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Rated: E · Poetry · History · #1378496
The glory, power, loves and intrigues of Cleopatra—a historical perspective.
CLEOPATRA: award winner

Cleopatra, father’s glory,
Is remembered even after
Two millennia!
She is historians’ darling,
Even today. Why?

It’s since she was the Queen of Kings.
She ruled not only their lands, but,
Also ruled their hearts.
She enticed the younger or the
Thirty years older!

It’s since she was the Queen of queens.
She filled their hearts not only with
Jealousy and awe,
But also with hatred and fear,
That they felt inside.

It’s since she was Queen of Intrigue.
She loved, married, conquered or killed,
As per her fancy,
And her design in order to
Keep her throne steady.

What a pity in the face of
Her defeat she was driven to
Decide for suicide.
By this she truly ensured that
None would conquer her.

* Written in 8-8-5-8-5 format.

* Awarded second prize in the "Invalid Item, “ Once Upon a Time - History Contest”

* Cleopatra (69 BC to 30 BC) was the queen of Egypt and the last ruler of the Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and its annexation by Rome in 31 BC. The name Cleopatra means ‘Father’s glory’ in Greek. Historian Dio Cassius has written about her: “She captivated the two greatest Romans of the day, and because of the third she destroyed herself”. The first two were Julius Caesar, the ruler of Rome, who was her thirty years older lover, and Mark Antony, who, after Caesar, became the ruler of Rome and her husband. The third one was Octavian, who ruled Rome later. She was known for her guile. The writings of Cicero, the politician and writer, show that he, and most Romans, regarded her with rancour. She gave herself the title of Queen of kings. Her lust for power was her undoing. After the death of her father, she became the co-ruler of Egypt along with her brother, three years younger, whom she had married, but did not want to share power with him and wanted all the power for herself. This enraged others because it was against custom and she had to flee to exile. Later, she managed to entice Julius Caesar and with his help, got installed as the ruler of Egypt and her brother was drowned in river. When she married Antony, she tried to exercise full control over him and succeeded to a large extent, except that she tried to captivate his close friend Herod, but was rebuffed by him and, thus spurned, wanted Antony to take action against him, but he did not oblige. Cleopatra could never reconcile herself with the fact that anybody other than herself should have any control over Antony. When he lost power, Cleopatra realized that she could neither kill nor exile him. She contrived in such a manner that he should kill himself out of love for her, and that because of his death, she would kill herself. This was her design to ensure that she would thereby become renowned in history. She managed to send a message to him that she had died, whereafter Antony committed suicide. After that, she also killed herself.

• Initially written as entry no. 468107 in the book in MISCELLANEA, "MISCELLANEA. Posted as independent item on 21 January 2008.

M C Gupta
11 November 2006
© Copyright 2008 Dr M C Gupta (mcgupta44 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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