The Characterization of Cleopatra.
In Shakespeare's play, Cleopatra is characterized as an enigmatic, sensual, and charismatic figure. Shakespeare's Cleopatra dominates rather than submits to fate. In Act 1 Scene 5, we discover that she has commissioned twenty different messengers to bear daily messages to Antony. She proclaims to Charmian that, if need be, she will "unpeople Egypt" to ensure that Antony receives daily messages of love from her. Enobarbus describes Cleopatra's brilliance and magnetic allure in Act 2 Scene 2 of Antony and Cleopatra.
The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumèd that
The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue—
O’erpicturing that Venus where...
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