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One main message Cleopatra is presenting to society in the 1960s is the empowerment of women. Although Cleopatra is depicted in many different ways in other films and plays, the 1963 film portrays her as a ruler who tried to bridge gaps between men and women. She overthrew her brother's power and exiled him and Cleopatra wanted to be seen as equal by both Caesar and Antony. This reflects the women's movement of the 1960s when women mainly stayed at home and took care of children. On December 14, 1961, John F. Kennedy established the President's Commission on the Status of Women. Led by Eleanor Roosevelt til her death on 1962, this board had twenty members that examined equality of women in school, at work, and by the law. Gender-based restrictions such as hours of work and wages were inspected as well as issues like lack of education and federal insurance and tax laws that were unequal. In 1963, the PCSW issued their report which condemned the discriminations American women face in society. The report concluded with ways to protect women's rights. The board members wanted for the Fourteenth Amendment to be fully extended to women and even though already entitled to this amendment, women needed for it to be enforced. Recommendations such as equal hiring practices, salaried maternity leave, and inexpensive child care were included in the report. After the release of their final report, the Committee was abolished. Just as John F. Kennedy used his place of power to make necessary differences, Cleopatra did the same. She was one of the most powerful rulers of the ancient world and the fact that she was a woman gave her a sort of control over both Caesar and Antony by seducing them. She allowed Egypt to be independent for twenty more years after she ascended to the throne until Octavian defeated his rival Antony. Rather than accepting defeat, she killed herself in a most vivid act of loyalty to her kingdom. Even though she did not have a respectable ending, Cleopatra was able to influence other great powers of the ancient world, partially through her gender. Although melodramatic at times, Cleopatra is in fact historically accurate. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the screen playwright and director, wanted to be as precise as possible in his four hour long epic. However, the most accurate depiction comes from Plutarch, a Greek philosopher, writer, and historian who eventually took Roman citizenship. He lived 45 to 120 C.E. and is well known for his work entitled Parallel Lives which was a series of biographies on Greek and Roman statesmen and military leaders. These biographies were set up as pairs in which a Greek and Roman were paired together. Twenty-three pairs as well as four unpaired leaders were all written about in which Plutarch described their triumphs and downfalls. Plutarch wrote about Cleopatra's relationship with Caesar and also with Antony in the two Roman leader's biographies. Nearly all scenes in the film are depicted in these biographies. He even received writing credit in the film due to the vast amount of information used from his accounts. Plutarch describes both Caesar and Antony as great military leaders, but Antony was the one who got carried away with Cleopatra. Caesar had a reasonable relationship with Cleopatra and they were equals whereas Antony was not rational and was too overcome by his love for her to think properly. Scenes from Cleopatra that were accurately depicted by Plutarch include Pompey's head given to Caesar by Ptolemy XIII as a gift, the queen delivered to Caesar in a rug, Cleopatra bearing his child, Caesar made dictator for life, he acted with distaste for the senate, and his assassination. Scenes accurately depicting Antony include his loyalty towards Caesar, the lavish ship that Cleopatra took down the Cyndus (Tarsus) River to meet Antony, his marriage to Octavia, sister of Octavian, and his undying infatuation with Cleopatra. According to Plutarch, Antony really did die by his own sword and upon seeing him and not accepting defeat to Octavian; Cleopatra did in fact die by an asp bite amongst a bowl of figs. All these examples of historical accuracy according to the writings of Plutarch show just how far Mankiewicz went to make his screen adaptation both meticulous and a visual masterpiece. With Liz Taylor having 65 costume changes and Cleopatra costing $44 million to make, well over $300 million in today's dollars, it was one of the most expensive and elaborate films made. Mankiewicz originally had a $2 million budget but as some critics have explained, it was fitting for the most powerful woman of ancient history to be depicted in such an extravagant and detailed way. Cleopatra focuses on the reign of the last of the Ptolemaic pharaohs of Egypt. It depicts Cleopatra's relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony as well as conflicts between Egypt and Rome. The movie starts in 48 B.C. at the end of the Battle of Pharsalus. Pompey's men were defeated by Julius Caesar and control of the Roman Republic was now in Caesar's hands. Months pass until Caesar and some of his men sail to Alexandria, the capital of Egypt at that time. He found out that Pompey had sought help from Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra. Caesar met the very immature Ptolemy, played by Richard O'Sullivan, who was within a sea of advisers whom mainly spoke for him. His "staff" presented Caesar with Pompey's head in a clay jar. They hoped it would be a sign of benevolence towards the leader but he instead was sorrowful for his long-time rival. After Caesar is shown