Understanding the Motivation off Alcibiades

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Alcibiades was a highly motivated individual with a drive to gain power by any means necessary. Alcibiades’ upbringing conditioned him, one might say entitled him, to power and influence, and his self-serving actions had the sole objectives of surpassing his predecessors and achieving glory. To understand the motivation of Alcibiades, we must look to his upbringing and character to examine his sense of entitlement. Alcibiades was born into an aristocratic Athenian family so he would have been pro oligarchy; he was the son of Cleinias (Thuc 5.43) who was slain at the battle of Coroneia (Plut. Alcibiades 1). After the death of his father, Alcibiades was placed under the guardianship of Pericles (Plut. Alcibiades 1), who was leader of the state and the most influential man of his day (Thuc 1.127). The connection that Alcibiades shared with Pericles, enabled him to enjoy the company of influential figures throughout Athens, and consequently; they desired him. It was said, “many well-born men were swarming around Alcibiades and seeking his company” (Plut. Alcibiades 4), being held in such high regard by the elite would have boosted his sense of self-importance, gained him influence and bring about great personal fame (Thu. 6.16). Alcibiades was a pleasure seeker who surrounded himself with admirers that enthralled him with “flattery and favors” (Plut. Alcibiades 4), these indulgences soon lead to him rebelling against anyone who would try to influence or admonish him (Plut.

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