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Antony and Cleopatra | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Antony and Cleopatra | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

antony-and-cleopatra-william-shakespearege cannot wither her, nor custom staleHer infinite variety. Other women cloyThe appetites they feed, but she makes hungryWhere most she satisfies.Enobarbus, Act II, Scene IISources: Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, Encyclopaedia Britannica, History.comCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.CloudsSnakesStand for treachery and death with their slyness and venomChangeable and impermanent, symbolize Antonys lost identitySwordsRepresent martial power and male prideSymbolsHonorThe answer to what constitutes honorable behavior is different for each of the plays major characters, leading to conflict, betrayal, and tragedy.Women with PowerCleopatras political shrewdness threatens her male opponents, while Octavias defenselessness leads her brother to marry her off for political gain.Rome vs. EgyptStern, warlike Rome—personified by Caesar—despises relaxed, luxury-loving Egypt, personified by Cleopatra; Antony feels trapped between the two.ThemesPlaygoers in Elizabethan England already knew the story of Antony and Cleopatra. Their familiarity enabled Shakespeare to focus on charactersemotions rather than on Roman history, and their interest in the play was heightened because their country, like Egypt, was ruled by a woman—the majestic Elizabeth I.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE15641616AuthorCleopatra sends Egyptian ships into battle, leading to a disastrous loss.A Big MistakeAntony marries Octavia but tires of her and returns to his lover, Cleopatra.DiscontentTo strengthen his alliance with Antony, Caesar arranges a marriage for him.Arranged MarriageSet during one of historys greatest empires, Antony and Cleopatra follows the love affair between a famed Roman politician and an Egyptian queen. Their tragic story pits East against West and indulgence against duty—all amid treachery and war. Love & Death in Ancient EgyptOVERVIEWEnglishOriginal Language160607Years WrittenWilliam ShakespeareAuthorAntony and CleopatraTragedyPlay

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