Comparing Dante Alighieri And Machiavelli's The Prince

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Although Dante Alighieri and Niccolò Machiavelli lived in two different times, they both experienced political turmoil that impacted their lives. Living during times of conflict shaped the way they each looked at violence, virtue, and reason, which is evidenced in Dante’s Inferno and Machiavelli’s The Prince. Dante and Machiavelli both viewed violence, virtue, and reason as an interconnected triangle, but their realities created different ideas on how virtue and reason impact violence.
Living a century apart, both authors’ lives show similarities. Both lived amid political turmoil that weakened Florence, and both were exiled from Florence because of politics. Dante lived during the Guelf-Ghibelline conflict in the late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries, where the contested issue was whether the pope should …show more content…

He believed that princes must use violence to maintain power within their princedoms, which shows that Machiavelli saw political power and leaders as weak and unstable. He saw this as the Italian city-states fought for control over land. He also witnessed this as the Medici family lost power in Florence and the new ruler, Girolamo Savonarola, took over. Savonarola, a Dominican monk, was incredibly pious. He hosted the Bonfire of the Vanities and burned art, fashion, jewels, and other secular objects. This impacted Machiavelli and his standing in Florentine society because of his connection to the Medici family and because he was not a religious leader in the city. The religious and political turmoil Dante lived amongst also shaped his views on violence. The Guelf-Ghibelline conflict resulted in Dante’s exile, and his Inferno shows how that conflict and his exile shaped his views of violence. Since a conflict that affects an entire city-state is often violent, placing violent people deep into hell shows how Dante felt about violence and the negative affect it had on

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