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Cleopatra: A True Feminine Tragedy

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Sherwin Allan Sanchez Denny Ewrt1B January 29, 2003 Cleopatra: A True Feminine Tragedy In Shakespeare's tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra is efficiently described by Enobarbus as extremely passionate and movable. She possesses all characteristics of a woman in good ways and bad. She is easily swayed by outside decisions and one cannot clearly decipher what she truly wants. She is also extremely manipulative and uses her femininity to her every advantage. It even seems that she is unfit to manage her own matters or to even merely decide what her own viewpoint on a subject is. Every aspect of her being influences the turning events of this tragedy and one could even say that Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy due to her incapability to bridle her fierce feminine characteristics and channel them towards a greater good other than her own. The first glimpse into Cleopatra's tumultuous nature is a description of her by Enobarbus in a conversation with Antony. He also insinuates about her ability to manipulate others as well as her shrewd sense of intellect. ...read more.


Throughout the book, Cleopatra is constantly making decisions about her governing issues however she also personal issues that are occurring simultaneously. Her love issues with Antony seems to take over her political matters and makes decisions accordingly. At this point, Cleopatra is madly infatuated with Antony and wishes to support his every whim instead of the higher political figure, Caesar. Cleopatra: ... Did I Charmian, ever love Caesar so? Charmian: O that brave Caesar! Cleopatra: Be choked with such another emphasis! Say, "the brave Antony". Charmian: The valiant Caesar! Cleopatra: By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth If thou with Caesar paragon again My man of men. Charmian: by your most gracious pardon, I sing but after you. Cleopatra: My salad days, When I was green in judgment, cold in blood, To say as I said then. But, come, away, Get me ink and paper. He shall have every day a several greeting. Or I'll unpeople Egypt. (I. 1.5, 68-81) From this passage, it is clear that Cleopatra's interests are with Antony. ...read more.


Here, my good lord. (V. 5.2, 124-135) At this passage, Cleopatra is finally realizing her faults with relying too heavily on her heart instead of her mind. This decision is extremely different than her previous choices because it is more fundamentally based instead of just pure passion. It could even be labeled as the turning point of her life. She is now making responsible, mature choices instead of passionate, spur of the moment thoughts. Women are often labeled as making decisions based on their heart instead of their head. They tend to be more erratic and passionate, making choices based on their mood in the current moment. Clearly, Cleopatra epitomizes this stereotype. She encompasses it to the fullest and is most likely the cause of the tragedy Antony and Cleopatra. She uses her feminine qualities to the farthest extent of manipulation. Furthermore, she intertwines manipulation with her passion; thus causing turmoil throughout the book and creating a tragedy due to her chaotic presence. Shakespeare has truly created a tragedy. Yet, not in a hardcopy form; instead through the personification of his character Cleopatra. Sanchez 1 ...read more.

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