Characters Discussed

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar, the dictator of Rome and conqueror of the world. A middle-aged, rather prosaic man, he meets the childish Cleopatra on a moonlit night in the desert. Although fascinated and rather amused by the beautiful child, he is too practical and detached to be enthralled by her charms. He forces her out of her childishness and teaches her statecraft that makes her truly the queen of Egypt.

Cleopatra

Cleopatra, the sixteen-year-old queen of Egypt. An excitable schoolgirl, she is at war with her husband-brother, Ptolemy Dionysus, for the crown. She believes herself to be in love with the elderly Caesar, who forces her to assume her dignity as queen, but she really loves only herself. At the end of the play, she is looking forward to the arrival of the young and handsome Antony.

Ptolemy Dionysus

Ptolemy Dionysus, Cleopatra’s brother, husband, and rival for her crown, killed in battle against Caesar.

Ftatateeta

Ftatateeta, Cleopatra’s bullying and savage nurse, against whom the queen finally revolts, at Caesar’s instigation. She is killed by Rufio.

Britannus

Britannus, Caesar’s secretary. The eternal Englishman, conventional and easily shocked, he is doggedly faithful to Caesar.

Rufio

Rufio, a Roman officer and the slayer of Ftatateeta.

Pothinus

Pothinus, Ptolemy Dionysus’ guardian. He plots against Caesar and, at Cleopatra’s instigation, is killed by Ftatateeta.

Apollodorus

Apollodorus, a Sicilian.