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Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra is a play by William Shakespeare, often considered a tragedy although this is debated and originally printed in the First Folio of 1623.

The plot is based or thought to be on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Markus Antonius, follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs and the future first emperor of Rome. The tragedy is a Roman play characterized by swift, panoramic shifts in geographical locations and in registers, alternating between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and the more pragmatic, austere Rome. Many consider the role of Cleopatra in this play one of the most complex female roles in Shakespeare's work. She is frequently vain and histrionic, provoking an audience almost to scorn; at the same time, Shakespeare's efforts invest both her and Antony with tragic grandeur. These contradictory features have led to famously divided critical responses.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

Edition from PublicLiterature.org

Free ebook to download in PDF format - 214 Kb - 88 pages