Cleopatra Character Analysis

Decent Essays
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)
…show more content…
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

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    In the ancient world, if women want to make achievements, they often had to more effort than men. Wisdom, beauty and bloodline were all absolutely necessary for woman who want to be a monarch. Cleopatra VII was a woman who had done that. When her father Ptolemy XII died in 51 BC, Cleopatra became co-regent with her brother Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra was not only beautiful, but also she was a highly clever woman and an astute politician.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Cleopatra would not listen to those words since they were from her enemies, the Romans. Although, Cleopatra’s people admired her and were very kind to her and thought she had a strong ability to lead. While the book shows the growth of Cleopatra’s character from when she was young and immature, to a very mature queen ruling all of Egypt with amazing confidence and a great facilitator. It is amazing to see how Cleopatra blossomed from a sheltered spoiled girl to become a true leader. She had the leadership and power that Egypt required.…

    • 1536 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Cleopatra Beauty

    • 1045 Words
    • 4 Pages

    She was renowned for her intellect, and this is what led to her power and success as ruler of Egypt. Regardless of whether she really was incredibly beautiful or more average, Cleopatra still convinced two of the most powerful men at the time to be her lovers. She could have achieved this through sheer seduction and opportunistic use of her beauty, or she could have simply used her intellect to endear herself to the men who mattered. As Tyledesley states, Cleopatra was above all an astute politician who attempted to resist the growing Roman Kingdom by means of forming an alliance with Mark Antony. On the whole, Cleopatra’s marriage to Mark Antony was a way for her to protect Egypt for a little while longer.…

    • 1045 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    To some, she is considered the most agreeable and prestigious woman to ever step foot on the Earth. To others, she is thought of as the most venomous and intrusive lady to ever live. The imperious Lady Catherine de Bourgh, one who places herself above all the rest, plays a somewhat smaller role in the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”, but her exceptional character and qualities stand out immensely over the others. Even though she only appears occasionally, her intricate traits and characteristics are able to capture the audience's attention almost immediately. Her wealth, portrayal, language, social status all play a vital role in the development of her character, and a further unpacking of her lifestyle and social position…

    • 1396 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Cleopatra VII: Face or Power Figure Some see her as the most powerful Pharaoh in all ancient Egypt. Some see her as a petty, weak female ruler who gave up her dynasty to the Romans for her lover. Even historians today argue about this, possibly because, in the end, she did lose the Egyptian empire to the Romans. But before that, she brought to it great power. In truth, Cleopatra had many hardships and obstacles in her way that she overcame and proved to be a very successful leader.…

    • 701 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The western half was now firmly in the hands of Octavian, but the eastern half was still in dispute. She didn’t bed Caesar and Marc Antony purely for lust and her sexuality, she did it to make her kingdom a better foundation for an empire. In a world dominated by men she earned a name for herself and is continuously one of the most popular influences of female…

    • 1160 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He killed her to protect her from the tyranny of Clausius. Verginia’s fate reminded the Plebeians of Lucretia. It started the Plebeian prosecution of Claudius, as they saw a loss of liberty to a tyrant. The senate in an attempt to restore order decided that the mutiny had been started by the Patrician aristocracy. During the negotiations, the rank of Military Tribune was created.…

    • 1388 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Monre was a wealthy women women and seemed happy with her fame, but do we really know the truth? Some say she was happier than ever with her growing fame, but others comment on her increasing depression and judgemental attitude towards her body. No matter how many facts we look at, including the miscarriage from her marriage to Arthur Miller, her death may remain a mystery in the media’s…

    • 534 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dido was a very powerful woman during her time, she was running Carthage on her own after her huband had died and during her rule Carthage was not poor or in need of an army. Carthage was powerful and were willing to help Aeneas in any way he needed, Dido provided Aeneas with many supplies. However you only get to see small pieces of how powerful her city was while under her rule, because how dare a Queen be more powerful than those surrounding her. Dido is consumed with a passionate love of Aeneas this becomes her downfall causing her to lose all the since she had. Dido`s love for Aeneas was the fire that lit her pyre.…

    • 1430 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Although women commonly depended on men for survival, this quote is just another example of how the Wife of Bath is an independent, dominant woman of her time. Women, like the Wife of Bath, who were wealthy and high power, were able to afford the “latest fashions.. Including furs and brocades made only of the finest material.” (Newman 93). The wealth of her weaving company also helped her to accompany many on religious pilgrimages. Chaucer shows through these lines that the Wife of Bath was able to be present on these journeys because she felt she lived a moral…

    • 2586 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Decent Essays