By Sara Munson Deats
Complementing different volumes within the Shakespeare feedback sequence, this selection of twenty unique essays will extend the severe contexts within which Antony and Cleopatra may be loved as either literature and theater. The essays will conceal a large spectrum of issues and make the most of a variety of scholarly methodologies, together with textual and performance-oriented methods, intertextual stories, in addition to feminist, psychoanalytical, Marxist, and postcolonial inquiries. the quantity also will characteristic an in depth advent via the editor surveying the under-examined functionality heritage and significant trends/legacy of this complicated play. members comprise fashionable Shakespeare students David Bevington, Dympna Callaghan, Leeds Barroll, David Fuller, Dorothea Kehler, and Linda Woodbridge.
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Additional resources for Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism)
This foray, although fleeting and not really successful, nevertheless demonstrates an attempt to reconcile the opposites of masculine and feminine within the play. ) Among feminist critics, one of the most heated debates concerning the lovers focuses on the degree to which they explode accepted gender categories to achieve a state of androgyny. The majority of contemporary commentators agree with Irene Dash (1981) that Cleopatra unites sexual and political roles as well as love and marriage, and with Thomas McAlindon (1973), Richard Wheeler (1981), French (1981), Erickson (1985), James Greene (1987), and Gayle Whittier (1989) that the lovers exchange masculine and feminine qualities rather than simply inverting them, thereby showing a capacity for cross-gender identiﬁcation.
Following Davies, Wortham (1995) sees Octavius as an implicit analogue to James and the play as a veiled tribute to the monarch who, like Octavius Caesar, will usher in a time of universal peace. Similarly, in a classic new historicist essay, Yachnin (1991) locates the play within the political situation of its own period, equating Antony and Cleopatra with the aristocratic, chivalric ethos of the Elizabethan past and Octavius with the mercantile, pragmatic value system of the Jacobean present.
Fitz then proceeds to offer a persuasive rationale for Cleopatra as the central tragic hero of the drama: a sympathetic but flawed character who experiences inner struggle, makes mistakes, falls, and (unlike Antony) grows and changes, while dying heroically. Five years after Fitz’s stunning defense of Cleopatra as tragic protagonist, her view found support from Fredson Bowers (1982), who contends on structural grounds that Cleopatra must be the single protagonist of the drama. First, he deﬁnes the protagonist as the central character around 22 Antony and Cleopatra whom the plot revolves, the moving agent in both the climax and catastrophe, who makes a crucial but ethically ﬂawed decision that leads to punishment by death.
Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism) by Sara Munson Deats