Cleopatra Character Analysis

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Cleopatra was the last Ptolemy of Egypt: a masterpiece in Ancient history famed with both vices and great virtues. Stacy Schiff’s book, Cleopatra, portrayed this woman in a positive way, trying to restore her lost and spoilt glory. This was because Cleopatra attempted to do so in the shadow of the Roman Empire, which at the time, was extending its reach throughout the Eurasian plate. Cleopatra faced multiple problems in her time as ruler of Egypt and tried to solve them diligently by asserting her authority. Schiff’s take on Cleopatra, tentatively entitled Cleopatra: A Life, takes an in-depth look at the challenges that Cleopatra faced in her pursuit of socio-political power, which largely included internal and external aggressors, and examined …show more content…
This was to a large extent, because of her being a woman and her having much socio-political power. At a time when women were not celebrated for their leadership skills, but rather by their beauty, Cleopatra stood out. A fact which may have placed her in the crosslines of other ambitious leaders. She was a powerful woman who was constantly attracting enemies, including the Romans and Jews. In particular, Cicero was considered her greatest enemy who would constantly critique her on her every move. By critiquing, Cleopatra’s foes endeavored to undermine her authority and inevitably overthrow her rule. Schiff makes a note of such characters as Octavian, who was a Roman publicist who had the people’s support wanted to conquer Cleopatra and acquire her kingdom: “The man who vanquished and deposed her, prompted her suicide, and largely packaged her for posterity was born Gaius Octavius. By the time he entered Cleopatra’s life in a meaningful way he called himself Gaius Julius Caesar” (Schiff. 9). Octavian’s efforts were considerable, and though he was able to amass a following, it proved insufficient to overturn Cleopatra’s rule.
There were many times that Egypt had gone to war under Cleopatra’s reign: some of the wars she won, while some she lost. Cleopatra was quite a charismatic lady, and was admired by many male rulers. It was easy for her to ensnare other rulers with her charm. Cleopatra captured Caesar’s (Roman)
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This was not a period of woman empowerment, yet Cleopatra was one of the richest and most powerful women in the world. Many men did not like this for she was a woman of great virtue who was not and couldn’t humble like other women of her time. Schiff’s biography presented Cleopatra as one of the most noteworthy women in ancient history. She protected her power by birthing royal children whose and fathers were from other rival states, hence protecting her country from invasion. Cleopatra also protected her authority through her wealth. Since she was rich and also very extravagant, a fact which earned her the admiration of many. She is pictured by men as evil after her reign by the Romans under Octavian for they believed a woman was not equal to

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