Self and Other in "Antony and Cleopatra" Analytical Essay by adverbialx

Self and Other in "Antony and Cleopatra"
An examination of the binary nature of William Shakespeare's play, "Antony and Cleopatra," and how it generates multiple layers of meaning.
# 113573 | 2,699 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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This paper illustrates how, in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra", a climax is reached within the ancient Greek themes of creation and destruction that mirrors the distinctions between love and war, and the explicit and implicit communication of love to oneself and another, seen in the play's rendition of male and female love. The writer argues that "Antony and Cleopatra" offers a Christian-mystic-community-pagan parallelism centered around more ancient themes, and that, in the play, fate is in constant countermotion with freedom, which tragically can lead to neurosis, or positively to a romantically balanced catharsis. The writer contrasts the emotive content of the play with its cognitive content, the blurring and refocusing of which create the play's subjective ethical implications.

The Contrast between What is and What Could be: Antony's Neurosis
Contrast Between the Written and Spoken Word
Intertextual Interpretations and Influences
The Intertextuality in Antony and Cleopatra: Hercules and Masochism
Hercules as Christian/Pagan Intertext
The Egyptian Other and the Roman Self

From the Paper:

"One priority in discussing things as complex as works of art, especially plays, is to acknowledge certain presuppositions about the nature of the subject matter. Is the philosophy of literature the same as literature that contains philosophy? While this has been widely debated, I think the issue lies in the distinction between the two, which if blurry, expresses an overlap such that literature can serve as philosophy, somewhat in the way that later Heidegger believed that poetry was the highest form of philosophical thinking."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Andrews, John F. "Antony and Cleopatra Theater Notes". The Plays. Shakespeare Theater Company. (1988).
  • Deats, Sara Munson. Antony and Cleopatra: New Critical Essays. Routledge, (2005).
  • Berry, Philippa. ""Forgetting Egypt: oblivion and anamnesis in Antony and Cleopatra" King's College, Cambridge. Retrieved on December 10th, 2008 from <>
  • Dureau, Yona. Complex Systems in Renaissance and Postmodern texts: Aesthetic and Epistemological Consequences Semiotica. Issue 171, Pages 311-341 ( 2008).
  • Haberer, Adolphe. "Intertextuality in Theory and Practice". Literature, issue: 49(5) pgs 54-67. (2007).

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Self and Other in "Antony and Cleopatra" (2009, April 20) Retrieved July 04, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Self and Other in "Antony and Cleopatra"" 20 April 2009. Web. 04 July. 2020. <>