All for Love, or, The World Well Lost
De Beer Eb 1740 D
London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson
One of the most famous female rulers of all time, Cleopatra (69-30 BC), is often remembered for the wrong reasons. Represented over the centuries in various forms of art – paintings, poetry, plays (as above) – Cleopatra’s supposed beauty, her affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her questionable suicide, are usually the focus. However, Cleopatra was an intellect who spoke nine languages; she was politically astute, governing Egypt for 18 years in turbulent times; and she was ruthless, killing three of her siblings to maintain her rule. Despite this, she has been described as a ‘whore’, ‘disgusting’, and ‘wicked’. Let us now remember Cleopatra for her intelligence and her achievements as a ruler.
John Dryden, “All for Love, or, The World Well Lost,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 1, 2023, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/11276.