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International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
Volume 58
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Constructive Power and Discordant Discourses in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra

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Abstract:

The present paper aims to focus on how the circuit of different discourses in Alexandria and Rome contributes to the subject formation in Antony and Cleopatra. Identity, which acts as trap in this play, precipitates the characters from two different countries or contexts into a war through creating binarized categories with heterogeneous possibilities. Mark Antony – one of the Triumvirs of Rome in search for self-actualization strives against his country’s discourse in the beginning, he places himself in the warring discourses of Rome and Alexandria. When in Alexandria, he is inside the discourses of Rome, and when in Rome, he is inside the discourses of Alexandria. Like the nature of the signifier as it can happen and be determined by other contexts, Antony retains references to Rome when he is Alexandria, and establishes himself as a subject and makes his signification possible in this foreign country by relating himself to epicurean concepts other than his own former stoic attitudes. Thus, mark of the past element remains in him. Through discourse analysis, this study aims to analyze how the loop of self-hood is firmly tied by the signifiers, and how power, which is not solely negative and repressive, but positive and productive, shapes Antony’s capricious personality as he both challenges and is challenged by power. In the end it is revealed that Mark Anthony refashions his identity and perspective by admitting and embracing multiplicity between Rome’s stoicism and Alexandria’s Epicureanism.

Info:

Periodical:
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 58)
Pages:
18-24
Citation:
A. Mohamadi, "Constructive Power and Discordant Discourses in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 58, pp. 18-24, 2015
Online since:
September 2015
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References:

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