Cleopatra was the lover of Julius Caesar, with whom she had a son, Caesarion, and Caesar’s great rival, Pompey. If Rome is power, order, reason, Egypt is pleasure, ease, romance. ‘…we did sleep day out…and make night light with drinking…’ says Enobarbus, adding later, ‘…we have used our throats in Egypt.’ Did you really have eight wild boar roasted whole at a breakfast? asks one of Caesar’s friends. Enter a messenger. But Mark Antony can’t forget Rome. Messengers fly back and forth. Antony’s brother and wife, Fulvia, war with Caesar in Italy, in part ‘to have me out of Egypt’, Antony says. ‘A Roman thought hath struck him,’ Cleopatra mocks. She tries to beguile him by pretending to be sad if he is merry and merry if he is sad. But Rome tugs at Antony. ‘Our Italy shines o’er with civil swords,’ he says. ‘I must be gone. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break.’ Enter another messenger. But first a little bawdy joking among Cleopatra’s ladies and a soothsayer who tells Charmian, ‘You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.’ Such is Egypt. Enter a messenger. Fulvia is dead. And Pompey the younger challenges the triumvirate. Caesar says ‘…we do bear so great weight in his lightness’ of Antony’s absence. But then he is in Rome and it is Cleopatra who misses him ‘…does he walk? Or is he on his horse? O happy, horse, to bear the weight of Antony!’ Antony the politician makes up with Caesar who marries his sister, Octavia, to him. But Enobarbus says, ‘He will to his Egyptian dish again,’ and predicts that the marriage will later ‘prove the immediate author of their variance.’ Strikes him down. Cleopatra is enraged at the hapless messenger who brings news of the marriage. ‘Thou shalt be whipp’d with wire, and stewed in brine.’ On board Pompey’s galley. Lepidius, drunk, asks, ‘What manner o’thing is your crocodile?’ Antony mocks him, ‘It is shaped sir, like itself…’ Pompey declines an offer from a pirate to murder the triumvirs on his behalf as this would dishonour him. The pirate deserts him. Ventidius, a subordinate of Antony’s later says he did not do as much while fighting the parthains as he could have done, so as not to, ‘acquire too high a fame’. Lepidius, the weakest triumvir, is however caught between his love for Caesar and his adoration of Antony.Will Caesar weep when he parts from Octavia? Antony ‘cried almost to roaring’ on Julius Caesar’s death. ‘Is she as tall as me? What majesty is in her gait?’ asks Cleopatra. ‘She creeps,’ says the now wily messenger. The play is riddled contrasts between rivals and contrasts within in the principals, much as Plutrach’s Lives, Shakespeare’s source for this and his other Roman plays, contrasts the lives of noble Greeks and Romans and strengths and weakness of character in individuals. There are two sides to everything. Life is comedy and tragedy. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We are now almost at the mid-point of Act III and the fulcrum of the play, after which events spin out of Mark Antony’s control.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Antony complains that Caesar is at war with Pompey and has deposed Lepidus. Octavia is distraught, torn, like Lepidus, between praying for her husband Antony and her brother Octavius, saying there is, ‘…no midway twix these extrmes at all.’ Caesar is angered thatm ‘Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold were publicly enthron’d’.‘He hath given his empire up to a whore; who now are levying the kings o’the earth for war.’ A plain near Actium. Enobarbus the soldier, exasperated by Cleopatra’s presence, moans, ‘But why, why, why?’ He adds, ‘…if we should serve with horse and mares together…your presence must puzzle Antony…’ ‘Sink Rome,’ snaps Cleopatra. Antony is stronger on land than at sea and a common soldier pleads, ‘ O noble emperor! Do not fight by sea…’ And Canidius, who later deserts Antony, says, ‘…our leader’s led, and we are women’s men.’ But Anony fights Ceasar at sea and is undone when Cleopatra flees the battle with her sixty ships, ‘like a cow in June’, and Antony follows, ‘like a doting mallard’. Scarus says, ‘Experience, manhood, honour, ne’er before did violate itself so.’ ‘Love, I am full of lead,’ says Antony after, perhaps addressing the concept of love as well as Cleopatra. My heart was tied to your rudder, he tells her. He is reduced to sending his old teacher, Euphronius, to treat with his younger rival, such is his impotence. ‘What shall we do, Enobarbus?’ asks Cleopatra. ‘Think, and die,’ comes the reply. Antony is now so desperate he challenges Caesar to fight him, ‘sword against sword’. Enobarbus in a scornful aside says Caesar triumphant will not risk all, ‘Against a sworder!’ and in another aside says, ‘Sir, sir, thou’rt so leaky, that we must leave thee to thy sinking...' Antony has Caesar’s messenger whipped and rails against Cleopatra, ‘I found you as a morsel, cold upon dead Caesar’s trencher…’ She calls down poisoned hailstones on herself. Antony rallies, ‘Let’s have one other gaudy night…’ Enobarbus sees it all, ‘Now he’ll outstare the lightning. A diminution in our captain’s brain restores his heart. I will seek some other way to leave him.’ ‘He calls me boy,’ says Caesar. ‘Tend me tonight two hours,’ Antony bids of his servants, as if expecting doom. Soldiers hear, ‘Music i’ the air’, and suspect it marks his favourite god, Hercules, deserting him. Cleopatra helps him on with his armour like a fussing wife and he kisses her, ‘This is a soldier’s kiss.’ This is their only kiss in the play’s text. Later, when things go well for him, he refers to her as, ‘My nightingale…’ Previously he says fondly, ‘Where’s my serpent of old Nile?’ And he sends her a pearl from Rome, at which point he was to her ‘man of men’ and she was writing to him every day, saying to her maid,‘Ink and paper, Charmain.’ When Enobarbus finally deserts him, Antony, sees the consequences of his mistakes, ‘O! my fortunes have corrupted honest men.’ Enobarbus rues his desertion saying of himself, ‘I am alone the villain of the earth.’ When Antony’s fortunes rally briefly – pointedly in a land battle – Enobarbus dies, disconsolate, ‘A master-leaver and a fugitive.’ But then, ‘All is lost!’ during a second sea battle and Antony calls Cleopatra a ‘triple-turn’d whore!’ and says she ‘Hast sold me to this novice,’ Caesar. At Actium, one of Antony’s soldiers called her, ‘Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt’ and Antony now calls her ‘a right gypsy…fast and loose’, as if coming round to the Roman view of her as ‘gypsy’ in the play’s opening lines.He calls her ‘the greatest spot of all thy sex’, talks of Caesar hoisting her up ‘to the shouting plebians’, and says ‘The witch shall die: to the young Roman boy she hath sold me’. Terrified by Antony’s rage, Cleopatra bolts to her monument and sends her eunuch to say she is dead. Antony, ‘Dead then?’ Eunuch, ‘Dead.’ The news drives Antony to tell his man Eros to kill him. But Eros kills himself instead. Antony, shamed by Eros, falls on his own sword, but fails to kill himself. ‘Let him that loves me strike me dead,’ he commands of his guards. But they all refuse.He is taken to Cleopatra’s monument. ‘I am dying, Egypt, dying.’ Cleopatra and her maids hoist him up. ‘How heavy weight my lord!’ she says. ‘Our strength is goint into heaviness, that makes the weight.’ The point is hammered home when all the women say, ‘A heavy sight!’ And Antony repeats, ‘I am dying Egypt, dying.’Antony dies. In the final act Caesar, ‘sole sir o’the world,’ makes his plans and Cleopatra treats with him. She dreams of Antony and speaks of him as a generous and outstanding man, but not in a romantic way, as a lover. Caesar seems reasonable yet threatens her children if she does not comply. She then discovers his true intent is to parade her to through Rome ‘in triumph.’ Yet, she too remains slippery, disguising her true wealth from Caesar. She is in horror of the Roman mob with their ‘greasy aprons…thick breaths…rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded, and forc’d to drink their vapour?’ There seems more passion in this fear than in her dream of Antony, though Shakespeare was surely trying to make his own smelly audience think of themselves as Romans. And so, to join Antony and foil Caesar, she applies an asp. But first she kisses one of her maids, who promptly dies. She applies a second asp, dies. Another maid applies an asp, dies.Octavius Caesar, powerless to stop Cleopatra’s bid for immortality, goes on to rule Rome for decades and make good his comment that, ‘The time of universal peace is near.’-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Power wins. Love for its own sake is nowhere. Cleopatra’s love of Antony’s power and Antony’s sensuousness permit her to cloak his power as a rampant ivy cloaks a tree until said tree falls, taking said ivy with it. Antony speaks with more passion about his honour, or hurtfully of Cleopatra when his cause fails, than he ever does in a romantic way to or about her. And she remains guileful to the end and as concerned with her royalty and spiting Caesar’s plan to show her off as she is about joining Antony in death. But the ‘boy’ Caesar is immune to her ways and does not even recognise her when they first meet. We also know from Plutarch that Cleopatra tested methods of suicide on prisoners to discover the gentlest, a woman who left little to chance. But are things ever so simple? The complexity of all things is captured when Cleopatra says to her first asp, ‘This knot intrinsicate of life at once untie’. The joining of ‘intrinsic’ and ‘intricate’ in the portmanteau word ‘intrinsicate’ tells us that life is never one thing.

