Analyzing Cleopatra In Cassius Dio's Characterization Of Cleopatra

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In this passage, Cassius Dio characterises Cleopatra as a young, charming and intelligent woman who uses her beauty to captivate and manipulate everyone around her. Dio says that Cleopatra is a powerful and influential queen “with the power to subjugate every one” who takes her role seriously. Cleopatra meets Caesar only because she is Queen of Egypt, and to prove her majesty she takes great care in her appearance, equating her beauty with the right to be Queen. Whilst Dio positively describes Cleopatra’s physical appearance, he writes negatively about her scheming and manipulative personality. Cleopatra takes great thought to her actions and consequences. For example, in this passage Dio documents Cleopatra and Caesar’s first meeting as one that was carefully manipulated by her. From changing her appearance to appear more majestic to fit the situation as queen, yet changing her personality to appear subservient merely to flatter and charm Caesar’s ego to her own ends. It would seem that ultimately, Dio characterises Cleopatra as outwardly appearing regal, inwardly she is scheming, deceitful and undignified. Dio and his contemporary Plutarch characterise Cleopatra negatively. Plutarch depicts Cleopatra as an unredeemable character, using wholly negative themes such as madness, sin,…show more content…
Horace writing closer to Cleopatra’s lifetime, takes more of a political view of her character rather than the fictionalised accounts of Dio and Plutarch, highlighting her destructive characteristics. In Ode 1.37, unlike Dio, Horace makes no reference to how Cleopatra looks, or indeed, mentions her name, only referring to her as a “Mad Queen”. Therefore he focuses primarily on her personality, making no distinction between her and the Egyptian people. Cleopatra is personified as monstrous, drunk with loose morals with an ambitious craze for
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