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To What Extent Was The Reign (1473 1458) Of Queen Hatshepsut Paradoxical?

1729 words - 7 pages

Hatshepsut was born in Egypt around 1500 BC and mysteriously died 44 years later and is now preserved as a mummy in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Her reign over Egypt was a magnificent achievement for a woman of her period and was even said to have been the first great woman in recorded history (Millmore, 2011). Her inspirations and journey to the throne had a great paradoxical effect towards her goals and accomplishments. The Egyptian pharaoh was born as one of two daughters in the 18th Dynasty, also known as the New Kingdom, to royal parents King Tuthmosis I and Ahmes, her mother. Tuthmosis I additionally had a previous wife named Mutnofret who together had four sons, however she unfortunately died before he was defined successor to the throne of Egypt. One of their four sons, Tuthmosis II was pronounced heir to the throne and was crowned ruler of Egypt when his father passed away. Tuthmosis was arranged to marry his half sister, Hatshepsut, which was ethically appropriate for their time. Traditionally is was customary for the next male heir to become the new king of Egypt so as Hatshepsut produced no male heir, Tuthmosis’ son, Tuthmosis III, to another minor wife, Isis, was marked the next heir (Hatshepsut, 2008) and from there Hatshepsut’s almighty reign began and expanded to assist her in one day becoming the next King of Egypt and the first female ruler. Hatshepsut, in her reign, helped improve and remodel Egypt with restoring meaningful landmarks and decaying buildings in addition to constructing now historical landmarks such as the beautiful temple Deir el-Bahri Thebes and the Djeser Djeseru ‘Holy of Holies’ (Brown, 2009). Another important achievement that Hatshepsut granted Egypt was her great expansion of trade and her successful expedition to Punt. First however, Hatshepsut’s cunning and inspirational attempt to rule and become king of ancient Egypt was her most significant achievement.

The ancient Egyptian society was mainly dominated by men, which was why Hatshepsut’s rise to power was considered such an aberration and significant accomplishment. On the walls of Hatshepsut’s temple there is an inscription made by Hatshepsut herself that describes how her father pronounced her his heir:

This daughter of mine, Khnumet-Amen Hatshepsut - may she live! - I have appointed as my successor upon my throne...she shall direct the people in every sphere of the palace; it is she indeed who shall lead you. Obey her words, unite yourselves at her command.

As it was traditional for the next pharaoh to marry royal blood, after queen Hatshepsut was declared the next heir she was obliged to marry Tuthmosis II before he could become Egypt’s next pharaoh. However, as Hatshepsut only produced a daughter, Neferure and did not give Tuthmosis II a male heir, her nephew, Tuthmosis III, was awarded the right to become the next ruler and inherit the crown. However, when Hatshepsut’s husband died shortly after he inherited the throne Tuthmosis III...

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