Tma 01 Cleopatra

To what extent do Roman Depictions of Cleopatra appear to have influenced how she has been depicted on TV and film?

Through history, Cleopatra has been the subject of endless debate and study, with seemingly contradictory depictions, from the Ancients themselves to the modern world. Cultural representations of her in modern media and cinematography appear to represent the current political agendas and bias that reflects the society of its time.
For example, we can look at ‘Cleopatra’, the first movie to be made of her, a silent film starring the actress Theda Bara in 1917.
The Egyptian queen was depicted as a dark, primitive woman, fearsome in her rule and sexually alluring with seeming wanton abandon, a manipulative seductress, using her Machiavellian methods to exploit the powerful Romans, using her wealth, a decadence that was extraordinary in its grandeur. Politics of this period were largely dominated by the increasing emergence of women wanting to be portrayed more fairly in society, to be able to work and be paid a wage that was equal to men, which is perhaps why this side of Cleopatra was so exaggerated- to get the point across of the untrustworthiness’ of women in positions of wealth and power threatening the very fabric of a traditionalist society,   a view which seems to have, in part, echoed that of Plutarch’s ‘life of Antony’. As he wrote:
‘She treated him with such disdain, that when she appeared it was as if in mockery of his orders. She came sailing up the river Cydnus in a barge with a poop of gold, its purple sails billowing in the wind, while her rowers caressed the water with oars of silver…’
Plutarch wrote his biographic 150 years after Cleopatra’s rule.
Translations of such texts as Horace’s Ode, the Roman histories of Egypt was a political minefield, exacerbated by the romans own political system of rejecting and fiercely despising any association with a monarchy-after rising up and dissolving their own kingdom-And indeed with...