It is the ghostly presence of Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra that is the preponderant concern in this introduction, which does not provide the reader with a more traditional survey of the most prominent thematic strands of the play and its main critical interpretations, since as many as three chapters in this collection (‘The Critical Backstory’ [21–53], ‘The State of the Art’ [89–111] and ‘Resources for Teaching and Studying Antony and Cleopatra’ [210–27]) do deal, to varying degrees, with the pre-eminent thematic concerns of the play and the leading critical perspectives about it. As is plain to see, the characters in Antony and Cleopatra seem obsessed with Julius Caesar. Many of them mention him at least once, and his spirit seemingly still ‘walks abroad’ (JC, 5.3.95) to haunt Antony and Cleopatra just as it haunted the second half of Julius Caesar. More specifically, all the major characters appear to be dealing, as it were, with some form of comparison anxiety with the great Roman dictator – the present apparently unable to measure up to the recent past. One way or another, all the key characters of the play try to shake off Julius Caesar’s shade, but they never succeed. The past repeatedly interrupts their progress towards the future by casting large shadows over the present, and Caesar’s ghostly presentia in absentia incessantly comes back to haunt the world of the play, influencing the main characters’ personalities, Weltanschauungen and decisions. Antony and Cleopatra may not be a sequel to Julius Caesar, but ‘Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet’ does seem a perfectly fitting tagline for it.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|
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