Let's begin our discussion of A&C with the mandatory viewing of the famous film--at least its trailer.
Cleopatra and ArtEdit
What are we to make of the play's several descriptions of Cleopatra as a work of art? Do you see any relationship to her representation in the play as a performer or object of art and her fate as a character in Shakespeare's play? Another way of asking this might be to say, what is Cleopatra's relationship to performance...gender performance, royal performance, a lover's performance, a literary/historical figure's performance? Does the play give us a sense that she is aware that she is a figure of history and therefore "on stage" for others to see and judge?
Another way to get to the issue may be this: the play opens with Philo imploring Demetrius to "Look..." and ends with Cleopatra describing herself as "marble-constant." How does art/spectacle function in this play more broadly?
Antony and WarEdit
How has Cleopatra affected Antony's masculine, military purpose? It's a relatively straighforward question but leads me to ask you to make sense of his suicide scene with Eros in Act 4. How are we to understand Antony's suicide attempt with Eros? Strange and comic or strange and tragic?