Applying Machiavelli's The Prince to Real Life Essays

Applying Machiavelli's The Prince to Real Life Essays

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Many people have attempted to explain their beliefs on gaining power and holding on to it as a leader or ruler. Although many people have attempted this, not many have explained it in such a way as Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli’s reputation is often said to be based on one of his writings called The Prince. This handbook was written to explain how to obtain and keep political power (Norton Anthology, 182). Machiavelli’s point from this writing was to make the rule effective even if those means included the ruler being deceptive and violent (Norton Anthology, 182). From this popular writing, the term Machiavellian is often heard. Machiavellianism can be characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception (Jakobwitz, 2006). One leader that exemplifies several characteristics of a leader in which was defined by Machiavelli in The Prince is Fidel Castro. Throughout Castro’s reign in Cuba, he can easily be compared to the prince that Machiavelli was referring to in his famous writing.
Machiavelli states that a prince must know that there are two methods to fighting which are fighting by law and fighting by force (Machiavelli, 64). He explains that the first method is by man while the second of beasts, and because the first is often insufficient, a prince must turn to the second method (Machiavelli, 64). Machiavelli uses a fox and a lion to explain that a prince must be like a fox to recognize traps and to deceive or manipulate others, but also like a lion to frighten enemies (Machiavelli, 64). Castro was able to master this fox and lion approach. He took the “fox” approach as he entered the public eye after Bautista’s amnesty by manipulating the peop...


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...ollowing some of Machiavelli’s techniques, it is easy to note the similarities between the two. Castro undoubtedly strived to become an effective leader even if he used deception or violet forces, which was Machiavelli’s point from The Prince.



Works Cited

Geyer, Georgie Anne. Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991. Print.
Jakobwitz, S. (2006). "The 'dark triad' and normal personality traits". Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2): 331–9. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.07.006
Machiavelli, Niccoláo, Christian Edward Detmold, Max Lerner, Eric Reginald Pearce Vincent, and Luigi Ricci. The Prince and The Discourses. New York: Modern Library, 1940. Print.
Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology of World Literature- The Prince. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. Print.
Quirk, Robert E. Fidel Castro. New York: Norton, 1993. Print.

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