Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cleopatra VII: Before Queen and Overview

Cleopatra-- the last queen of Egypt; the most famous queen in history; infamous for her relationship with Julius Caesar; known for her relationship with Mark Anthony; killed herself; "beautiful."
And often misunderstood.

First and foremost, if you observe carefully, her title "Cleopatra the seventh" is because her ancestors-- and daughter-- were also named Cleopatra. Yet, she is the only one referred to when the name "Cleopatra" is mentioned.

To note, here are some fun facts about this brilliant woman:-
She married both her brothers (very high degree of inbreeding among the Ptolemies, I'll come to that soon); not an Egyptian; not very pretty; rumoured to have a hooked nose (she might not have it because a hooked nose was also a symbol of authority in the Ptolemaic dynasty); a bit short and fat; killed her younger sister; and most importantly-- extremely intelligent. For example, she spoke nine languages; invented aroma therapy; a gynaecologist; wrote books; made her country rich when it was in debt; and the list goes on.

One of the most famous depictions of Cleopatra,
as portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor

In summary, Cleopatra was a politician, strategist, and warrior. More often than not, you will find historians writing about Cleopatra as a seductress, but please do not forget that this notion was written by male traditionalists, for unlike Hatshepsut, she ruled as a woman. The media also likes to modify Cleopatra into something she was not. Knowing that she had caught the eyes of the two most powerful men in the world during her time, many will assume that she is very pretty, or even portray her as a whore. I am here to debunk the myth about this "seductress" by telling what she did as an 18 year-old queen who became the sole ruler of the ancient world and held the fate of the western world in her hands.

Now take a look at some of the actresses who had played as Cleopatra:-

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