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p. 9610. Antony and Cleopatralocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

Antony and Cleopatra is a great sprawling masterpiece of a play, rich in poetry, vast in imaginative power, in depth of characterization, in psychological penetration, in ironical comedy, and ultimately in tragic grandeur. Its irony results partly from the fact that its central characters invite us not so much to identify with them, but rather to wonder at them with awe and amazement. ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ explains that the play draws heavily on Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans and describes two worlds—Cleopatra’s Egypt and Mark Antony’s Rome—and of the links, but also of the contrasts and tensions, between them.

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