“Write a short essay comparing Donald Trump and Admetus.” That was the prompt I gave ChatGPT, just to see how it would handle a presumably unfamiliar topic. I’ll show you the essay in a minute, but first I should remind you who Admetus was, in case you’ve forgotten your Greek mythology.
Admetus was King of Pherae—which spell-check doesn’t like, wanting to change it to either Preheat or Pierre, sigh—who the Fates allowed to live past the allotted day of his death as long as he could find a volunteer to die in his place. Needless to say, finding such a person wasn’t easy, but eventually Admetus “persuaded” his wife, Alcestis, to “volunteer.” All of this is described in the poetic ancient Greek of Euripides in his play Alcestis, which I am currently re-reading (in the original Greek) as part of my language study with my former Lincoln-Sudbury student, Robin. Since the last time I read Alcestis was in 1964, it’s effectively the first time all over again!
The key line in the play—uttered by a maidservant but reflecting Admetus’s point of view—is “Is there a higher excellence
than this, that a wife should die her husband’s death?” Other parts of the text reflect his grievances: he’s the victim, since he will be left a widower; how can the gods do this to him?
So you see why I thought of Donald Trump and asked ChatGPT to compare him with Admetus. Here was the result:
Donald Trump and Admetus are two very different figures from different times and cultures. Donald Trump is a contemporary American businessman and politician, while Admetus is a character from Greek mythology. Despite their differences, however, there are a few interesting comparisons that can be made between the two.
One of the most notable similarities between Trump and Admetus is their wealth and status. Trump is known for his wealth and extravagant lifestyle, while Admetus was a king of Thessaly and was also known for his wealth and power. Both of these figures were born into positions of privilege and had access to resources that most people could only dream of.
Another interesting comparison between the two is their personal lives. Trump has been married multiple times and has had numerous affairs throughout his life, while Admetus was known for his love for his wife, Alcestis. When Alcestis died, Admetus was willing to do anything to bring her back to life, even if it meant sacrificing his own life. This selflessness is in stark contrast to Trump’s reputation for putting his own interests above all else.
Finally, it’s worth noting that both Trump and Admetus were controversial figures in their own time. Trump’s presidency was marked by controversy, and he often found himself at odds with both his political opponents and members of his own party. Similarly, Admetus was known for his questionable actions, including banishing his own father from his kingdom and betraying a friend in order to secure his own position.
In conclusion, while there are some interesting comparisons to be made between Donald Trump and Admetus, the two figures are ultimately very different. Trump is a contemporary political figure, while Admetus is a character from ancient mythology. Despite their differences, however, both men were wealthy and controversial figures who left their mark on history in their own way.
Could be better. Could be worse. I think it missed the point.