The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egypt, and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's collection of short stories starts off with her most well-known story, "The Yellow Wallpaper." This story, like many others, displays the true treatment of women during the early 1900s. Such topics as the feminization of disease, gender roles, and the economic enslavement some women experienced in relationships to men.