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The Rein of Queen Cleopatra

Many years ago when hieroglyphics were the language, sand was a sidewalk,
and Pharaohs are the presidents, there was a women. Her name was Cleopatra. At the age of eighteen she had
taken the throne and ruled with her brother, Ptolemy, who sat right next to her. They ruled oer !gypt and
Cleopatra"s rein began. #ut soon after they became rulers, Cleopatra and her brother had fought and Cleopatra
was exiled. $he walked the sand as tears fell to the ground. Her dress dragged behind her as she rose her head.
A few days had gone by when she encountered %ulius Caesar. $he first saw him as she was brought in wrapped
in a tarp&sheet. Then was rolled out. Almost instantly, %ulius felt an instant attraction to Cleopatra. Cleopatra
had seduced Caesar in order to form an alliance with the powerful man. 'rom the night they met, they had
started an intimate relationship. (uring their alliance&relationship Ptolemy had drowned in the )ile *ier
because of his heay armor. $oon after Ptolemy"s death, Cleopatra regained her throne. Caesar and Cleopatra
had to separate because Caesar was needed back in *ome. +hile Caesar was away, Cleopatra had a son,
Caesarion. After Cleopatra had gien birth, Caesar had become an enemy to his friends out of eny. -Caesar
had a golden statue of himself built and it sat next to his throne, his friends grew enious of him and decided
that he needed to die.. /n March 01th, Cleopatra had a dream that Caesar was about to be killed. /ut of fear,
Cleopatra begged Caesar not to leae the next morning. #ut he refused and went anyway. He refused because
he got a message by the senate saying that they needed him urgently. #ut when he arried, Caesar was
murdered by assassins. Cleopatra thought that she would be murdered too, so she fled back to !gypt. Mark
Antony was a friend and the general in the *oman army. Antony needed Cleopatra"s support for a campaign so
he inited her to meet with him. +hen Cleopatra receied the initation, she went to !gypt to meet with
Antony. +hen she arried in !gypt, she sat by the rier and was fanned by serants. This is when Antony first
saw Cleopatra. %ust like Caesar, Antony fell for Cleopatra. #ut Antony would be the last loe for Cleopatra. #ut
Antony was married to /ctaia and had a couple kids. $o he sent them away and went to lie with Cleopatra.
Cleopatra used her charm and sensuality to entice Antony, 2ust as she had done to Caesar. #y doing this, she
gained his loe and trust. After they were together for a short while, Antony and Cleopatra had gotten married.
He, -Antony., sent /ctaia his diorce. #ut later on Antony gae Cleopatra part of the *oman empire. +hen
/ctaia discoered this, she became angry and declared war on !gypt. /ctaian had won the battle. Cleopatra
knew that she had lost and would rather die than become a *oman prisoner. $he had made Antony beliee that
she was dead so he would kill himself. /ut of sadness and depression, Antony took a sword and impaled his
stomach. #ut then he learned that Cleopatra was still alie. He was taken to Cleopatra, where then he died.
According to research, Cleopatra tested poisons on her serants to see what was the most painless way to die.
#ut she eentually decided on an asp or a cobra. $he took the snake and forced it to strike her chest. That was
the end of Cleopatra"s rein. Cleopatra was feared of becoming an ob2ect on display for /ctaian so she
attempted to seduce a high power and failed. Then she took the snake as her fate and not humiliation. Antony
died out of loe for Cleopatra. Thinking she was dead, he could not lie without her, and he took his own life.
He died in Cleopatra"s arms. +illiam $hakespere"s *omeo and %uliet is similar to this story. Although it is not
exactly similar, it has similarities. 'or example, thinking Cleopatra was dead, Antony killed himself, 2ust as
*omeo had done for %uliet. Cleopatra was known for many things. $he was the final 3ueen of !gypt.
Hieroglyphics and other eidence tells us a story of the last 3ueen of !gypt.
