A Reading of Sir Henry Rider Haggard’s "Cleopatra</I>
Chapter Three: The Birth and Initiation of Harmachis
Chapter Three The Birth and Initiation of Harmachis CLEOPATRA is set historically in the Ptolemaic era and geographically in ancient Egypt, specifically in the cities of Abouthis, Annu, Memphis, and Alexandria, and revolves around the survival of a dynasty bloodline protected by the Priesthood of Isis. The main character, Harmachis, the living descendant, is appointed by the Priesthood to overthrow the impostor, Cleopatra, end the Ptolemaic rule, drive out the Romans, and restore Egypt to its golden age. As is the case with the majority of Haggard's works, the story draws heavily upon adventure that takes place in the distant land of Khem, Egypt. It is recounted from the point of view of the Egyptian prince/priest Harmachis in hieroglyphic and is written on papyri scrolls which are discovered buried in his sarcophagus. But the romance also deals with the witty and treacherous Cleopatra whose overwhelming presence evokes effectively contradictory feelings of sympathy and loathing. Haggard’s romance may very well be read as an adventure story because it appeals to what Nicholas Daly calls a “stronger sense of spatial mastery through the motifs of the survey and the map.” In fact, like many of his other works, it brings to the reader’s mind the British conquest of overseas land and uses the journey through the particular space to represent a trip in time since the writer takes us back to the Ptolemaic period.1 the territory papyrus no longer precedes the map romance, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map romance...
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