Hatshepsut: Rise To Power In Ancient Egypt

751 Words 4 Pages
Despite what many think, the pharaohs of ancient Egypt did not succeed each other as an unbroken, patrilineal chain by any means. By the Eighteenth Dynasty, the state of kingship had recovered is authority from the Asiatic ruling of the Second Intermediate Period. Hatshepsut, one of the most well-known female kings of Egypt, is a clear outlier to what one would expect from a typical pharaoh. Her story, in summary, involves her gaining control over administration after King Thutmose II, her husband and step-brother, dies, and using that as a stepping stone to claim solitary kingship rather than continuing a life of co-regency – meaning, shared kingship – with Thutmose III, the originally intended male heir and her step-son. This essay will analyze …show more content…
However, authors have their own reservations as to her personality, attitude towards gaining more power, and her motives were. For example, Clayton implies that Hatshepsut was very much goal-oriented, to the point where she was completely selfish and manipulative. She “would not let anyone or anything stand in her way”, was “initially content” with less power as queen, specially selected divine titles and reliefs of being born from the god Amon-Ra as a form of “propaganda” (despite these being common practices of many prior pharaohs, male or not), and was potentially so overbearing on her son that it led him to assassinate her as revenge (Clayton 1994:104-7). Gradually, his negative opinion of Hatshepsut bleed through his initially neutral-seeming descriptions once she is discussed in relation to others, such as Thutmose III and her people. Compare this to Robins, who attempts to get behind Hatshepsut’s reasoning and the amount of planning she must have gone through to execute the usurpation and then last for so long as kind (Robins 1993:47). By doing so, Robins succeeds in humanizing a historical figure and contextualizing the political, social, and cultural factors present when Hatshepsut reigned. This allows for the audience to be more informed when passing judgment on her. Bryan does the same thing in her text by discussing Hatshepsut’s deeds through her regnal years, rather than only focusing on her most famous deeds such as the creation of her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari (Bryan 2000:229-31). Robins and Bryan being female explains their less sexist attitude in comparison to

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