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Mass Market Paperback Antony and Cleopatra Book

ISBN: 0743482859

ISBN13: 9780743482851

Antony and Cleopatra

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This edition of Antony and Cleopatra is especially designed for students, with accessible on-page notes and explanatory illustrations, clear background information, and rigorous but accessible... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Discerningly-edited Edition

This is a review of a specific edition of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" - namely the New Cambridge edition of 1990, edited by David Bevington.The book is a good size, and the print is easy to read. There are about 70 pages of front matter in this edition, and, on each page of the play, copious notes. Following the play's text, there is a discussion of general editorial choices and approaches, supplementing the specifics covered in notes.The front matter dutifully took up the sources of the play, its dating, structure, stage history, and a number of other topics. I found it occasionally a bit heavy going, as, in many sections, any straightforward statement seemed to be buried under a pile of citations from various critics. This was by no means always the case, and in such things as stage history I found the discussion brisk but entertaining.The text was thoroughly annotated - too thoroughly for my taste. It did not get tedious, as in the Arden editions, but still, too many notes were devoted to specific editorial decisions, and too many supersized with references to other plays. I guess there is some interest in this, and one does not have to read the notes one does not want to, but it does tend to slow one down. This is good though, if one wants to delve. Moreover, virtually every word or passage that might cause difficulty is discussed and interpreted, which is certainly what one wants.In summary, I would say this edition is well worth having: it gives one most of the information one could conceivably need, does some interpretation, and explains the text helpfully. It does not include a transcription of Shakespeare's main sources (although this is done piecemeal in the notes), nor a plot and scene summary. These would have been nice, but are not necessary.

Sex, Politics, Suicide. What More Could You Want?

Anthony and Cleopatra is one of Shakespeare's difficult plays, and so I suspect the ratings on the play are low because it's a more mature play than Romeo and Juliet. Here we have two middle age lovers who part of the time are foolish with lust/love and the rest of the time are tough minded heads of state. The "tragedy" is that they can't be both and survive. This is not a play for the young folks, I'm afraid. But if you want some heavy drama where the characters are spared nothing and given no slack, read Anthony and Cleopatra (hint: Cleopatra's suicide is more political statement than a crazy wish to die with Antony). Better yet see it performed by some real actors some time.

When love and fate mean death or power

Shakespeare in this play shows how love is not human but surrealistic. Love does not answer reasonable questions. It is a fundamentally unreasonable attitude that brings the lovers to absurd behaviours negating all logical, political and historical values. Love has no limits even if history will prove stronger and the lovers will be destroyed. Shakespeare beefs up this theme with a language that is so rich that we are fascinated by the words, the symbols, the symbolic value of words and acts. He is particularly rich in his style that is entirely, words, poetry, actions, and even feelings, organized following some simple symbols, particularly numerical symbols. In this play Cleopatra appears as being the core of the symbolism and she carries with her the number eleven that comes from the old English runes with the meaning of fate, of fatal defeat, of a flaw that cannot be corrected or escaped. It is her destiny to bring Antony to his defeat and death, just as it is Antony's fate to be governed by this woman and led to his own destruction because of his love for her. It also shows how the Emperor is able to use this fatal situation in order to capture all powers and to impose his absolute will on the Roman Empire. He seems to be the one who plays not well but with all the assets of the game up his sleeves, and he takes them out one at a time when the situation is ripe for these assts to become the key to is ascension to absolute power by defeating those who may oppose him.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Fantastic Editing!

We all know the play. Everyone's read it, at least parts in school. But not everyone gets to read an edition so well edited, so finely crafted by such an editorial craftsman as Adam Frost. Were it not for the Frostian touch, Shakespeare in this play might just seem like another hack Elizabethan dramatist. But here, the words sing and soar. Frost has the ability to dramatize page numbers and italic type. Of whom else can one say, "That is the most perfectly placed editorial thought I've ever encountered? What a pleasure!" I heartily recommend this superbly edited volume.

One of the greatest works of English literature

This is one of the greatest works of English literature and does not deserve to be reviewed by people such as the American listed above. Intelligent people do not read Shakespeare to gain information about the time and place of the plot. We do so primarily because we are interested in the human condition.

Antony and Cleopatra Mentions in Our Blog

Antony and Cleopatra in Greatest Romantic Couples in Literature
Greatest Romantic Couples in Literature
Published by ThriftBooks Team • February 11, 2022

Love is everywhere, especially in literature. Review ThriftBooks' top 10 greatest romantic couples in literature just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Antony and Cleopatra in Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 29, 2021

On this date in 1595, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first performed (not officially published until 1597). Although the renowned tragedy was by no means the first literary story of doomed love, it coined the phrase "star-cross'd lovers" and continues to inspire heartbreaking sagas even today.

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