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Signs of CleopatraReading an Icon Historically$
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Mary Hamer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898263

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898263.001.0001

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A body for Cleopatra

A body for Cleopatra

(p.104) Chapter 5 A body for Cleopatra
Signs of Cleopatra

Mary Hamer

Liverpool University Press

This chapter asserts that the renewed interest in Cleopatra during the twentieth century was an attempt to reconcile with the changing social status of women across the world. Cecil B. De Mille's Hollywood presentation of Cleopatra in 1934 showed a fantasy of a disrupted female body; Cleopatra's head is made to become a stand-in for the female genitalia. The film references the difference between the bodies of men and women, showing how power has drifted away from the phallus.

Keywords:   social status, women, Cecile De Mille, Cleopatra, Hollywood

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