Diogenes and Alexander

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Diogenes and Alexander
Gilbert Highet the author of the article, “Diogenes and Alexander,” describes a meeting between two personalities of history. The story of this piece is about two men living completely differently in Greece.One is trying to live the simple life while the other is a king; one does not have to worry about anyone but himself, yet the other has to worry about an entire country; one of them basically educated himself, while the other was taught by Aristotle.  The author compares Diogenes and Alexander and tries to form a common ground between them which is their belief in Cynic philosophy and quotes Alexander saying that he would have been Diogenes, which shows he held Diogenes as a great philosopher. Alexander was a King while on the contrary Diogenes was a ‘dog’ living in the streets of a city placed under the leadership of Alexander. Diogenes is compared to a ‘dog’ because of his lifestyle. He lived in the market, had no concern for privacy, taught those who wanted to listen to him and “barked” at others who he disliked. Furthermore, he disproves the claims of the society which labeled him as a lunatic in stating that he was a missionary, who wanted not only his society but the whole humankind to come close to nature and free their minds from acquiring ‘perishable goods’. The author then turns to Alexander stating he was ‘wiser than his years’. He praises Alexander not just as a military leader but also as a thinker, influenced by Aristotle and his teachings. In stating that Alexander would ‘create a supranational empire’ implies that the author sees him as someone destined for greatness. In conclusion, we can say that the author’s purpose is to show readers that even people from different social classes can
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