Tag Archives: Literary Influence


This study seeks to examine the relationship between Aḥmad Shawqī’s The Death of Cleopatra (Shawqī 1929), one of the early Arabic poetic plays, and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1607). The study provides a rationale as to the reasons behind assuming an existence of influences over Shawqī as he set out to write this play, proving all along Shawqī’s incontrovertible prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s Tragedies, particularly Antony and Cleopatra. The study ventures beyond the mere scrutiny of a literary work- together with the nonliterary details derived from history, for example- to an evaluation of Shawqī’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. The study reveals that Shawqī was unquestionably reproducing Antony and Cleopatra when he wrote his play. This reproduction figures in many forms: borrowing, paraphrasing, stilisierung simulation, etc. Apart from these strategies of imitation, the study, however, sheds light on the poetic elements where Shawqī showcases his originality as a playwright who reframes what he adapts from Shakespeare and Plutarch (See Plutarch 1950, pp. 441-488) to be in line with his own literary thought and ideological philosophies.

Keywords: Cleopatra, Intertextuality, Literary Influence, Shakespeare, Shawqī