Cleopatra-Faustus Open U

Assignment 1 PART A
What do the representations of Cleopatra in Film and on Television (as shown on the DVD Video “Cleopatra”) tell us about how her reputation changed over time? Discuss with reference to two or three representations.
The two representations of Cleopatra, I will be using are the Film Cleopatra 20th Century Fox 1963 and the TV Series ROME by HBO in 1990. (DVD Video AA100)
This part of assignment brought back memories and thoughts of my early years where the stars of the film and TV industry were larger than life.
Remembering, as a 12 year boy, seeing the 1963 epic the whole aspect of glamour and the portrayal of Queen Cleopatra by Elizabeth Taylor (especially the bath scene) was a part of my sexual awakening. However, the voyeurism, spectacle and grandeur of the scenes was still part of the culture of the time and showed women as becoming more independent, but still culturally dominated by men.
The scene where Cleopatra commands Anthony to kneel broke through that preconceived idea, and the portrayal of Anthony later in the film as he left his command to follow Cleopatra was also indicative of a change in culture, and political awareness. The statement   “men worked/fought and women stayed home” ( had changed. Here was a new image, of a powerful women that knew her own mind and had men running after her, but it also helped that scene that most Roman historians depicted Anthony as besotted, and was part of the Ancient Roman view of Cleopatra at the time.
All in all the 1963 version of the film though reflecting the independence of women, it was still dependent on the image. The clothing and make up of Elizabeth Taylor fed that exotic look that women could aspire to but may not achieve, but left a lasting iconic impression. The front cover of the OU publication Reputations (OU AA100 Book 1 2008)   showing just the made up eyes of Taylor for many, including me, was instantly recognisable, and was commented on as such in our...