William Shakepeare
Mark Antony, one of the three rulers of the *oman !mpire, spends his time in !gypt, liing a life of decadence
and conducting an affair with the country4s beautiful 3ueen, Cleopatra. +hen a message arries informing him
that his wife, 'ulia, is dead and that Pompey is raising an army to rebel against the triumirate, Antony decides
to return to *ome. 5n Antony4s absence, /ctaius Caesar and 6epidus, his fellow triumirs, worry about
Pompey4s increasing strength. Caesar condemns Antony for neglecting his duties as a statesman and military
officer in order to lie a decadent life by Cleopatra4s side.
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The news of his wife4s death and imminent battle pricks Antony4s sense of duty, and he feels compelled to return
to *ome. 7pon his arrial, he and Caesar 3uarrel, while 6epidus ineffectually tries to make peace. *eali8ing that
an alliance is necessary to defeat Pompey, Antony and Caesar agree that Antony will marry Caesar4s sister,
/ctaia, who will solidify their loyalty to one another. !nobarbus, Antony4s closest friend, predicts to Caesar4s
men that, despite the marriage, Antony will surely return to Cleopatra.
5n !gypt, Cleopatra learns of Antony4s marriage and flies into a 2ealous rage. Howeer, when a messenger
deliers word that /ctaia is plain and unimpressie, Cleopatra becomes confident that she will win Antony back.
The triumirs meet Pompey and settle their differences without going to battle. Pompey agrees to keep peace in
exchange for rule oer $icily and $ardinia. That eening, the four men drink to celebrate their truce. /ne of
Pompey4s soldiers discloses to him a plan to assassinate the triumirs, thereby deliering world power into
Pompey4s hands, but Pompey dismisses the scheme as an affront to his honor. Meanwhile, one of Antony4s
9generals wins a ictory oer the kingdom of Parthia.
Antony and /ctaia depart for Athens. /nce they are gone, Caesar breaks his truce, wages war against Pompey,
and defeats him. After using 6epidus4s army to secure a ictory, he accuses 6epidus of treason, imprisons him,
and confiscates his land and possessions. This news angers Antony, as do the rumors that Caesar has been
speaking out against him in public. /ctaia pleads with Antony to maintain a peaceful relationship with her
brother. $hould Antony and Caesar fight, she says, her affections would be painfully diided. Antony dispatches
her to *ome on a peace mission, and 3uickly returns to !gypt and Cleopatra. There, he raises a large army to fight
Caesar, and Caesar, incensed oer Antony4s treatment of his sister, responds in kind. Caesar commands his army
and nay to !gypt. 5gnoring all adice to the contrary, Antony elects to fight him at sea, allowing Cleopatra to
command a ship despite !nobarbus4s strong ob2ections. Antony4s forces lose the battle when Cleopatra4s ship
flees and Antony4s follows, leaing the rest of the fleet ulnerable.
Antony despairs, condemning Cleopatra for leading him into infamy but 3uickly forgiing her. He and Cleopatra
send re3uests to their con3ueror: Antony asks to be allowed to lie in !gypt, while Cleopatra asks that her
kingdom be passed down to her rightful heirs. Caesar dismisses Antony4s re3uest, but he promises Cleopatra a fair
hearing if she betrays her loer. Cleopatra seems to be giing thought to Caesar4s message when Antony barges
in, curses her for her treachery, and orders the innocent messenger whipped. +hen, moments later, Antony
forgies Cleopatra, !nobarbus decides that his master is finished and defects to Caesar4s camp.
Antony meets Caesar4s troops in battle and scores an unexpected ictory. +hen he learns of !nobarbus4s
desertion, Antony laments his own bad fortune, which he beliees has corrupted an honorable man. He sends his
friend4s possessions to Caesar4s camp and returns to Cleopatra to celebrate his ictory. !nobarbus, undone by
shame at his own disloyalty, bows under the weight of his guilt and dies. Another day brings another battle, and
once again Antony meets Caesar at sea. As before, the !gyptian fleet proes treacherous, it abandons the fight and
leaes Antony to suffer defeat. Coninced that his loer has betrayed him, Antony ows to kill Cleopatra. 5n order
to protect herself, she 3uarters herself in her monument and sends word that she has committed suicide. Antony,
racked with grief, determines to 2oin his 3ueen in the afterlife. He commands one of his attendants to fulfill his
promise of un3uestioned serice and kill him. The attendant kills himself instead. Antony then falls on his own
sword, but the wound is not immediately fatal. He is carried to Cleopatra4s monument, where the loers are
reunited briefly before Antony4s death. Caesar takes the 3ueen prisoner, planning to display her in *ome as a
testament to the might of his empire, but she learns of his plan and kills herself with the help of seeral poisonous
snakes. Caesar has her buried beside Antony.
