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Antony and Cleopatra (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) Paperback – March 16, 1995
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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About the Author
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English dramatist, poet, and actor, generally regarded as the greatest playwright of all time.
Top customer reviews
More strange review questions from Amazon to get here but the book
is excellent, commentary top-knotch and overall condition great. I just
bought this so I wouldn't have to lug my RSC Shakespeare into bed
The play has a brisk pace, even for Shakespeare. In part, the sense of propulsion fueled by the numerous scenes (forty-three spread over five acts), with two as short as three or four spoken lines. Overall, the play is more cinematic than I recall any of Shakespeare's other plays being.
I also was reminded of Verdi's opera "Aida". Perhaps that was due to the grandeur and exoticness of Egypt. Still, I wonder whether Verdi, who of course wrote three operas based directly on Shakespeare plays ("Macbeth", "Otello", and "Falstaff"), was intimately familiar with and admiring of "Antony and Cleopatra".
And what can I say about Cleopatra? Other than to recommend that one be overwhelmed by her in person, either by reading the play or seeing it staged (though I suspect that few actresses are truly up to the strength, multiformity, and sheer ego of her personality).
I can't say that ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is among the absolute best of Shakespeare's plays, but I much enjoyed reading it and it is one of the five or six that I would most like to see staged.
Poor Pompey refused to seize the reins of power through dishonorable murder, and yet receives the same from those he spared. And how many of the attendants to the principles themselves die in this play? We have poisonings, beatings, and death from shame.
This edition is quite fine as we expect from Arden. The notes are extremely helpful to understand the locations and context of this play with its wide-ranging locales and dozens of scenes that fly from place to place. Of course, the notes that help with the language and text emendations are wonderfully done. The longer notes are put in the back.
The first quarter of the book is an extended essay on various aspects of this play that ranges from its origin, performance issues and how they were handled over the centuries, and problems of the text. It is a wonderfully useful essay that added a lot to my enjoyment of reading the play.
This is part of the third Arden series of the Shakespeare plays and is very readable and I enjoyed it a great deal.