Cleopatra (1963) is a movie that was directed by Joseph L.Mankiewicz, and it was based on historical events that occurredbetween Romans and the Egyptians. First, the plot shows how Caesarand Cleopatra meet, and they initiate an affair that gives them ason, who is known as Caesarean. Later, Caesar dies, and Octavian ispicked as the heir while Caesarean gets nothing. However, Cleopatranurtures a romantic relationship with Marc Antony, who seems to havevarious disagreements with Octavian (Wanger & Mankiewiscz, 1963).In the process, the movie shows the betrayal between the charactersand how they keep shifting their loyalty. More important, the filmalso based on the real historical events and that makes it moreeducative to the younger people that can use it for learningpurposes. This essay illustrates the themes of betrayal, andCleopatra’s charms in the movie, and how they accurately capturethe historical events that occurred during the ancient Egyptian andRoman Empires.
The plot captures the theme of betrayal that is evident right fromthe start to the end. In this movie, the characters seem to valuetheir selfish interests while ignoring how they might influenceothers. For instance, Caesar and Cleopatra suddenly turned on Ptolemyand killed him simply because she wanted to get more powers (Wanger &Mankiewiscz, 1963). Power also seems like an obstacle that underminesthe loyalty that the characters have for each other. It is clear thatMarc Antony also unites with Cleopatra so that he can have moresupport while he is dealing with Octavian. Apart from that, Antonythought that the Romans could turn against him, and he was trickedinto marrying Octavia so that he can retain their trust (Wanger &Mankiewiscz, 1963). The movie shows how people keep shifting theirloyalties since they want to achieve their personal goals. The scenescapture the enmity between the various leaders since everyone wantsto get the ultimate authority over the others. The regionaldifferences is also a huge factor that keeps making the characters todisagree on various issues since the Roman leaders keep supportingCleopatra, who is an Egyptian Queen that wants to protect her throne.
Cleopatra’s sexuality seems to confuse the Roman leaders that areforced to prioritize emotions over reason. Caesar is the first victimof Cleopatra’s charms, and they even have a son together Caesarean,who also wants a piece of his father’s empire. In fact, Octaviantries to persuade people from making deals with Cleopatra because heknows that she is willing to do anything that will cement herposition as an influential person (Wanger & Mankiewiscz, 1963).For instance, Octavian tricks Marc Antony to marry Octavia so that hecan forget about Cleopatra, who is more likely to help Antony inousting Octavian from his position. The scenario shows how men areweaker to the women’s sexuality and Cleopatra uses that in gettingwhat she wants. When she confronts Antony of his marriage to Octavia,Antony forces a divorce because Cleopatra’s charms have clearlyconfused him (Wanger & Mankiewiscz, 1963). He keeps making someirrational decisions that are based on his emotions rather thanreason. Antony even abandons his military endeavors and pledge hisloyalty to Cleopatra that has promised him, love (Wanger &Mankiewiscz, 1963). He seems to ignore his duty to the empire becausehe spends a huge amount of time seeking his pleasure and strugglingto make his lover happier rather than the Romans.
The movie also captures the real events that occurred in the periodbased on the historical documents present. Some movies often alterthe content of the movie so that they can address themes that seemmore presentable and will guarantee more sales. However, the producerdid not change multiple aspects, and that made the movie even moreentertaining and educative. The producer also played an instrumentalrole in ensuring that the flashy costumes and decorations that wereassociated with the ancient kingdoms such as the Egyptians whereCleopatra ruled. The setting captured the context, and it helped inmaking the audience believe what was being portrayed. A few aspectsdepicted in the movie are inaccurate and somehow undermine thecredibility of the illustration. For instance, the movie showsCleopatra entering the forum, yet, the ancient laws did not allow anyforeigner to enter such sacred places. It also indicates that theRomans picked Octavian rather than Caesarean, but, their rules couldnot have allowed Caesarean to be the heir because his mother wasEgyptian (Wanger & Mankiewiscz, 1963). Only Roman citizens hadthe opportunity of getting the senior political positions in theempire. Regardless of the few differences, the movie was accurate inpresenting some of the main real historical events surrounding Caesarand Cleopatra.
In conclusion, the themes of betrayal and men being confused byCleopatra’s sexuality are the central part of the movie, and theyalso illustrate the real incidents that occurred some centuries ago.More important, the accuracy of the film in capturing Cleopatra’sextravagance, her enmity with Octavia and her relationship with MarcAntony are all based on the ancient historical events. It is alsoevident that everyone seems to use others in achieving what theywant. For instance, Cleopatra used Caesar in getting the position ofthe Queen since she wanted someone to kill Ptolemy, her brother.Later, she also uses Antony to extend her control over Romans andensure that they cannot threaten her empire. In fact, Antony is oneof the army generals, and that means that he cannot wage war on hernation, and that keeps her leadership more secure.
Wanger, W. (Producer), & Mankiewiscz, J. (Director). (1963).Cleopatra (1963) [Motion picture]. United States: 20thCentury- Fox.