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Machiavelli Case

Essay by   •  October 21, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,634 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,651 Views

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1. Why did Machiavelli write the Prince?

Machiavelli wrote The Prince to basically showcase his extensive knowledge of how to be a great ruler and to provide a manual for rulers to follow. He provides examples of rulers and their successes and failures, and then he points out what would the characteristics of a good prince be like and how they are supposed to act. The book simply shows that Machiavelli could have been a great advisor to any princes. At that time, Lorenzo de Medici was the ruler during the Italian Renaissance, so one can assume that the book is his way of displaying how useful he could have been to Lorenzo. Machiavelli even dedicated The Prince book to Lorenzo, hinting that maybe he wanted to be Lorenzo's right-hand man.

2. Name 3 recurring themes in The Prince.

Throughout the book, Machiavelli focused on 3 themes: warcraft, hatred and good fortune. Early in the book Machiavelli mentioned how important it is to be knowledgable about the military. A war-smart leader is a good leader. Machiavelli even goes to dedicate a couple chapters on how to create a successful war from gaining respect from allies and the people to learning how to treat people in new territories. Being knowledgable about war is a tool and it also helps give a prince an advantage by being always ahead of foreigners and by being able to communicate with his soldiers. Machiavelli also strongly shows how important hatred is. A prince should not be hated by his people in order to remain in power. Machiavelli, at times, does show how cruel he can be; however he advises the prince to avoid being hated by his men from doing bad deeds. A prince has to set a good example for the people and has to cater to the people's necessities in order to avoid being hated. Lastly, Machiavelli numerously mentions about having good fortune. Luck has to do with everything. Towards the end of the book, Machiavelli tells his reader that 2 princes may start out the same but get different results or 2 princes may start out differently but end at the same goal. It ll has to do with good fortune. Machiavelli advices the prince to always be prepared, whether bad fortune or good fortune is coming his way.

The 3 recurring themes in The Prince that I noticed were war, hatred, and fortune.

3. Describe the role of armies according to Machiavelli.

The role of armies, according to Machiavelli, is to keep the territory protected. Armies help in protecting its people and to withstand any siege. Armies also have the role to have preparation for war. A Prince well prepared for war with a group or good soldiers is ready for any possible future attacks. Machiavelli even dedicated a chapter in the book to show the importance of the art of war. He claimed that the knowledge of war makes a prince stronger because it is an advantage over any regular citizen and it keeps him in power. Machiavelli clearly stated that it is better for a prince to be armed, whether it is with war-wise or physically armed, than to be unarmed and defenseless.

4. Why does Machiavelli say that it is better for a prince "to be both loved and feared"? Is it possible for a prince to be both? Explain.

Machiavelli exclusively allowed Chapter 17 to be all about being loved and/or feared. He believed that it is better for a prince "to be both loved and feared", but when it comes to choosing one over another, fear should be chosen. A prince should be both loved and feared because when the people will listen to him and let him rule them. With fear and love, "they will offer you their blood, property, life and children". Fear causes people to follow your rule because of your militia resources and overall power. Fear also, according to Machiavelli, "preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails". As for love, a prince should be loved by the people because then that means he is trusted by the people and they will do anything to support him. However, men "love according to their own will" whereas fear just comes naturally. At the end of the day though, a prince should mainly consider how to not be hated by his people. He cannot be too cruel or pushed from love to hatred because by then people would turn on the prince. In my opinion, I think it is possible for a prince to be both loved and feared. Let's take Adolf Hitler for example. Yes he wasn't a prince, but a dictatorship is just as close. Before WWII, Germany was in a turmoil and the German people turned to Hitler and saw him as their savior. He was loved by the people. However, some of that love was turned to fear when he started to annihilate masses of people. There were still people who loved him: those Nazi supporters. As for a modern day example,



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