  • Kay Fair
    2019-02-10 17:21

    Their celebrity couple name would be... AntoPatra.And essentially, that is what Antony and Cleopatra are: a celebrity couple. And just like the crazy jump-on-the-couch love of TomKat, their affection is subject to deep suspicion and speculation by the public. The romance of AntoPatra is often compared with that of Romeo and Juliet in regard to both passion and poetry. However, the circumstance of celebrity makes Antony and Cleopatra vastly, sadly different from the star-crossed young lovers of Verona. It is tantamount to comparing Brangelina with some high school sweethearts from Nowhere, Montana. Celebrities must adjust their behaviors and passions to suit their positions. The most interesting aspect of AntoPatra's love is therefore not the expression of their affection, but rather the adjustment of their amour.These lovers seem to have torn a page from a Harold Pinter play and mastered the art of subtext, saying more between their lines than within them. This is especially the case when other characters are witness to the exchanges between the lovers. A celebrity couple is never truly alone, since they belong, at least in part, to the public. The fact that this is a play and an audience is truly present (even during "private" moments) just serves to elevate that paradox. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, the audience may often find itself holding its collective breath as it attempts not to interrupt the intimacy of the incredibly private trysts of the young lovers. On the other hand, in Antony and Cleopatra, the audience is the literal translation, an extension, of the public eye characterized onstage. Every cough and shuffle of the audience can just serve to remind Antony and Cleopatra that someone, somewhere, is always watching.When a celebrity relationship first develops, we all conjecture over whether it's "for real." Is it just because his career is slacking? Is it a stunt to take media attention off her botched boob job? Etc. Etc. Ad Nauseum. And the more I view AntoPatra as a celebrity couple, the more I find myself analyzing the sincerity of their purported affection. Would Cleopatra love Antony if he were a mere Roman warrior? Would Antony care for Cleopatra if she were an Egyptian peasant? Likely not. I'll go out on a limb here and say defiantly not. While it can't be said that their love is based solely on the advantages one garners for the other (their relationship often creates more drama than glory), it is likely that they love based on the prestige of their partner. They see each other as worthy, powerful equals. As with modern celebrity couples, the attraction of power and wealth to power and wealth isn't necessarily just due to elitism. They understand (even if they fail to accept) the constraints that power, wealth and position imply. (Complete review available at

  • Ali
    2019-01-30 15:56

    "Elleri ne yaparsa yapsın yüzleri dürüsttür insanların."

