The Cleopatra Archetype

xena can suck it

In ALL, WRITING EXERCISES by Stephanie Klein

Like Adele, Cher, and Madonna, if Cleopatra VII Philopator had a blog, it would be her one-name celebrity namesake: Cleopatra dot com (don’t bother – it’s empty and for sale). Along with her own makeup line, she’d feature Vlogs and daily rants about her life as a pharaoh. With comments like, “Just vomited in my mouth. You’re so self-absorbed and pretentious,” and “You’re not even that pretty. Shut up already,” a sly smile would emerge as she posted a cunning retort. Or hit “delete.” Yawn. She was over it. Besides, her beauty was “in itself neither altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her,” but she didn’t know this. Or, she certainly didn’t let on that she did. What ultimately made her attractive was her wit, charm and “sweetness in the tones of her voice.” And her inventive menu ideas were the most pinned on all of Pinterest.

Cleopatra.com: a blog celebrating a world in which women urinate standing up, and men sitting down.

Because so many trolls would comment, “TMI” whenever she detailed domestic life—intimacies about being married to her brothers, for example—she’d eventually set comments to “off.”  Having learned that lesson early on, she was ready for the mom bombs once she took up with Mark Antony (aka Mantony) and chronicled her sex life as a lactating mother of twins.

Haters gonna hate. Being called “queen of whores,” by a Roman nemesis, among others, wasn’t much of a shock to our girl. “Jealous much?” Thankfully, the intellects who were the majority of her readership, were quick to defend her, pointing out that the haters preferred to focus on her looks and lust because it was far easier than acknowledging her extraordinary intellect.

When she felt depressed, she’d take time off from the blog and teach herself a new language. Before offing herself, the woman was fluent in at least nine languages.

Despite there being a shitload of incest in her ancestry, Cleopatra was renowned for her intellect. And in her juicy tell-all blog, it was clear to see that she adored being the center of attention, loved her body and felt deeply passionate and creative. One of her most popular posts is when she recounts a date with a suitor named Caesar. “My breasts are full of love and life. My hips are rounded and well apart. Such women, they say, have sons.”

Part Greek and sharing my ancestry from Macedonia, Cleopatra, much like myself, would’ve devoted a section of her blog to Greek Tragedy, and within it she’d include posts titled, “Hundreds of Facts All About Me,” “Likeness Leads to Liking,” and “Men to Avoid.”

♠ Writing Exercise: Explore an Archetype ♠
A Writer’s Guide to Characterization
(which one are you)

The Seductive Muse: Artistic type, sculptor, actress, writer, advertising, illustrator, who loves the external world, receiving information via her senses (especially listening and looking), a skilled observer, who adores sex and being the center of attention. Cleopatra

The Amazon: Lover of nature and animals, valuing womanhood, willing to fight to the death, wants to be self-sufficient, is unafraid and “knowing,”a realistic type, activist, athletic coach, gardener, Olympian, store owner, anthropologist, security. Xena

What if… Cleopatra was forced to transition into a Xena… say by having to take a group of little girls into the woods for a camping trip. Ahem. See where I’m going with this?

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