The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egypt, and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome. Mark Antony — one of the triumvirs of the Roman Republic, along with Octavius and Lepidus — has neglected his soldierly duties after being beguiled by Egypt's Queen, Cleopatra. He ignores Rome's domestic problems, including the fact that his third wife Fulvia rebelled against Octavius and then died. Octavius calls Antony back to Rome from Alexandria to help him fight against Sextus Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, three notorious pirates of the Mediterranean.
At Alexandria, Cleopatra begs Antony not to go, and though he repeatedly affirms his deep passionate love for her, he eventually leaves. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. King Lear by William Shakespeare. Titus Andronicus Folger Shakespeare Library. The Tempest AmazonClassics Edition. Measure for Measure Classic Illustrated Edition. Product details File Size: August 4, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers.
Write a customer review. Rated by customers interested in. Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I am a college adjunct faculty English teacher and I wanted a simple edition with notes for my class to read in the fall. I was going to order 20 of these for the class, but I am so glad I first bought one for myself. The paper edition doesn't have any spaces between the speakers, either, so it is difficult to read, even if it were written in language my students, mostly college freshmen, could easily understand.
They would give up on this edition. The text underneath this edition on Amazon did NOT say that there were no notes. I am going to order something else for my class. Linda Hendrex Top Contributor: I am going to join the chorus of 5 star reviews. This book is a work of art, inside and out. If you don't already know what that is, no review can help you.
It is simply everything he ever wrote, from the plays to the poems. It runs the gamut. And I confess, I didn't buy this to read, I purchased it to be a companion and reference to my collection of movies that are based on Shakespeare's plays. I am one of those people who think that the plays were meant to be viewed as a performance and not read.
So it is handy to have them in written form so that you can read specific sections as you watch - but I'll never curl up in my easy chair and get lost in this book. Since I purchased this as a reference book, I was glad that there are footnotes. And unlike other "complete works" anthologies that cram everything into one volume by making the print impossibly small, the print here is clear and large enough to really read if you want to. This book is heavy and huge and as such, it is going to be difficult to actually read for long periods of time, unless you have a book stand that will go on your desk and hold it up for reading - otherwise your arms will get very, very tired.
The boy actors portraying female sexuality on the London stage contradicted such a simple ontology. Critics such as Rackin interpret Shakespeare's metatheatrical references to the crossdressing on stage with less concern for societal elements and more of a focus on the dramatic ramifications. Rackin argues in her article on "Shakespeare's Boy Cleopatra" that Shakespeare manipulates the crossdressing to highlight a motif of the play—recklessness—which is discussed in the article as the recurring elements of acting without properly considering the consequences.
Shakespeare, utilizing the metatheatrical reference to his own stage, perpetuates his motif of recklessness by purposefully shattering "the audience's acceptance of the dramatic illusion". Other critics argue that the crossdressing as it occurs in the play is less of a mere convention, and more of an embodiment of dominant power structures. Critics such as Charles Forker argue that the boy actors were a result of what "we may call androgyny". The textual motif of empire within Antony and Cleopatra has strong gendered and erotic undercurrents.
Antony, the Roman soldier characterised by a certain effeminacy, is the main article of conquest, falling first to Cleopatra and then to Caesar Octavius. That Cleopatra takes on the role of male aggressor in her relationship with Antony should not be surprising; after all, "a culture attempting to dominate another culture will [often] endow itself with masculine qualities and the culture it seeks to dominate with feminine ones"  —appropriately, the queen's romantic assault is frequently imparted in a political, even militaristic fashion.
Antony's subsequent loss of manhood seemingly "signifies his lost Romanness, and Act 3, Scene 10, is a virtual litany of his lost and feminised self, his "wounder chance". By the time Antony tries to use his sword to kill himself, it amounts to little more than a stage prop". Having failed to perform Roman masculinity and virtue, Antony's only means with which he might "write himself into Rome's imperial narrative and position himself at the birth of empire" is to cast himself in the feminine archetype of the sacrificial virgin; "once [he] understands his failed virtus , his failure to be Aeneas, he then tries to emulate Dido ".
James J Greene writes on the subject: He is incapable of "occupying the Her mastery is unparalleled when it comes to the seduction of certain powerful individuals, but popular criticism supports the notion that "as far as Cleopatra is concerned, the main thrust of the play's action might be described as a machine especially devised to bend her to the Roman will But instead of driving her down to ignominy, the Roman power forces her upward to nobility".
