Leigh Martin AA100 (E3064750)

Assignment 01

Part 1 Cleopatra
Choose one of the modern representations of Cleopatra in film or TV presented in the module materials. How far is this consistent with Roman depictions of her in Book 1, Chapter 1?

Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963 representation of Cleopatra is possibly the most ostentatious and over indulgent to date. This portrayal sees Cleopatra with an extensive array of lavish outfits, jewellery and headdresses, emphasising her beauty and overpowering presence. This extravagance is matched in her personality where she oozes with dominance and authority and the ability to captivate and control men as she sees fit, evident from the meeting between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony where Cleopatra delivers an astute speech demanding that Mark Anthony kneels before her “you will kneel, on your knees, I asked it of Julius Caesar, I demand it of you” (REFERENCE)   Knowing that her sheer presence and power is irresistible to prominent figures such as; Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony she proceeds to flirt not wanting to disappoint their lust and on her terms succumbs to their desires.
This element of power and presence is clearly mirrored in Roman depictions of Cleopatra where her charm and skill of manipulation enraptures both Caesar and Anthony adjusting their individual thoughts and loyalties bewitching them into believing and following her own personal vendettas. “While the mad queen with her contaminated flock of men diseased by vice, was preparing the ruin of the Capitol and the destruction of our power” (Fear, 2008, p. 28) This emphasises Cleopatra’s crazed passion to destroy Rome using the prominent figures she has cocooned into her idea of ‘love’ and swayed to believe her morals, to her advantage.
In comparison to the film, Roman depictions do not often refer to her as being beautifully, Plutarch states “Her own beauty, so we are told, was not of that incomparable kind which instantly captivates the beholder” (Fear, 2008, p. 9)...