to his room in the palace, a gift is delivered to him. It turns out to be Cleopatra rolled up in a rug. He is intrigued by her wit and beauty. This helps her to convince Caesar to aid her in overthrowing her brother, Ptolemy, from the throne. In response to Ptolemy circling the palace with an immense amount of soldiers, Caesar orders his men to burn the Egyptian armada. The fire from the harbor spread to the city and burnt the Library of Alexandria. Cleopatra was enraged and ordered Caesar to stop his demolition but he refused and kissed her instead. Roman troops held off the Egyptians until the morning when the Mithridates reached the palace for assistance and drove of Ptolemy's men. In response to the young pharaoh's defeat, Caesar sentences his right hand man to death for his murder attempt of Cleopatra and chose to exile Ptolemy and his other assistant to the desert with his critically outnumbered army where surely he would die at the hands of the Mithridates. Cleopatra is deemed queen just as Caesar guaranteed her when she rolled out of the rug. The new pharaoh had visions of reining the world with her new lover and in a quick pace, the film changes to a year later when Cleopatra gives birth to their son named Caesarion. Caesar is proud but the Senate in Rome is not so impressed. Then in another quick change, two years pass and Caesar is made dictator for life. Cleopatra is delivered news of this and Caesar asked her to enter Rome. In the most eccentric scene in the movie, Cleopatra has an embellished parade into the city with her young son. The Roman population adores her but the Senate sees her as an Egyptian whore. Soon after, Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March (March 15th), 44 B.C. That day became known as the turning point from Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. The Senate did not want for Caesar to be made king as he so wished and as they were going to vote, but was stabbed instead by a group, the most famous being Brutus and Cassius. Cleopatra was devastated and returned home with Caesarion when Caesar's nephew Octavian was named heir, and not his own son. After two years, Brutus and Cassius were killed in the Battle of Philippi; at that point in time Antony establishes a modified government with Octavian and Lepidus. The empire is fractioned, but Antony and Octavian's opposition with one another develops further. Cleopatra was so long that it was necessary to have an intermission. The second half focused on Antony and his relationship with the queen. It began with Antony realizing he did not have enough money or supplies in 38 B.C. to fund a campaign against Parthia. Egypt was his only hope in obtaining funds, but his only problem in asking for these funds in that Cleopatra became stubborn and refused to leave her country. She finally caves to his and others' pleas and agrees to meet him in Tarsus. When she arrived, she meant she would meet him literally on the river and so Antony climbed aboard her royal ship against his wishes. From there she wined and dined the leader until she succeeded in seducing him. News of this reached Rome and Octavian used Cleopatra's much too friendly ways against Antony. Antony returned to Rome and the conniving Octavian managed to have his sister Octavia marry poor Antony. Needless to say, his Egyptian lover was furious. A handful of months pass and Antony is forced to visit her. She commanded for him to bow to her and for one third of his empire and she would in turn give him the aid of Egypt. Antony agrees and splits from his wife, Octavia. This in turn infuriates Octavian and he demands a war upon Antony and Cleopatra. The Senate of Rome is not amused by this and did not take action until Octavian revealed to them that Antony wanted to be buried with the pharaoh. The Senate was enraged and supported a war. On the same day one of Cleopatra's oldest and most dear advisors was killed in front of the Senate in a large crowd. The war outcome was determined in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. Antony's ships lost in this battle on the water since his fleet was tricked into moving away from land. Cleopatra witnessed Antony's vessel go up in flames and she was under the assumption he was dead. The queen left the battle scene. Antony was not actually dead and followed her ship back to land. This left his men alone and they soon perished at sea. About half a year passes and the rest of Antony's men lost hope in him and even left him in the middle of the night in a desert all alone. His only loyal follower was murdered by Octavian. Not one man of Octavian's army would fight him so the defeated leader left for Alexandria once again. Upon arrival at Cleopatra's palace, he is told a lie that Cleopatra is dead. The devastated Antony stabs himself. He did not die and was taken to her; she was hiding in her own tomb. Antony died in her lap and Octavian overtakes the city, including Cleopatra's tomb. He wanted for the pharaoh to be taken to Rome as his prisoner to show off his successful battles. Cleopatra pried him to know about the fate of her son Caesarion, and she knew he was also killed. Without Octavian's knowledge, she wrote her dying wish and has her servants bring her a basket of figs containing a poisonous asp. Her and her two servants die of bites by the lethal creature. Octavian found Cleopatra dead in a golden robe and found her dying wish; to be buried with Antony. The film epilogue reveals Octavian respected her last wish, received his warm welcome in Rome, took his new name of Augustus, and gave himself the title of emperor of the Roman Empire with its new district; Egypt.
