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  • Posted By: kimchi
  • Date Posted: 11/03/2010
  • Category: Others
  • Words: 1126
  • Pages: 5
  • Views: 808
  • Rank: 234

Analysis of Dryden’s Antony and Shakespeare’s Cleopatra

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Analysis of Dryden’s Antony and Shakespeare’s Cleopatra


“Antony and Cleopatra is drama in the shape of chronicle, All For Love is drama in the shape of drama.” (Bailey 16) This quote simply sums up the reason why Dryden’s play grasps the reader to finish his verse long before Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Obviously unable to take away from Shakespeare and his verse, Dryden makes up for his inferiority in verse in other ways. One example is his use of characters. While the reader is constantly checking back to find who’s who in Antony and Cleopatra, Dryden has simplified his cast of characters allowing for smoother reading. While Dryden sticks with tradition and formulates his play within a 24-hour period, Shakespeare goes from place to place forcing the reader to constantly check the status of the situation. Shakespeare has more underlying themes in his verse such as the attack on the triumvirate, whereas Dryden focuses more on the love and drama of Antony and Cleopatra allowing the reader to be more involved in the drama instead of figuring out where the stories going next. While both texts ultimately speak of true love at its finest, the refinery of their characters is quite different. Dryden portrays an, although love stricken, heroic soldier never lacking in pride for his person, and on the other hand a love struck queen who is at the mercy of her brave hero. On the opposite end of the spectrum Shakespeare chooses the opposite route. His feminine lead is selfish and manipulative, although she ultimately loves Marc Antony, she is always thinking of her selfish pride first, while Shakespeare’s hopeless hero is at the mercy of the Egyptian queen influencing him to be awkward and clumsy beside a gleaming reputation.


While both authors perceive Marc Antony as unfocused, self-destructive, and irresponsible in ...

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