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?
I have chosen the 1963 representation of Cleopatra simply due to the huge production and marketing efforts made in order to promote a Hollywood vision of Cleopatra’s life which from a political standpoint reflected contemporary issues and politics that were being carried out within that period.
At the time it was the most expensive movie ever made (The Open University, The Arts Past and Present DVD, 2008) and had Elizabeth Taylor star as Cleopatra.
Even though this film was marketed as romantic story and focused a lot on her extravagance and the love she had for Caesar and Antony there were areas throughout the film (mainly in the first 50 minutes and also around 2hours 50 minutes into the film) where it focuses on Cleopatra’s quest for power. An example of this is when she states to Caesar “as quickly as possible you need to set me alone on the throne of Egypt” (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Cleopatra, 1963) which in some people’s opinion loosely mirrors the thoughts of Horace who pictured Cleopatra as a mad and crazed queen drunk with ambition to destroy Rome and its empire (Fear, 2008, p.13).
Once Cleopatra has her first (and only child) in the film her independence and quest for power seems to dwindle and it becomes apparent that this is due to her love for Caesar and becomes somewhat reliant on him. This is demonstrated when she more or less begs him not to return to Rome. This circumstance seems to repeat itself later on in the film when she engages herself into a relationship with Mark Antony.
In contrast to this as the Roman tradition of Cleopatra goes she is seen as a destructive sexual predator who saw her associations with Caesar and Antony as astute political alliances through her children (one with Caesar who was featured in the film and three with Antony who were not featured...