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|Cleopatra VII | |
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Cleopatra VII

Cleopatra VII Philopator known to history as Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. It is hard to tell when interest in Cleopatra started. Probably this was due to discoveries in Egypt between XIX and XX century.
When in XVIII century briefly translated Romans ancients texts ,created a stereotype of Cleopatra as despotic, alluring and ancient femme fatale. We have to remember that all Romans texts about her were written by politicians supporting the policy of Octavian who act against Cleopatra,so they are one-sided biased.

Michelangelo Gerome Waterhouse

Cleopatra existed though the centuries in a variety of works like paintings (Michelangelo) and literature (Shakespeare) however XIX and XX centuries, especially paintings of Alma-Tandema ,Gerome, Cabanel or Waterhouse, strengthened her image as sensual, cruelty ruler which prefer to kill yourself than to be dishonoured. Despite the passage of years our impression about Cleopatra has not changed. Movie scripts, theatre performances still continuing reflections about her.

Alma-Tadema Cabanel

Theda Bara Lilly Langtry

When we are watching theatre performance from 1891 with Lilly Langtry as Cleopatra or movies with Theda Bara (1919), Elizabeth Taylor (1963) or Leonor Varela (1999) we can see similar woman with her despotic person, rich costumes like from Romans descriptions.

In first movies (1917, 1934) woman is treated as demonic, manipulative, sexual person in very decorative costumes and interiors. I think this imagination is related with ideas from Art Nouveau and Art Deco from this period. At the same time a role of woman began to change. Women started to work, gained the right to vote, became politicians.

Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

In spectacular movie from 1963 Cleopatra has been presented as a powerful, intelligent queen which is manipulating men??™s but at the end she is losing her position and men is as a winner. This situation had to show the man is the most important and he decide about everything and woman with her personality is wick even she is a queen.

Lyndsey Marshal ???Rome???

In 2005 BBC and HBO produced series ???Rome??? with Cleopatra as woman which is using sex as a tool to archive position in dealing with Caesar.

Monica Bellucci

There are caricatured presentation of Cleopatra in comics about Asterix and Obelix and animated cartoon movie from 1965 based on comics.
In 2002 in comedy, with Monica Bellucci , queen of Egypt is presented as capricious, crazy woman which want to build a palace in one month.

At the current time Cleopatra is presented as a clever woman who is using their sexuality to archive position in relationship with Caesar when she is giving him a baby as a successor. She is not confused woman; she knows her ambitions and how to gain.

The character of Cleopatra is still present in culture. Our conceptions about her are still mostly based on the information which we have from Romans texts. We can congratulate Octavian to what we call now as PR (public relations) because after nearly 2000 years we still believe in image of Cleopatra which he created, only we change role of woman in everyday life what is related with women emancipation.