Essay on Cleopatra: Seductive Queen or Political Genius

Essay on Cleopatra: Seductive Queen or Political Genius

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Oftentimes in the eyes of men, the achievements of powerful women are transmuted into legend and myth until they eventually seem worthless. Cleopatra is no exception to this as “she was an object of speculation and veneration, gossip and legend, even in her own time” (Schiff, 1). Cleopatra became an influential ruler. However, “she . . . survives as a wanton temptress, not the last time a genuinely powerful woman has been transmuted into a shamelessly seductive one” (Schiff, 2). Born into a male-dominated society, Cleopatra at the age of eighteen became a political genius by employing her weapons of seduction and beauty to manipulate powerful political leaders like Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, and to enhance Egypt in the process.

Cleopatra’s relationship with Julius Caesar began developing when Caesar followed Pompey the Great to Egypt only to find that he had already been killed. Julius Caesar “was… rarely disconcerted, armed for all contingencies, a precise and lucid strategist” (Schiff, 17). Once in Egypt, Caesar stayed in Alexandria for a while and met Cleopatra for the first time. Cleopatra was said to have been “brilliant to look upon and even listen to, with the power to subjugate everyone, even a love-sated man already past his prime” (Fletcher, 104). Whether or not this is true has come into controversy between historians and to this day still remains as a myth. One cannot assume how beautiful she was because “beauty is of course, in the eye of the beholder, and standards of beauty vary from time to time, person to person” (Tyldesley, 63). However, historians still speculate that during this encounter a spark was felt between both of them. Caesar may at some point felt this sentiment but it makes more sense to pres...


... middle of paper ...


... for her not to deal with the agony of the loss of a loved one. Although proving that she could outsmart and control any man placed in front of her she too let her infatuation get the best of her, and since she no longer had no one to protect her, she no longer saw any point in living. Therefore, came an end to the reign of the political mastermind that was the last of the Egyptian Queens.





Works Cited

Fletcher, Joann. Cleopatra the Great: The Woman behind the Legend. New York: Harper, 2011. Print.

Grant, Michael. Cleopatra. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973. Print.

Schiff, Stacy. Cleopatra: A Life. 1st ed. New York: Little, Brown and, 2010. Print.

Tyldesley, Joyce A. Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt. New York, NY: Basic, 2008. Print.

Walker, Susan. "Cleopatra: From History To Myth." History Today 51.4 (2001): 6. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2014

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