Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2021

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.