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Antony and Cleopatra

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  30,226 ratings  ·  1,266 reviews
Antony and Cleopatra dramatizes a major event in world history: the founding of the Roman Empire. The future first emperor, Octavius Caesar (later called Augustus Caesar), cold-bloodedly manipulates other characters and exercises iron control over himself.

At first, he shares power with Mark Antony, Rome’s preeminent military leader, and the weaker Lepidus. Caesar needs Ant
ebook, 400 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Simon Schuster (first published 1606)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  30,226 ratings  ·  1,266 reviews

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Bill Kerwin

This play is so good, it is not merely a masterpiece: it is a mystery. The two protagonists are alternately noble and petty, wise and foolish, and yet they never seem inconsistent or self-contradictory because Shakespeare--here is the mystery--consistently maintains a tone that is paradoxically both ironic and heroic. Part of it is the language, which shifts seamlessly from mellifluous monologues adorned with cosmic imagery (comparing Anthony and Cleopatra to continents, stars,etc.) to the most
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tragedie of Antony and Cleopatra = Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare

The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic.

The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egy
Henry Avila
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Antony the Roman general , right- hand man of the great Caesar, a shadow to be sure of the most famous ruler of Rome and his unsurpassed conquests in the history of the Empire , yet he Antony , had ability just not enough to overcome his weaknesses. Excessive drinking and chasing beautiful women and ignoring his duty, a bit coarse in truth. The fatal meeting with Queen Cleopatra v11, Greek in blood little of it Egyptian in what is now modern Turkey, she dazzled him floating down a river, th ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers of sagacity and good literature
Recommended to Dolors by: John Willliams
Shakespeare does it again.
He mingles the historical with the imaginary, the public with the private, the tragedy with the theatrical to infuse life into one the most popular couples in ancient Rome; the star-crossed lovers Anthony and Cleopatra. Love and war were never more indistinguishably fused.
The fact that the Bard brings forth his masterful descriptive skills almost avoiding the use of the soliloquy, his trump car and most employed device to create poignant psychological portraits, makes t
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Antony and Cleopatra, a play published in 1606 by William Shakespeare.This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, partially for some of the reality on which it is based. Some know the full story, others know bits and pieces. Cleopatra, famous in her own right, is the Queen of Egypt. Caeser is conquering the world. Antony rules Rome for a while. The love affair between these three, plus a former wife and the sister, Octavia, create such a beautiful a
Barry Pierce
Mark Antony is a real pain in the asp.
I wish you all the joys of the worm.

You know, for the longest time, I had placed this of all of Shakespeare's plays among the highest in my estimation, for where else could I have so many references to melting or even have an early punk band write a song about it? (Melt, Siouxsie and the Banshees)

Indeed, Let Rome in Tiber melt! I really enjoyed the triumvirate of powers, the play on politics and the whole chaos of such an equal footing between Ceasar, Antony, and Cleopatra. Can we blame the woma
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, 2017, drama
“Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me”
― William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra


A great Shakespeare play, but one (for me) that is still overpowered by Shakespeare's earlier tragedies. The story is based on Plutarch's Lives (North's translation). The weight and strength of this play is, obviously, going to center on Cleopatra and Antony. They are fascinating as a couple (literary and political binaries) and Cleopatra is amazingly, spectacularly, flushed-out by Shake
Shakespeare at his best...😊.
❀ Rose ❀
I don’t think I’m gonna write a very articulate review for this one. I enjoyed it and it’s a good play but it lacks a little something. I just couldn’t connect with the characters as much and the whole plot line just wasn’t my fav (which is super disappointing since this was the play that I was most excited to read cz...hellooooo we have arabs in here yay!). The writing is of course amazing but for some reason this just fell flat for me *shrugs*.

Next up: The Winter’s Tale🤞🏼
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Antony and Cleopatra were interesting characters. It was a fun read.
Ivana Books Are Magic
Antony and Cleopatra is one of my personal favourites when it comes to Shakespeare's tragedies. With its mix of politics, statesmanship and romance, this play is wonderfully complex and intellectually stimulating. As a love story, I find it a lot more interesting that the better known Romeo and Juliet. Antony and Cleopatra are royal and larger than life personalities but also very human. I greatly enjoyed their psychological portrayal and their dynamics as a couple. Both are cunning and intellig ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
I read this directly following on from Julius Caesar, expecting more of the same. Imho however the play isn't in the same class. It's lack a certain "omph" and urgency. Even the chemistry between the two protagonists only really gets going, ironically, towards the end.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
What does it say about me that I find myself so much in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra? More-so even than in Hamlet. In Cleopatra I see my many shortcomings in love: my possessiveness, my jealousies, my need for attention and affection, and most of all the need to have love proven again and again; and ultimately these are the foibles which bring about my own destruction in love. Like Cleopatra, I think I know my advantages, what angles I look best, where best to drive conversation, what acti ...more
Daniel Chaikin

One of the wilder plays I've read from Shakespeare. He made an effort to capture the chaotic state of world as Marcus Antony and Octavius Caesar maneuvered in their uncertain power struggle, and that chaotic state is reflected in the complicated portrait of Cleopatra. The play races around the Mediterranean empire, from Alexandria to Rome to Greece to a couple other places, and a large assortment of characters fill in key roles, managing an attempt at some historical reality, pulling in a few h
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, classics
A complicated play on many levels. It has many themes: politics, love, loyalty and betrayal, power dynamics between men and women, death, honor, greatness. There are many characters and many scenes. I should see this play staged as I am not sure how theaters deal with the numerous scene changes.

