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Significant Woman Cleopatra Essay

1089 words - 5 pages

Significant Woman: Cleopatra I chose to write my "Significant Woman" paper on Egypt's last pharaoh, Cleopatra. When I began my report, I knew very little about Cleopatra, except that she was the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony of Rome. I wondered what impacts on history Cleopatra made on her own.I feel that Cleopatra was a very significant woman in history because she was very aggressive and assertive, characteristics that have always been considered unfeminine. At the same time, however, Cleopatra has been remembered by some as somewhat of a sex object, which is and always has been a common judgement of attractive females. Cleopatra did use her sex appeal to her advantage. It ...view middle of the document...

As children, Cleopatra and her siblings witnessed the defeat of their guardian, Pompey, by Julius Caesar in a duel. Meanwhile, Cleopatra and her brother/husband Ptolemy XIII were dueling, albeit silently, over the throne.In the middle of all this turmoil, Julius Caesar left Rome for Alexandria in 48 BC. During his stay in the Palace, he received the most famous gift in history: an oriental carpet . . . with a 22-year-old Cleopatra wrapped in. She counted on Caesar's support to alienate Ptolemy XIII. With the arrival of Roman reinforcements, and after a few battles in Alexandria, Ptolemy XIII was defeated and killed.In the summer of 47 BC, having married her younger brother Ptolemy XIV, Cleopatra and Caesar embarked for a two-month trip along the Nile, aboard a legendary boat. Together, they visited Dendara, where Cleopatra was being worshipped as Pharaoh, an honor beyond Caesar's reach. They became lovers, and indeed, she bore him a son, Ptolemy XV Caesar "Caesarion". In 45 BC, Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV, and Caesarion left Alexandria for Rome, where they stayed in a palace built by Caesar in their honor.Caesar's acts were anything but overlooked by the Romans. In 44 BC, he was killed in a conspiracy by his Senators. With his death, Rome split between supporters of Mark Antony and Octavian.Soon after Caesar's death, Cleopatra returned to Egypt. It is believed that Ptolemy XIV survived the trip home, but died shortly thereafter. Many believe that Cleopatra had him killed. This is possible because he was 15 years old and would probably start to assert his right to the throne.Cleopatra was watching Rome in silence, and when Antony seemed to prevail, she supported him and, shortly after, they too became lovers.Mark Antony's alliance with Cleopatra angered Rome even more. The senators called her a sorceress and accused...

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