Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010


Shakespeare’s "Antony and Cleopatra" presents a beautiful narrative through its elaborate and eloquent passages. The masterful descriptions and dialogues make use of the ideals of Renaissance rhetorical practices with which Shakespeare was undoubtedly familiar. Emblematic of these linguistic devices are the messengers who transfer information amongst the characters. They hold the power of knowledge, but with the responsibility of moving the textual language faithfully; they thus become the functionaries of Renaissance rhetoric. Through a study of contemporary Renaissance rhetorical manuals, as well as an examination of criticism of Shakespeare and his play, this paper finds significance in the various linguistic tools Shakespeare assigned to the messengers of the play.


Chloe Jenkins-Sleczkowski earned distinction for her senior comprehensive project.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.