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All for Love Or, the World Well Lost A Tragedy Kindle Edition
|Length: 114 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Led him in golden bands to gaudy slaughter,
And made perdition pleasing: She has left him
The blank of what he was.
I tell thee, eunuch, she has quite unmanned him.
Can any Roman see, and know him now,
Thus altered from the lord of half mankind,
Unbent, unsinewed, made a woman's toy,
Shrunk from the vast extent of all his honours,
And crampt within a corner of the world? O Antony!
Dryden recast Shakespeare's most sprawling play, Antony and Cleopatra, but with "the unities of time, place, and action, more exactly observed, than perhaps the English theatre requires." This is more than a mere neo-classical exercise, however. The concentration on the precise moment when Octavian wrested control of the Roman Empire from Antony intensifies the drama. Also, although this has sometimes been disputed, Dryden is a brilliant poet:
VENTIDIUS. What lethargy has crept into your soul?
ANTONY. 'Tis but a scorn of life, and just desire
To free myself from bondage.
VENTIDIUS. __ __ Do it bravely.
ANTONY. I will; but not by fighting. O Ventidius!
What should I fight for now?--my queen is dead.
I was but great for her; my power, my empire,
Were but my merchandise to buy her love;
And conquered kings, my factors. Now she's dead,
Let Caesar take the world,--
An empty circle, since the jewel's gone
Which made it worth my strife: ...
His preface is also a fine performance:
"... I have not copied my author servilely: [...Read more ›