Ania Loomba presents numerous arguments throughout her piece; I have chosen a few below to respond and elaborate on.
In Response to the first block of Ania Loomba’s work she states, “Although Cleopatra calls herself ‘black’ and Philo calls her ‘tawny’ [1.1.6], none of the repeated , hyperbolic, and contradictory descriptions of her in the play tells us much about her physically” (261). Loomba goes on to recount the history of Egyptian linage and the history of the uses of the words black and tawny. Looma’s focus on the physical look and lineage of Cleopatra, in my opinion, is very unnecessary and to mystify her serves better purpose. The mystic of Cleopatra helps to other her, a great example of this is when Enobarbus is describing her, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry…show more content… She then goes on to explain the parallel it would have made with English society at the time and how it would have made audiences uncomfortable. In the piece she tells us that women were seen as the most masculine they had ever been and that men were playing women in the theatre (well they had to since women were not allowed to). The best example of the reversal or bending of gender roles is when Cleopatra puts her clothing on a drunken Antony, “Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed, then put my tires and mantle on him whilst I wore his sword Phillipan” (2.5.20-23). Not only is this image humorous, it is also clearly feminizing Mark Antony. By feminizing Antony, Cleopatra becomes dangerous, especially to a male audience. Women with the power to be the dominate partner or be the one to embody the masculine role would have been a huge red flag. Not only was Cleopatra a dangerous and mysterious figure to the audience, it made Egypt and the east dangerous and mysterious as