Renaissance Drama and Staging Margaret Jane Kidnie states “an area significantly impacted by William Shakespeare, Renaissance Theater developed into an influential period of drama deviating upon various elements of perception in each performance” (456-473). Many scholars wrote responses about renaissance drama and staging. There was a diversity of focus portrayed throughout each presentation, therefore resulting in differentiation between performances. Jealousy, gender, and spectatorship were some of the many topics that were represented in theater throughout the Renaissance Era, influenced greatly by William Shakespeare. Having written numerous plays performed during the Renaissance era, “Shakespeare’s influence on drama and staging can be shown through the language of performance criticism,” (Masten 341).
How Shakespeare Makes the Audience Aware of Cleopatra's Infinite Variety in the Opening Act Cleopatra was a talented mistress who used her feminine charm for personal gain. She was seductive, lustful, flirtatious, and sarcastic, she had courage, and she was jealous, spiteful, very violent and impatient. She was a woman of many contrasts, facets and changing moods. Shakespeare shows these different aspects of her character in the first act then goes on to build on them throughout the play. In the opening scene straight away we enter into Philo and Demetrius' - friends of Antony - conversation, the subject of which is Cleopatra, Philo is not speaking very highly of her saying she has, '.
The majority of researchers who study William Shakespeare share a common understanding that in the Shakespearean tragedies there is a correlation between certain representations of gender and genre - comedy and tragedy. Studies shows that charismatic, intelligent and courageous women, for example: Portia, Beatrice, Rosalind, Viola, Helena, etc. dominate in comedies, whereas the plot of a tragedy usually revolves around the shattering experiences of a frustrated man, for example: Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, etc. However, an important exception to this rule is brought to us by the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, in which Shakespeare creates a very magnetic, interesting and different female character that seems to change and destroy the notion we previously had of the above genre (drama). This first part of my research proposes a rethinking of Cleopatra - one of the most complex female characters created by Shakespeare.
The representations and interplay of types of power: In Shakespeare’s famous play Antony and Cleopatra, the powerful are portrayed including their personalities, their reactions to other powerful figures and the interplay of these powers as the characters interact. Antony’s Power: Shakespeare uses Rome and Egypt as binary opposites not just to reflect qualities inherent in the two places, but the changes that come upon Antony depending on which place he is in. The changes in Antony’s behaviour and power-usage patterns can be seen through Shakespeare’s constant juxtaposition of the Egyptian and Roman worlds. Antony’s behaviour tends to change as in the exotic place that is Egypt Antony is allowed to escape from his Roman self : "I will to Egypt…I'th' east my pleasure lies.“2.3.38-40. The word “pleasure” indicates that Egypt has a sexual appeal to him in the form of Cleopatra.
The Language of Antony and Cleopatra In act 1 scene 1, Philo begins by complaining to Demetrius that Cleopatra has transformed Antony from a great general to a whore's fool. The scene is based on the true love affair and the romance between the two characters. However there is an ambiguous nature to the passage, as we are not given a clear indication of Cleopatra's feelings, whether she is angry or whether it is all light hearted. The scene begins with Antony and Cleopatra entering, with great drama as Cleopatra has Eunuchs fanning her and attending her every need. Cleopatra is pushing Antony to describe how much he loves her and this shows her power and demand for the declaration of Antony's love.
The purpose of the scene in Act 3 Scene 4 is to celebrate the coronation of Macbeth with a banquet. It gives us an insight into his state of mind and present character, and the changes in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Finally, we can look at the deteriorating evil that is vivid in Macbeth. Throughout the scene, Macbeth is haunted and hallucinating, which Lady Macbeth has no control over. At the opening of the scene the atmosphere is exceedingly pleasurable, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are entertaining their guests and are exceeding the roles of host and hostess.
The Tragedy of King Lear by William Shakespeare, is often considered to be the Everest of Shakespeare’s plays (Holland, 2007). It is a tragic masterpiece and the summation of its author’s skills as a playwright. This is evident in the thematic complexities and masterful use of the tragic genre to convey a socio-political commentary to the audience. Indeed, it is clear that the genre does support King Lear as a socio-political commentary and that this commentary influences Shakespeare’s manipulation of theatrical and literary aspects of the text. Though King Lear might appear at first as chaotic in this regard as its titular character and the message/meaning of the play therefore uncertain, there is a predominant sense of order in its careful exploration of socio-political issues such as class struggle, tyranny by monarchy, and power-driven relationships.
Shakespeare constantly invites comparison and contrast between Egypt and Rome .The Roman world seems to look with disapproval on Cleopatra and the frivolous, sexualized world of Egypt. A good example of this is in scene one when Philo a Roman speaks of Cleopatra, 'the office and devotion of their view. Upon a tawny front'. Philo is speaking of Cleopatra in a very derogative way, showing Roman prejudice against Egyptians, 'tawny', meaning dark skinned. Pg 2 Anthony has fallen for a beautiful, exotic woman and he shouldn't have, and we soon discover that Rome is embarrassed by his indulgence, but as we as the audience warm to him the reason being because Shakespeare has brought to our attention a great bond between the couple.
The audience feel a great sense of tragedy as the death of the lovers would not have happened if they had an extra few minutes. Shakespeare succeeds to create an impending sense of tragedy and foreboding by using a variety of successful devices. For example, he wrote in different moods within a scene, also he included a very important prologue at the beginning of the play. Furthermore, Shakespeare’s adds to his technique by writing parallels and echoes to portray this important sense of foreboding. All of the contrasting styles which Shakespeare adopts in his writing contribute to the tension building in this outstanding play.
Mistaken Identities in The Taming of the Shrew Throughout the play "The Taming of the Shrew," William Shakespeare has utilized several ingenious techniques resulting in an effective piece of work. One of the more unique and creative methods is the use of mistaken identity. With the use of mistaken identity, Shakespeare has successfully given the play an element of humor from the beginning to the end. The mistaken identity within the two induction scenes must have been quite humorous for the upper-class noblemen who watched the play. In Shakespeare's time, the upper-class often found their amusement in the poorer, more unfortunate lower-class.