Anna Comnena Analysis Essay Example
Anna watched as her brother got the throne and held her head in shame, knowing she would never get it back. The historical narrative “Anna of Byzantium,” written by Tracy Barrett, was about a Byzantine princess named Anna, who was also the book’s protagonist. She was destined for the throne but lost it when her brother overheard her saying she wanted to kill him.
She tried to murder him through rage and greed 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 terrible at communicating and listening while not being able to make valuable decisions. Anna’s listening skill was one of the many things that brought 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 his appearance. 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, she wouldn’t listen to Simon when she lost the throne. 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, listening to your advisors, your village, and even the enslaved people who want the best for your community is vital, 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 her father what actually occurred in her training 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 wasn’t under control and could make her own decisions. Also, she did it to get revenge, which is not okay to think of as a ruler, as it could bring downfall. Another detail that shows that Anna is poor when it comes to decision-making is when Anna tries 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 done something less aggressive. When she goes on to get the throne, if she uses death to punish, many would have feared her and 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 the downfall of the Byzantium empire. Though not the most suitable emperor, John 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 firmly. Anna would not have made a proper ruler for the Byzantine empire.