  • Rhiannon Johnson
    2019-02-15 15:18

    The character Cleopatra, in William Shakespeare's “Antony and Cleopatra,” possesses a multitude of contradictions. Through constant clashes in speech and action, Shakespeare constructs a complex female character. Critic Anna Jameson refers to Cleopatra as “a brilliant antithesis—a compound of contradictions” (Quint 244). Jameson recognizes Shakespeare's “deep meaning and wonderous [sic] skill in the apparent enigma” of Cleopatra (244). Shakespeare remediates the stories of Plutarch and Genesis to give agency to his character. Through appropriation Shakespeare shapes his “literary forbears to new uses, enhancing,extending, or critiquing the meaning of the primary text” (Savu 22). Through remediation, Shakespeare emphasizes Cleopatra's sexual power, and shifts the image of the snake from a male to a female symbol of power, in order to give agency to Cleopatra in her suicide.To read my paper "Remediating Cleopatra" visit:

  • Mounir
    2019-02-18 21:01

    In many ways this paly can be seen as "unconventional" regarding the classical rules of drama ; here the events are not confined to one place, we move back and forth from Alexandria to Rome to Sicily to Athens to Actium and to other places of the old world. The time range of events is about ten years, although Shakespeare had also condensed the historical events so that they could be adapted to the play. There is not only one main event, everything is so ramified. Shakespeare had relied heavily on Plutarch's "Lives" in North's translation, may be that is why he wanted to put all the tiny - and sometimes comic - details in his play. We can appreciate how Shakespeare had departed from the classical way of writing historical plays if we imagine Racine writing about the same theme with his strict and austere style.And regarding the characters: instead of one main character in conflict with fate or with the gods or with society and its norms, we have here two main characters, Antony and Cleopatra, in addition to a host of many others, some of whom draw our attention all the time, e.g. Octavius and Enobarbus. Enobarbus [my "favorite" character in this play !] especially was given something like the role of a "chorus", commenting in a sarcastic way on what is going on; but his comments are not directed to the audience, they are part and parcel of the conversations, to the degree that in one scene Antony and Octavius are irritated by his words and comment on his "inappropriate" way of intruding on them, accusing him of being out of place in their majestic meeting. It is almost agreed upon that Shakespeare wrote this play in 1606 or 1607; he had by this time produced his other major tragic plays: Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth, and has reached a high level of maturity and depth. This may have given him the liberty of breaking the common rules usually followed in play-writing at his time. As an example, Antony and Cleopatra is difficult to classify: is it a tragedy? Is it a comedy? Its many funny and "cheerful" scenes are against being a tragedy. And the conflicts of the main characters are not the classical conflicts of tragic heroes, and in spite of their suicide, they are presented as if they are victorious, being united in "eternal" love and having also defeated the intentions of their opponent, Octavius. The countryman who brought the asp to Cleopatra tells her that 'his biting is immortal'. If the word "immortal" had the same connotation then like it has now, then it would be like a slip of the tongue conveying a double meaning.In many scenes Cleopatra, unlike what is expected of a classical heroine, appears histrionic, wild and over-emotional, often utters something vulgar or has an indecent meaning. Antony behaves in an irresponsible way, indulging in carousing and drinking, and in this way as if revolting agianst the "manly" Roman ideal of austerity and strict military life, which is in contrast with the "feminine" norms which are supposed to be represented by Cleopatra and her way of life. In one scene, Cleopatra laughs about the time when she made Antony wear her clothes while he was drunk, while she tried his arms on herself. The play thus shows a polarity between two styles of life: life in Egypt in Cleopatra's palace, representing the "oriental" splendor and extravagance, in contrast with life in Rome where everybody is strict and stern.There is another close polarity between masculinity and femininity in the play. The masculinity is seen in Rome and Octavius, especially when he remembers Antony's time in his military campaigns. While Cleopatra's extravagant and relaxed style is seen as if it is a threat to the stern traditions of Rome. As an example of this, we see Octavia, Octavius' sister, who is described as meek, sober and moralistic, and who is treated as an "object" in a political negotiation and finds herself getting married to Antony [possibly against her will]. On the other hand, Cleopatra reminds everybody all the time that she is sovereign of Egypt, does not feel compelled to follow any moral code or social obligation, and insists on being present in person during the naval battle, which is looked upon as something inappropriate by the Romans in the play. As far as I know, women in Rome did not have much rights at that time, compared to Egypt where succession to the throne was through the Pharaoh's eldest daughter from his main royal wife. Cleopatra having taken Antony as her lover can thus be considered as a defeat of the Roman, military and "manly" norms.Cleopatra has been seen for centuries as "Egyptian" or "Oriental" although everybody knows that she was Macedonian/Greek, i.e. European. After the defaet of Antony and Cleopatra in Actium, Octavius Caesar became the sole ruler of Rome and its empire, the Mediterranean was even called "mare nostrum = our sea" by the Romans, and since then Cleopatra has acquired somehow the image of the evil erotic seductress who seduces men for her own aims and who wants to "destroy civilization" and the Roman traditions. Her role in trying to preserve the independence of Egypt in that difficult era, even after her defeat, was totally ignored. Shakespeare may have been trying to correct this image: even though he shows her in may scenes in a hysterical or wild manner, in the final scenes Cleopatra tries to extract a promise from Octavius to let her children have the rule of Egypt. [Addition to the review: 10.30 pm]The style of the play is characterized by rapid "mood swings" and over-emotional behavior of the main characters to the degree of being histrionic in may scenes; rapid shifts of place, exaggeration and dramatization in a way suggesting that the play is a parody of heroic dramas; the usual classical solemnity is replaced by mockery and sarcasm of the main characters; one critic had drew attention to a recurring phenomenon in the play: a solemn or dramatic scene is ended by comments from the minor characters which mock and nullify this solemnity.There is also a lot of ambiguity about the real intentions of many characters, which as far as I know is not usual with Shakespeare: Was Antony serious about being loyal to Octavia when he agreed to marry her? Was Cleopatra loyal to Antony to the end and was only playing the role of submission to Octavius to deceive him, or was she an opportunist seeking to please the new "ruler of the world"? Was the scene between Cleopatra and her treasurer authentic and the treasurer wanted to betray her, or was it "staged" so as to make Octavius believe she will not kill herself? Why did Cleopatra suddenly order her fleet to leave, and thus causing a terrible defeat; was it because she feared for the safety of her fleet when she expected an inevitable defeat, or was there any other motive? All these questions are almost impossible to answer.

  • نرمين الشامي
    2019-02-05 21:15

    الصمت في حرم الجمال جمالفهناك اشياء تعجز الكلمات عن وصف مدى روعتها فأنا الان احاول ان اصف ما اعجبني في تلك المسرحية ولا اجد الكلمات المناسبةفهل اصف الحوار العميق الذي يريك سمات كل شخصية ويجعلك تشاركها في دواخلها ومشاعرها وتعقيداتهاام اتحدث عن تسلسل الاحداث الذي كان مناسبا لما تريد المسرحية ان تقوله بلا زيادة او نقصان حيث نرى كيف يمكن للهوى ان يلهو بصاحبه ويلغي عقله ويحوله لشخص اخر تماما يأتي بأفعال ربما لم يكن يتصور ان يفعلها في يوم من الايام وهذا ما نراه في شخص انطونيو الذي لولا الهوى الذي افقده عقله لربما مات وهو الرجل الاقوى في العالمانطونيو العظيم الذي قدره اعدائه قبل اصدقائه فرثاه عدوه اكتافيوس رثاءا رائعا وبكى عليه اشد البكاء حين اتاه نبأ موتهيمكن تلخيص أنطباعي عن أنطونيو بما كتبه د. لويس عوض على غلاف المسرحية وهو ان " قلوبنا تتعاطف مع انطونيو وعقولنا تأبى التسليم بما يفعل "كليوباترا على الجانب الاخر لم تفقد رشدها في اى لحظة بل كانت تفكر في نفسها ومصلحتها دائما سواء بفرارها من معركة اكتيوم هي واسطولها رغم انها كانت السبب في خوض انطونيو لمعركة بحرية غير اهل لها ثم موافقتها على ان تتحالف مع اكتافيوس بشرط ان يترك حكم مصر لابنائها ثم القائها اللوم على انطونيو في كل شئ عندما ذهب اليها اكتافيوس بعد موت الاول واخيرا انتحارها الذي لم يكن ابدا من اجل انطونيو بقدر ما كان من اجل كليوباترا حتى لا تذل في موكب انتصار اكتافيوس كانت كليوباترا افعى متلونة تضع مصلحتها قبل اى شئ وهناك مشهد رائع في المسرحية حينما يستضيف بومبى اعدائه الثلاثة بعد الصلح معهم فيقترح عليه احد رجاله ان يقتلهم ويتخلص منهم فيوبخه بومبي وقد تتصور ان التوبيخ جاء بسبب حثه اياه على الغدر لكنه ليس كذلك بل وبخه لانه كان جدير بهذا الرجل ان يقتل الثلاثة دون ان يقول له اما الان وقد اخبره فلا يستطيع ان يفعل ذلك لانها تعد خيانة وغدرا !! هذا المشهد يوضح بشدة مدى تعقيد الطبيعة البشرية وكيف ان الافعال الفاضلة لا تدل دوما على الفضيلةواخيرا الترجمة وهي افضل ترجمة قرأتها في حياتي ترجمة ادبية بأمتياز ترجمة ذات حس فني وشعري رائعتستحق ان نرفع لك القبعة يا د. لويس عوض حقا لقد كنت بارعا واريتنا مثالا للترجمة الادبية الحقيقية لا الترجمة البدائية التي كتب علينا ان نتعذب بها من معظم المترجمين الا من رحم ربي .

