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The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Themes

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Themes

Choices

Sure, sex and passion are central to Antony and Cleopatra, but you know what else is even more important? The choices our titular characters make. And honestly? These two lovers make some pretty du...

Contrasting Regions

If we ignore all the characters for a hot second, we see that Antony and Cleopatra is, at its core, a play about an interaction between Rome and Alexandria, Egypt. So, uh, who cares? We do. This is...

Gender

Cleopatra: woman, queen, goddess. Isn't it strange that the Ancient Egyptians had a female head of state thousands of years ago, but we still have yet to see a female president lead the United Stat...

Betrayal

Characters in Antony and Cleopatra often have to choose between being loyal to their ideals and being loyal to their circumstances. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Loyalty i...

Love

Love can be a many splendored thing, but it certainly isn't here. Love is a central theme of Antony and Cleopatra because it’s always in question. Unlike Shakespeare's more romantic plays—A Mid...

Power

As Kanye once said, "No one man should have all that power." And we agree. Power in Antony and Cleopatra is ostensibly a political force, as the play centers on the competition between Antony and C...

Transformation

Transformation is a tricky theme in Antony and Cleopatra. Because characters seem to transform at the drop of a hat, the legitimacy of these transformations is always in question. That's right, it'...

Guilt and Blame

Regret and repentance thread through much of Antony and Cleopatra because nobody can stop betraying each other. Characters can be redeemed by their feelings of regret, and we can judge the earnestn...

Duty

Duty is central to Antony and Cleopatra because it exemplifies the honor central to being in a position of power. Duty to the state is explored in the play, but so is duty to loved ones and one’s...

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