Tuesday, January 4, 2011
"Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have" Cleopatra from Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra
The December 2010 issue of the Smithsonian included a wonderful article by Stacy Schiff entitled Rehabilitating Cleopatra.
Cleopatra ruled Egypt for 21 years and yet it would be men on the winning side of history, male writers throughout the centuries, and Hollywood directors who would label her a seductress.
As Schiff writes “It has forever been preferable to attribute a woman’s success to her beauty rather than her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life.”
“Cleopatra would unsettle more as sage than seductress; it is less threatening to believe her fatally attractive than fatally intelligent.”
As much as I firmly believe this to be true I still think Elizabeth Taylor made a rocking Cleopatra.
Here is a suitable quote from Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra - "My honour was not yielded, but conquered merely."