Books and Movies Reviews


At the time of Cleopatra's release, in 1934 and again in 1963, times were changing for the role of the woman. Female society needed a spokeswoman and they found one in Cleopatra.The historical occurrences prior to 1934 and also between 1934 and 1963 are remarkable for female progression politically, economically and socially.These advances have everything to do with the changes and progression of the role of Cleopatra.The women of ancient Egypt are known to have had more rights than many other societies of that time period and even today.The women of the thirties and the sixties identified with Egypt and Cleopatra's quest for power, her ability to dominate men through sexual prowess and cunning, her creative ploys and her courage.Along with Cleopatra's positive attributes, however, are many negative attributes.While her image is one of a sexual and powerful leader, both films find their focus in areas outside these attributes.In 1934, Claudette Colbert portrays a playful seductress while Elizabeth Taylor, in 1963, portrays a power-hungry glamour queen.Fortunately, both movies represented a woman in a leading role in Hollywood and in history.Claudette Colbert, Elizabeth Taylor and the rediscovery of Cleopatra provided an important role model for the women of the time.
No one is a better representative for the changing female norms than a woman whose image has become that of a beautiful, intelligent, cunning seductress.Each depiction of Cleopatra, in 1934 and 1963, is representative of society's beliefs and needs during the time of the movie release.Claudette Colbert in 1934 represents a childish, playful and mischievous Cleopatra; whereas Elizabeth Taylor of 1963 represents a domineering, cunning and glamorous Cleopatra.Each time period created an image of Cleopatra that was acceptable and parallel to the actual role of women in society during that time.Women of '34 identified wi…