Characters in the Moie Cleopatra
Character Analysis
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Antony is one of the three leaders of the *oman !mpire and a proen soldier. +e know him from
$hakespeare"s Julius Caesar as a former party guy who made his soldierly fortunes at Philippi, when he bested
#rutus and Cassius, %ulius Caesar4s murderers. He4s regarded as a noble and formidable soldier in *ome. His
presence in !gypt represents a neglect of his own state, and shows his less noble side ; the one that reels in
debauchery and good times. The comparison of Antony9in9*ome with Antony9in9!gypt isn4t a set up of good
ersus eil, it4s 2ust two different examples of a way a man can lie his life.
Antony is noted for his braery, which makes his loe for Cleopatra all the more interesting. The same way that
he gae himself oer to his soldierly duties, he submits himself to Cleopatra, and reels in the sensuous pleasures
of the !gyptian world. Antony is honest about his plight ; and admits that he is held captie by Cleopatra4s
powerful spell. 5nterestingly, he thinks of his situation personally, and not politically. Antony escapes being a pure
pleasure monger, though, because his nobility shines through in his !gyptian life. His loe for Cleopatra, he
admits, is oerpowering, and there4s an earnestness in this admission. He acts graciously and nobly in his political
affairs, too -when he bothers to pay them any attention.. Antony greets Pompey with honesty and loe. +hen
!nobarbus turns to the other side, Antony doesn4t blame him for treachery, but instead faults himself for turning
!nobarbus to that path. +hen Antony thinks he4s doomed to fail in battle, he bids his men to leae him, and
thanks them gratefully for their serice.
$till, there exists another, more olatile side to Antony, which his compatriots see as the cause of his attachment to
Cleopatra. His extreme emotional swings can be seen when he resoles to kill Cleopatra, and then loes her again.
<et, he is deeloped as a character because he4s in touch with these feelings. $hakespeare illustrates this is best
shown in Antony"s final act. +hat hurts Antony deeply is the notion that he isn4t liing up to his own nobility,
either in politics -as he4s lost to Caesar. or in loe -as he thinks Cleopatra has killed herself.. As Antony dies, he
wishes the world to remember him as a man who was his own con3ueror. #y taking his own life, Antony makes a
final resolute act: his death is the final assurance that, no matter the circumstance, he was the master of his own
life. He represents the tension between !ast and +est, between !gyptian delights and *oman austerity, and
between the personal desires of loe and aliance. 5n this way, he4s a complex character.
O$ta1iu Caear=Triumir of *ome, the adopted son of %ulius Caesar, who became the sole emperor, later
known as Caesar Augustus. He was about >? years younger than Mark Antony.
Character Analysis
Cleopatra is the @ueen of !gypt, loer to Antony, and former loer of both %ulius Caesar and Pompey the !lder.
$he4s one of $hakespeare4s richest female characters, and can be used as a case study of both a woman in power,
and a woman in loe. +e can use these two leels to analy8e her. 5n loe she is fierce, amorous -to say the least.,
and 3uick to get angry or be loing. 'ickle in her affections, Cleopatra is passionate about all of her loers,
especially Antony. +ith her last act we can see her deotion to Antony, choosing to 2oin him in death rather than
lie without him.
Cleopatra is e3ually interesting as a woman in power. $he rules !gypt, and except for the times she betrays
Antony -i.e., when she flirts with Thidias., she4s willing to say he con3uered her rather than wooed her. 5t seems a
gamble to maintain her power by pretending her power -not her heart. was momentarily weakened. $he seems
willing to blame her femininity for her worse points. $till, it can also be interpreted that she4s a woman of power
when she decides on suicide. $he does it out of pride ; she4d rather die on the )ile, eaten by maggots, than
become a token of Caesar4s power. !en as she dies she wishes her death to be interpreted as a ictory against
Caesar in a contest of power.