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Empowerment of women through Cleopatra
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Empowerment Of Women Through Cleopatra

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              One main message Cleopatra is presenting to society in the 1960s is the empowerment of women. Although Cleopatra is depicted in many different ways in other films and plays, the 1963 film portrays her as a ruler who tried to bridge gaps between men and women. She overthrew her brother's power and exiled him and Cleopatra wanted to be seen as equal by both Caesar and Antony. This reflects the women's movement of the 1960s when women mainly stayed at home and took care of children. On December 14, 1961, John F. Kennedy established the President's Commission on the Status of Women. Led by Eleanor Roosevelt til her death on 1962, this board had twenty members that examined equality of women in school, at work, and by the law. Gender-based restrictions such as hours of work and wages were inspected as well as issues like lack of education and federal insurance and tax laws that were unequal. In 1963, the PCSW issued their report which condemned the discriminations American women face in society. The report concluded with ways to protect women's rights. The board members wanted for the Fourteenth Amendment to be fully extended to women and even though already entitled to this amendment, women needed for it to be enforced. Recommendations such as equal hiring practices, salaried maternity leave, and inexpensive child care were included in the report. After the release of their final report, the Committee was abolished. Just as John F. Kennedy used his place of power to make necessary differences, Cleopatra did the same. She was one of the most powerful rulers of the ancient world and the fact that she was a woman gave her a sort of control over both Caesar and Antony by seducing them. She allowed Egypt to be independent for twenty more years after she ascended to the throne until Octavian defeated his rival Antony. Rather than accepting defeat, she killed herself in a most vivid act of loyalty to her kingdom. Even though she did not have a respectable ending, Cleopatra was able to influence other great powers of the ancient world, partially through her gender.
             
              Although melodramatic at times, Cleopatra is in fact historically accurate. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the screen playwright and director, wanted to be as precise as possible in his four hour long epic. However, the most accurate depiction comes from Plutarch, a Greek philosopher, writer, and historian who eventually took Roman citizenship. He lived 45 to 120 C. E. and is well known for his work entitled Parallel Lives which was a series of biographies on Greek and Roman statesmen and military leaders. These biographies were set up as pairs in which a Greek and Roman were paired together. Twenty-three pairs as well as four unpaired leaders were all written about in which Plutarch described their triumphs and downfalls. Plutarch wrote about Cleopatra's relationship with Caesar and also with Antony in the two Roman leader's biographies. Nearly all scenes in the film are depicted in these biographies. He even received writing credit in the film due to the vast amount of information used from his accounts. Plutarch describes both Caesar and Antony as great military leaders, but Antony was the one who got carried away with Cleopatra. Caesar had a reasonable relationship with Cleopatra and they were equals whereas Antony was not rational and was too overcome by his love for her to think properly. Scenes from Cleopatra that were accurately depicted by Plutarch include Pompey's head given to Caesar by Ptolemy XIII as a gift, the queen delivered to Caesar in a rug, Cleopatra bearing his child, Caesar made dictator for life, he acted with distaste for the senate, and his assassination. Scenes accurately depicting Antony include his loyalty towards Caesar, the lavish ship that Cleopatra took down the Cyndus (Tarsus) River to meet Antony, his marriage to Octavia, sister of Octavian, and his undying infatuation with Cleopatra. According to Plutarch, Antony really did die by his own sword and upon seeing him and not accepting defeat to Octavian; Cleopatra did in fact die by an asp bite amongst a bowl of figs. All these examples of historical accuracy according to the writings of Plutarch show just how far Mankiewicz went to make his screen adaptation both meticulous and a visual masterpiece. With Liz Taylor having 65 costume changes and Cleopatra costing $44 million to make, well over $300 million in today's dollars, it was one of the most expensive and elaborate films made. Mankiewicz originally had a $2 million budget but as some critics have explained, it was fitting for the most powerful woman of ancient history to be depicted in such an extravagant and detailed way.
