Machiavelli The Prince

Good Essays
short, straightforward and simple book explores a variety of matters related to power, warcraft, politics, and goodwill. Machiavelli offers the reader and in turn, Lorenzo de’ Medici an explanation for Italy’s disunity. Throughout the text, Machiavelli further explains his belief that Lorenzo de’ Medici can be a great ruler, given he follows the advice in The Prince, and therefore, restore Italy back into a prosperous country in which they can be proud. Throughout the text, Machiavelli supports his arguments by citing examples of real historical and contemporary rulers of his time. He does this to provide relevant and tangible advice. He also emphasizes his “long acquaintance with contemporary affairs and a continuous study of the ancient world”…show more content…
Some of the rulers used in his book include Agathocles, a very wicked man who came to power through doing evil. At this point in the book, Machiavelli is explaining the different ways one can become a prince. King Agathocles, born in 317BC and became king of Sicily in 304BC. He reigned from the age of thirteen, until his death at the age of twenty-eight in 289BC. Machiavelli uses King Agathocles as an example of how it is possible to rise to power maliciously; by crime, murder, and betrayal. Later in the text, Machiavelli talks about the importance of being loved and feared. He is quoted saying, “Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with… for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” Although it may seem immoral to achieve power through evil, one must decide between being loved or being feared. In the case of King Agathocles, he was clearly feared by many based on his journey to power. Machiavelli makes it clear to the reader, and more importantly Lorenzo de’ Medici, that to be a good leader and maintain the obedience of the citizens, one must choose to be feared over being
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