Sexy, Beautiful & Intelligent
When we think of Cleopatra, most of us think of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra from the 1963 film of the same name. She represents everything from independence to confidence in sexuality. Here was a woman who thought of her political career before family. Somewhat sounds like what the modern woman is believed to be and yet we’re talking about a woman who existed centuries ago. I don’t think we’ll ever really know the real Cleopatra, the evidence surrounding who she was is based upon the opinions of others – the Romans – and that opinion wasn’t exactly the most positive. The Romans didn’t take to her; they saw her as a threat. And though they disliked her, she did redeem herself in their eyes when she chose to commit suicide.
They saw her as someone who used sex as a means to an end; to gain power and rule the Capitol. That she had trapped Antony under a spell simply by being a woman, and that she had destroyed everything that made him Roman. Was that true, or did they just really love each other? Maybe we’ll never know. Some say that the real Cleopatra has become lost in history and mixed up in Roman propaganda and biased opinions.
What we do know is that Cleopatra was the daughter of a man who showed her just how violent politics could truly be. Cleopatra’s own sister was murdered by their father so he could retake the throne. It was a harsh world that meant she had to be strong and independent in order to survive. She learned to forge alliances with the right political leaders – Antony and Caesar. The associations she had with these two men were not about sex, but about building political alliances in a hostile world.
No matter what the opinion of her may be, she was a formidable woman who knew what she wanted and she aimed for it. Cleopatra was not a follower or someone who backed down. For many of us today, she’ll always be the Hollywood glamour that we saw in the 1963 film; a classy woman who was sexy, beautiful and intelligent.