Antony and Cleopatra # In the ruthless, ever-expanding empire of Rome, Shakespeare creates an astonishing portrait of a love too great for the world. ' Eternity was in our lips and eyes # In the ruthless, ever-expanding empire of Rome, Shakespeare creates an astonishing portrait of a love too great for the world. Mark Antony is a hero in a post-heroic world. He is torn between duty and love; his responsibility to Rome and his new life in Egypt; to the world he helped conquer; and his passion for Cleopatra.
Officially, known as Cleopatra VII, a name adopted from the beloved Cleopatra I, a young Syrian woman who married Egypt’s Ptolemy V, and who was one of thirty-three ancient women known to have held this Macedonian name. While they attempted to keep the blood lines pure through incest, there was no family loyalty – only bloody rivalry for power. Egypt’s failing fortunes were already in serius decline while Cleopatra was educated in preparation to inherit its perilous throne at 16 years of age.