Little, in agitative fashion, suggests that the desire to overcome the queen has a corporeal connotation: Antony and Cleopatra deals ambiguously with the politics of imperialism and colonization. Critics have long been invested in untangling the web of political implications that characterise the play. Interpretations of the work often rely on an understanding of Egypt and Rome as they respectively signify Elizabethan ideals of East and West, contributing to a long-standing conversation about the play's representation of the relationship between imperializing western countries and colonised eastern cultures.
Indeed, Cleopatra's suicide has been interpreted as suggesting an indomitable quality in Egypt, and reaffirming Eastern culture as a timeless contender to the West. Octavius Caesar is seen as Shakespeare's portrayal of an ideal governor, though perhaps an unfavourable friend or lover, and Rome is emblematic of reason and political excellence. More contemporary scholarship on the play, however, has typically recognised the allure of Egypt for Antony and Cleopatra ' s audiences. Egypt's magnetism and seeming cultural primacy over Rome have been explained by efforts to contextualise the political implications of the play within its period of production.
The various protagonists' ruling styles have been identified with rulers contemporary to Shakespeare. For example, there appears to be continuity between the character of Cleopatra and the historical figure of Queen Elizabeth I ,  and the unfavourable light cast on Caesar has been explained as deriving from the claims of various 16th-century historians. The more recent influence of New Historicism and post-colonial studies have yielded readings of Shakespeare that typify the play as subversive, or challenging the status quo of Western imperialism.
The critic Abigail Scherer's claim that "Shakespeare's Egypt is a holiday world"  recalls the criticisms of Egypt put forth by earlier scholarship and disputes them. Scherer and critics who recognise the wide appeal of Egypt have connected the spectacle and glory of Cleopatra's greatness with the spectacle and glory of the theatre itself. Plays, as breeding grounds of idleness, were subject to attack by all levels of authority in the s;  the play's celebration of pleasure and idleness in a subjugated Egypt makes it plausible to draw parallels between Egypt and the heavily censored theatre culture in England.
In the context of England's political atmosphere, Shakespeare's representation of Egypt, as the greater source of poetry and imagination, resists support for 16th century colonial practices. England during the Renaissance found itself in an analogous position to the early Roman Republic. Shakespeare's audience may have made the connection between England's westward expansion and Antony and Cleopatra ' s convoluted picture of Roman imperialism. In support of the reading of Shakespeare's play as subversive, it has also been argued that 16th century audiences would have interpreted Antony and Cleopatra ' s depiction of different models of government as exposing inherent weaknesses in an absolutist, imperial, and by extension monarchical, political state.
One of the ways to read the imperialist themes of the play is through a historical, political context with an eye for intertextuality. Many scholars suggest that Shakespeare possessed an extensive knowledge of the story of Antony and Cleopatra through the historian Plutarch, and used Plutarch's account as a blueprint for his own play.
A closer look at this intertextual link reveals that Shakespeare used, for instance, Plutarch's assertion that Antony claimed a genealogy that led back to Hercules, and constructed a parallel to Cleopatra by often associating her with Dionysus in his play. For instance, the quick exchange of dialogue might suggest a more dynamic political conflict.
Furthermore, certain characteristics of the characters, like Antony whose "legs bestrid the ocean" 5. Furthermore, because of the unlikelihood that Shakespeare would have had direct access to the Greek text of Plutarch's Parallel Lives and probably read it through a French translation from a Latin translation, his play constructs Romans with an anachronistic Christian sensibility that might have been influenced by St.
Augustine 's Confessions among others. As Miles writes, the ancient world would not have been aware of interiority and the contingence of salvation upon conscience until Augustine. So, Shakespeare's characters in Antony and Cleopatra , particularly Cleopatra in her belief that her own suicide is an exercise of agency, exhibit a Christian understanding of salvation.
Another example of deviance from the source material is how Shakespeare characterises the rule of Antony and Cleopatra. While Plutarch singles out the "order of exclusive society" that the lovers surrounded themselves with — a society with a specifically defined and clear understanding of the hierarchies of power as determined by birth and status — Shakespeare's play seems more preoccupied with the power dynamics of pleasure as a main theme throughout the play.
Pleasure serves as a differentiating factor between Cleopatra and Antony, between Egypt and Rome, and can be read as the fatal flaw of the heroes if Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy. For Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra , the exclusivity and superiority supplied by pleasure created the disconnect between the ruler and the subjects. Critics suggest that Shakespeare did similar work with these sources in Othello , Julius Caesar , and Coriolanus. Antony and Cleopatra was never intended to be a tragedy; instead, Shakespeare gave the illusion of the tragedy as the two protagonists set out to become the heroes of the play and neither succeeded.
Antony and Cleopatra are seen to have a passionate love for each other up till their demise as both are seen ending their lives for the other. Although the couple was seen as a pair that could not live without the other, it does not take much to be able to point out that the basis of their relationship lies on manipulation and lust. Enobarbus was able to see this as he never believed their love was true but instead a contradiction. Cleopatra always wanted Antony to be in the palm of her hands, to always be in control of his emotions and would thus manipulate him by dancing whenever he was sad or fake a sickness if he were to be happy.
This makes Antony only chase after Cleopatra even more in a never-ending cycle. They both try to be much more than they are and show their enemies and the world that they are invincible. Rather than them sacrificing themselves for the other, the two protagonists set out to become the hero of the play and to show that being the last one standing, no hand will bring them down but their own.
Antony and Cleopatra (Illustrated)
They did not die for love but for the fame that would come behind that sacrifice and in the end are seen as being noble and self-sacrificing. It does not end in a tragedy but in a bittersweet and almost happy ending. Both of the lovers' fates are interwoven yet they deceive the other in a fight for dominance that Cleopatra wins for a while as the audience and other characters throughout the play know completely what is going on in the play filled with dramatic irony.
Enobarbus once again knows of Antony's unrelenting attachment to Cleopatra and Cleopatra's mind games while the audience knows Cleopatra isn't dead as Antony kills himself over her. They both spent their whole lives trying to achieve higher fame than the other and became notorious for their lust. They are their own Gods and live separate from those that they call normal and watch.
About Antony And Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
The play progresses into the protagonists decline in fame, leaving them to pursue a sure way into that immortality they coveted. They become immortals in death along with even more fame and has as well achieved their goal from the beginning. They die in the name of their love when they really die in the name of fame.
A status of nobility higher than us and pity for the tragedy that is their relationship. The tragedy is Antony and Cleopatra's own happy ending as death was a small price to pay to become real gods. They proved that the only death that could touch them were by their own hand, further increasing that godly power they received from the people. Now they are apart from those they watched, now they are above them, and now they will be worshipped as gods.
The concept of luck, or Fortune, is frequently referenced throughout Antony and Cleopatra , portrayed as an elaborate "game" that the characters participate in. Shakespeare represents Fortune through elemental and astronomical imagery that recalls the characters' awareness of the "unreliability of the natural world". Antony eventually realises that he, like other characters, is merely "Fortune's knave," a mere card in the game of Chance rather than a player.
The manner in which the characters deal with their luck is of great importance, therefore, as they may destroy their chances of luck by taking advantage of their fortune to excessive lengths without censoring their actions, Antony did. While Fortune does play a large role in the characters' lives, they do have ability to exercise free will, however; as Fortune is not as restrictive as Fate. Antony's actions suggest this, as he is able to use his free will to take advantage of his luck by choosing his own actions.
Like the natural imagery used to describe Fortune, scholar Michael Lloyd characterises it as an element itself, which causes natural occasional upheaval. This implies that fortune is a force of nature that is greater than mankind, and cannot be manipulated. The 'game of chance' that Fortune puts into play can be related to that of politics, expressing the fact that the characters must play their luck in both fortune and politics to identify a victor. The motif of "card playing" has a political undertone, as it relates to the nature of political dealings.
Although Caesar and Antony may play political cards with each other, their successes rely somewhat on Chance, which hints at a certain limit to the control they have over political affairs. Furthermore, the constant references to astronomical bodies and "sublunar" imagery  connote a Fate-like quality to the character of Fortune, implying a lack of control on behalf of the characters.
Although the characters do exercise free will to a certain extent, their success in regard to their actions ultimately depends on the luck that Fortune bestows upon them. The movement of the "moon" and the "tides" is frequently mentioned throughout the play, such as when Cleopatra states that, upon Antony's death, there is nothing of importance left "beneath the moon.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Antony and Cleopatra disambiguation. Mark Antony — Roman general and one of the three joint leaders, or "triumvirs", who rule the Roman Republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B. Not he; the queen. Cultural depictions of Cleopatra. Politics and Generic Form from Virgil to Milton.
In Smith, Gordon R. Penn State University Press.
See a Problem?
Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, pp. Trubner and Company, London Thomas Vaueroullier and John Wright. The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. Braunmuller and Michael Hattaway eds. In de Grazia, Margreta; Wells, Stanley. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. Oxford University Press, Yale University Press, , reprinted in Antony and Cleopatra: A Norton Critical Edition , ed.
