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ENGB32 Lecture Notes - Metatheatre, Exeter Exchange, Salic Law

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Majorie Rubright

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Shakespeare in context II July. 8, 2013
Article discussion:
Rabbit = man who grows up, exemplary Christian
Duck = Machiavellian prince
Intransigently fixedly multivalent (paradox) pg 295 of Duck article
Multi-valence = multilayered
Once you start seeing the other, you can’t go back
**Next class = debate focus act 5, scene 2 of Henry V
Pick a short exchange, no more than 6 lines and focus analysis on a particular word. Look word up in
OED and lexical dictionary. Pick the meaning you think actor should have in their mind.
Antony and Cleopatra:
- Themes: ideas of rule and theatricality of rule
o Ceremonies, speeches esp in Henry V
- Sexual passion expressing sabotage
- Dichotomy between east and west (Rome and Egypt)
- Egypt = lust, romance Rome= Time, law
- Cleo= kind of player (aware of her own theatricality)
o Worries about her part being played by a squeaky boy (metaanalysis)
- Two diff antonys depending on where he’s located
- Is this play a tragedy? If so, who’s tragedy is it?
- Cleo = threatheing to rome not just because she’s antony’s wife
o Slowly expands her geo-political power
o Henry will also expand his geo political power through marriage to Catherine
- Parallels b/w cleo’s seduction to antony and Q. Elizabeth’s well known affair w/ Essex
o England and Spain war with Q. Elizabeth
o Both of these women think of themselves as powerful women (almost mystical goddess
o Cleo Isis and Queen Virgin
o Antony died for an entire act before Cleo dies
o Cleo controls the speech of o/s
o O/ characters have difficulty interrupting her too
Even as Antony is dying he asks to speak a little and Cleo says No, let me speak
- Tragedy in Shakespeare’s time is somewhat self-inflicted
o Ex: Othello is too trusting therefore he kills his own wife which is his tragedy (his very
nature leads to his tragedy)
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