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Understanding Cleopatra

Very often people work towards gaining power without minding their reputation. Usually many people in power can go to any lengths to ensure that they stay in power. For instance, Cleopatra VII was one of the women who are known for having made huge steps to sustaining their position in power. Many people have painted her with all sorts of reputation with the bad side more pronounced. The history also has branded her as a seductive woman because she had affairs with married men. However, if her inner life were looked at deeply, one would find that there is much to learn from Cleopatra from the positive side than just branding her for her beauty or the number of affairs she had.

  1. Bursein, S. (2007). The reign of Cleopatra.

Bursein (2007), to begin with, points out that Cleopatra was in power as Egyptian queen for 22 years. At one time Cleopatra lost her power but she regained it after some struggle. Later she was in the proximity of losing it for a second time, and in the end she lost power after building up the empire that was admired by many people. A short look at her reign, as portrayed by Bursein, gives an overview of the life that was full of events that one could die to emulate. She was known to be a goddess during her childhood life, a queen at her young age and later a celebrity.

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However, Cleopatra was always seen as a figure to speculate as well as admire. She was a subject of every legend and gossip of her time. During her time as the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra was in charge of the whole region that covered the Mediterranean coast on the eastern side of Egypt. It was the time when she has been known the most powerful woman that has ever been in power in Egypt. As such, Cleopatra controlled the lifestyle of people living under her rule (Bursein, 2007). However, this sense of control did not last for long, till she gave birth to children of different fathers, all in a bid to secure her power.

At age of 39, Cleopatra met her death. Even though she lived many years ago, her history is much to be remembered of her. Just as anyone would think that after any catastrophe, there emerges a certain kind of reputation, it was true in the light of Cleopatra. The days that preceded her death were full of sensation and were sudden themselves. Ever since then she excites imagination of many people. In addition, numerous people, such as powerful poets and playwrights, use her name in their works.

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2. Jones, P. (2006). Cleopatra: a sourcebook.

The whole life history of Cleopatra, according to Jones (2006), can be termed as intriguing. She had been in marriage for a number of times, with most of the times playing the seduction game. Cleopatra’s name might be indelible but what beats logic is that her image is unclear. Despite the fact that she features in the list of persons to be remembered, only few people are aware of how she looked like, with the majority depending on what they see on the coins with her image that were issued during her reign. Jones in her sourcebook documents clearly the known parts of Cleopatra’s life. There is so much to be talked about, but still there have been a lot of wrong ideas for which many people remember her.

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Cleopatra was very able woman with an eye for sovereignty as well as a vast knowledge in fleet building, insurrection suppression, currency control, as well as clear methods on famine alleviation. Bad press and the light, in which many people saw her, did not seem to hide the fact that she was the queen determined to remain in power. She managed to be in power and build an empire for herself at the time, when no woman ever dared to seek powerful positions in leadership. What was moving is the fact that Cleopatra’s goals were to remain in power without anybody’s help. Her Mediterranean Empire brought vast riches to her, far more than to any other person around (Jones, 2006)

3. Schiff, S. (2010). Cleopatra

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The Egyptian queen came from a family and society that was so deep into tradition. Her lineage was composed of murderers. However, she managed to live as an uncalled-for temptress. Her good reputation of being powerful was replaced with actions that saw Cleopatra turn into a shamelessly seductive queen. Cleopatra ascended to power at a time when no woman would ever think of ruling. It was very dangerous intersection in her life. That is why Schiff believes that Cleopatra had a sense of independent mind as well as enterprising spirit.

Besides, Cleopatra was educated and was a woman of high intelligence in contrast with other women of her time. Her education equaled that of the men who formed her circle along with the riches that they had amassed. Through her zeal to remain in power, she became friends with some of the famous as well as feared men in history. These were Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, for whom she bore children. It was such an involvement with married and powerful men that belittles every good deed that Cleopatra was known for. However, Schiff brings forth the real picture of who Cleopatra was (Schiff, 2010). The biographer tries to explain that despite what history portrays Cleopatra to be, she was a negotiator to be admired, and a canny politician who had sound strategies. As such, Schiff does not go by the history’s way of defining Cleopatra in terms of all men that she had slept with or the use of her beauty to define her.

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