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Cleopatra Essay, Research Paper

History is full of reputable individuals. The stories of their lives will forever live in our history books. Whether being remembered for their strength, courage, or honor, or even for their treachery, we remember those who came before us. If one character could stand out in Egyptian history, none other would be so worthy as Cleopatra would.

Cleopatra was an intelligent, political, and ambitious woman who changed the history of Egypt. She was only seventeen years old when, by the will of her father, Ptolemy XI, she was forced to inherit and share the throne of Egypt with her twelve year old brother, Ptolemy XII. In accordance to Egyptian law, the two were also married. Disagreement between the two began early in their reign. Julius Caesar, seizing the opportunity to take over Ptolemy’s forces during this moment of weakness, soon defeated the young king and befriended Cleopatra. She had wanted the throne to herself, believing that she was “the successor of the pharaohs and like them descended from the sun god Ra. (CAV 166)”

Egypt and Cleopatra are terms so closely related they are almost synonymous. However, Cleopatra did not have any Egyptian blood in her; she was purely Greek. Cleopatra would become the last ruler of the Ptolemy dynasty, which was founded by Alexander the Great, a Macedonian general who strived to unite the East and West under one great empire. Cleopatra wished to continue his mission, but to do so, she would have to win over the Romans. It was at this time that she started to use her stunning beauty and charm to her advantage. Caesar himself would become her first lover. She distracted him from his Roman duties for many weeks and when he finally left her, she was pregnant. At this point, Cleopatra might have thought she had all she needed: a son and possible heir to Caesar, her key to the Roman throne. However, with Caesar’s assassination in 44 B.C., she abandoned her plan and awaited another political struggle to arise in Rome.

It is amazing that Cleopatra, but a woman, believed that she could overthrow Rome, a huge world power. Her determination to renew the power of the Ptolemy line in Egypt enabled her to carry on with her plan. It was at this time that Cleopatra turned to Marc Antony, lieutenant to the late Caesar. Marc Antony was a very notable man with many military achievements. He was a respected authority in Rome and lived by Roman virtues. However, he also had a weakness for self-indulgence, and it was this that Cleopatra preyed upon. She immediately tried to seved that she could overthrow Rome, a huge world power. Her determination to renew the power of the Ptolemy line in Egypt enabled her to carry on with her plan. It was at this time that Cleopatra turned to Marc Antony, lieutenant to the late Caesar. Marc Antony was a very notable man with many military achievements. He was a respected authority in Rome and lived by Roman virtues. However, he also had a weakness for self-indulgence, and it was this that Cleopatra preyed upon. She immediately tried to seved that she could overthrow Rome, a huge world power. Her determination to renew the power of the Ptolemy line in Egypt enabled her to carry on with her plan. It was at this time that Cleopatra turned to Marc Antony, lieutenant to the late Caesar. Marc Antony was a very notable man with many military achievements. He was a respected authority in Rome and lived by Roman virtues. However, he also had a weakness for self-indulgence, and it was this that Clpt and chased Antony and Cleopatra into hiding. Within a few months, he caught up with them, forcing Antony to commit suicide. Upon hearing that her beloved was dead, Cleopatra, too, killed herself by pressing an asp to her neck. She and Antony were buried together in 31 B.C. What had caused her attempts to go very wrong? Perhaps it was her ambition and determination. Had she forfeited her plan at Caesar’s death, she may have lived out her life peacefully just as Egypt’s queen. However, she was so intent on ruling an empire that she gambled and lost her kingdom and her life. Despite how her life ended, history does not remember Cleopatra as a failure.

When I hear the name Cleopatra, the first thing that comes to mind is feminine power. She can very well be one of the first notable women in history. She was very powerful. She could even command the will of Julius Caesar himself. Some will remember her as a weak woman who let her emotions get the best of her. I disagree. She was very strong and knew what she wanted very early in life. Even when it seemed hopeless after Caesar’s death, she carried on with her plan. Aside from her plan to rule a universal empire, she was a very capable ruler of her own country. Cleopatra was the only ruler of the dynasty left by Alexander the Great that even bothered to learn the Egyptian language, the native language of her people. True, she was born a Greek of Macedonian descent, but she was Egyptian in every respect. She ruled her country as an Egyptian; as Pharoah, just like all the Ptolemy’s before her. Cleopatra was the last Pharoah of Egypt.


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