Cleopatra, the last ruler of Egypt’s Ptolemaic Kingdom, was Cleopatra. Cleopatra VII Philopator was her formal name. Her beauty and her ‘femme-fetale’ role are what made her an historical icon. She was really who? Were her good rulers? Did she do more than play the role of a ‘female fatale’? Cleopatra VII Philopator was born in Alexandria (Egypt) around 69 BC. Ptolemy XII was also known as Auletes. Cleopatra IV Tryphaena was her mother. Cleopatra XII was believed to have been the King’s halfsister. Cleopatra with her siblings is considered an incest creation. Cleopatra had 4 siblings. After her father died, she was succeeded by her brother, Ptolemy VIII. She was an exceptional ruler and was well-educated.
Cleopatra VII, her brother Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator was her first marriage. He was the first person to rule after her father’s passing. After marrying her brother Ptolemy XIV, she ruled Egypt for a time with him. Cleopatra fell in love with Julius Caesar after Pompey fled Egypt. He was instantly in love with Cleopatra and the couple had a child together, named Ptolemy Caesar. Cleopatra was able to capture the heart and attention of Mark Antony, a roman politician who died long after Caesar’s death. Fulvia, his third and final wife, was his first wife at that time. He quickly married Cleopatra. They fell in love. He was “captivated” her beauty & personality. It led to the births of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene as well as Ptolemy Philadelphus. Although she was considered the most powerful ruler, she co-ruled along with her siblings. Caesarion later became her son. Egypt faced economic flooding just a few years after the death of her father. Ptolemy XIII was also having issues with her. Ptolemy XIII eventually helped her to create an army and take the throne. Ptolemy allowed Julius Caesar to take refuge in Alexandria after the murder of Pompey (Roman general). Cleopatra was then able to plead her case at the royal palace after seeking Caesar’s assistance. Ptolemy was forced to flee Alexandria, and it is believed that she drowned in Nile after Caesar’s forces outnumbered her. She was given her throne back and she co-ruled with Caesar, her brother Ptolemy XIV. Caesar died shortly after. Cleopatra ruled with Caesarion after all this. Cleopatra fell in love and planned to bring down Octavian. Both were able to join armies to attempt defeat Octavian.
Antony was told Cleopatra was dead after Mark Antony defeated Cleopatra. This was a fabrication. This led to him stabbing himself. Cleopatra was not actually dead. Cleopatra fell in depression after which her lover died. According to legend, she was killed by an asp while in a room with her servants. Cleopatra was known to love making entrances, and everyone knows that. However, it isn’t proven. Gray observes that poison death would make sense given Cleopatra’s desire to die. However, it is not known how she died. It is believed that her death was a conspiracy. It is difficult to believe she committed suicide. Although the death from a bite from a cobra/asp can be fatal, it is possible to survive. Snake bites cause death in a slow and painful manner. Many believe it is unlikely she would have chosen to die this way. Her death was attributed to an ointment containing toxins, according to historians and scholars.
Cleopatra inspired many Hollywood movies and poems. She even inspired a Shakespeare play. While we have no evidence that she is a true queen, her beauty was depicted in movies. A History article states that there is evidence that Cleopatra was not as striking physically as we once thought. Although her beauty was often attributed to her, very few paintings show her true beauty. Her character was always very wealthy, beautiful and powerful. Her story was the basis for one of Hollywood’s most expensive films. Elizabeth Taylor played her most clearly in the 1963 movie. Cleopatra’s love affair with Antony is shown in Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”.
Cleopatra not only controlled Egypt but also managed to control her men. She plays the dominant role in Egypt’s decisions and in her love stories. Shakespeare compares Cleopatra to the Goddess Of Love. Cleopatra is the only one who reversed gender roles, in books, movies, and poetry. Cleopatra plays a theatrical role and challenges patriarchal behaviour. Although she was not always remembered for her great leadership, she had a profound impact on the way the world views gender roles.