Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex.
Antony and Cleopatra is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies: a spectacular, widely-ranging drama of love and war, passion and politics. Antony is divided between the responsibilities of imperial power and the intensities of his sexual relationship with Cleopatra. She, variously generous and ruthless, loving and jealous, petulant and majestic, emerges as Shakespeare's most complex depiction of a woman:
‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety.’
Unsurpassed in sumptous eloquence and powerful characterisation, Anthony and Cleopatra deservedly retains its popularity in the theatre. Its insights into the corruptions of power and the ambiguities of desire remain timely.