A N T O N Y  AND  C L E O P A T R A

 

 

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ANGELINA JOLIE: Makes a pretty good Cleopatra. It has been mooted and it is still a possibility, that the Lara Croft star might get to play the part, if development continues in 2022.

 

 

 

The first Cleopatra movie was made in 1917. It was silent and most unfortunately, no known prints of the William Fox film survive. The second movie starred Claudette Colbert, made in 1934. The third movie starred Vivien Leigh, made in Technicolor in 1945.

 

The fourth movie starred Elizabeth Taylor, a near total box office flop, made in 1963.

 

Then in 1972, Charlton Heston revisited the part in Antony and Cleopatra, for the fifth adaptation.

 

But William Shakespeare, the Bard, beat them all to the punch with his play, a tragic love story, that old Bill does so well.

 

In 2023, Gal Gadot is limbering up for an attempt to make Cleopatra a box office success once again. While Netflix started a racial controversy, as to the nationality and skin color of the iconic Pharaoh Queen, with Adele James starring in a DocuDrama about African Queens.

 

 

 

 



Antony and Cleopatra (First Folio title: The Tragedie of Anthonie, and Cleopatra) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play was first performed, by the King's Men, at either the Blackfriars Theatre or the Globe Theatre in around 1607; its first appearance in print was in the Folio of 1623.

The plot is based on Thomas North's 1579 English translation of Plutarch's Lives (in Ancient Greek) and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the War of Actium. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The tragedy is mainly set in the Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Egypt and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome.

Many consider Shakespeare's Cleopatra, whom Enobarbus describes as having "infinite variety", as one of the most complex and fully developed female characters in the playwright's body of work.  She is frequently vain and histrionic enough to provoke an audience almost to scorn; at the same time, Shakespeare invests her and Antony with tragic grandeur. These contradictory features have led to famously divided critical responses. It is difficult to classify Antony and Cleopatra as belonging to a single genre. It can be described as a history play (though it does not completely adhere to historical accounts), as a tragedy (though not completely in Aristotelian terms), as a comedy, as a romance, and according to some critics, such as McCarter, a problem play. All that can be said with certainty is that it is a Roman play, and perhaps even a sequel to another of Shakespeare's tragedies, Julius Caesar

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Mark Antony - one of the triumvirs of the Roman Republic, along with Octavius and Lepidus - has neglected his soldierly duties after being beguiled by Egypt's Queen, Cleopatra. He ignores Rome's domestic problems, including the fact that his third wife Fulvia rebelled against Octavius and then died.

Octavius calls Antony back to Rome from Alexandria to help him fight against Sextus Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, three notorious pirates of the Mediterranean. At Alexandria, Cleopatra begs Antony not to go, and though he repeatedly affirms his deep passionate love for her, he eventually leaves.

The triumvirs meet in Rome, where Antony and Octavius put to rest, for now, their disagreements. Octavius' general, Agrippa, suggests that Antony should marry Octavius's sister, Octavia, in order to cement the friendly bond between the two men. Antony accepts. Antony's lieutenant Enobarbus, though, knows that Octavia can never satisfy him after Cleopatra. In a famous passage, he describes Cleopatra's charms: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety: other women cloy / The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies."

A soothsayer warns Antony that he is sure to lose if he ever tries to fight Octavius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Egypt, Cleopatra learns of Antony's marriage to Octavia and takes furious revenge upon the messenger who brings her the news. She grows content only when her courtiers assure her that Octavia is homely: short, low-browed, round-faced and with bad hair.

Before battle, the triumvirs parley with Sextus Pompey, and offer him a truce. He can retain Sicily and Sardinia, but he must help them "rid the sea of pirates" and send them tributes. After some hesitation, Sextus agrees. They engage in a drunken celebration on Sextus' galley, though the austere Octavius leaves early and sober from the party. Menas suggests to Sextus that he kill the three triumvirs and make himself ruler of the Roman Republic, but he refuses, finding it dishonourable. After Antony departs Rome for Athens, Octavius and Lepidus break their truce with Sextus and war against him. This is unapproved by Antony, and he is furious.

