Thursday, 29 November 2012

Antony and Cleopatra: If This be Love Indeed...

Antony and Cleopatra's main theme is perhaps love. The death of Antony and his lover the queen of Egypt somehow resembles the typical love tragedy in Shakespeare and older stories, such as Romeo and Juliet, Pyramus and Thisbe, Othello, etc. But for me Antony and Cleopatra has its own uniqueness.

One of them is of course, the political theme in the play. The political theme is so intense that it blurs the theme of love at times. For example, Antony's marriage to Octavia is actually quite a shocking choice from the 'love' point of view, especially after his promise to Cleopatra. But his political motive prevails over his emotional feeling, and he chooses that path to strengthen his position in Rome. Cleopatra forgives Antony anyway.

The ups and downs of their relationship is also unique. They fight, and then they love again, and fight again, none of them loves better than the other. Their love is sometimes selfish, sometimes stupid, and it enriches the plot of the play.

I don't know if I will read the play again, given my dislike to tragedies (with few exceptions), but for me the play is entertaining enough. Here below is the list of my act-by-act review. Please enjoy.  

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