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Antony and Cleopatra (The Macmillan Shakespeare) Spiral-bound – Jun 1993


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Product details

  • Spiral-bound
  • Publisher: Nelson Thornes Ltd; New edition edition (Jun. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0174324154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0174324157
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,315,687 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

Amazon Review

Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, and one of the finest, and most poetic of all the high Shakespearean tragedies. Written between 1606 and 1607, it draws on the Roman historian Plutarch and his account of the collapse of the Roman Republic and the birth of the empire under Octavius Caesar, son of Julius. This imperial struggle for political power between Octavius, Lepidus, Pompey and Mark Antony provides the backdrop for the play's extraordinary evocation of the tempestuous love of Antony for Cleopatra, his "Egyptian dish".

The play cuts back and forth between the cold, calculating realpolitik of imperial Rome, and the sensuous, erotic world of Egypt and Cleopatra's luxurious and hedonistic court. Yet what is most memorable about the play is its remarkably poetic language; its lush image of Cleopatra in her barge, "like a burnished throne / Burned on the water", and "beggared all description", and its erotic fusion of images of sex and death which find their ultimate culmination in the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra in the final scenes of the play. A notoriously elusive play for both critics and theatre directors alike, Antony and Cleopatra's fascination with questions of race, sex, death, power and politics makes it one of the most compelling of all of Shakespeare's plays. However, the stage is undoubtedly held by Cleopatra, and Enobarbus' attempt to explain her fascination, as powerful and evocative today as ever: "Age cannot wither her, Nor custom stale her infinite variety".--Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The queen of the Nile meets her match in Mark Antony, and the lovers destroy each other – yet triumph in ruin – in this great romantic tragedy. The characterisation is subtle, the word music elaborately varied, and the construction swift and intricate. A great cast does it justice.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. A. Shakesby on 12 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I given this one star - not for the quality of the play (which is worthy of 3/4 stars), but on the fact that I bought this edition for Kindle, only to find that it was difficult to read as it was not formatted correctly for Blank Verse, which is tough when most of the play is in verse and is meant to be read and understood as such. Ended up hefting my Complete Works open and reading that instead, as I was so irked by the Kindle version layout. Also, there was no character list or introduction, so I had to look up who characters were in my Complete Works too. Don't buy if you're an actor, it'll throw you completely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Williams on 7 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This edition is a good basic text. There is not a lot of commentary, but the 'Further Reading' section does suggest where one could go for discussions of the play. The glossary provides some very helpful explanations of usages and although the use of end notes (rather than foot notes) is annoying, they are clean and informative.

Be aware that some knowledge of Shakespeare would be ideal if using this text. It is not intended as an introduction to the play.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so excited to read this and did so alongside one of my friends. Her edition was a paper copy which ended up being completely different to mine. Hers was correct and clear. In my edition, however, characters often spoke in the wrong places or gave their words to someone else, there were four more scenes in one of the acts than should have been, and constant spelling mistakes. Poor Shakespeare!
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By michelle Petrie on 6 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
it is superbly written, characters have many dimensions to delve into. plot is changeable and keeps you interested throughout. even if not historically correct, Shakespeare's depiction is interesting.
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Shakespeare is on top form with this crowd-pleaser about a Roman nobleman and his Egyptian girlfriend Cleo. Shakespeare is unsurpassed when it comes to writing for the cinema; before the cinema was even invented. Well done Wills, I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do love this book I love Shakespeare and his expressive words quite beautiful really !
this is my favourite especially when Richard burton and Elizabeth Taylor did Antony and Cleopatra because that was equally as lovely ! great little book worth the money too !
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By del on 12 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good simple book that consists of the whole original (slightly edited) play without any annotations. Cheap price tag which is always a bonus! I just wish there was some explanations for those like myself that do not understand a word Shakespeare has written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was of a good quality and was very reasonably priced. It was purchased for my daughter who is studying A Level English Literature and was recommended by her tutor.
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