In 1594, Shakespeare returned to the theater and became a charter member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men - a group of actors who changed their name to the King's Men when James I ascended the throne. By 1598, Shakespeare had been appointed the "principal comedian" for the troupe; by 1603, he was "principal tragedian." He remained associated with the organization until his death. Although acting and playwriting were not considered noble professions at the time, successful and prosperous actors were relatively well respected. Shakespeare’s success left him with a fair amount of money, which he invested in Stratford real estate. In 1597, he purchased the second largest house in Stratford - the New Place - for his parents. In 1596, Shakespeare applied for a coat of arms for his family, in effect making himself a gentleman. Consequently, his daughters made “good matches,” and married wealthy men.
Cleopatra's sexuality, despite condemnation by the patriarchal men - she is referred to as 'strumpet' and 'whore' on various occasions throughout the play - is unhidden and unrestricted. Her sexual power over men is conveyed boldly, for example, in her descriptions of her former conquests 'great Pompey' and 'Broad-fronted Caesar'. Cleopatra's sexuality is not a thing to be locked up, as in Hamlet and Othello , but is celebrated as a positive force. Surprisingly, even Enobarbus, despite his patriarchal views, does on occasions present her as positively sexual, as his unforgettable description of her indicates: