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March 12, 2006

Hall Article

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

"'Heart' in the Egyptian sense is much more nebulous. Whereas our understanding of Roman priorities comes from several characters--Anthony Caesar, and Enobarbus all provide insight into the military values of their society--Egypt is represented exclusively by Cleopatra (the queen is "Egypt") and her few attendants."

I find this quote very interesting. The thought ran through my mind as I read this play, that the Roman side of things seemed to be expressed more than the Egyptian side. You could argue for or against this statement but the one thing that is certain is that we come to understand the Roman culture through two or three main characters (Antony, Caesar, and Enobarbus) however we only get a glimpse of the Egytpian culture from Cleopatra and her mistresses.

I really enjoyed how Hall used the looked into both cultures through one medium: "heart." I think the most interesting point was dealing with how Enobarbus's character suggests that this dichotomy [between the two meanings of heart] cannot be rigidly maintained."

"Enobarbus is at first a single-minded advocate of Roman values; he believes that Antony should not make his "will" (sexual passion as well as emotional drive) "Lord of his reason" (3.13.3-4), or be deflected from military campaigning by "affection." When Antony makes an exaggerated resolve to be Roman again and fight-"I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd" (177) Enobarbus scoffs at it as foolhardiness."

Seeing the production of Antony and Cleopatra, you could easily see how Enobarbus showed two different sides of "heart." I also found it clever, the way Hall talks about Enobarbus dying of a broken "heart" and how Antony's gesture of sending Enobarbus's chests after him "blows his heart."

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at March 12, 2006 09:59 PM

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