The Prince Seminar Sample Essay

Part 1-Machiavelli’s positions on the nature of adult male and swayers:

1. Are worlds basically good or evil? See what constitutes ‘good’ or ‘evil’ in this context during the clip period.

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Machiavelli sees worlds as basically evil. Even though he does indicate out some good properties of worlds. he gives more ground to believe that they are evil. In Chapter 15: Of Those for Which Men And Especially Princes Are Praised or Blamed. he states qualities that make person good or evil. “Someone is considered a giver. person predatory ; person cruel. person merciful ; the one a ledgeman of religion. the other faithful ; the one effeminate and poor-spirited. the other fierce and spirited ; the one humane. the other proud ; the one lewd. the other chaste ; the one honest. the other astute ; the one hard. the other agreeable ; the one grave. the other visible radiation ; the one religious. the other unbelieving. and the like” ( Machiavelli. Page 61-62 ) . Because of the qualities he listed above. I feel as though Machiavelli has a reasonably good sense of what makes up a good and bad individual. During this clip period. people chiefly saw evil in those who did non follow the Church. such as the Jews who were blamed for the Black Plague. Machiavelli touches on some of these qualities when he says “the one a ledgeman of religion. the other faithful…the one spiritual. the one unbelieving. ”

If you were a follower of God and followed the Church. so you were considered morally good. However. Machiavelli understands that a individual can non possess all of the traits that make up a good individual. He says. “I know that everyone will squeal that it would be a really applaudable thing to happen in a prince all of the above mentioned qualities that are held good. But because he can non hold them. nor entirely detect them. since human conditions do non allow it…” ( Machiavelli. Page 62 ) . In this citation. Machiavelli is straight-out stating that worlds can non be good because they can non posses all of these traits.

When he says that “human conditions do non allow it” . he is stating that it is merely human nature to non be good. Peoples strive to be good. but because people can non to the full hold these good traits. they are non good. Another citation that shows Machiavelli’s positions on human nature is when he says “For one can state this by and large of work forces: that they are thankless. fickle. Pretenders and hypocrites. evaders of danger. tidal bore for gain” ( Machiavelli. Page 66 ) . The properties listed are non good qualities to hold. which shows that he sees worlds in a negative visible radiation. Now he does state “generally” . which shows that he understands that some worlds are good. but he is stating that this is how he sees most of society. These citations show that Machiavelli. for the most portion. believes worlds are basically evil.

2. How should a prince regulation? What personal qualities make a prince an effectual swayer? What is the best type of province and why?

In Chapter three of The Prince. Machiavelli says that there are two ways to govern. He says. “For this has to be noted: that work forces should either be caressed or eliminated. because they avenge themselves for little discourtesies but can non make so for sedate 1s ; so the discourtesy on does to a adult male should be such that one does non hold to fear retaliation of it” ( Machiavelli. Pages 10-11 ) . He is stating that a Prince should either botch their citizens. or destruct his citizens. In the 2nd half of the citation. Machiavelli explains how the prince must be careful of the extent of which he goes to destruct his citizens for the fright of retaliation. It is good for a prince to extinguish his citizens far plenty as he can without holding the fright of retaliation. and this is how he should govern. A quality that makes for an effectual swayer is prowess. Prowess is defined as accomplishment or expertness. and is what Machiavelli is connoting when he talks about virtuousness on page 22. He says. “the consequence of going prince from private single presupposes either virtuousness or luck. it appears that one or the other of these two things alleviations in portion many troubles ; however. he who has relied less on luck has maintained himself more” ( Machiavelli. Page 22 ) .

What Machiavelli means when he says going prince through luck is that they are inheriting the throne alternatively of deriving the power through other agencies. He says that although it is harder to go a prince by other agencies. or art. it is easier to keep the throne. This is a ground why it is of import for a prince to hold art. Another of import quality that a prince should hold is that they should non be afraid to be barbarous. Machiavelli says “The response is that one would desire to be both the 1 and the other ; but because it is hard to set them together it is much safer to be feared than loved” ( Machiavelli. Page 66 ) . If a prince is afraid to be barbarous. so they would be excessively frightened to do themselves feared.

