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Parent-child and teacher-student relationships are a fundamental aspect of "The Golden Mean". It is important to note that, Aristotle was very influential in Alexander's eventful life. "The Golden Mean" is all about individuals struggling with common challenges that affect humanity in their daily lives and activities. "The Golden Mean" covers the relationship that existed between Aristotle and Alexander, who was his superstar pupil. Alexander is remembered to have created one of the largest empires in ancient history by the time he was thirty years old. He was undefeated in most of his conquest and hence considered as amongst the successful commanders.
He made sure that Greek culture spread throughout most of the parts he conquered in battle. On the other hand, Aristotle was a Greek Philosopher and a student of Plato. He personally taught Alexander who became the Great. His many writings cover poetry, physics, music, politics, logic, government, biology, ethics and many others. He is among influential founders of Western philosophy, which entailed politics and metaphysics, logic and science, morality and aesthetics. After doing a lot of numerous studies, he was finally called upon by Philip II of Macedon to tutor Alexander the Great.
The plot of the story starts with Aristotle and his wife going to Pella to pay a courtesy call to King Phillip whom they were friends with (Annabel 5). The king had called upon him to educate his sons Alexander. It is at this point that Aristotle comes into contact with the young princes. However, he goes out of his way and begins by tutoring Alexander's elder brother who was mentally handicapped. Later on, Alexander likes and approves Aristotle, and that was when he became his pupil together with a group of friends. The student-teacher relationship that existed between Aristotle and Alexander is among the most interesting of all times.
It is also interesting to note that there exists a rather interesting parent-child relationship between King Phillip of Macedon, his son Alexander, and the mother. Alexander later becomes the Great after getting a lot of influence from outside sources. The King wants the best for his son, so he recruits his friend Aristotle to come in and tutor Alexander. Aristotle takes up the challenge, and also decides to tutor the King's older son called Arrhidaeus besides Alexander. Notably, Arrhidaeus seems to have been rejected by his family due to the mental disability he was in.
It is believed that some of Alexander's personality traits could have been formed in response to the relationship he had with his parents. Notably, his mother had huge ambitions for her child. She had always encouraged Alexander to believe that he was the only one supposed to conquer the Persian Empire. It is thought that Alexander's mother, also known as Olympias, may have poisoned King Philip (Alexander's father) so that he could not rival his son. The mother's influence on Alexander seems to have been huge, which created a sense of destiny in him. Olympias made her son develop a huge ambition that impacted greatly in his later life as a leader. It seems that the mother was preparing her son in advance for the conquest and numerous battles that Alexander won.
On the other hand, Philip's relationship with his son seems to have instilled competitiveness in Alexander's personality. Alexander always aimed at outdoing his father. This character trait plays itself in the reckless nature he had in battle. Alexander kept on wondering that the father would leave him without any brilliant achievement to show out to the world. Despite this mentality, he kept on downplaying his father's achievements to his mates.
Moreover, Alexander developed a violent temper, which was rash and impulsive in nature. This did contribute a lot into his decision making later in the years to come. It is thought that this part of him added up to his weakness for alcohol. Notably, he did not respond appropriately to his father, and was stubborn always. It was easier to persuade Alexander by reasoned debate than ordering him around.
Despite his fiery temper, Alexander had a soft side. He was perceptive, calculating and logical in his reasoning. As he grew up, he slowly developed a huge desire and ambition for knowledge. He loved philosophy and was an enthusiastic reader. These qualities came straight from the great relationship he had with his teacher Aristotle. Alexander was undoubtedly an intelligent fellow who was quick to learn and passionate about knowledge. The rational and intelligent side of Alexander comes into play in his successes as a general; he was very able and won in numerous great battles. In contrast to his weakness for alcohol, Alexander was successful in restraint toward bodily pleasures.
In the coming years, Alexander became scholarly and a patron in sciences and arts (Badian 427). However, it is notable that he was not very much enthusiastic about sports, contrary to King Philip, his father. He only sought after Homeric ideals of glory and fame. He had the force of personality and great charisma that propelled him to become a great and admirable leader. This is shown out clearly when he became the only one who united the Macedonians. All of his generals were unable to do that after his death.
There seem to be a conflict between the teacher and his student; both had different solitary pursuits. Alexander liked action while Aristotle was into contemplation. Aristotle is caught complaining that while he wants to be in Athens writing books, Alexander wants to be in the army. However, despite their differences, they both agree on coming to a compromise and make the best out of their different situations.
It is notable that, in his pursuit of the golden mean, Aristotle touches on everyone from the lowest slave to the King. While Aristotle and Alexander are undoubtedly two great men to have lived during their time, they worked together as teacher and student. Each had his own unique greatness but experienced a strong relationship together.
Aristotle started teaching Alexander at the age of thirteen. The temple of the Nymphs was used as the classroom. The temple was at Mieza, which acted as a boarding school for many other pupils. Alexander schooled with the children of Macedonian nobles, for example, Cassander, Hephaistion, and Ptolemy. Many of the classmates later became Alexander's friends and army generals referred to as Companions. Aristotle gave Alexander and his companions a number of lessons in philosophy, medicine, logic, morals, art, and religion. It is evident that, it is from Aristotle that Alexander developed a passion for the works of Homer, especially the Iliad. Aristotle donated an annotated copy to him, which he carried on his numerous campaigns (Everson 90).
As the head of the royal academy of Macedon, Aristotle gave a number of lessons to Alexander and other future kings. Among his lessons in politics, he advised Philip and Alexander that monarchy is justified if the King's virtue and that of his family was greater that for the rest of the citizens combined (Everson 87). It is notable that Aristotle kept on encouraging Alexander towards eastern conquest. That is why Alexander developed an attitude towards Persia. Aristotle is also depicted advising Alexander to be a leader to the Greeks but a tyrant to barbarians. Moreover, he should treat the Greeks as being after relatives and friends, but the barbarians as plants to be destroyed.
However, towards the end of Alexander's life, Alexander suspected of numerous plots against him. He directed his doubts towards Aristotle and threatened him in letters. This is because Aristotle did not hide his dislike for Alexander's pretense of divinity. Moreover, Alexander had executed Callisthenes, Aristotle's grand nephew, as being a traitor.
In conclusion, Alexander is remembered to have created one of the largest empires in ancient history by the time he was thirty years old (Wilcken 3). He was undefeated in most of his conquest and hence considered as amongst the successful commanders. He made sure that Greek culture spread throughout most of the parts he conquered in battle. On the other hand, Aristotle was a Greek Philosopher and a student of Plato. He personally taught Alexander who became the Great. His many writings cover poetry, physics, music, politics, logic, government, biology, ethics and many others. He is among influential founders of Western philosophy, which entailed politics and metaphysics, logic and science, morality and aesthetics.
After doing a lot of numerous studies, he was finally called upon by Philip II of Macedon to tutor Alexander the Great. This study has discussed the relationship between the two; Alexander and Aristotle. It is evident that the teacher-student relationsip they had shared was a great one. On the other hand, the paper has also discussed the parent-child relationship that existed between Alexander and his parents. It is notable that the relationship was an intriguing one given the fact that it contributed heavily towards building Alexander's character.