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Sample Answer | Alexander and Philip

Reviewed by Student Contributor

Analysis of Alexander and Philip’s relationship

Alexander and Phillips's relationship was good for the most part but fraught at times. From my reading of Plutarch, it is clear to me that Philip was very trusting of his son. He was a great leader and he fought many battles before he died. While Philip was away, he would leave his son Alexander in charge. At the age of 16 he was put in command as Regent of Macedonia. He seized the Maedi tribe and civilised the Greeks. He also welcomed Persian ambassadors in Phillips's absence. This is impressive because he only asked them about their duties and responsibilities. He never bothers them with any "childish for trivial inquiries." it is evident that Philip clearly has a lot of trust and faith in his son to act maturely and look after affairs when Philip cannot. This clearly shows the trust in Alexandria and Phillip's relationship.

Another aspect of the relationship is the rivalry between them. Philip managed to conquer a vast amount of the Persian Empire. Alexander was clearly jealous of his father and his brilliant achievement. Alexander constantly worried that his father would forestall him in everything. Alexander admires Philip greatly but obviously wants to be famous and adored. They are great rivals when it comes to conquering new land.

There is great competition to be seen when Alexander bets his father he can tame a wild horse. Bucephalus was an uncontrollable animal that Philip did not want to buy and was insulted that such a barbarous beast would be offered to him. Alexander noticed that the horse was afraid of his shadow so he turned the animal's head away from the Sun and ran with him until it was safe to mount the horse overcome with pride Philip wept for joy. He was so astonished that his son had such a magnificent ability to tame a wild horse. It’s evident to me that while their relationship was focused a lot on rivalry, it is this competitiveness that shows Philip his son was destined for greatness.

Phillip and Alexander share a strong bond as father and son. It is clear Philip wanted the best for son because he gave him an amazing education. As I have already mentioned Philip provided him with a strong military and political education. He also sent for Aristotle the most learned and exceptional philosopher of this time. Aristotle instilled in Alexander a love for all kinds of learning. He received education in politics philosophy and esoteric studies. These were taught to a small number of people whom Aristotle deemed worthy. Clearly, Philip cared greatly about his son's schooling. He would never leave it up to the "run of old teachers." with such a fantastic education Alexander felt appreciative and admiration for his father. This created a very strong relationship built on respect.

However, this respect faded over time and they began to have a very fractious relationship. There was great tension between the two when Philip divorced Alexander's mother Olympias to marry Cleopatra. An argument broke out When Alexander's eligibility for the throne was questioned. Both drunk, the men exchanged very harsh words. Alexander took Olympias to Illyria and he stayed with her for a while before returning to Macedonia. It was believed that Olympias was to blame for the split in their relationship. Plutarch states that Olympias "incited Alexander to oppose his father." clearly; they did not share a good relationship after this falling out. In my opinion, I believe that Alexander and Philip had a good relationship based on trust and a little bit of healthy rivalry. As he got older and things grew more complicated a split was caused between the two. There was no longer a good father-son relationship.


This content has not been reviewed by Studyclix. It was written by an enthusiastic student contributor who got an H1 in this subject and wanted to lend a helping hand to students like you.

By Student Contributor

This student got an H1 in this subject.

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