$he is also particularly notable for her strong sexuality, and sexual relations with the world4s most powerful men.
$he is one of $hakespeare4s few female characters for whom sex is not a submission, but a testament to her own
glory. As such, Cleopatra is symbolic of her country. As an earthy and sensual woman, Cleopatra represents the
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earthy and sensual !gyptian culture -that"s at least how $hakespeare saw !gypt.. Her death signals not only the
death of her body, but also the end of the lifestyle in !gypt ; one in which life is lied passionately, and connected
to the natural world.
Chara$ter Anal)i
Pompey the <ounger is -no surprise. the son of Pompey the !lder. He is most notable inthe play as a character
who is prone to war, but guided by his reason and honor instead of his passion. Pompey the <ounger is drawn into
battle against the *omans because his father was one of %ulius Caesar4s partners in the first triumirate that ruled
*ome. %ulius Caesar4s whole Acrossing the *ubiconA bit was an act of war and usurpation against Pompey, and
the decisie act that meant %ulius Caesar intended to rule *ome alone. As a result of %ulius Caesar4s action,
Pompey the !lder fled to !gypt, where he was murdered. This is where his son, Pompey the <ounger, steps in. He
seeks to aenge his father4s death against the new triumirate: /ctaius Caesar, Antony, and 6epidus. Pompey
ends up being a sort of sacrifice in the play. He"s an honorable man who plays by the rules, and is ultimately
ulnerable to the treacherous and passionate men that surround him.
Pompe) is well loed by the people, and he sees Antony4s absence as a good sign that he has a chance against the
other young triumirs. $till, een once Antony returns to the fight, Pompey faces his fate nobly. /ne of Pompey4s
single most telling acts is his willingness to negotiate with the *oman triumirs before he goes to war with them.
5n the negotiation, he would rather compromise than hae blood shed, not because he is a coward, but because he
is a reasonable man.
/nce Pompey settles the terms of compromise with the triumirs, he graciously inites the other men back to his
barge to celebrate their new truce. 7nlike Caesar and Antony, when Pompey makes a truce, he means it. He has a
real warrior4s honor, in contrast to the triumirs, who would probably shoot him in the back in a dark alley. /n
Pompey4s barge, his man Menas offers to kill the drunken triumirs, but Pompey4s honor again gets the better of
him. He says he wishes Menas had simply not told him of the plan, and carried it out. )ow that he4s heard about
it, his conscience has gotten in the way. 7nfortunately, Pompey ends up dead as a result of Caesar"s treachery.
Prota%onit Chara$ter Role Anal)i Anton)
Calling Antony the sole protagonist is arguable, because Cleopatra shares top billing in the play. Howeer, if we
think about a protagonist as the center around which the actions of the play turn, we see that Antony does a lot of
the acting, and Cleopatra a lot of reacting. This isn4t to dog her importance at all, it4s 2ust that in this play,
characters don4t fit neatly into one role or another. They4re all pretty multifaceted, tempestuous, loable, and
despicable in turn. Anyway, now that we4e said that, we can go ahead and pigeonhole Antony. He is constantly
changing his mind, his location, and his resole. These flip9flops manage to affect *ome, Alexandria, and eery
other spot he controls for the republic in one way or another. +hether he4s causing a 3uarrel or mending one, he4s
always at the center of the action. 5t4s his personal deelopment that we witness most closely, and his personal
tragedy that we feel most poignantly at the end.
Anta%onit Chara$ter Role Anal)i Caear
5f Caesar is going to be called the antagonist of this play, it4s only because he moes the action along in constant
opposition to the will of the protagonist, Antony. Again, all of this is arguable, but it is clear that Caesar makes
some pretty nasty moes to get Antony going. He calls Antony back from Alexandria to fight Pompey, and again
challenges him publicly to start the wars between them. $till, Caesar did hae some legit complaints: Antony did
drop the ball on being one of three leaders in a globe9spanning enterprise. $till, for the purposes of this play as
$hakespeare presents it, Caesar is a nasty guy. He breaks truce with Pompey, slanders and unseats 6epidus, and
generally is a little punk when compared to Antony4s long history as a soldier -Caesar is twenty years younger
than Antony.. He doesn4t know his place, but he4s lucky, which sets him up in stark contrast to Antony, a man
who4s down on his fortunes.
