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February 28, 2006

Helpless in Egypt

Article: Simonds -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

"Through colorful visual pageantry and one spectacular banquet scene after another onstage, Shakespeare's tragedy dramatizes Antony's fall from heroic virtue to helpless sensuality in Egypt. Moreover, the hero's violent moments, during which he wildly displays uncontrolled jealousy and wrath, soon erode much of our sympathy for this man who can no longer control his passion" (222).

I think this quote really shows a new perspective on Antony. We see that the audience is looking for a hero, a protagonist. They are longing for someone to step up and be a leader. The audience takes for granted that Antony will be this hero character. Although this play has been studied by many many scholars and Antony is confirmed the protagonist, I feel from this article that perhaps Antony wasn't anymore of a protagonist than Enobarbus, or even Cleopatra. To me, we can see that Antony is a wavering man. He's a flip flop. He doesn't know what he wants, a characteristic which differs from Caesar. The audience I feel at times is afraid that their "hero" isn't a strong leader. Antony has lapses of jealousy and turmoil as Sidmonds pointed out, which leads us to fear his character in a way. We want to jump onto the "Mark Antony" bandwagon, but he's stopping us from doind that because of his inconsistent personality characteristics.

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at February 28, 2006 07:59 PM

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I agree, Andrew... can a hero really be someone who relies totally on luck and chance, as Simonds talks about? Antony relies on external vices to carry him along, and never once looks within himself for strength or leadership.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at March 1, 2006 09:35 AM

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