The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince by Machiavelli guides readers through Machiavelli’s principles and rules to follow when ruling a nation. Judging from the Letter to Lorenzo de’ Medici and concluding sections it was written and then used to woo Lorenzo of the Medici family to earn Machiavelli a spot in his court, or some position of that level. Machiavelli talks large concepts such as feared vs. loved, to detailing ideas such as how a king should behave with his ministers. Although he may go to extremes for power, Machiavelli does accurately express what power and ruling requires in his day and age.

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One of the largely discussed topics of Machiavelli’s ideas is Fear vs. Love. He claims that a realistic leader would base power on the fear that he can control, not the love that people decide for themselves. When your only goal is to keep power with no doubts, Fear remains your only option, and in that sense he is correct. Alternatively, a Leader must have morality and the nation’s welfare and its people’s prosperity in mind as his only goal, not power. People trust the nation’s future in their leader’s hands, not that they will lead selfishly for their lifetime’s pleasure. However, In Machiavelli’s case, only Fear would effectively succeed because love is not real in a political situation. Although people may support your ideas or admire/appreciate your career, the bottom line remains to be whether you satisfy their needs on a daily basis. If they find a better leader, or a minute hitch, they will leave you behind. When ruling with fear, their life is in danger, which forces them to comply.

Although Machiavelli’s perspective is often straightforward, it is occasionally misunderstood by us. In these examples, it will be seen that the confusion is caused by the different types of education we had then and now. For example, He writes that violence should be shown first to be over as soon as possible and generosity shown steadily and rarely. His example here was a newly-acquired nation where people were poorly-governed and stolen from. If a ruler in this situation needs stability in ruling this nation, we would think generosity will make poorly-governed people trust him. Immediate harsh ruling will startle and frighten them, and in this case fright will shake the king’s power; as per our logic. This is ultimately because the large majority was uneducated and unable to think for themselves. His logic falters here since education differences alter our perspectives.

The most philosophical and abstract ideas Machiavelli expressed through The Prince is the fox and the lion. This is special because Machiavelli bases what he states on experiences, and what he has seen in real life. Therefore, his blunt approach to human nature, known as the fox and the lion must be accurately true. The approach labels the fox as cunning, and the lion as powerful. Machiavelli’s theory tells us that a nation’s leader needs to be able to think in all perspectives AND portray himself to be capable of anything and everything. These two natures must be blended together, and triggered in levels whenever needed. Although this combined nature may be effective in succeeding, it will slowly encourage corruption unless used wisely. His concepts can not be blindly followed; they require an intelligence to act on as well.

Machiavelli’s writing is the epitome of precision. His knowledge is years of analyzation of history, experiences, politics and government. The work he produced reflects dedication more than intelligence. The precision of the concepts to follow when leading a nation can not be blindly followed; even following them require thought and effort. Machiavelli has shown the world that power is hard to acquire and sustain. Lastly, I want to thank him for sharing his perspective even though it was very brutal, blunt, and frowned upon. His lack of concern for others thoughts have given us the opportunity to see the lowest, most basic nature of humans.

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The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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