             
              Cleopatra focuses on the reign of the last of the Ptolemaic pharaohs of Egypt. It depicts Cleopatra's relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony as well as conflicts between Egypt and Rome. The movie starts in 48 B. C. at the end of the Battle of Pharsalus. Pompey's men were defeated by Julius Caesar and control of the Roman Republic was now in Caesar's hands. Months pass until Caesar and some of his men sail to Alexandria, the capital of Egypt at that time. He found out that Pompey had sought help from Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra. Caesar met the very immature Ptolemy, played by Richard O'Sullivan, who was within a sea of advisers whom mainly spoke for him. His "staff" presented Caesar with Pompey's head in a clay jar. They hoped it would be a sign of benevolence towards the leader but he instead was sorrowful for his long-time rival. After Caesar is shown to his room in the palace, a gift is delivered to him. It turns out to be Cleopatra rolled up in a rug. He is intrigued by her wit and beauty. This helps her to convince Caesar to aid her in overthrowing her brother, Ptolemy, from the throne. In response to Ptolemy circling the palace with an immense amount of soldiers, Caesar orders his men to burn the Egyptian armada. The fire from the harbor spread to the city and burnt the Library of Alexandria. Cleopatra was enraged and ordered Caesar to stop his demolition but he refused and kissed her instead. Roman troops held off the Egyptians until the morning when the Mithridates reached the palace for assistance and drove of Ptolemy's men. In response to the young pharaoh's defeat, Caesar sentences his right hand man to death for his murder attempt of Cleopatra and chose to exile Ptolemy and his other assistant to the desert with his critically outnumbered army where surely he would die at the hands of the Mithridates. Cleopatra is deemed queen just as Caesar guaranteed her when she rolled out of the rug. The new pharaoh had visions of reining the world with her new lover and in a quick pace, the film changes to a year later when Cleopatra gives birth to their son named Caesarion. Caesar is proud but the Senate in Rome is not so impressed. Then in another quick change, two years pass and Caesar is made dictator for life. Cleopatra is delivered news of this and Caesar asked her to enter Rome. In the most eccentric scene in the movie, Cleopatra has an embellished parade into the city with her young son. The Roman population adores her but the Senate sees her as an Egyptian whore. Soon after, Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March (March 15th), 44 B. C. That day became known as the turning point from Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. The Senate did not want for Caesar to be made king as he so wished and as they were going to vote, but was stabbed instead by a group, the most famous being Brutus and Cassius. Cleopatra was devastated and returned home with Caesarion when Caesar's nephew Octavian was named heir, and not his own son. After two years, Brutus and Cassius were killed in the Battle of Philippi; at that point in time Antony establishes a modified government with Octavian and Lepidus. The empire is fractioned, but Antony and Octavian's opposition with one another develops further.
             
              Cleopatra was so long that it was necessary to have an intermission. The second half focused on Antony and his relationship with the queen. It began with Antony realizing he did not have enough money or supplies in 38 B. C. to fund a campaign against Parthia. Egypt was his only hope in obtaining funds, but his only problem in asking for these funds in that Cleopatra became stubborn and refused to leave her country. She finally caves to his and others' pleas and agrees to meet him in Tarsus. When she arrived, she meant she would meet him literally on the river and so Antony climbed aboard her royal ship against his wishes. From there she wined and dined the leader until she succeeded in seducing him. News of this reached Rome and Octavian used Cleopatra's much too friendly ways against Antony. Antony returned to Rome and the conniving Octavian managed to have his sister Octavia marry poor Antony. Needless to say, his Egyptian lover was furious. A handful of months pass and Antony is forced to visit her. She commanded for him to bow to her and for one third of his empire and she would in turn give him the aid of Egypt. Antony agrees and splits from his wife, Octavia. This in turn infuriates Octavian and he demands a war upon Antony and Cleopatra. The Senate of Rome is not amused by this and did not take action until Octavian revealed to them that Antony wanted to be buried with the pharaoh. The Senate was enraged and supported a war. On the same day one of Cleopatra's oldest and most dear advisors was killed in front of the Senate in a large crowd. The war outcome was determined in the Battle of Actium in 31 B. C. Antony's ships lost in this battle on the water since his fleet was tricked into moving away from land. Cleopatra witnessed Antony's vessel go up in flames and she was under the assumption he was dead. The queen left the battle scene. Antony was not actually dead and followed her ship back to land. This left his men alone and they soon perished at sea. About half a year passes and the rest of Antony's men lost hope in him and even left him in the middle of the night in a desert all alone. His only loyal follower was murdered by Octavian. Not one man of Octavian's army would fight him so the defeated leader left for Alexandria once again. Upon arrival at Cleopatra's palace, he is told a lie that Cleopatra is dead. The devastated Antony stabs himself. He did not die and was taken to her; she was hiding in her own tomb. Antony died in her lap and Octavian overtakes the city, including Cleopatra's tomb. He wanted for the pharaoh to be taken to Rome as his prisoner to show off his successful battles. Cleopatra pried him to know about the fate of her son Caesarion, and she knew he was also killed. Without Octavian's knowledge, she wrote her dying wish and has her servants bring her a basket of figs containing a poisonous asp. Her and her two servants die of bites by the lethal creature. Octavian found Cleopatra dead in a golden robe and found her dying wish; to be buried with Antony. The film epilogue reveals Octavian respected her last wish, received his warm welcome in Rome, took his new name of Augustus, and gave himself the title of emperor of the Roman Empire with its new district; Egypt.
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