• Drunken Violence and the Transition of Power in Plutarch's Alexander

    Author(s):
    Jeffrey Beneker (see profile)
    Date:
    2009
    Subject(s):
    Ancient Greek historiography, Ancient Greek history
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    biography, Plutarch, Alexander the Great
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6619R
    Abstract:
    This essay compares two episodes from Plutarch’s Alexander: the wedding of Philip and Cleopatra (9) and Alexander’s attack on Cleitus (50-51). The wedding episode, in which an angry, drunken Philip attacks Alexander, foreshadows Alexander’s own attack on Cleitus, but it also marks an important turning point in the development of the young Alexander. Prior to the wedding episode, Plutarch portrays Alexander as highly rational, wise beyond his years, and eager to rule. In creating this image, Plutarch uses Philip as a foil, showing how Alexander was better suited than his father to be king and how he had grown restless in his role as heir. Thus their clash over insults traded at the wedding party is the result of a rift in the father-son relationship and is intimately tied both to the positive and negative aspects of Alexander’s character and to the transition of power between father and son.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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