Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching. That was how Shakespeare wrote, I thought, looking at Antony and Cleopatra; and when people compare Shakespeare and Jane Austen, they may mean that the minds of both had consumed all impediments; and for that reason we do not know Jane Austen and we do not know Shakespeare, and for that reason Jane Austen pervades every word that she wrote, and so does Shakespeare.
The theme of the dance was "Great Romances," or some such nonsense. There were projections of supposedly great couples from the past on the walls of the gym. Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Hermione and Ron, Bonnie and Clyde, etc.
Girls are taught to sing high and pretty, like Antony, not low and from the guts like Nina Simone. But we're slowly trying to change that. There are so many things we're not told growing up, and it's our true feminist responsibility to take the truth to the people who need to hear it.
CLEOPATRA: If it be love indeed, tell me how much. ANTONY: There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned. CLEOPATRA: I'll set a bourne how far to be belov'd. ANTONY: Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.
Give me mine angle, we'll to th' river: there, My music playing far off, I will betray Tawny-finned fishes. My bended hook shall pierce Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up, I'll think them every one an Antony, And say, 'Ah, ha! are caught!'
He reads much; He is a great observer and he looks Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays, As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music; Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit That could be moved to smile at any thing. Such men as he be never at heart's ease Whiles they behold a greater than themselves, And therefore are they very dangerous.
What mighty ills have not been done by woman! Who was't betray'd the Capitol? A woman; Who lost Mark Antony the world? A woman; Who was the cause of a long ten years' war, And laid at last old Troy is ashes? Woman; Destructive, damnable, deceitful woman!
Her seductive power, however, did not lie in her looks [...]. In reality, Cleopatra was physically unexceptional and had no political power, yet both Caesar and Antony, brave and clever men, saw none of this. What they saw was a woman who constantly transformed herself before their eyes, a one-woman spectacle.Her dress and makeup changed from day to day, but always gave her a heightened, goddesslike appearance. Her words could be banal enough, but were spoken so sweetly that listeners would find themselves remembering not what she said but how she said it.