Antony & Cleopatra (2015) - Stuff That Happens in the Play
Stuff That Happens in the Play
Stuff That Happens BEFORE the Play…
- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (playing at the Blackfriars in 2015/16).
- Senators Brutus and Cassius lead a group of conspirators to assassinate Julius Caesar.
- Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar (Julius’s nephew), and Lepidus join forces to battle and defeat the conspirators.
- Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus divide the Roman empire into three parts and rule as a triumvirate.
- Even though he is married to Fulvia, Antony chooses to live in Egypt with Cleopatra.
Stuff That Happens IN the Play…
- In Egypt, a Roman in Antony’s army complains that Cleopatra has changed Antony: “you shall see the triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpet’s fool.”
- Messengers bring bad news to Antony: his wife Fulvia and his brother have joined forces to battle Caesar, and Fulvia is now dead from illness. Antony tells Enobarbus about Fulvia’s death and that the son of Pompey the Great has “given the dare to Caesar and now commands the sea.” After telling Cleopatra the bad news and enduring her response, Antony returns to Rome.
- In Rome, Caesar rails on Antony to Lepidus when they receive word that Pompey’s son is “strong at sea.”
- In Egypt, Cleopatra is happy to receive word from Antony and asks her women if she ever loved Julius Caesar as much as she loves Antony.
- At sea, as he prepares for war, Pompey is discouraged to discover that Antony has unexpectedly returned to Rome from Egypt.
- In Rome, after Caesar and Antony have harsh words for each other, Agrippa suggests that Antony marry Caesar’s sister, Octavia, to help heal their rift; Antony agrees after being chided about Cleopatra. While Caesar takes Antony to see Octavia, Enobarbus tells the other Romans of Cleopatra’s “infinite variety.”
- After seeing Octavia, Antony hears the warning of the Soothsayer about Caesar: “if thou dost play with him at any game, thou art sure to lose.”
- In Egypt, a messenger tells Cleopatra that Antony has married Octavia; Cleopatra beats the messenger.
- Antony, Caesar, and Lepidus broker a peace with Pompey and celebrate their truce aboard Pompey’s ship.
- The peace does not last; Caesar imprisons Lepidus and battles Pompey without consulting Antony; Antony agrees to Octavia’s request that she go to Caesar as the “go between”; Antony then returns to Cleopatra and prepares to battle Caesar.
- Antony and Caesar fight three battles. In the first, Antony yields to Cleopatra’s wish for a naval assault and loses shamefully when he chases after her retreating ship. Fed up with such behavior, Antony’s friend and lieutenant, Enobarbus, defects to join Caesar.
- More fighting, comedy, tragedy, and new heaven ensue.