Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

ISBN 978-1-60857-203-8

Grammardog Teacher's Guide contains 16 quizzes for this Shakespearean tragedy.  All sentences are from the play.  This sequel to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar features historical references to Caesar, Cassius, Brutus and Pompey.  Some sentences sound like proverbs (Kingdoms are clay.  Make not your thoughts your prisons.  Impatience does become a dog that's mad.).  Some lines originate familiar expressions like salad days and man of steel.  Allusions mix Egyptian, Greek and Roman gods (Isis, Hercules, Narcissus, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune).

PLOT SUMMARY:  One of the great love stories of all time!  The Grammardog Guide to ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA features sentences from the play in 16 grammar, style and proofreading quizzes that reinforce plot, characters and themes.  The play is set in Alexandria 14 years after Caesar’s death. Marc Antony has neglected his military duties, distracted by his passionate love affair with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt with whom he has fathered three children.  Antony is called to duty to fight pirates.  While he is away, he marries Octavia, sister of Octavius.  Cleopatra is so furious when she hears about Antony’s marriage that she physically and verbally abuses the messenger who brings her the news.  Antony makes up with Cleopatra when he returns to Alexandria, assuring her that he married Octavia to insure his political safety.  He crowns himself and Cleopatra rulers of Egypt and the eastern Roman Empire.  This bold move angers Octavius who declares war on Antony. 

Octavius challenges Antony to a sea battle.  Enobarbus, a trusted lieutenant, urges Antony to fight on land, not at sea where Octavius has a superior navy.  Antony ignores the advice out of pride and takes Octavius’s dare to fight at sea.  With his own ships and Cleopatra’s navy they fight the Battle of Actium off the Greek coast.  Seeing that the battle is not to be won, Cleopatra pulls her 60 ships back and retreats.  Antony follows her, abandoning his own ships.  Antony is ashamed of his retreat and is angry at Cleopatra for making a coward of him.  But he admits that he values Cleopatra’s love above all else.  He pledges to fight another battle for her on land.  Antony loses the second battle with Octavius and blames the loss on Cleopatra.  He decides to kill her, but Cleopatra is one step ahead of him.  She sends word that she has killed herself.  Her plan is to reappear when he returns and win Antony back when he is overcome with joy that she lives. The plan backfires.  Antony decides that without Cleopatra his life is not worth living.  He tries to kill himself, but succeeds in giving himself a mortal wound.  He is carried to Cleopatra and dies in her arms.  Cleopatra is captured by Octavius.  She cannot face being paraded through the streets of Rome in defeat and disgrace.  Cleopatra chooses suicide.  She dies quickly after she puts a poisonous snake on her arm and lets the asp bite her.

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