Out of the turmoil following the death of Julius Caesar, a new status quo has emerged, the tripartite leadership of Antony, Lepidus and Octavius. Threatened by the forces of Pompey, the three rulers need to present a united front, but Antony, the great soldier and once lieutenant to Caesar himself, has been bewildered by Cleopatra, the alluring and ambiguous Queen of Egypt. When he quarrels with his fellow leaders and throws in his lot with Cleopatra, Antony's infatuation threatens to split the Roman Empire in two.
Roman virtue and Eastern vice; past glamour and present squalor; transfiguration and realpolitik: Antony and Cleopatra exposes the irreconcilable demands of sex and power, public and private life. And in the services of this great middle-aged love story, Shakespeare created a tragic poetry of breathtaking beauty and magnificence.