Much Ado about Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra

Ref: C2346649

Anthony and Cleopatra - towering passion. And yes, the play is about that. But when one of this couple is in the junta of three men who rule the Roman World, and the other is the Queen of Egypt, passion can interfere with politics. The junta: Anthony the most charismatic figure of his age, veteran soldier, disciple and avenger of the great Julius Caesar; Crassus, the moneybags, jealous and suspicious of his colleagues; and Octavius Caesar, Julius’ adopted heir, meticulous, sober, determined. Add pirates, led by the heir of Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar’s old rival, ravaging Roman shipping and shores and rebellion in the East. And where is Anthony? In the arms of his mistress, Cleopatra. In Egypt, the byword for opulence and luxury and the twitterfeeds are humming. For Shakespeare, sexual passion is a kind of madness, but these are not teenagers in love, but mature, experienced (in all kinds of ways) people, who can’t live with each other and can’t live without each other.

Course aim

Anthony and Cleopatra is a play of politics and passion, the impact of one upon the other and on the world. One of Shakespeare's mature tragedies. bringing together the beginnings of the Roman Empire and the Jacobean state in incomparable poetry.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • To complete this course you will be required to complete a placement. This will be discussed with you at initial assessment.
  • This course is for lovers of drama, history, politics and passion

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Approach Shakespeare without fear. I will acquire a confidence that I can understand, enjoy and contribute to discussions of Shakespeare's themes, language, theatrical methods.
  • Explain the context in which Anthony and Cleopatra was written and its impact on the Jacobean audience
  • Offer insights into the language and poetry of Anthony and Cleopatra and its effect on our language today
  • Describe some of Shakespeare's methods of composition, and his use of history, evidenced from the play
  • Explain the relevance of Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra today.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Try to see the play, live, recorded or streamed: NT-at-home plan to stream a production in 2022. Books will be provided in the classroom, but you may wish to buy your own. Try the Oxford or Cambridge School Shakespeare editions, or for the more experienced, the Arden or Oxford editions.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Much Ado about Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is only available as part of this programme.

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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