Male and Female Essay

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¶ … male and female has been a defining constant for mankind and humanity ever since its birth and famous couples have concentrated the entire sex war, the immense complexity of the conflict between sexes, of the way a man and a woman could generate the immense energy that could give birth both to creation and creating processes, cultural, artistic or intellectual, and potential negative, destructive forces, evil and malefic influences.

Among the famous couples of history, couples like Frida and Diego Rivera or Anthony and Cleopatra created passions, although, eventually, were broken apart either by distrust, jealousy or external factors and conditions, like foreign invasions and an oppressive society. Many of these couples, despite an incredible existing passion at almost all phases of their relationship, broke up due to overall incompatibility and the impossibility of their love. The aim of this essay is to surprise some of the famous couple in different situations and analyze their relationship from its manifestations, be they sexual, political or artistic.


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There is probably no couple to pulsate as much with sexual energy as Anthony and Cleopatra. It is our opinion, however, that this sexuality was much produced by subsequent reproductions of their affair in literature, the movies and arts in general. From the very beginning, we should point out towards the fact that, from all our examples, this is perhaps the couple where love is almost 100% defined and determined by the initial political interest of the parties, especially that of Cleopatra.

Essay on Male and Female Has Been a Defining Assignment

Indeed, it was notorious not only for present day historians, but also for the likes of Plutarch that she meant to use and successfully used her sexuality as a defined means of power in those times. Her previous affair with Caesar was a distinct example of a case where, because she had understood the role of sexuality, she used it to influence the man of the hour. After Caesar's death, in the subsequent emergence of the Second Triumvirate (we will refer below to this, in the political section), Cleopatra marked Anthony as the most successful and the most likely to become the next dictator and head ruler in Rome.

Evidence for the use of sexuality in the initiation of her relationship is perfectly revealed, in my opinion, by texts describing her entrance in Tarsus, in 41 BC, the moment she met Mark Anthony. Indeed, she is dressed as Aphrodite, she sails with silver oars and purple sails and presented herself vulgarly so as to sexually and emotionally stimulate Mark Anthony, known as an womanizer who would give anything to 'have' the descendent of ancient pharaohs. Initiation in this couple is made by mutual provocation in a puerile, adolescent style, with each of the future partners aiming to show the others that he and she are sexually available and ready for a new adventure. We are in the presence of pure lust, of sexual provocation at its finest.

Sexually, history presents them as the ultimate match (perhaps also because Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton give out on screen the level of this incredible match), always following on a common denominator and with a passion that never ends throughout their love affair. Additionally, because this is the type of love that does not have a long time span, because of the death of its two protagonists, we really do not have the impression that this is the type of love where passion is likely to wither away in time.

The context and motive for the relationship between Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo starts, first of all, not with a sexual motivation, as in the previous case described, but with an intellectual and emotional one. First of all, Diego is 21 years Frida's senior and they practically meet when she is in her early 20s (Diego divorces his first wife and marries Frida in 1932, when she is aged 25). Frida's admiration goes, first of all, towards Diego Rivera as an artistic genius, a visionary painter, a Communist debating the arrival of a new world and a new type of individual. Certainly, this does not go to say that their relationship was not passionate or that it was not the type of relationship marked by betrayal and extreme levels of passion, by torrid affairs with individuals outside the couple. On the other hand, we feel that if we were to place it in a category, this would rather be an intellectual love affair, reflecting and prolonging itself into a long camaraderie rather than a constant attraction to the other person in the couple.

The explanation for this is quite simple. First of all, the age difference between the two individuals puts serious doubts into perceiving this couple as a constantly sexually alert one. As I have previously mentioned, they marry in 1932, when Diego is already 46 years old. Despite their constant nearness and sense of friendship and their mutual love and appreciation as artists and individuals, we feel that the passion moves rather quickly from its sexual presence to a less alert level, a friendlier zone.

Second of all, physically, Frida suffers all of her life from her adolescent car accident and this hurts her sexual presence because she is close to an invalid status. While on one hand, we have Cleopatra, the beauty element we reference to by excellence, on the other hand, we have Frida, crippled by her physical pain and emanating only the type of interior beauty that only generates a certain type of sexuality.

If in the relationship between Anthony and Cleopatra, sexuality is always present at high levels throughout their relationship and if in the case of Frida and Diego, it transforms itself to a passionate friendship, with Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, we move into the paranoia area of a relationship, into the obsessive realm of depression and the constant perception that your partner is sharing his or her life with someone else other than yourself. Sylvia Plath's love for Hughes turns into a somewhat permanent obsession, generating, however, important artistic materials for posterity.


In the case of Anthony and Cleopatra, politics defines there relationship almost as much as their sexuality as a couple. I have previously briefly referred to the fact that Cleopatra chose to make an entrance when presenting herself to Anthony. The reason for this was quite simple and we only need to urn back a couple of years to her relationship with Caesar to understand this.

At that time, Egypt was not longer the primary force in the Mediterranean region. It had indeed long lost both its military and political power and was subject to internal disputes and external influences. Further more, at this point, despite civil conflicts and civil wars, the Roman Republic is the undisputed ruler of the ancient world. Despite the Parthian Empire, a redoubtable force, there is no nation able to stand up to its power.

Additionally, at this moment, the Romans are in full expansion, looking to find new territories to conquer and Egypt would come as a logical next step, given its strategic profile and immense historical prestige. All this makes it an imminent target.

Cleopatra is a shrewd politician, looking to side with winning factions inside the Roman Republic. Initially, she is Caesar's lover, because he is a sole ruler, the strongest sole character in the Republic. However, with his death, we see the formation of the Second Triumvirate. Mark Anthony, Octavian and Lepidus share power and influence in the regions of the globe. With Lepidus soon outsided, Octavian takes the Western part of the Roman Republic and Mark Anthony the Eastern part. It is more than this division that makes Cleopatra choose Mark Anthony, there are several issues worth considering.

First of all, she sees him as the emergent victor in an imminent conflict. Despite his low politician skills, his almost inexistent strategic and tactical capacities, Mark Anthony appears as the masculine character who will likely dominate his opponent. Indeed, Octavian is not the type of presence that one would expect to win, but he is an excellent strategist and will prevail exactly because of his shrewdness and political senses.

Second of all, Anthony is chosen because the two characters, Cleopatra and Anthony, 'fit' from a sexual and man-woman perspective. Indeed, we have to turn back again to the sexuality subtitle and emphasize again the fact that they are a perfect sexual match.

So, once again, we can resume by pointing out that Cleopatra's interest in Anthony is also determined by a political desire to save Egypt from the Roman occupation, ensure the throne of Egypt for her own son, Caesarion, and even influence Roman affairs by influencing Anthony. Their love becomes impossible only from the political point, when they are too implicated in the civil war from which Octavian will emerge victorious.

As previously mentioned, Frida and Diego's impossibility comes, in my opinion, from their sexual mismatch (despite this does not necessarily advocate a personality mismatch) rather than from a political stance.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Male and Female" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Male and Female.  (2006, December 11).  Retrieved February 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Male and Female."  11 December 2006.  Web.  27 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Male and Female."  December 11, 2006.  Accessed February 27, 2020.