Akish has risen to power through secret combinations and murder, and he therefore knows for a fact that there are ruthless men who will kill to get gain, for he is one of them. He suspects that his son is another. It is probable that it is his firstborn son, and therefore the likely claimant to the throne. Akish does what may kings of the Old World did – he locked up the potential rival. In this case, there may have been some reason why he could not kill the son outright, for he allows the son to die of starvation. This at least suggests that he had some social prevention against killing his son.