Who was Cleopatra?

Cleopatra was the name of several women of the Ptolemaic dynasty of ancient Egypt. The Cleopatra that we are discussing here is Cleopatra VII, who was the last queen (pharaoh) of her dynasty. Over the years she has become an icon of beauty, feminine perfection, intellectual brilliance and any other super hype that comes to mind. In reality she was an unpopular leader of a crumbling dynasty, trying desperately to keep her country from being swallowed up by Rome. She failed. After her suicide, misconceptions about her began and continue to this day.