The alternating between sober Ceasar in Rome, and extravagant Cleopatra in Egypt are meant to emphasize the opposite of temperaments and surroundings (as I learned from my research). Two worlds and two wa
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.

This sprawling play is excessively vast and devotes far too little to Daenerys, I mean Cleopatra. Political melodrama with more twists and setbacks than S7 of GoT. The saving grace of the play is the incandescent poetry which sparkles all the more by its scarcity amongst so many martial hymns.
David Sarkies
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like Shakespeare
Recommended to David by: My English Teacher
Shelves: tragedy
The Final Saga of the Roman Republic
19 May 2012

This is truly a play of epic proportions, taking place in areas from the centre of Rome to her periphery, such as Egypt and the borders of Parthia. It is one of Shakespeare's later works, and the skill in which he brings so much together onto the stage simply goes to show how skillful he was at producing drama. Now, some scholars like to argue that Shakespeare could not have been responsible for so many plays of such high quality, however I persona
Roy Lotz
LEPIDUS: What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?

ANTONY: It is shaped, sir, like itself, and is as broad as it hath breadth. It is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and, the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

LEPIDUS: What color is it?

ANTONY: Of its own color too.

This is Shakespeare’s most exiting play. The many and rapid changes of scene function like the shaky, shifting camera angles in a Jason Bourne movie: both accelerating
more 3.5 stars

The drama follows on from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but it’s a complete change of pace. This is set four years later, there is a rift between Marcus Antony and Octavius. The welfare of Rome is overseen by both of them and a third Lepidus, whom Shakespeare pays the least attention to.

I’m not sure what to make of this play – in the background there’s a rumble of rift and war when it’s driven by love. I think one of the problems with this play is that there are too many minor char
Mark it thus...
The Bard meets the greatest love story of all time.
And the result is -- hours later -- after epic power plays, wrenching loyalty shifts in love and politics, the movements of nations; love won, lost, won and lost again -- after anger, vengeance, recrimination, betrayal and tears -- the tears of the players, and ours; and the final extinguishment of love's embers, we are spent and satisfied and elated and, again, moved by the work of an incomparable genius.

I devoted myself to an An
Rowland Pasaribu
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scholars believe that Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra in 1606, immediately after Macbeth, and it is one of the last great tragedies that Shakespeare produced. The most geographically sweeping of Shakespeare’s plays, Antony and Cleopatra’s setting is the entire Roman Empire, its backdrop the well-documented history of Octavius Caesar, Marc Antony, and Cleopatra. Shakespeare’s primary source for Antony and Cleopatra was the Life of Marcus Antonius contained in Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected at all. A Midsummer Night's Dream is much more exotic than this classic love story between a Roman man and an Egyptian woman. The play should really be called Antony and Caesar because it's more about their relationship than it is about Antony and Cleopatra's. The introduction in my edition notes that there are many flaws in this play and that it's too long. I agree. This doesn't have Shakespeare's usual humor or eloquence, and there are many short short scenes that could hav ...more
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cleopatra: the fiercest, most fabulous queen in Shakespeare.
Marc Antony: can't even commit suicide right.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Shakespeare. How many times will I return to a review of your work, only to realise I have rated it unfairly?
Laurel Hicks
"Take but good note, and you shall see in him
The triple pillar of the world transform’d
Into a strumpet’s fool. Behold and see."
R.J. Askew
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Love. Power. Love. Power. Which is the eye drawn to? It’s said women love powerful men. So does love follow power? Wealth seems to. Are powerful men happier than all the rest? And powerful women? It’s said that men are terrified of them. And if the lover loves the power more than its holder? Can love conquor power? And if it does? What of power then? Can a powerful man surrender to love and remain powerful? Behind every powerful man… Power. Love. Power. Love. Antony. C
Kay Fair
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Their celebrity couple name would be... AntoPatra.

And essentially, that is what Antony and Cleopatra are: a celebrity couple. And just like the crazy jump-on-the-couch love of TomKat, their affection is subject to deep suspicion and speculation by the public. The romance of AntoPatra is often compared with that of Romeo and Juliet in regard to both passion and poetry. However, the circumstance of celebrity makes Antony and Cleopatra vastly, sadly different from the star-crossed young lovers of V
Rhiannon Johnson
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The character Cleopatra, in William Shakespeare's “Antony and Cleopatra,” possesses a multitude of contradictions. Through constant clashes in speech and action, Shakespeare constructs a complex female character. Critic Anna Jameson refers to Cleopatra as “a brilliant antithesis—a compound of contradictions” (Quint 244). Jameson recognizes Shakespeare's “deep meaning and wonderous [sic] skill in the apparent enigma” of Cleopatra (244). Shakespeare remediates the stories of Plutarch and Genesis t ...more
A horny idiot play, and not even a horny idiot play with as many memorable, great lines as Romeo and Juliet. (Also, these fools are adults! GET IT TOGETHER.)

Never and still not my favorite, but I'm about to see it live, so maybe that will improve my opinion of it.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more

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