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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages


Antony and Cleopatra and Cavafy

Antony Event

Upcoming Greek Event

Talk: Antony and Cleopatra and Cavafy

Date: Tuesday 28th February 2017

Time: 5:15pm

Location: Room G.21, Faculty of Classics

THIS PRESENTATION examines C. P. Cavafy's interest in Shakespeare (which perhaps dates from Cavafy's early teenage years in England) and focusses on the Alexandrian Greek poet's adaptations, in several poems, of elements of Shakespeare's Alexandrian play, Antony and Cleopatra. Behind this play, of course, lies Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Marcus Antonius; and  in his Antony-related poems (and others) Cavafy also draws directly on Plutarch, short-circuiting what is elsewhere the tortuous linguistic journey from Plutarch's Greek prose through Jacques Amyot's French translation of Plutarch and North's English translation of Amyot (both sixteenth-cetury) to Shakespeare's seventeenth-century transformation of North's text into an English verse drama, and back to Greek in the twentieth-century poetry of Cavafy.