Comparing Machiavelli's The Prince And The Discours

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Italian Niccolo Machiavelli was a Renaissance politician, philosopher, historian, diplomat and writer whose work has been a major influence in modern political thought and helped shape the systems that govern us today. This essay intends to analyze some of the major differences between two of his most important writings, The Prince and The Discourses, and come to a conclusion on which of the works most accurately describes Niccolo’s true view of politics; and what his true views actually are. In Discourses, Machiavelli switches from his talk of principalities under a single ruler which is the basis of The Prince, and instead delves into the virtues of a republic. Ultimately, The Discourses represents a more accurate view of Machiavelli’s political beliefs.

The Discourses, all in all, is a clearly stated political book that lays down the prerequisites to build a successful republic and how to maintain its virtues. However, The Prince is entirely concerned with autocratic types of rule; a guide on how princes should rule. The difficulty here is pinpointing what exactly Machiavelli personally believed. The relation between the two works is
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He wrote The Prince to try to win the favor of Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was the leader of the Italian city of Florentine at the time of its’ writing. He claimed that Medici was the only man who could settle the fighting in Italy. Due to this bias, Machiavelli did not show his true political beliefs in The Prince because he needed to promote monarchy to appeal to the ruling class of his country. With Machiavelli being once exiled from Italy by the Medici, the assertion that Machiavelli abandoned his true beliefs in the writing of The Prince is very much plausible. This validates that the contents of The Discourses more accurately represents his opinions, without the consideration of
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