Alexander Plutarch's Arrogance

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As the successor to Philip II and Great King of a vast empire, Alexander must have possessed aspects that qualify him for his noble position. Based on Plutarch’s account of Alexander, he was intelligent and had the utmost respect for knowledge; his appreciation of philosophy lasted throughout his life and his intelligence made him capable of making the decisions of a king. Alexander also seemed to have had an arrogance fit for his status. Alexander’s haughtiness, although it often does land him in heated situations, also strengthens his confidence as a leader. His leadership capabilities began at a young age, and its extent is reflected by the immensity of the Macedonian empire by the end of his reign. With status in an elite class, Alexander…show more content…
During the banquet of Philip’s marriage to Cleopatra, Attalus had proclaimed that a legitimate heir would be born of this union, insinuating that Alexander is a bastard. Philip did not defend Alexander and Olympias; instead, he “drew his sword against his son (p. 261).” Out of anger and a wounded pride, Alexander moved to Illyria. Alexander has accepted himself to be the heir; throughout his childhood he repeatedly shows his capabilities as a leader and his ambitions for his empire, but the constant threat of his succession may have led to overcompensation to show his superiority. He later saw this threat in a marriage proposal of Pixodarus’ daughter to Arrhidaeus. Alexander was disturbed that the proposal was not presented to him, and feared that this would elevate his sibling in the line of succession. Arrogance got the best of Alexander, and second handedly offered himself as the better brother for the proposal. This further shows his insecurity as heir and how Alexander can use his influence and superiority to manipulate situations to be in his favor. This is also exemplified when Alexander visits the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The prophetess refused to speak to Alexander because the “law forbade her to do so,” but the now king had to get his way and forced her to speak. Alexander’s superiority as…show more content…
Despite the non-ideal arrogance of Alexander, Plutarch highlights qualities that allowed him to have been such a great king. The high esteem he had for knowledge and intelligence qualifies his ability as a decision maker during his kingship. His endurance and ability to command resulted in an empire worthy of his ambitions and his qualities as king were worthy of an empire so great as the Macedonian
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