Part 1: Cleopatra:

Choose one of the modern representations of Cleopatra from film or TV presented in the module materials. How far is this consistent with the Roman depictions of her in Book1, Chapter 1?

Cleopatra is a well known historical figure whose image has constantly evolved throughout history. When we imagine Cleopatra our attention is usually diverted to the 1963 portrayal of her by Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth Taylor was a vision of beauty and perfection used to pacify the populous at the time. In no way was she an accurate visual depiction of the ancient queen, but instead a glamorous Hollywood star. While Hollywood depicted Cleopatra as being beautiful, the Roman's depicted her in a negative manor, as Winston Churchill famously stated, “History is written by the victors”.(Hastings. 2004)

Regardless of her image being deliberately beautified for 1960's Hollywood culture, her disposition was for the most part, accurately portrayed. Elizabeth Taylor represented her as a fierce, confident, intelligent and manipulative authority figure, traits that Cleopatra herself was said to posses. Visually Elizabeth Taylor was an attractive white European, her features and complexion were considered desirable at the time of the film's creation due to   public opinion and political beliefs, adorned with golden Egyptian themed attire and eccentric make-up, Elizabeth Taylor was made to seem like a perfect representation of an ethnic Egyptian Queen. Because of this Cleopatra's image was one of public contentment and not historical accuracy. Politics and events of the time effected the creation of the movie, being that contemporary issues were incorporated into the characters, For example; “One world, one nation, one people living on earth in peace”, is a direct quote from Martin Luther King. In the movie this quote was spoken directly from Cleopatra herself, showing that current events of the 1960's effected the way she was presented by Elizabeth Taylor. Each era...