Shakespeare’s Mark Antony

We first meet Mark Antony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Antony is a loyal friend to Caesar. As the play opens, Caesar is newly home from a successful campaign, with attendant parade and festivities. Conspirators plotting to murder Julius Caesar draw Brutus into their plot. After the murder, the well-respected Brutus soothes the angry citizens by telling them he joined the plot to protect Rome. Overruling plot leader Cassius, Brutus allows Mark Antony to speak and the tide turns. One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, Julius Caesar is a political play that asks the question, "Is it right to kill someone for what he might do in the future?" In Antony and Cleopatra, an older Antony is part of the triumvirate ruling Rome. He is passionately in love with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Alas, he has an inconvenient wife in Rome. Worse, she is the sister of Octavius Caesar, second member of the triumvirate. Octavius is younger, stronger, and much more devious than Antony. Toss in Cleopatra, reveling in her first true love, and there is tragedy in the making--a tragedy not only of people, but cultures. Reports on Shakespeare's life, the history of the two plays, the cast of characters, the plots, and Teaching Company DVDs will enhance our understanding and analysis of the plays.

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