Cleopatra`s versatility has provoked much anxiety and fascination in history. Many have shown strong disapproval of her use of histrionics by associating it with the trope of feminine duplicity. Against this series of disapproval, feminist scholars such as Helene Cixous sought to find in her a way to counter the phallocentric fantasy of self-presence. This essay examines the political potential of Cleopatra`s histrionic versatility, drawing on Luce Irigaray`s and Judith Butler`s theories of performativity and subversive mimesis. Cleopatra`s histrionic improvisation simultaneously provokes and unsettles the traditional fear of feminine duplicity. By reconfiguring reality and selfhood in terms of theatrical construction, she deconstructs the dualism between presence and representation, between reality and hyperreality, and thus foregrounds the structural problem of phallocentrism that seeks to bind identity to the realm of substance and truth. Through a close examination of the politics of performance in Shakespeare`s Antony and Cleopatra, this essay examines how Shakespeare`s Cleopatra anticipates and continues to inform feminist attempts to defy phallocentric identitarian categories and furthermore to challenge the cultural logic of phallocentrism.