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This essay will analyse how Cassius Dio characterized Cleopatra in the passage provided and compare it with other written sources.

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Introduction

´╗┐Carefully read the following passage from the work of the Roman historian Cassius Dio. In this passage, how does Cassius Dio characterise Cleopatra? How does this compare with the other ancient written sources you have met in the chapter? Cleopatra is one of the most famous female figures in the ancient history whose study is mainly emphasised from the Roman point of view. This essay will analyse how Cassius Dio characterized Cleopatra in the passage provided and compare it with other written sources. Cassius portrayed Cleopatra as an exceptionally beautiful woman especially ?in the prime of her youth?. Quotes from the passage ?possessed a most charming voice? and ?make herself agreeable to every one? indicate that with a seductive tone of her voice and compelling personality, Cleopatra was able to captivate people and make herself the centre of attention. ...read more.

Middle

Her intention was to display herself in majestic and luxurious manner but she deliberately made herself look as she needs protection and help. She planned her entrance in a cunning and schematic way without Ptolemy?s awareness. Throughout the passage Cleopatra comes across as a beautiful, charming, calculating and alluring woman confident in her own intelligence and power. A quote from Antony?s biography by Roman historian Plutarch ?her beauty, so we are told, was not of that incomparable kind? describes Cleopatra as not a very attractive and beautiful woman. Another quote from Plutarch?s work ?there was an attraction in her person and her talk? is comparable to Cassius Dio depiction that her desirability came from the charm of her personality and the tone of her voice rather than her physical appearance. ...read more.

Conclusion

With a use of negative imagery such as ?mad queen?, ?crazed with hope? and ?drunk with sweet fortune? Horace?s depiction of Cleopatra as a crazy queen drunken with ambition to destroy Rome is very similar to Cassius Dio?s portrayal. They both characterized Cleopatra as an ambitious and determine ruler. Towards the end of the Ode, there is a significant change in his attitude towards Cleopatra. In quotes ?fiercer she was in the death she chose? and ?to be a humble woman in a proud triumph? Horace depicted Cleopatra as a dignified and courageous woman who desires to die as a queen. Unlike in Cassius Dio?s work, Horace?s unmistakable condemnation and criticism of Cleopatra becomes a great admiration. Horace?s attitude to Cleopatra is not directly unreceptive as Dio?s and Plutarch works might lead us to believe. Word count: 506 ...read more.

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