  • بسام عبد العزيز
    2019-01-30 22:19

    إذن أنتوني كان يعشق كليوباترا و في رحلة عابرة إلى روما يقرر الزواج من اوكتافيا! فجأة بدون أي مقدمات؟!و إذا كان قد تزوجها لمنع الحرب مع أخيها القيصر ففجأة يعد أيام ينسى هذا السبب و يعود إلى كليوبترا؟!!!و إذا كان قائدا حربيا ذكيا ففجأة نجده لا يعبأ بغضب القيصر بعد أن هجر اخته؟!! و إذا كانت كليوبترا تحبه ففجأة تتركه في الحرب و تهرب؟!!و إذا كانت قد هربت ففجأة نجد أنتوني يجري ورائها و يظل معها بعد الهزيمة؟!!!!و إذا كانت عاشقة مخلصة ففجأة توافق على عرض القيصر لخيانة أنتوني؟!حقيقة... ما هذا اللامنطق السائد من أولى صفحات المسرحية حتى آخرها؟!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!آه.. حسنا.. المفترض أن الحب هو الذي يجعل المحبين مشتتين.. هو الذي يتسبب في تلك الحالة من التخبط.. لكن بصراحة هذا كان أكثر مما أتحمل!!مجموعة من الملوك يقومون بتصرفات غاية في الهزلية و السبب ماذا؟ على حسب شكسبير فالسبب هو الحب؟!!لو كانت هذه هى الحقيقة التاريخية فيالهذا العالم التافه الذي يحكمه مجموعة من الهوائيين!!! و إن لم تكن هذه هى الحقيقة التاريخية فالمسرحية بلامنطقها قد أفقدتني الرغبة فيها تماما!!فقط ما يحسب لها هو أن عباراتها الرومانسية الشاعرية تبدو جيدة.. و أقول "تبدو" لأنني اقرأ الترجمة و ليس النص الأصلي .. ولا أعلم كيف هو النص الأصلي.. لكن فيما عدا هذا لم أجد ما يجذبني..

  • Sarah
    2019-02-11 14:58

    مش بس جميله لكن ليها ذكريات جميله .. ايام الكليه ومذاكرتها وتمثيلها في البيت بالاصوات المختلفه لكل بطل علشان اندمج معاها .. وباللغه الانجليزيه القديمه ومشاهدتها مع زمايلي واصحابي في المكتبه المركزية مجرد الاسم بس بحس معاه باحساس جميل كإني رجعت سنين كتير لورا .. وطبعا الفيلم غني عن التعريف تماما