Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2021


Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Egypt, Temporality, Imperialism, Postcolonialism, Victorian literature, Media studies

Degree Name

English (BA)



First Advisor

Jessie Reeder



Subject Heading(s)

Time in literature ; Time perception in literature ; English Literature -- History and criticism ; Classical literature -- History and criticism ; Egypt -- In literature ; Exoticism in literature


I will be examining temporality in British texts about Egypt across time. In order to achieve this, I analyze the play Antony and Cleopatra (1606) by William Shakespeare, and put it in conversation with Pharos, the Egyptian (1899) by Guy Newell Boothby. I will also be discussing Alexandria (2009) by Lindsey Davis, as a demonstration that the pattern in my findings is enduring. I will be dissecting the portrayal of Egyptian temporality, which I have found to be conveyed as a stasis, as contrasted by the quick-time of dominating imperial powers. These sources will allow me to compare depictions of generally urgent imperial time as contrasted by Egyptian stasis from the 17th, 19th, and 21st centuries; this cross section of time will allow me to explore temporality across three key centuries in the literary world. In both Antony and Cleopatra and Pharos, the Egyptian, I note that the fetishization of Egyptian identity and symbology via British writers is crucial in establishing Egypt as a stasis. Although fascinatingly similar, I have found a difference between these texts, involving the employment (and lack thereof) of temporal inconsistencies related to Egypt including gaps in time, fainting, entrancement, future-telling, and differences in memory recall. I will be cross-referencing an array of biographical sources of Cleopatra, museum history, and important literary texts starting with Life of Antony by Plutarch, from the first century AD. To supplement my argument, I will be referencing theories on Postcolonialism, temporality, imperialism, and museological exhibition.