Julius Caesar Vs Machiavelli

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By comparing literature, changing ideas, values and attitudes all which reflect the current context is evident, none the more than in the Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, a treatise for young princes on power, and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, a tragedy which actualises Machiavelli’s cynical ideologies. The prince was written during the Renaissance where there was a shift from scholasticism to humanism- a more logical and less religiously influence cultural movement. Similarly, Julius Caesar was written when the Elizabethan Era- the so called golden era of Britain- was coming to an end with no obvious heir to the throne. In light of this, we can acknowledge how literary techniques and features illustrated the contextual links to the texts.
Deception is to politics what death is to life, unavoidable and completely justifiable. This quintessentially Machiavellian idea that the “end justifies the means” was popularised into society by The Prince. And rightly so with Italy in a period of intense political instability. Pope Julius had just defeated Florence and demanded that the Medici’s be returned to power if peace was hoped for.
The educative nature of the quote “It is better to be feared than loved” legitimises
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But by his indirect dialogue, he prevents agitating the conspirators, legitimises Caesars death while at the same time manipulating Caesar to appearing like the good guy. And in that, Anthony was what Machiavelli would call virtuous- appearing like a good Christian while being internally
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