Ania Loomba New York: Drama, Politics and the Translation of Empire. The Woman Behind the Legend. ISBN , image plates and captions between pp. Eliot and the Fetishization of Shakespeare's Queen of the Nile". Journal of Modern Literature. Cleopatra in Thirteenth-Century Castile". Sexist Attitudes in Antony and Cleopatra Criticism". Schema and Metaphorical Pattern in Antony and Cleopatra". The Shifting Image of an Icon. The Woman Behind the Name". Shakespeare and the Geography of Difference. London's Theatre of the East — Literary Orientalism, Postcolonialism, and Universalism.
The Art of Loving: University of Delaware, An Argument for Alliances". A Critical Study , trans. William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Shakespearean Tragedy and Its Double: The Rhythms of Audience Response. Cleopatra And The Boy Actor". Sovereignty and Subjectivity in Antony and Cleopatra".
Studies in English Literature, — Retrieved 13 May Yale University Press, Texas University Studies in English. The Epistemology of Crossdressing on the London Stage". National-imperial Re-visions of Race, Rape, and Sacrifice. The Example of Antony and Cleopatra". Antony and Cleopatra ". Antony and Cleopatra and Play Theory". The Enemies of the Stage. New York and London: Sovereignty and Subjectivity in Antony and Cleopatra ". Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus in ".
Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra ". Retrieved 14 February A Non-tragic Study of Shakespeare's Tragedy". Studies in Beaumont, Fletcher and Massinger. University of North Caroline Press, British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan. The Passionate Pilgrim To the Queen. William Shakespeare 's Antony and Cleopatra. The False One c. Thirteen, unlucky for some. Caesar has just beaten Anthony at sea because Anthony and his ships fled.
Why did they flee? Because Cleopatra and her ships took flight and he followed her. Not the sort of thing great generals are supposed to do, but the whole point here is that he is weakened by love. Try thy cunning, Thidias. Meanwhile, Cleopatra is ruminating about the disastrous naval defeat. Anthony has come to the conclusion he can solve everything by offering to take on Caesar in one-to-one combat it worked for Captain James T Kirk on the Starship Enterprise. There is a lot of ranting, as Thidias gets dragged on and off stage between bouts of whipping.
Then Cleopatra and Anthony make up. Cue more favourite lines: So he falls on his sword. It was a great love. The lovers cannot live without each other, and so they die, proving nothing was cheap and nasty: But what about Act 3. Scene 13 — the scene with Thidias where Cleopatra apparently rolled over? What was all that about? Are we supposed to believe she was just playing for time, or what? It reads awfully like Cressida in Troilus and C , who dumps Troilus as soon as Diomedes looks a better bet.
But leave it in, and a whole area of doubt looms. If Cleopatra was prepared to save her own skin in Act 3, what is she doing calling for asps and a speedy exit in Act 5? Are Anthony and Cleopatra really in love? Or just in love with their own celebrity? I'd have put money on my having read this before, though quite a while back, but I sure don't remember finding Cleopatra so loathsome before. At any rate, history suggests that Cleopatra was canny, intelligent, and deliberate, but Shakespeare's Cleopatra is a silly, fickle, whining brat.
Character after character tells us tha Huh. Character after character tells us that she is bewitching, glorious, and desirable, but every time we meet her she is whimpering and simpering, telling silly lies to manipulate Antony, swanning around in a way that would embarrass a sensible teenager, much less a matronly queen. And Antony isn't much better. Far from taking his position in the triumvirate seriously, he tosses his responsibilities to Rome and his family there aside to frisk, puppy-like, around his Egyptian mistress.
Neither one comes off as grown-up, much less as noble figures whose tragic fates we should find regrettable. Despite the characters' manifold flaws, the play is deeply compelling. Somehow both Antony and Cleopatra, for all their foolish choices and pettinesses, transcend all and appear, in the end, to be outsize, even archetypal figures. Their bad decisions, which so many other people must pay for, somehow end with a sort of grandeur and mythic feel that, logically, the details don't support. They are so convinced of the earth shattering significance of their lives that they convince us it is so.
Having turned these historical figures into melodramatic children Shakespeare uses his art to transform them further into great tragic lovers. Part of my extreme distaste for Cleopatra may be thanks to the very excellent Arkangel recording of the play that I listened to along with my reading of the Arden Shakespeare edition.
Estelle Kohler, who plays Cleopatra, doesn't hold back anything in her emotional performance. All the weeping, whining, wheedling, and cattiness is going full throttle. The asp could have showed up in, say, Act 2, and Antony could have settled down with Octavia, who seemed a nice, sensible sort of woman, and things would have been much simpler.
