In Act 2, Scene 2, Enobarbus begins to describe Cleopatra's appearance on the occasion of Antony's first meeting with her. The imagery he deploys in this scene is strong, particularly the visual imagery:
ENOBARBUS: For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue—
O’erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
Cleopatra is equated to the goddess Venus of Roman mythology, both literally and through the visual imagery of the scene. Venus, goddess of love and beauty, first emerged into the world being born out of the ocean, naked on a clamshell. Similarly, Cleopatra emerges into Antony's world on a beautiful boat, floating on the Nile. Both women are associated with the image of water and the act of emerging from the water. Furthermore, Enobarbus adds to the general perception of splendor by introducing gold to the rich visual imagery of the scene. Flanked by Cupids and resting on cloth made of precious metal, Cleopatra appears as the image of a goddess might appear in a painting: positioned aesthetically for the pleasure of her viewing audience.