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Queen Cleopatra

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  1. Queen Cleopatra 1.Background Knowledge 2.Text Analysis 3.Exercises 4.Questions For Discussion

  2. Background Knowledge Roman Empire (27 B.C. – 395 A.D.): According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by the descendants of a Trojan prince. In 500B.C. the Romans set up an independent republic. Throughout the period of the republic (500-31 B.C.) warfare was almost continuous. At about 100 B.C. Rome began to move steadily toward dictatorship. More

  3. Background Knowledge In 60 B.C. the army leaders Pompey and Julius Caesar formed the first Triumvirate (三头政治) with Crassus because of his great wealth. After Caesar’s assassination and the avenging of his death by Mark Antony, his nephew Octavian defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra and became the first emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus, in 27 B.C. More

  4. Background Knowledge Cleopatra: Cleopatra became queen of Egypt in 51 B.C., after the death of her father, Ptolemy XII. She was then 17 years old and her 10-year-old brother became her co-ruler and husband. Marriage between a brother and a sister was a common practice in Egyptian royal families. More

  5. Background Knowledge Three years later (48 B.C.) the protectors of her husband seized power for him and drove her from the throne. At the same time, Julius Caesar arrived in Alexandria, Egypt’s capital. He came in pursuit of Pompey, a Roman general and rival in Caesar’s struggle to become the ruler of Rome. Caesar and Cleopatra met and fell in love. In 47 B.C. she gave birth to a boy, Caesarion, who she claimed was Caesar’s son. More

  6. Background Knowledge In 40 B.C. she gave birth to twins, Alexander Heios and Cleopatra Selene, fathered by Mark Antony. Antony loved Cleopatra, but political wisdom dictated that he marry Octavia, the sister of his co-ruler Octavian. He married Octavia, but missed Cleopatra so much that he left Octavia, and in 37 B.C. married Cleopatra. A year later, she had another son by him, Ptolemy Philandelphos. More

  7. Background Knowledge Cleopatra’s reputation in history comes largely from the view of Octavian, who described Antony as a love-struck victim of a wicked temptress. The Roman poets Virgil and Horace also adopted this version. Cleopatra’s story has been told many times in literature. It has been dramatized not only by Shakespeare, but also by John Dryden, “All for Love” (1677), and by George Bernard Shaw, “Caesar and Cleopatra” (1898). Return

  8. 1. True/False Questions 2. Multiple-choice Questions 3. Translation Return

  9. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. 5.Antony died a hero. 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  10. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. 5.Antony died a hero. 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  11. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. (T) 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. 5.Antony died a hero. 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  12. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. (T) 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. (F) 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. 5.Antony died a hero. 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  13. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. (T) 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. (F) 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. (T) 5.Antony died a hero. 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  14. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. (T) 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. (F) 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. (T) 5.Antony died a hero. (F) 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. Answer

  15. True/False Questions 1.Cleopatra admired Caesar so much that she went to see him secretly. (F) 2.Caesar helped Cleopatra to win back her power. (T) 3.Caesar was murdered by his nephew Octavian. (F) 4.Antony was defeated by Octavian mainly because the luxurious life had dulled his mind. (T) 5.Antony died a hero. (F) 6.Cleopatra killed herself in order to avoid public disgrace. (T) Return

  16. Multiple-choice Questions 1.According to this article, Cleopatra was the most famous queen of Egypt because of . A)her beauty B)her wits and love stories C)her power of mind to win back her power D)her ability to speak eight languages Answer

  17. Multiple-choice Questions 1.According to this article, Cleopatra was the most famous queen of Egypt because of . (B) A)her beauty B)her wits and love stories C)her power of mind to win back her power D)her ability to speak eight languages More

  18. Multiple-choice Questions 2. Cleopatra concealed herself in a carpet and was brought before Caesar so that . A)she should escape her brother’s notice B)she could win Caesar’s love C)she could run away from exile D)she could win Caesar’s help Answer

  19. Multiple-choice Questions 2. Cleopatra concealed herself in a carpet and was brought before Caesar so that . (D) A)she should escape her brother’s notice B)she could win Caesar’s love C)she could run away from exile D)she could win Caesar’s help More

  20. Multiple-choice Questions 3.Caesar invited Cleopatra to Rome because . A)he wanted to make her Queen of the world B)he wanted to form an alliance with Egypt C)he came to love her D)he needed her help to take the crown Answer

  21. Multiple-choice Questions 3.Caesar invited Cleopatra to Rome because . (C) A)he wanted to make her Queen of the world B)he wanted to form an alliance with Egypt C)he came to love her D)he needed her help to take the crown More

  22. Multiple-choice Questions 4. What made Cleopatra win the love of the two greatest Romans of their age? A)Her personal charm. B)Her quite pleasing features. C)Her power of mind. D)Her graceful manners. Answer

  23. Multiple-choice Questions 4. What made Cleopatra win the love of the two greatest Romans of their age? (C) A)Her personal charm. B)Her quite pleasing features. C)Her power of mind. D)Her graceful manners. More

  24. Multiple-choice Questions 5.Which of the following is the basic cause for Antony’s defeat? A)He had been away from Rome for too long. B)He had fallen into the habit of luxury. C)He was thinking too much of Cleopatra. D)He took too much pride in his fighting skills. Answer

  25. Multiple-choice Questions 5.Which of the following is the basic cause for Antony’s defeat? (B) A)He had been away from Rome for too long. B)He had fallen into the habit of luxury. C)He was thinking too much of Cleopatra. D)He took too much pride in his fighting skills. Return