But that wouldn't have made much of a story, would it? Marjorie Garber's wonderful essay, in her Shakespeare After All , helped me appreciate the play, though she couldn't make the main characters any less annoying. This was incredibly tragic and I absolutely loved it! Cleopartra always had a story that intrigued me and it didn't get let down in this play. The ending was so chilling and hunting, it was fantastic. Cleopatra had the misfortune to embody three things that Romans needed, feared and disdained: Before she was dead, Roman enemies had turned her into a monster of voluptuous cunning, and posterity has followed suit.
Shakespeare struggled to improve on Plutarch his main source while Hollywood as always tried to improve on Shakespeare. Each generation has gotten the Cleopatra it wanted. And Elizabethan England got the Marc A Cleopatra had the misfortune to embody three things that Romans needed, feared and disdained: And Elizabethan England got the Marc Antony that it wanted as well. Augustus Caesar, in words that non-ironically in my opinion echo the funeral oration that Antony spoke over the bodies of Julius Caesar and Brutus in Julius Caesar: I really enjoyed it!
I really liked how Shakespeare made all of the characters human, flawed yet strong at the same time. I knew the story of course, but Shakespeare brought it to life. I had never read this work before but I am really glad I won this book. I haven't read Shakespeare in a long time and now I want to read romeo and juliet again. If there were any more sexual references it would be recommended for people who enjoyed Fifty Shades.
I really enjoyed this play, and I thought cleopatra was such an interesting character. I had such an beautiful ending! It feels strange to pass judgement on Shakespeare plays. That I have read all but about 5 or 6 of them makes me feel I can compare them. This one is a little uneven.
The romance between Antony and Cleopatra is interesting. I found it more passionate than I have read in some of the others. Still, at times, this felt a little long. Am I allowed to say it felt a little long? I'm giving it four stars anyway. I'm a little embarrassed I've put off reading this play for decades, because I've always assumed it would be dull, not in the stratosphere with the Great Tragedies. It was anything but dull — but then again, it may not be a tragedy either.
Shakespeare virtually invented these larger-than-life characters. As John Wilders the editor of the Arden edition points out, the final scene "is unlike anything in Shakespeare's other tragedies and its uniqueness arises in part from the deliberately spectac I'm a little embarrassed I've put off reading this play for decades, because I've always assumed it would be dull, not in the stratosphere with the Great Tragedies. As John Wilders the editor of the Arden edition points out, the final scene "is unlike anything in Shakespeare's other tragedies and its uniqueness arises in part from the deliberately spectacular nature of Cleopatra's death.
It's certainly great theater. As with any of Shakespeare's historical plays, it's helpful to have an outline of the history in your head. I was happy that I'd read Adrian Goldsworthy's book first, as I didn't have to struggle to understand what was happening from scene to scene and could concentrate on the fireworks. My favorite new Shakespearean word: Fortune and Antony part here; even here Do we shake hands. All come to this! The hearts That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is barked That overtopped them all.
Each time it's linked to the sense of melting, which in turn evoked for me the ancient legend of Cleopatra and her dissolving pearl — perhaps the most infamous melting candy of all time. View all 5 comments. Fascinated by Cleopatra's ability to lead and wrap Antony around her little finger How cool to add William Shakespeare to a chain championing the cause of women! And now some grad school thoughts on being a king I admit to being an Antony fan, but Caesar squeez Loved this one. Mar 01, S. I also found that the schizoid scene changes- we're in Alexandria one minute, then in Rome, then on a boat, then in the desert--actually threw me out of the experience instead of into it.
Cleopatra's intrusiveness, while evoking Antony's obsession with her, wasn't hynotic but jolting. Obviously I need to reread this. I wish I could see a staged production. The film versions I've seen were awful. Lynn Redgrave and Timothy Dalton were hideous as the title characters, and the Charlton Heston version was a nightmare of bad acting, but what did I expect?
Oh my dearest Kenneth Branagh, where are you? You're the right age! Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare 7 23 Jul 21, Discussion Question 3 3 6 Jun 28, Discussion Question 2 2 5 Jun 28, Discussion Question 1 2 6 Jun 28, William Shakespeare baptised 26 April was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
His surviving works consist of 38 plays, sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems.
His plays have been tr William Shakespeare baptised 26 April was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith.
Between and he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around , where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between and His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about , including Hamlet, King Lear , and Macbeth , considered some of the finest examples in the English language.
- Nitride Semiconductors and Devices (Springer Series in Materials Science).
- Random Acts of Purpose.
- Moms with ADD: A Self-Help Manual.
- Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare (4 star ratings)?
In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in , two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio , a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
Antony and Cleopatra - Wikipedia
His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. According to historians, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and sonnets throughout the span of his life. Shakespeare's writing average was 1. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature. Books by William Shakespeare. Trivia About Antony and Cleopatra. Quotes from Antony and Cleopatra.