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Themes of Sexism in Cleopatra and Plutarch's The Life of Antony

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Similar to the 1963 film Cleopatra, in Plutarch's The Life of Antony, sexism is maintained in the passage and compatible with its message. Through the author's portrayal of Cleopatra and Antony, he spreads the message that obsession with power is bad and the idea that manipulation and attempts at domination are signs of a bad ruler. Sexism is compatible with such messages because as indicated by Plutarch, Cleopatra utilizes sexist expectations of women in order to manipulate Antony through her aspirations of domination. Therefore, similar to the films Cleopatra and Quo Vadis, because Cleopatra is unsuccessful as she commits suicide in the end and is found "lying dead upon a golden couch," as well as is portrayed as an immoral ruler in…show more content…
Such statements make readers question whether Cleopatra had ever even loved Caesar or Antony or whether it was fake in order to get power. After reading Plutarch Life of Antony, I began to view Cleopatra as a manipulative character. Even the statements that some could take as compliments towards Cleopatra, to me, were insults by the author. For example, when the author states "there was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased, so that in her interviews with Barbarians she very seldom had need of an interpreter, but made her replies to most of them herself and unassisted, whether they ere Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes or Parthians. Nay, it is said that she knew the speech of many other peoples also, although the kings of Egypt before her had not even made an effort to learn the native language, and some actually gave up their Macedonian dialect." (Plutarch, Life of Antony, 27) Although, it appears as though the author is complimenting Cleopatra, to me, the author is simply pointing out language as one of her manipulative techniques. Plutarch appears to blame Cleopatra for Antony's weakness as well when he mentions how she served as a distraction for Antony for he became "fearful lest Cleopatra should throw away her life, and went back to Alexandria, putting off the Mede until the summer season, although Parthia was
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