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Anthony and Cleopatra: The Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 17 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535781
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

Review

'Stanley Wells' OUP Complete Works of Shakespeare is now eight years old and has spawned a new Oxford Shakespeare which appears now in splendidly affordable volumes in that nonpareil of libraries of good reading The World's Classics.'The Oxford Times

About the Author

Michael Neill is Associate Professor of English at Aukland University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Chambers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To some, Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, to others a closet drama and even a problem play, Antony and Cleopatra seems to possess, like its heroine, 'infinite variety'.

Despite its obvious ability to enthral and perplex, the play has had a relatively impoverished stage history. Reasons for its lack of success are, again, varied: it is 'unactable'; its most successful post-war Cleopatras (Peggy Ashcroft and Judy Dench) have been 'too English' to suggest exotic allure, etc. Michael Neill's edition does a thorough job charting the play's troubled stage life, even if his performance section is overlong and not well integrated into his discussion. I, for one, found the composite review notices (often synthesising two or three individual reactions into a single response) almost suffocating in their detail. Those readers particularly interested in past productions and their reception, however, will be spared much trawling through press cuttings.

This edition's real strength lies is its formidable and wide-ranging Introduction, often drawing upon radical recent criticism (by the likes of Janet Adelman and Jonathan Dollimore). Some of the more rewarding ideas include the play's relationship to mythic archetypes (Omphale and Hercules, Mars and Venus); Antony's wrestling with (male) identity; Roman constructions of 'otherness'; and the play's parallels with other Shakespearean tragedies - especially with its 'successor and companion piece, Coriolanus'.

This is yet another Oxford Shakespeare with a baffling bibliography, however. Despite making fullest use of a book by the above-mentioned author Janet Adelman, she is not listed here. (Unlike Styan Thirby, whose unpublished annotations of C18 editions earn him four entries.) Puzzling.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Complicated, difficult, problematic: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra has been described as all those things. This Oxford edition is useful for bringing out some of the sophisticated and complex ways of reading this text that move it away from being just a 'love' play.

Recent critical work has examined the text's engagement with race, with gender, with myth and with reputation. This is a play in which the audience's ability to judge is itself a crucial aspect of how we 'read' the play, which cannot be disassociated from what we already know about our protagonists.

These Oxford single editions are excellent for their combination of a reliable text with an informed and scholarly introduction and notes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An entertaining and interesting read. Shakespeare perfectly captures the relationship between Mark Anthony and Cleopatra. The additional notes provide clarity and context, what more could you want.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By F. Jacobsen on 17 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This book arrived promptly and in perfect condition. It was offered at a reduced price and, in addition, there was no charge for the postage making it a very economical purchase.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Multifaceted 25 Nov. 2011
By Jon Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To some, Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, to others a closet drama and even a problem play, Antony and Cleopatra seems to possess, like its heroine, 'infinite variety'.

Despite its obvious ability to enthral and perplex, the play has had a relatively impoverished stage history. Reasons for its lack of success are, again, varied: it is 'unactable'; its most successful post-war Cleopatras (Peggy Ashcroft and Judy Dench) have been 'too English' to suggest exotic allure, etc. Michael Neill's edition does a thorough job charting the play's troubled stage life, even if his performance section is overlong and not well integrated into his discussion. I, for one, found the composite review notices (often synthesising two or three individual reactions into a single response) almost suffocating in their detail. Those readers particularly interested in past productions and their reception, however, will be spared much trawling through press cuttings.

This edition's real strength lies is its formidable and wide-ranging Introduction, often drawing upon radical recent criticism (by the likes of Janet Adelman and Jonathan Dollimore). Some of the more rewarding ideas include the play's relationship to mythic archetypes (Omphale and Hercules, Mars and Venus); Antony's wrestling with (male) identity; Roman constructions of 'otherness'; and the play's parallels with other Shakespearean tragedies - especially with its 'successor and companion piece, Coriolanus'.

This is yet another Oxford Shakespeare with a baffling bibliography, however. Despite making fullest use of a book by the above-mentioned author Janet Adelman, she is not listed here. (Unlike Styan Thirby, whose unpublished annotations of C18 editions earn him four entries.) Puzzling.

At times dense and challenging, the author's fondness for Scottish dialect words can obfuscate further (the term 'eldritch humour' appears three times). Nonetheless, Neill's Antony is indispensable to any serious student of the play.
what I needed for HON 171 23 Aug. 2014
By Daniel D'Souza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Haven't read the full thing yet, but the annotations are useful.
There is a really long introduction/forward if you like that sort of thing.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 2 Sept. 2014
By alivinyl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
GREAT!~!!!!
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Overly convoluted and academic intro, text quality decent. 8 May 2014
By Cornerstone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Overly "modern" and convoluted textual commentary. Shakespeare was a "man of the people"--not respected or listened to by the literati of his day. This western neurotic analysis of every sentence's possible meaning is sad--he was popular entertainment and this hand wringing is pointless. (In 500 years are we going to see the Simpsons subject to such analysis? Probably not--people in 500 years will probably be extinct or have something more important to do.) That said, unlike many popular editions of Shakespeare the text is clear and legible, and the book looks durable enough.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 11 Oct. 2014
By Alla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good
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