In the following essay, Simonds uses the study of Renaissance iconography as a tool to explore Antony and Cleopatra's characterization. Simonds emphasizes the ambivalence with which Antony and Cleopatra are drawn, in that they are portrayed as both extremely human and semi-divine.
Simonds says that Antony and Cleopatra should not be valorized as sharing a transcendent love affair. Cleopatra is the evil goddess(VAMPIRE) Fortune, who lures Antony to his doom by imparting the addictions of lust and gambling. Antony, then, is a silly fool. In turn, the two lovers must die to make way for a Christian world. Simonds' rather stunning argument is very much a source study: she draws heavily on analogies between Renaissance depictions of the goddess Fortune and Shakespeare's own version of Cleopatra. A source study such as this (Simonds seems to want to provide the definitive reading of Cleopatra) can seem very reductive.Posted by SarahLodzsun at February 27, 2006 11:59 AM