Achashverosh has almost no agency in Megillah. He basically walks around signing whatever anyone tells him to sign and making edicts out of anger. Was he totally schnockered from the half year of drunken debauchery that preceded Ester's reign (or from another such bash)? Are there any traditional sources that talk about this?

Not Purim Torah but inspired by this comment.

  • I believe the Malbim addresses this in his commentart on the Megillah.
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 2, 2015 at 17:30
  • Read Yaaros Devash Rav Yonason Eibshitz who gives a fascinating explanation on what exactly achasvaeirosh was doing and from his pshat he was very calculated
    – sam
    Feb 2, 2015 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


According to Medrash Esther Rabba, Achashveirosh had taken control of the Persian empire, despite not being a blood relative of the former kings. He maintained strong control over a vast empire. It's hard to imagine that he did all this in a state of drunkenness.

The Medrash also brings a famous debate: was Achashveirosh a melech tipeish, an idiotic king, or a melech chacham, a wise king? Even that disagreement is localized to the specific issue being debated. No opinion actually holds that the ruler of the civilized world was a drunken idiot.

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