  26. Translation 1.She might have remained in exile had it not been for Julius Caesar. Answer

  27. Translation 1.She might have remained in exile had it not been for Julius Caesar. 若不是尤利乌斯•凯撒,她或许仍流放在外。 More

  28. Translation 2.He liked her and, in time, would come to love her. Answer

  29. Translation 2.He liked her and, in time, would come to love her. 他喜欢她,总有一天会爱上她。 More

  30. Translation 3.Antony might have won against Octavian except for two things. Answer

  31. Translation 3.Antony might have won against Octavian except for two things. 若不是有两个原因,安东尼或许能战胜屋大维。 More

  32. Translation 4.Some say Antony had fallen into habits of luxury that dulled his mind. Answer

  33. Translation 4.Some say Antony had fallen into habits of luxury that dulled his mind. 有人说安东尼已养成奢侈享受的习惯,这削弱了他的智慧。 More

  34. Translation 5.Cleopatra quickly set up a meeting with Octavian. Answer

  35. Translation 5.Cleopatra quickly set up a meeting with Octavian. 克里奥佩特拉迅即安排了与屋大维的会面。 Return

  36. Questions for Discussion 1.  What is your impression of Cleopatra after reading the text? Can you find evidence in the text? 2.  What kind of man was Antony? What lesson can we learn from his losing the battle? Return

  37. Text Analysis Was it her wish to continue as queen or pure love that took Cleopatra to ancient Rome? Nobody really knows. But her interesting story has been passed down to the present. Of all the queens of Egypt, the most famous was Cleopatra. She lived two thousand years ago, but her legend has never died.

  38. Text Analysis At the age of seventeen, Cleopatra became the Egyptian queen. She shared power with her younger brother, Ptolemy. But Ptolemy’s guardians plotted against her, took away her power, and forced her into exile. She might have remained in exile had it not been for Julius Caesar. This famous Roman general had come to Egypt with an army. Cleopatra decided to go to Caesar and ask him to help her win back her power.

  39. Text Analysis Fearing that her brother’s soldiers might capture her before she could reach Caesar, she went to him secretly. Legend says that the youthful queen wrapped herself up in a carpet. Then she was carried before Caesar on the shoulders of a servant who pretended to be carrying a load of baggage. The story goes on to say that when Caesar saw what was in the “baggage”, he was much amused. He admired the cleverness of the young woman.

  40. Text Analysis Cleopatra told Caesar about the loss of her power. Caesar was charmed by her manner. He liked her and, in time, would come to love her. He promised to win her power back for her. Before long a battle was fought against Ptolemy’s forces, and Caesar’s soldiers won.

  41. Text Analysis Cleopatra greatly admired Caesar. When he asked her to visit Rome, she gladly accepted. She stayed in Rome until the fateful day when Caesar was killed. Fearing that Caesar would make himself king, assassins stabbed him to death as he entered the Roman senate one day.

  42. Text Analysis Some say that Cleopatra had hoped to become Caesar’s queen after he had taken the crown. Perhaps that was her plan. Perhaps she hoped to become “Queen of the World”. But with Caesar dead her hopes could not come true. She hurried back to Alexandria, in Egypt.

  43. Text Analysis Among the friends of Caesar was the general Marcus Antonius, or Mark Antony. He gave a speech condemning Caesar’s assassins and led an army against them. He became one of three men who shared power over the Roman empire after Caesar’s death. The others were Lepidus, a general, and Octavian, a nephew of Caesar.

  44. Text Analysis Military actions took Antony to Asia Minor shortly after Caesar’s death. While there, he sent word to Cleopatra that he would like to see her. The queen was not certain that Antony would prove friendly, but she sailed from Alexandria to see him. When she arrived, she asked Antony to dine with her aboard her ship.

  45. Text Analysis The purpose of their meeting was to see if Antony and Cleopatra could form an alliance against Octavian, whom they both feared. But we are told that the charming queen and the handsome general fell in love almost at once. In time they were married.

  46. Text Analysis How did Cleopatra win the love of the two greatest Romans of their age, first Caesar and then Antony? The few portraits that exist do not show her as a great beauty. But her features were not displeasing, and she was said to have much wit and personal charm. More important was the power of her mind. The historian Plutarch called her one of the most learned women of her time. He reported that she could speak eight languages.

  47. Text Analysis While Antony stayed with Cleopatra, Octavian was master of Italy. Letters passed between him and Antony, and the messages were not always friendly. At length war broke out — a civil war for mastery of the Roman empire.

  48. Text Analysis Antony had already proved himself the more skilful general. He might have won against Octavian except for two things. One trouble was that Antony had lost more than two-thirds of his soldiers while trying to conquer Parthia (now part of Iran). Also, some say he had fallen into habits of luxury that dulled his mind. When Octavian moved to attack him, Antony failed to show the sharp wits he had had in the past.

  49. Text Analysis The main battle took place near Actium, on the Mediterranean Sea. Both Antony and Cleopatra were there with their fleets, but the battle was lost. They ran back to Egypt. For a time they felt safe in Alexandria. Then Octavian came with his soldiers, surrounded and captured the city.

  50. Text Analysis Thousands of Antony’s soldiers went to the enemy side. Then false news reached him that Cleopatra had taken her own life. In despair, he fell upon his sword. Learning that Antony was badly wounded, though not yet dead, Cleopatra asked that he be brought to her. He was still alive when he reached her. He begged her to save herself, then died in her arms.