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The Prince Essay

1663 words - 7 pages

In The Prince, by Machiavelli, he discusses the nature of the prince, how he should arise to power if not inherited by blood, and the rules in which to rule his domain. He primarily wrote this for the sake of the Medici family who would later transcend history as an infamous banking family that produced not only a queen but two Pope’s. The contents of this book were extremely controversial and were not published until after Machiavelli’s death but to this day it still holds to some degree influential power.
As a Prince one must appear to have righteous qualities such as mercy, kindness, faithful, etc. but that is only the outward appearance that he must give off. The Prince should always ...view middle of the document...

It is best to keep both in balance but if neither can be upheld than fear is best.
As briefly mentioned, the Prince must have the illusion of having qualities that he may or may not have. One of which is his reliability, the Prince must have the illusion of being reliable, and he must keep his word when it fulfills his purpose, yet he should not rashly break his word. In addition, he must also be able to command respect from the people; Machiavelli claims that a man of high respect will face no internal difficulties. He must be able to keep the disdain from the nobles low and maintain the satisfaction of the people in order to keep the peace.
Machiavelli claimed that public and private morality were two separate entities. He argues that no matter what ideals the Prince adopts, there is no guarantee that the people will follow them so there is no use in wasting time and energy. The Prince must be able to know when and how to do a bad deed. But in the public eye he would have the Prince fool the people and appear to have good qualities. They must appear to have the qualities of which they do not. Machiavelli wrote the Prince to show what makes a good quality human being but rather a strong fierce Prince that knew how to rule his land and people.
Machiavelli also discusses the importance of virtue and fortune. He believes that fortune controls half of our actions and the other half is what we make up for ourselves. The only such way to avoid misfortune was caution. He claimed that the greatest Princes were those that took the most risks and rose to power through their own capabilities. Machiavelli compares fortune to a wild river and that while it cannot be controlled, during the calm you can build dams. Therefore, one must do all that that can and control what they will while they leave the other part to fortune to decide. In the case of fortune versus virtue, Duke Valentino, or Cesar Borgia, is an exceptional example. He was a man of great courage; he acquired power by hereditary means although he was not was unable to hold power. He had attempted to follow Machiavelli’s guidelines but he was still unsuccessful. His father’s good fortune had been swept away by the uncontrollable river. But the one thing that he had succeeded in was laying a foundation for any future ruler.
The art of war is not only important for just the Prince but anyone of a leadership position in a country. War is an ideal that affects every nation and Machiavelli strongly advises the Prince to study such a thing. He states that a prince that is self-sufficient can meet any adversary on the battlefield. As the basics, he must keep the city properly defended at all times as well as have a decent supply so that in times of siege they can withstand it. When they are not at war, the Prince should keep the morale strong and kill the disbelievers. He also cautions that mercenaries are bad because they show no allegiance to anyone but themselves. And that they are...

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