This semester I am enrolled in English 214: Shakespeare's Tragedies; and yesterday the class started its discussion on Antony and Cleopatra. I didn't like the play. I felt resentful while reading it. I felt like I was wasting my time. I shared my two cents' worth during the discussion:
a.) Shakespeare writes so beautifully that in most of his works it seems like every other line is a real GEM. For example, when you look up the "famous lines" from Hamlet, you'll get pages and pages of beautiful passages. But "gems" are few and far between in Antony and Cleopatra! (Only one page of famous lines in fact. :P) I actually found too many lines corny.
b.) I don't like the characters of Antony and Cleopatra. My classmates love Cleopatra, but she did not impress me. I thought she and Antony acted like adolescents. Antony was a real pathetic figure. I never enjoy a literary work when I do not like the characters. Hahahaha.
c.) The plot was so grand and epic (and there's nothing wrong with grand and epic), but it was "spacious." And too straightforward for my taste. I love plots that are rich and intricate. The more complex/complicated the plot, the better!
Antony and Cleopatra just pales in comparison to Shakespeare's other works. Othello, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Tempest, and all his other works are mind-blowing reads. I was so passionate about all the points above that my professor, the wise and wonderful Dr. Carlos Aureus, actually asked if I thought Antony and Cleopatra should be removed from the English 214 reading list! Of course I said no. :o) Classes are so much better when there are multiple perspectives being discussed. Don't you agree? :o) What do you guys think of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra?