Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

Program

English

First Advisor/Chairperson

David Wood, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Kia Jane Richmond, Ph.D

Abstract

This thesis uses the formula of classical masculinity to examine Marc Antony’s value as a Roman man in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Examining Antony’s history as a Roman hero, I distinguish how his reputation is destroyed through his romantic involvement with Cleopatra. Furthermore, I consider the divine representations of Cleopatra and Octavian Caesar as they oppose each other, and how Antony’s role within their conflict defines his value as a classical Roman man. I then deliberate his sexual fetishism for the matriarch pharaoh, and how their relationship functions as sadomasochistic, defining Antony as the masochist and Cleopatra as the sadist. In conclusion, I focus on Antony’s suicide, and determine the masculine value of his final moments within the play.