Kenneth Parker gives a historical and critical exposition of commentaries of the play. These are traced back to firmly held assumptions, about theories of literary production and consumption as well as political relations, not yet wholly shed in the present. Dominant traditions (of Cleopatra as ‘whore’ and ‘gypsy’; of Antony as ‘deserter’; of ‘Rome’ as the measure by which it, as well as ‘Egypt’ should be read) are not simply questioned, but instead, close reading of the text of the play provides
a comprehensive set of alternative readings based upon mostly postcolonial and feminist theories. From this there emerges the concluding argument that, of all
Shakespeare’s plays, Antony and Cleopatra is the text for our times; one that is ‘past the size of dreaming’.
2nd Revised edition
216 × 138 mm
October 31, 2005
Writers and their Work