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Caesar And Cleopatra Essay

1063 words - 5 pages

The film Caesar and Cleopatra is about the sudden entanglement of the lives of Julius Caesar, portrayed by Claude Rains, and Cleopatra, portrayed by Vivien Leigh. When Julius Caesar visits Egypt, he finds Cleopatra and her younger brother/husband fighting over sole rule of the throne. Caesar helps Cleopatra earn her title and teaches her how to become a great ruler.
This movie’s portrayal of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra is historically accurate. For example, Julius Caesar visits Alexandria, he finds himself in the middle of the dispute between Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII, portrayed by Anthony Harvey. After the death of Ptolemy XII Auletes, Cleopatra is forced by ancient Egyptian custom to marry her brother Ptolemy XIII. Once Ptolemy sees that Cleopatra wants the throne to herself, he drives her away. At the beginning of the movie, Cleopatra meets Julius Caesar in hopes that he will help her become the sole ruler of Egypt. In order to get an audience with Caesar, Cleopatra gets her servant to wrap her up in a carpet and rush her to Caesar to plead her case. Fortunately for Cleopatra, Julius Caesar takes her side on the ordeal and teaches her fearlessness and leadership. As Cleopatra and Caesar spend more and more time together, their relationship as lovers begins to flourish. Although Julius Caesar and Cleopatra loved each other, she also had a special place in her heart for Mark Antony. In fact, Cleopatra and Mark Antony eventually married- to the dismay of the Romans- and had 2 children. A war eventually breaks out and Julius Caesar is called to fight with his men. Before he leaves for the war, Julius Caesar is notified that the Great Library of Alexandria caught fire due to the raging warfare. Caesar displays a nonchalant attitude about the matter saying, “I cannot spare you a man or a bucket of water just now… away with you to Achillas, borrow his legions to put out the fire”. Although Caesar did not directly have the library set ablaze, he did start the fire that quickly got out of control.
Just as the title implies, Caesar and Cleopatra reflects the perspectives of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. The acts Julius Caesar carries out in Alexandria makes the citizens who live there regard him as the villain of the movie. He travels to the Egyptian town in order to collect an outrageously large tax. As his caravan enters the city, the citizens run and scream and fear that the Romans will surely eat them. Throughout the film, the Romans and Egyptians are involved in warfare. The Romans take the war very seriously because failing to win would mean giving up all hopes of conquering the Nile River, a valuable source of wealth. The entire film is biased towards the relationship between Caesar and Cleopatra. The citizens of both Rome and Egypt resented their relationship. This is best shown when Pothinus, a eunuch during the Ptolemaic dynasty, tries to convince Caesar that Cleopatra is just using him to get the throne. Through this adversity,...

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