King Louis XIV

King Louis XIV, one of the most notable Monarchs in history, once remarked to the next heir to the throne (King louis XVI), “My child, you are going to be a great king; do not imitate me in the taste I have had for building, or in that I have had for war; try, on the contrary, to be at peace with your neighbors.” This quote encapsulates the true intentions of King Louis XIV’s rule as monarch, which is to seek the approval of his underlings and peers alike. Even though historians have recorded his accounts for his love of war and architecture (Versailles) there was a sole purpose in exalting his love for these attributes and most importantly finding peace within his “neighbors”. From observing the pinnacle moments of King louis XIV’s life, “peace” can be interpreted as an epiphany, a realization of seeking the price of acceptance from his peers was a waste. According to the account of “Three Views of the Court of Louis XIV at Versailles” , the views of Saint Simon made compelling observations about King Louis XIV’s prideful character and the presentation of himself as a ruler.This paper proclaims that the mask of narcissism looms over the face of King Louis XIV; this claim is manifested through the historical accounts of his strategic ruling as an Absolute monarch and the eloquent perspectives of his peer Saint Simon.
The most important hallmarks of narcissism are identified by the extensive observations of his peer, The Duc de Saint-Simon, a nobleman who kept his most compelling memoirs of King Louis XIV within his diary. In order to determine King Louis as an Amorous Narcissist, this paper analyzes King Louis XIV’s childhood as being a trigger to this behavior. Within the passage “The Memoirs of the Duke de Saint-Simon” , The Duc de Saint-Simon acknowledges the royal monarch’s childhood as being neglected,
“All his faults were produced by his surroundings. In his childhood, he was so much neglected that no one dared go near his rooms. He was often heard to speak of those times with great bitterness; he used to relate how, through the carelessness of his attendants, he was found one evening in the basin of a fountain in the Palais-Royal gardens” (Arkwright 1).
Childhood neglect is a very prominent motif in the history of person with narcissism, when a child is isolated within their own environment and is left to their own devices, they are left to feel worthless, or invalid because their need for affection is not being met. Due to the negligence of his attendants, his mother moving on from his father’s death and marrying the Cardinal Mazarin and most importantly, the Fronde revolt, these feelings of invalidness could have triggered the need to control the nobility and the fate of France (Landweber 2018). King louis XIV had to prove himself to be a domineering ruler in order to prove that he was not weak man underneath.
Another important detail that was noted by Saint-Simon was King Louis XIV’s ulterior motive in his passion for waging wars, “It was this love of praise which made it easy for him Louvois to engage him in serious wars, for he persuaded him that he had greater talents for war than any of Generals, greater both in design and in execution, and the Generals themselves encouraged him in this notion, to keep in favour with him.” (Halsall 1997). The notion of only seeking praise and flattery from his Generals points to him being an Amorous Narcissist. Amorous Narcissism is one of the behavioral types of Narcissism that was classified by Theodore Milton, that illustrates a person who has attention-seeking behaviors for the sake of earning trust in relationships, whether it be for affection or a friendship. Amorous Narcissists are often obsessed with the award of gaining one’s admiration or bond. King louis XIV, as an Amorous Narcissist, will exalt himself above his own peers, in this case generals, in order to seek praise from the very people he classifies as inferior to his majesty, even though this may