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O$ta1iu Caear 9 The nephew and adopted son of %ulius Caesar. /ctaius rules the *oman !mpire with Antony
and 6epidus. *elations between Caesar and Antony are strained throughout the play, for the young triumir
beliees that Antony s3uanders his time and neglects his duties while in !gypt. Ambitious and extremely
pragmatic, /ctaius lacks Antony4s military might as a general, but his careful and stoic reasoning enables him to
aoid Antony4s tendency toward heroic or romantic folly. (estined to be the first *oman emperor -later renamed
Caesar Augustus., he symboli8esB+esternC alues in the play, which stand opposed to the exotic lures of
Cleopatras B!ast.C
Eno2ar2us 9 Antony4s most loyal supporter. +orldly and cynical, !nobarbus is friendly with the subordinates of
both Pompey and Caesar, yet stays faithful to his master een after Antony makes grae political and military
missteps. He abandons Antony only when the general appears to be completely finished.
#ar$u Aemiliu Lepi*u 9 The third member of the triumirate and the weakest, both politically and
personally. Lepi*u4s rather desperate attempts to keep the peace between Caesar and Antony fail when Caesar
imprisons him after the defeat of Pompey.
Pompe) 9 The son of a great general who was one of %ulius Caesar4s partners in power. Pompey is young and
popular with the *oman people, and he possesses enough military might to stand as a legitimate threat to the
triumirs. He fancies himself honorable for refusing to allow one of his men to kill the unsuspecting Caesar,
Antony, and 6epidus when they are his guests.
O$ta1ia 9 /ctaius Caesar4s sister. /ctaia marries Antony in order to cement an alliance between the two
triumirs. $he is a ictim of Antony4s deception, and her meekness, purity, and submission make her the paradigm
of *oman womanhood, and Cleopatra4s polar opposite.
Charmian an* -ra 9 Cleopatra4s faithful attendants.
The $oothsayer 9 An !gyptian fortune9teller who follows Antony to *ome and predicts that his fortune will
always pale in comparison to Caesar4s.
Dola2ella 9 /ne of /ctaius Caesar4s men. (olabella is assigned to guard the captie Cleopatra.
Agrippa 9 /ne of /ctaius Caesar4s officers. Agrippa leads the retreat from Antony4s unexpectedly powerful
Cami*iu 9 A general in Antony4s army. After the battle in which Antony follows Cleopatra4s lead and flees,
Camidius surrenders and defects to Caesar4s side.
.enti*iu 9 A *oman soldier under Antony4s command. Dentidius leads the legions to ictory against the
kingdom of Parthia. Although a competent fighter, he cautiously decides not to push his troops further into battle,
for fear that winning too much glory would sour his relationship with Antony.
S$aru 9 A brae young soldier sering under Antony. $carus garners fantastic wounds in the battle against
Caesar4s army, and begs for the opportunity to win more.
Pro$uleiu 9 /ne of Caesar4s soldiers, who proes untrustworthy.
Diome*e 9 Cleopatra4s serant. $he employs (iomedes to bring to Antony the message that she has not
committed suicide but is still alie.
Ero 9 An attendant sering Antony. !ros4s loe for his master compels him to refuse Antony4s order that !ros
kill him.
#ena 9 An ambitious young soldier under Pompey. (uring the dinner party that Pompey hosts for the
triumirate, Menas asks for permission to kill Caesar, Antony, and 6epidus, which would result in the control of
the world falling into his master4s hands.
Seleu$u 9 Cleopatra4s treasurer, who betrays his master.
Clown 9 An !gyptian who brings a basket of figs containing poisonous snakes to Cleopatra.
De$reta 9 /ne of Antony4s soldiers.
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