Cleopatra Movie Historical Accuracy

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Mark Antony Pages: 3 (1009 words) Published: March 21, 2011

The historical epic film, “Cleopatra” depicts the queen and her relationships with two great Roman rulers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Produced in 1963, this movie is a one of a kind as it portrays the Roman Republic transition. Although the motion picture is mostly very true to the historic facts, there are a few examples where the producers deviated from accuracy. The movie is not entirely correct with some of the costume and set choices, representation of the character Octavian, and Mark Antony’s family affairs. More importantly, Octavian’s character is adapted for the movie and does not precisely represent his true character. In general, “Cleopatra” gives the viewer a factual look at the events of Cleopatra and her relationships in respect to Rome with a few discrepancies. Although the movie stays true to the facts of the storyline, there are multiple wardrobe and set choices that move away from the time period. For example, the interiors in Cleopatra’s palace are not from the age she lived in. In fact, the “furniture was copied from the tomb of queen Hetepheres, who lived 2500 years before Cleopatra” (Palper, 67). Also the statues shown in her room are “replicas from the ones discovered in King Tutankhamen, who lived 1300 years before Cleopatra” (Palper, 67). These are small details that were not historically accurate because they did not alter the plot of the movie, but rather enhanced the Egyptian aesthetic, and extravagant portrayal of Cleopatra. Personally, I think the producers made the right decision to take exact copies of real Egyptian artifacts, instead of creating an artificial fake. The “Egyptian” setting contributed to the movie and left the viewer impressed with the extravagancy and complexity of the set. Other small wardrobe choices that are not accurate relate to the dress of the Roman soldiers. As shown in the movie, the Roman officers wore ostrich plumes on their helmets. Historically, officers did not have...
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