Antony returns to Hellenistic Alexandria and crowns Cleopatra and himself as rulers of Egypt and the eastern third of the Roman Republic (which was Antony's share as one of the triumvirs). He accuses Octavius of not giving him his fair share of Sextus' lands, and is angry that Lepidus, whom Octavius has imprisoned, is out of the triumvirate. Octavius agrees to the former demand, but otherwise is very displeased with what Antony has done. 

Antony prepares to battle Octavius. Enobarbus urges Antony to fight on land, where he has the advantage, instead of by sea, where the navy of Octavius is lighter, more mobile and better manned. Antony refuses, since Octavius has dared him to fight at sea. Cleopatra pledges her fleet to aid Antony. However, during the Battle of Actium off the western coast of Greece, Cleopatra flees with her sixty ships, and Antony follows her, leaving his forces to ruin. Ashamed of what he has done for the love of Cleopatra, Antony reproaches her for making him a coward, but also sets this true and deep love above all else, saying "Give me a kiss; even this repays me."

Octavius sends a messenger to ask Cleopatra to give up Antony and come over to his side. She hesitates, and flirts with the messenger, when Antony walks in and angrily denounces her behavior. He sends the messenger to be whipped. Eventually, he forgives Cleopatra and pledges to fight another battle for her, this time on land.

On the eve of the battle, Antony's soldiers hear strange portents, which they interpret as the god Hercules abandoning his protection of Antony. Furthermore, Enobarbus, Antony's long-serving lieutenant, deserts him and goes over to Octavius' side. Rather than confiscating Enobarbus' goods, which Enobarbus did not take with him when he fled, Antony orders them to be sent to Enobarbus. Enobarbus is so overwhelmed by Antony's generosity, and so ashamed of his own disloyalty, that he dies from a broken heart.

Antony loses the battle as his troops desert en masse and he denounces Cleopatra: "This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me." He resolves to kill her for the imagined treachery. Cleopatra decides that the only way to win back Antony's love is to send him word that she killed herself, dying with his name on her lips. She locks herself in her monument, and awaits Antony's return.

Her plan backfires: rather than rushing back in remorse to see the "dead" Cleopatra, Antony decides that his own life is no longer worth living. He begs one of his aides, Eros, to run him through with a sword, but Eros cannot bear to do it and kills himself. Antony admires Eros' courage and attempts to do the same, but only succeeds in wounding himself. In great pain, he learns that Cleopatra is indeed alive. He is hoisted up to her in her monument and dies in her arms.

Since Egypt has been defeated, the captive Cleopatra is placed under a guard of Roman soldiers. She tries to take her own life with a dagger, but Proculeius disarms her. Octavius arrives, assuring her she will be treated with honour and dignity. But Dolabella secretly warns her that Octavius intends to parade her at his Roman triumph. Cleopatra bitterly envisions the endless humiliations awaiting her for the rest of her life as a Roman conquest.

Cleopatra kills herself using the venomous bite of an asp, imagining how she will meet Antony again in the afterlife. Her serving maids Iras and Charmian also die, Iras from heartbreak and Charmian from one of the two asps in Cleopatra's basket. Octavius discovers the dead bodies and experiences conflicting emotions. Antony and Cleopatra's deaths leave him free to become the first Roman Emperor, but he also feels some sympathy for them. He orders a public military funeral. 


 

 

 

 

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CLEOPATRA THE MUMMY - UNDER DEVELOPMENT

 

'Cleopatra - The Mummy' is the sequel to 'Kulo-Luna.' Kulo-Luna was the first of the John Storm franchise (for which a draft script is available to studios and actor's agents). The John Storm franchise is a series of ocean awareness adventures, featuring the incredible solar powered trimaran: Elizabeth Swann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Cleopatra's royal barge, last of the Pharoahs

 

 

Queen Cleopatra's royal barge, last of the Pharoahs

 

 

 

Ancient Egyptian royal funeral barge, or solar boat

 

 

Egyptian boat building - Khufu's royal barge - solar boat for the afterlife

 

 

 

 

 

  WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA - A TRAGIC LOVE STORY

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