Performance anxiety

So yesterday, I discussed the dearth of lines shared alone on stage by our titular lovers in Antony and Cleopatra. And I talked a little about the fact that for all their other interactions, they have an audience. In some of these cases, Antony and/or Cleopatra seem to be performing.

But there are more performances in the play, if you care to look.

And I care.

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together / alone

So, I’m looking at the appearances of Antony and Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, and I note something of interest. The two of them are alone together on stage…

Once.

Once?

Once.

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Antony and Cleopatra: Reportage

Reportage is important in Shakespeare. We’ve seen this before: the bloody soldier’s description of the battle near the beginning of Macbeth; Gertrude’s report of the death of Ophelia in Hamlet. But here in Antony and Cleopatra, it just feels like there’s so much more…

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Podcast 137: Antony and Cleopatra: Bawdy and the Barge [EXPLICIT]

[archive]

[WARNING: The the first portion of the following podcast contains adult language, sexual imagery, and stuff to make you say, “Man, that’s a dirty play.” You HAVE been warned. SKIP TO THE 15:30 MARK IF  EASILY OFFENDED.]

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This week’s podcast continues our three month-long discussion of Antony and Cleopatra with a quick look at bawdy in the play, then a look at Enobarbus’ “the barge” speech.

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O, Pretty Woman…

So, I’ve been thinking (as is my wont as I near the end of the discussion of a play) about Antony and Cleopatra, and the pervading view of women (or woman) in the play.

This is by no means as misogynistic a play as Troilus and Cressida (as we’ve noted before and before and before and before yet again). But it’s not exactly one that reveres (or even respects) woman. And please, don’t give me the “but Cleopatra is one of the greatest female roles in Shakespeare blah blah blah” argument. I’ll grant you she has a huge role in the play. She’s part of our dual (and dueling) tragic heroes. But women as a whole?

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I need a hero (part three: Antony AND Cleopatra)

Tragic hero. This is a concept that I’ve discussed for plays past (and with not a little doubt in Julius Caesar and Troilus and Cressida). The doubt remains here in Antony and Cleopatra.

If we look at the concepts of reversal of fortune, hamartia (or “error in judgment”) and anagnorisis (or realization or revelation about his situation and his position in the world/universe), how do our characters stack up?

[this is the third in a three-part series…part one was on Antony; part two, Cleopatra]

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I need a hero (part two: Cleopatra)

Tragic hero. This is a concept that I’ve discussed for plays past (and with not a little doubt in Julius Caesar and Troilus and Cressida). The doubt remains here in Antony and Cleopatra.

If we look at the concepts of reversal of fortune, hamartia (or “error in judgment”) and anagnorisis (or realization or revelation about his situation and his position in the world/universe), how do our characters stack up?

[this is the second in a three-part series…part one was on Antony]

Continue reading “I need a hero (part two: Cleopatra)”

I need a hero (part one: Antony)

Tragic hero. This is a concept that I’ve discussed for plays past (and with not a little doubt in Julius Caesar and Troilus and Cressida). The doubt remains here in Antony and Cleopatra.

If we look at the concepts of reversal of fortune, hamartia (or “error in judgment”) and anagnorisis (or realization or revelation about his situation and his position in the world/universe), how do our characters stack up?

[this is the first in a three-part series…]

Continue reading “I need a hero (part one: Antony)”

Antony and Cleopatra: Fortunate son (and daughter?)

As longtime readers of the blog know, I love a good deep dive into the ol’ concordance. A concordance (as review for you non-longtime first-timers) is a reference that contains and counts word usage for any given collection of texts; I like to take a look at words that tend to pop up seemingly frequently in my reading [and as per usual: like all our discussions for concordances, we owe a great debt to OpenSource Shakespeare]. As with every play, I did the same for ol’ Antony and Cleopatra (not that she’s that ol’…).

And I feel fortunate…

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