The question this portfolio is centered around is: what constitutes good rule? This project uses sources such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Prince by Machiavelli to design a criteria of a good ruler. A good ruler basically has a virtuous moral character which leads him to choose the proper actions to assure him of desirable results. A poor ruler must have had a poor moral character which leads him to choose improper actions leading to undesirable results. The major character, Saturninus, in Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare is an example of a poor ruler. Saturninus often displays behavior that contradicts the characteristics Sun Tzu and Machiavelli state. In contrast, according to Sun Tzu’s and Machiavelli’s criteria, Zachary Snyder’s portrayal of King Leonidas in “300” exemplifies how a good ruler should act. For instance, Leonidas respects his subjects' opinions but, he does not allow their opinions to override what he thinks is best for his country in various key moments of the movie. To add a different point of view to examine Saturninus and Leonidas, a historical fact source has been included; The Regal Phantasm by Christopher Pye presents an analysis of what early moderns thought of good rule. Finally, a number of arguments are provided to support the thesis.
This portfolio is organized by source. Each source used has its own heading at the top of the webpage which can be used to access any notes and any other relevant material for that source. A link to the skills section serves as an area of the portfolio to house indirectly relevant material. A more extensive explanation of each category can be found on the Table of Contents link on the left navigation bar and on each source’s page.