Antony and Cleopatra antony and cleopatra book pdf a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play was performed first circa 1607 at the Blackfriars Theatre or the Globe Theatre by the King’s Men. Its first appearance in print was in the Folio of 1623.
The plot is based on Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra’s suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony’s fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire.
The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egypt and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome. Many consider Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, whom Enobarbus describes as having “infinite variety”, as one of the most complex and fully developed female characters in the playwright’s body of work.
Shakespeare invests her and Antony with tragic grandeur. These contradictory features have led to famously divided critical responses.
It is difficult to classify Antony and Cleopatra as belonging to a single genre. All one can say with certainty is that it is a Roman play, even a sequel to another of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Julius Caesar. Roman general and one of the three joint leaders, or “triumvirs”, who rule the Roman Republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.
He ignores Rome’s domestic problems, including the fact that his third wife Fulvia rebelled against Octavius and then died. Octavius calls Antony back to Rome from Alexandria to help him fight against Sextus Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, three notorious pirates of the Mediterranean. At Alexandria, Cleopatra begs Antony not to go, and though he repeatedly affirms his deep passionate love for her, he eventually leaves.