For this updated edition, David Bevington has included in his introductory section a thorough consideration of recent critical and stage interpretations of Antony and Cleopatra, demonstrating how the theatrical design and imagination of this play make it one of Shakespeare's most remarkable tragedies. The edition is attentive throughout to the play as theatre: a detailed, illustrated account of the stage history is followed, in the commentary, by discussion of staging options offered by the text. The commentary is especially full and helpful, untangling many obscure words and phrases, illuminating sexual puns, and alerting the reader to Shakespeare's shaping of his source material in Plutarch's Lives. This is a scholarly edition, but its scholarship is not intrusive: it will also satisfy those approaching the play for the first time. An updated reading list completes the edition.
List of illustrations; Preface; List of abbreviations and conventions; Introduction: Date and sources; The contrarieties of critical response; The ironic gap between word and deed; Transcending limits; Genre and structure; Style; Stagecraft; Antony and Cleopatra in performance; Recent critical and stage interpretations; Note on the text; List of characters; THE PLAY; Supplementary note; Textual analysis; Reading list.