Feb 8, 2010
Shakespeare in Context II ➢ Explores the intersection of colonial expansion , race?
Antony and Cleopatra: Key ➢ Aforeign queen who is a symbol of sexual seductivity in
Concepts some cultures. Sexual passion also expresses and sabotages
➢ 1606-07 ➢ In this play Shakespeare draws together a wide history and
geography about women relating to power. Cleopatra is only
➢ How does sexual passion one of 3 women, featured in Shakespeare's titles and she is
express (and sabotage) the only one who has a greater role in the dramatic action
imperial ambition? than the male?
➢ Cleopatra in History
➢ Ptolemiac – (Ptolemaic We knoe that the historical Cleopatra was of Greek
dynasty) 305 BC-30BC descent.
This is yet another play where Shakespeare dramatizes
the hinge of one empiral (this is the fall and death of
➢ Source Text: Plutarch, Cleapotra, making Egypt a Roman colony)
Lives of the Noble
Why is Shakespeare turning is attention to Rome, Egypt,
Grecians and Romans Venice?
Asense that England is the inheritor of Roman history.
➢ Leo Africanus History and In one way, the English see the Roman History as part of
Description of Africa
(trans English by John their history.
Pory 1600) Ptolomies name themselves as successors to the
We see this in Shakespeare's portrait of Cleopatra, it is
➢ “Egyptian” -- category not her Greek roots, but her Egyptian identity that comes
confusion through, in others' descriptions as her.
➢ How does this play create She's described as having blue veins or of being tawny.
So the colour of Cleopatra doesn't appear to be a problem
a dichotomy btwn Rome in the play. In these contradictions lies a history of
& Egypt (West and East) Cleapatra as being both Egyptian and Greek. In
Shakespeare's play she can be both. She is described as
➢ Tragic hero: psychomachia Egypt byAntony, and she even describes herself as being
➢ Revisions Egyptian.
But in this period, Egypt is also identified as Turkish....
➢ March 15 – Extra Credit
Duedate ➢ LeoAfricanus
➢ March 22- Response 3
Due Text Translated into English provides history and
➢ Office Hours Monday 1-3 In this text, according to LeoAfricanus, Egypt was now
(H320) void of any true of any real Egyptians. Because the
majority of the population have mingled themselves from