They need to be strong and forceful so the citizens know where they stand. Machiavelli goes on to explicate that it is better to be feared because citizens would be excessively frightened to travel against the prince’s jurisprudence in fright of penalty. Machiavelli says the best type of province to regulation is a familial province. “For the natural prince has less cause and less necessity to pique. hence it is suiting that he be more loved” ( Machiavelli. Page 7 ) . What I think Machiavelli is stating here is that princes that inherit their rubric are born into a household that has been governing for a piece. Because the household has been already been in charge. their manner of regulating is more stable because they have found what works and what doesn’t. and the citizens are used to it. Because the citizens are already used to the swayers and their Torahs. this is why the prince has “less cause and less necessity to pique. ”

Part 2-What are Machiavelli’s positions on:

3. “Virtue” ( both existent and perceived ) . How does he specify it?

Machiavelli defines virtuousness as exposing high moral criterions. Traits that he believes are virtuous are holding art and achievements. kindness. compassion. every bit good as being merciful. Machiavelli’s sentiment on virtuousness is that a prince should be every bit virtuous as he can. or at least feign to be. It is good thing for a prince to be perceived as virtuous. even if he is non wholly. However. it is more of import to make what is best for the state than seeking to be virtuous. Although being cruel is a frailty. it is better to be barbarous and do what benefits the state. Machiavelli believes that “the ends warrant the means” and this is shown through his positions on virtuousness. “Too much clemency allow upsets to go on. from which come violent deaths or robberies ; for these customarily hurt a whole community” ( Machiavelli. Page 66 ) . Bing merciful is a good thing and being cruel is non. but it benefits the whole community to be cruel in state of affairss such as this. Although a prince should be perceived as being merciful and generous. in world it is better for him to be barbarous.

Machiavelli besides defines virtuousness as one’s achievements and art. “For since work forces about ever walk on waies beaten by others and continue in their actions by imitation. unable either to remain on the waies of others wholly or to achieve the virtuousness of those whom you imitate… . imitate those who have been most first-class. so that if his ain virtuousness does non make that far. it is at least in the olfactory property of it” ( Machiavelli. Page 22 ) . In both instances where Machiavelli uses the word virtuousness in this citation. he is mentioning to it as their achievements and ends. He is stating that one should follow waies of the excellent so that they can carry through more. or achieve more virtuousness. If their accomplishments and achievements. or their virtuousness. “does non make that far” so at least they will be slightly close to the achievements made by other great leaders before them. In this last citation. he is mentioning to virtue as more of being skilled and accomplished than merely holding high moral criterions. but he uses it in both ways.

4. The importance of adaptability and willingness to put realistic ends over and above idealistic values.

Machiavelli understands that although it is wished for everything to be ideal. it is extremely unrealistic and that fact should be accepted. He states “Since my purpose is to compose something utile to whoever understands it. it has appeared to me more fitting to travel straight to the effective truth of the thing than to the imaginativeness of it” ( Machiavelli. Page 61 ) . This citation shows that Machiavelli isn’t blowing his clip on something that he wishes would go on ; he goes directly to what would be probably to go on. The universe is non perfect. and because of this. Machiavelli says that princes need to acquire down to the world of the universe and non this Utopian construct of everything. Machiavelli besides talks about how although it is ideal to be merciful and loved. a prince needs to larn that world is he will be a better prince if he is non afraid to be barbarous. In chapter 17 when Machiavelli negotiations about inhuman treatment and clemency. he says “each prince should want to be held merciful and non cruel…

A prince. hence. so as to maintain his topics united and faithful. should non care about the opprobrium of cruelty…for the interest of excessively much clemency allow upsets to continue” ( Machiavelli. Page 65 ) . This citation shows that although it is ideal to be a sort and merciful leader. in world that would merely take to chaos. Machiavelli says that it is of import to be realistic and understand that it is in best involvements to non be afraid to be barbarous. This is yet another illustration of how Machiavelli shows that it is of import to be realistic instead than idealistic.

5. The importance of larning from history. What are two illustrations ( of each ) he gives of both good and bad swayers?

In Chapter 6. Machiavelli negotiations about how princes should seek to move like other great swayers that came before them. “For since work forces about ever walk on waies beaten by others and continue in their actions by imitation. unable either to remain on the waies of others wholly or to achieve the virtuousness of those whom you imitate. a prudent adult male should ever come in upon the waies beaten by great work forces. and imitate those who have been most excellent” ( Machiavelli. Page 22 ) . Following in others footfalls will frequently take to a similar consequence. In the citation above. Machiavelli negotiations about how work forces tend to follow the same waies as others before them ; history repeats itself. If you set yourself up to be like an unsuccessful leader. you are most likely to do the same errors they did. If you follow the ways of great leaders. so you will be more likely to make great things yourself. An illustration of a good swayer that Machiavelli references is Cesare Borgia. “Cesare Borgia was held to be barbarous ; however his inhuman treatment restored the Romagna. united. and reduced it to peace and to faith” ( Machiavelli. Page 65 ) .

Learning about this leader and his achievements. Machiavelli says that in order to maintain the state united and faithful. one should non be afraid to be barbarous. We see that inhuman treatment was one of the key tools Cesare Borgia used. and he accomplished so much. so following after his footfalls would hopefully take to good results. Another illustration of a good swayer is Ferdinand of Aragon. In chapter 21. Machiavelli describes all of his achievements. What we can larn from analyzing how Ferdinand ruled is how he was able to maintain everybody busy with war. endeavor. faith. etc. . so that there was ne’er “an interval between them for work forces to be able to work softly against him” ( Machiavelli. Page 88 ) . An illustration of how non to govern is Antiochus with the Romans and the Achaeans ( narrative on page 89 ) . What we have learned from that is that “it will ever go on that the 1 who is non friendly will seek your neutrality. and he who is friendly to you will inquire that you declare yourself with arms” ( Machiavelli. Page 90 ) .

Using this cognition. princes know how to avoid wars in state of affairss such as this. Analyzing what had happened aids supply information on how to make things otherwise. and to besides slightly expect the result of a state of affairs before it happens. Maximilian is besides an illustration of a bad swayer. Machiavelli describes him as indecisive and really underhand. He does non portion his programs with anybody. and refuses to take advocate. Because of this. “no one of all time understands what he wants or programs to make. and that one can non establish oneself on his decisions” ( Machiavelli. Page 95 ) . Because of Maximilian’s actions. Machiavelli says that a prince should ever hold a advocate. After looking at other leaders and seeing at that place flaws. it helps a prince happen what works and what doesn’t work in footings of the best manner to govern a state.

Part 3- Machiavelli on faith and Italy:

6. The relationship of faith to political relations. Can and should swayers utilize faith or spiritual values in regulating and decision-making?
In Chapter 11. Machiavelli explains ecclesiastical princedoms. which are princedoms under the control of the Catholic Church. These provinces “are sustained by orders that have grown old with religion” ( Machiavelli. Page 45 ) . This citation means that these ecclesiastical princedoms are held together by these spiritual thoughts. These provinces are unbridled and assailable. but Machiavelli still describes them as “secure and happy. ” These provinces are governed by God and faith and are described as really peaceable. Although regulating under faith plants for these princedoms. Machiavelli believes that it is best to non utilize spiritual values in decision-making. You can see this by the fact that he says to be realistic about things. and non believe of them in an ideal manner. Religion is more of an ideal construct ; you can non cognize things for certain.

In The Prince. Machiavelli negotiations about how a prince needs to govern with a realistic head. “Since my purpose is to compose something utile to whoever understands it. it has appeared to me more fitting to travel straight to the effective truth of the thing than to the imaginativeness of it” ( Machiavelli. Page 61 ) . Machiavelli relates what he said in the citation above to how you should govern a state ; he says that you should be realistic when governing instead than go forthing it to the imaginativeness. Religion can be seen as the “imagination of it” because nil can be for certain. That is why Machiavelli says to “go straight to the effective truth” than to govern by what is non certain. Because Machiavelli besides supports being cruel. which goes against being virtuous. you can besides state that he thinks its best to non govern with faith.

7. What does Machiavelli desire to go on in Italy?

Machiavelli says that it is of import for Italy to make its ain. strong ground forces. He says “It is necessary before all other things. as the true foundation of every project. to supply itself with its ain arms” ( Machiavelli. Page 104 ) . This citation shows that Machiavelli wants a powerful ground forces because it is the base of any strong state. He says this because it is of import to be able to support Italy from encroachers. Machiavelli states the failing of the Swiss and the Spanish ground forcess. He says that the Spanish ground forces “ can non defy horse” . and that the Swiss ground forces has “to be afraid of foot. ” With this cognition. Machiavelli tells Lorenzo de Medici to construct up his ground forces to be able to get the better of these failings. “Having therefore learned the defects of both of these foot. one can order a new 1 that would defy Equus caballus and non be afraid of foot ; this will be done by a regeneration of weaponries and a alteration in orders. And these are among those things which when freshly ordered. give repute and illustriousness to a prince” ( Machiavelli. Page 105 ) . Here. Machiavelli is fundamentally stating Medici that if he wants to be great. that he should construct up his ground forces. With making so. he would be able to support Italy against these foreign states. Not merely would it convey strength and power to Italy. it would assist Lorenzo de’ Medici be a more loved leader.


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