The Fall Of Anna Comnena Essay Example


Anna watched as her brother got the throne, and held her head down in shame, knowing she would never get it back. The historical narrative “Anna of Byzantium,” written Tracy Barrett, was about a Byzantine princess named Anna, who was also the protagonist of the book. She was destined for the throne, but lost it, when her brother overheard her saying she wanted to kill him. Through rage and greed, she tried to murder him but was caught and exiled, to a convent far from Constantinople, and even farther from the luxury she greedily lost. Even though some might say that she would have been a better ruler, as she was truthful and had some experience, there are many reasons why her brother, who got the throne after she was exiled, would have made a better ruler than Anna herself. She would not have made a suitable ruler and empress for the Byzantine empire because she was bad at communicating and listening, while not being able to make useful decisions. 

Anna’s listening skill was one of the many things that brought to her downfall. Though some say that she does listen to others, like when her father told her she was and had to be betrothed to a stranger, she didn’t argue, and thought “So this was the man I was to marry… I knew my father had chosen Constantine Ducas for my husband…”(Barrett 37). However, she only did that because she liked him and how he looked.Also, later in the book, she mentions that she has more power over him and that if he disagrees with her, she will still get her way. Also, when she lost the throne, she wouldn’t listen to Simon, he tried to help control her actions and stop her from poisoning her brother, by saying “ ‘Your Majesty – Princess Anna… Think before you act. Remember Arteus.

Remember Agamemnon,’ ” but Anna rudely had said to him, “ ‘I don’t have to explain my actions to you, slave!’ ” (Barrett 181). To be a proper listener, other ideas must be put into opinion. She had not even thought about what Simon or anyone had said about hurting her brother. Also, to be a better ruler, to listening to your advisors, to your village, and even the slaves who want the best for your community, is key, but Anna is missing that quality. Anna would not be a great listener, and without that quality, she wouldn’t be on track to be a correct empress. 

Secondly, Anna is not a good decision maker. Some say she made the right decision telling what actually occurred in her training to her father when he asked what she was learning, “... I learned how treaties are made and broken…  ”( Barrett 102). However, again, that isn’t true, she only did it because she wanted her grandmother to learn that she isn’t under control and that she can make her own decisions. Also, she did it to get revenge, and revenge is not okay to be thinking of as a ruler, as it could bring to downfall. Another detail that shows that Anna is poor when it comes to decision-making is when Anna tried to poison her brother, “ I will do it [it being poisoning her brother]” (Barrett 12). Instead of attempting to kill her brother, she could have reasoned with him, or do something less aggressive. When she goes on to get the throne, if she uses death to punish, many would have feared her, and many would have rebelled against her. With that, she could have still lived a comfortable and royal life, instead of living in a convent far from the palace. Without decision-making capabilities, Anna would not have made a strengthful ruler. 

All in all, Anna would not have made a good ruler and would have brought to the downfall of the Byzantium empire. John, though not the most suitable emperor, made a better emperor than Anna. He was young and still had time to learn the royal attributes, and even spared Anna when she tried to kill him. Anna was not only bad at listening and making decisions, but she also showed very little empathy to others, was overconfident, and was not wise, in common sense, for if she was all these things, she would still have been empress, and could have ruled over the Byzantine empire safely, and strongly . That is why Anna would not have made a proper ruler for the Byzantine empire.

 

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