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 may be loved as either literature and theater. The essays will conceal a large spectrum of subject matters and make the most of a variety of scholarly methodologies, together with textual and performance-oriented techniques, intertextual reviews, in addition to feminist, psychoanalytical, Marxist, and postcolonial inquiries. the amount also will function an intensive advent via the editor surveying the under-examined functionality heritage and significant trends/legacy of this advanced play. individuals comprise favourite Shakespeare students David Bevington, Dympna Callaghan, Leeds Barroll, David Fuller, Dorothea Kehler, and Linda Woodbridge.
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Extra resources for Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism)
Thomas Van Laan (1978) further presents Cleopatra as Shakespeare’s most successful interior director who succeeds in “creating her own imaginative drama to replace the unbearable action of reality” (220), and Ronald R. MacDonald (1985) interprets the play as centrally concerned with the construction of the self through art, with Antony and Cleopatra “free to create themselves, to refuse the cultural representations that would reduce them or rob them of their reality” (98). Anticipating later feminist readings, Homan (1970) develops this approach to explore the play’s linking of Cleopatra, and the feminine generally, with both the imagination and the theater.
This view is further elaborated by Simmons (1973), who asserts that the tragedy of Antony “grows out of his heroic insistence on achieving both ideals, on maintaining the honor that is the necessary condition for love’s integrity and fulﬁllment,” whereas his “destruction results from the limitations and exclusiveness that the imperfect realities impose” (Simmons 124; Stilling, 1976). Wilson (1950), one of Antony’s most fervent admirers, ampliﬁes Antony’s magnanimity to include an entire catechism of virtues: “Majesty, affability, benevolence, liberality, placability, amity, justice, fortitude, patience in sustaining wrong; all and more are Antony’s” (xxx).
However, Victorian prudery overcame histrionic ambition and Siddons famously refused, declaring, “If I should play the part as it should be played I should ever after hate myself ” (Wingate 10), whereupon Kemble apparently abandoned all desire to play Antony. What Siddons might have done with the role of Cleopatra had she “played the part as it should be played,” one can only surmise, but Faucit generated little enthusiasm, with Hazlitt criticizing her for displaying “the affected levity of the modern ﬁne lady” (Morning Chronicle; qtd.
Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism) by Sara Munson Deats