A-Z Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra

“He that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord
Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
And earns a place i’th’story.”

 William Shakespeare

Awesomeness: 7/10

Because…it was, you know, quite good.

Colour: Green

Date: No later than 1606

Events: Two years after the overthrow of a certain Julius Caesar (yep, it’s a sequel), Rome is in trouble. The triumvirate leading it is drifting apart, with Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar at odds because Antony is more interested in his Egyptian lover Cleopatra than in doing politics in Rome. Eventually they fight, and Caesar wins. Antony gets angry with Cleopatra for distracting him, and she pretends to be dead so he won’t kill her in his rage. He commits suicide on hearing of her supposed death; then she commits suicide in order to avoid being captured by Caesar. The End.

First line: “Nay, but this dotage of our General’s”

Genre: Tragedy

High point: The bit where they all get drunk on a boat.

Interesting fact: Antony and Cleopatra was entered in the Stationers’ Register in 1608, on the 20 May, which happens to be Teenaged Sister’s birthday.

Joke: “I love long life better than figs.”

Killed: Antony’s first wife Fulvia; Antony’s friend Enobarbus; Antony’s servant Eros; Antony (finally); Cleopatra’s servant Iras; Cleopatra; Cleopatra’s servant Charmian.

Laughed at: A Clown. Again.

Musical: Yes; when the triumvirs get drunk on a boat there’s a drinking-song to go along with the merriment.

Number of scenes: If my count is correct, a whopping 42 spread over five acts.

Obscurity: 2/10

Place: Rome and Alexandria

Quote: “I am dying, Egypt, dying.”

Role I’d play: Cleopatra, of course.

Stolen from Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives.

Time: Ancient Rome


Voiced in my head by: Michelle Pfeiffer as Cleopatra.

Would I see it in a theatre? Sure. Why not?

X: The Tenth Line: “Look where they come.”

“Yes? Hello? What?” (The Snappy Quip): “That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.” #shakespeareansarcasm

Z: The Last Line: “High order in this great solemnity.”

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