Why are there so many scenes in Antony and Cleopatra?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra is a tale of epic proportions. It portrays numerous facets of humanity - lust, allegiance and betrayal. Then, there is love. The love of a man for a woman. The love of a man to possess power. The love of countrymen for their land of birth.

To be able to encompass the enduring feelings that Antony felt for Cleopatra, there was a need to portray each battle in which he was embroiled.  Action changes from Alexandria, and Cleopatra’s palace, to Antony’s homeland of Rome.

In order to convey the global enormity of two significant battle sequences; the travel necessary to encompass Alexandria, Italy, Sicily, Syria, Athens, Egypt, and Rome; and do justice to love itself, Shakespeare was obligated to pen a tome of many acts.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial