About the BookAntony and Cleopatra is a well-known tragedy by William Shakespeare. Its first known appearance in print came in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives, and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony—from the time of the Sicilian revolt—to Cleopatra’s suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic. Octavius Caesar is the major antagonist. He was Antony’s fellow triumviri of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus Caesar. The play is set in Rome and Egypt, and is marked by swift, panoramic shifts in geographical locations.
The book presents a critical analysis of the play providing the story and the genre, and scene-wise analysis in exclusive chapters. The major themes of the play, including the relation between Antony and Cleopatra, betrayal, and power dynamics have been discussed with references from the text. There are apt descriptions about the major characters like Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar, and Cleopatra. Also included is an analysis of minor characters like Domestius Enobarbus, Eros, and Philo, and their respective roles in the play. An exclusive chapter has been devoted to plot structure describing the classical rules of unity of time, action and place, as well as some Elizabethan features peculiar to the play. Imagery, which is an important part of poetry has been liberally used by Shakespeare in his plays. This has also been studied using references from the text. An analysis of Shakespeare’s diction and versification has also been provided.
As a critical study, the book is comprehensive and self-sufficient. It combines lucidity and profundity in the treatment of the text. It will be useful for the students and teachers of English literature, particularly Shakespeare and his plays, and researchers in these fields.About the Author/sRatri Ray is a retired University Professor and Head of the Deptt. of English, Patna University. As a student she had a unique career for she had been awarded three gold medals for her B.A. results, and two more for M.A. She obtained the D. Litt. degree on a comparative study of Francis Thompson and Nishikanto. She has published two books in Bengali on Sri Aurobindo’s poetry and drama, both serialized in the cultural monthly Shrimantu, published from Kolkata. Her studies of Shakespearean plays according to Rasav?da had been serialized in the 80’s in Mother India published from Pondicherry (now Puducherry). Her English books published by Atlantic Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd. include Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and As You Like It.