The Role of Cleopatra Essay Example
Who was she? Cleopatra, a famous Egyptian Queen, who was commonly portrayed as a beautiful woman yet a relentless ruler. Cleopatra was born in 70 B.C (“Cleopatra”) her parents were of royal blood, her fathers’ name was Ptolemy XII and though the identity of her mother is unknown it is thought to be Ptomely’s sister, named Cleopatra Tryphiaina (Nardo 9). Cleopatra was part of the Macedonian dynasty that took over the rule of Egypt in the late 4th century (“Cleopatra VII”). At the age of 18, the crown became hers, she ruled ancient Egypt with grace and grit. She was one of the 5 kids that her parents had, she had two sisters and two brothers one of those including, Ptolemy XIII, who she had killed for the crown.
What did Cleopatra do and how was she important? During Cleopatras’ rule, there were many wars, usually stirred up by Octavia, who will later be discussed. Cleopatra was also known for her political views, she believed that a woman could rule just as well as a man, though most men did not believe that to be true. Cleopatra joined in many “men” activities such as playing dice and hunting (“Nardo 45”). Despite all that Cleopatra did, she is best known for the way she was so easily able to wrap men around her finger. Cleopatra was able to make Julius Ceasar fall in love with her, by doing so she gained Romes’ support and trust. She also was able to pull some strings in Mark Antony's heart, who she needed in order to protect her crown, and maintain Egypt's independence after Ceaser's death. (“Cleopatra”).
Julius Ceaser was the first man Cleopatra ever claimed to actually love. Julius tried to take over Egypt, but ended up siding with Cleopatra, giving her enough access to military muscle in order to dethrone her brother and solidify her reign “(Cleopatra IV”). He ended up “falling in love” with her and protecting her and the throne because he realized she would be a valuable ally. Though Julius and Cleopatra claimed to be in love, they knew that each of them offered something the other wanted. Caesar was actually married to a woman named Calpurnia, but Cleopatra fell pregnant and became an insult to Rome because she carried his baby, who they later named Ptolemy Caesarion. Cleopatra followed Ceasar to Rome after the defeat of her brother, and the birth of their baby but then returned to Egypt in 44 B. (“Nardo 47”) after the assassination that was thought to be brought on by Cleopatra, because the people of Rome thought that she had corrupted him (“Cleopatra”).
After the murder of Julius Ceaser, Cleopatra returned to Egypt and put her full focus into raising her baby Caesarion and leading the country that she claimed to be hers. As the years went by she heard of a possible attack on Egypt by Rome, led by their new leader, Mark Antony. Cleopatra decided to take matters into her own hand and sail into Rome herself, she rode in on a ship, in beautiful silk robes and captured Antony's heart. Though she “captured” his heart, they, just like Cleopatra and Caeser knew that they could benefit from one another, so that is what they did. Antony who presided over Rome saw Cleopatra as an opportunity to secure military support and financial support as well (“Cleopatra IV”). Antony was married to a woman named Octavia during the time that this was going on, but since he said that he would protect Cleopatra's crown, Antony and Octavia divided power among Rome (“Cleopatra”).
Cleopatra married Mark Antony and had twins with him, who they named Alexander Helios after the sun, and Cleopatra Selene after the moon. Since Antony was still legally married to Octavia, she used this against them to stir up trouble in Egypt. She caused many wars including the Battle of Actium where Cleopatra and Antony were defeated (“Cleopatra”) Octavia’s hatred for both of them was what eventually led to the death of both Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Octavia caused the Romans to hate Cleopatra, for these three reasons. One, she was a foreigner. Two, she was a female and was not fit to rule. Lastly number three, she manipulated and corrupted Caesar and Antony two “noble and honorable” Romans (“Nardo 8”). Mark Antony wasn’t really in the picture for his twins, Cleopatra raised them practically on her own. Again, though they claimed they were in love Antony left Cleopatra multiple times, their love was all about what each other had to offer. The only thing that proves that Antony really did love Cleopatra, was while off one day in battle he caught word that Cleopatra had killed her self and in distraught fell on his sword and took his own life.
After the love and loss of both Julius Ceaser and Mark Antony, Cleopatra was so saddened by what happened that she formed a plan to take her own life. She decided that she would kill herself in order to relive the pain that she felt inside of her. Though it is not certain how she killed herself, researchers have a pretty good idea as to what happened. What is thought to have happened is Cleopatra locked herself in a room with a poisonous snake called an asp and it bit and killed her. The second hypothesis of the situation was that Cleopatra put deadly poison in her hair comb and died with “grace”(“Cleopatra VII”). How she died, one will probably never know, but we do know that she did and that her time being alive she made a bigger impact than most people think. After Cleopatra’s passing, her sixteen-year-old son Caesarion took over but then Eqypt finally faded and became one with Rome, because Egypt could not be maintained by a sixteen-year-old despite his best efforts. (“Cleopatra IV”).
Cleopatra left a mark on the world, she is known as the first woman to ever reign as long as she did that long ago. She believed that women were just as capable as men were and that just because she was a woman did not mean that she couldn’t rule her country, or participate in “men” activities. The name “Cleopatra” has been used a lot throughout the years, even in modern times. The movie “Cleopatra” was one of the most expensive movies to make of all time, almost so expensive that it couldn’t get enough views to cover the cost to make it. Cleopatra was used in a very popular Shakespheres novel called “Antony and Cleopatra,” some famous quotes used by Shakespeare talking about Cleopatra were the following: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety," and “Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.” These quotes both state that Cleopatra didn’t let anything stop her, not even age. The only thing that was able to break her was the tragic deaths of the men she loved.
We have learned a lot about Cleopatra’s life from the marriage of her brother, to the killing of her brother, to falling in love with Julius Caesar, all the way to falling in love with Mark Antony. We have gathered that she had three kids. One son, with Julius Caesar, and a set of boy and girl twins with Mark Antony. We have learned that Cleopatra was a smart woman, a brave one at that. She led her country and she did what was best for it, even if what was best for her country was not what was best for her. Cleopatra is a true example of a woman and a leader. She teaches that men are easily fooled and that without a man one can make it and be okay on their own. She shows that throughout grit and determination one can have anything that they set there mind into having. Did Cleopatra do some questionable things? That’s up for the reader to decide. Keep one final thought in mind “Would you do whatever it took to have what you wanted?”