Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rereading Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra. William Shakespeare. 1608. [Source: Bought]

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra isn't among my favorite Shakespeare plays--not even close. Still, I thought it would be worth rereading at least once. I find this a messy read simply because it is so complex. Not the "tragic romance" of Antony and Cleopatra, but the constant changing of scenes and the extremely large cast. The play covers several years at least and it is all over the place in terms of setting. Here is my first review

Antony and Cleopatra are madly in love with each other. So they say. But actions sometimes speak louder than words. I found Antony to be flawed--greatly flawed in some ways. Cleopatra was equally flawed. I'm not sure there is a "better" person in the relationship. She was manipulative and cruel and prone to nagging. Antony was at the very least selfish and inconsiderate. These two enjoyed fighting and making up again. They may have even loved all the drama.

Lines from the play:
Antony: She is cunning past man's thought.
Enobarbus: Alack, sir, no: her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Antony: Would I had never seen her!
Cleopatra: Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Cleopatra: My salad days, When I was green in judgment:--cold in blood, to say as I said then!
Enobarbus: That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
Enobarbus: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety: other women cloy The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry where most she satisfies
Cleopatra: Give me some music,--music, moody food of us that trade in love.
Antony: If I lose mine honour, I lose myself
Antony: Come, let's have one other gaudy night: call to me all my sad captains;
Antony: Thou art the armourer of my heart.
Agrippa: And strange it is that nature must compel us to lament our most persisted deeds.
Agrippa: A rarer spirit never did steer humanity. But you, gods, will give us some faults to make us men.
Iras: The bright day is done, and we are for the dark. 
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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