The guide places a particular emphasis on the prerequisites of a good ruler. Arguing that a ruler must “...make himself both loved and feared by his subjects, followed and respected by his soldiers,.... be severe yet loved, magnanimous and generous...”(28) these are the qualities ingrained in imploring a successful military, balancing cruelty and generosity, and forming successful alliances. By addressing the issues and concerns of the people and that of the state, Machiavelli reveals the shift between a good ruler and a bad ruler. The guide demonstrates the good by exemplifying the bad done by past rulers, then judging and criticizing their handles on the military, cruelty vs generosity deplored, and the treatment of their alliances. One of the most important institutions in which Machiavelli places emphasis on in “The Prince” is in the management of a military force.
When reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, one can’t help but grasp Machiavelli’s argument that morality and politics can not exist in the same forum. However, when examining Machiavelli’s various concepts in depth, one can conclude that perhaps his suggested violence and evil is fueled by a moral end of sorts. First and foremost, one must have the understanding that this book is aimed solely at the Prince or Emperor with the express purpose of aiding him in maintaining power. Therefore, it is essential to grasp his concepts of fortune and virtue. These two contrary concepts reflect the manner in which a Prince should govern while minimizing all chance and uncertainty.
In chapter 17 of The Prince, On Cruelty and Mercy, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than to be Feared or the Contrary, Machiavelli continues his discussion of virtues that the modern reader might not consider as virtues. He considers mercy and cruelty as with generosity and ungenerosity. Machiavelli’s dark view of human nature is displayed in this chapter – a warning about those who tell you they love you in good times but desert you in bad times. He talks about how a prince should rather be feared than loved, if he cannot manage to be both loved and feared, but never hated. The text type is like a guide that he writes to instruct the reader on how to become a better prince.
The ultimate goal for a Prince is to maintain his position and reign, and a Prince can cheat, steal, and lie in order to accomplish that goal. Machiavelli seems to favor a Principality over Republics in this case because a Prince will be safer in a hereditary Principality due to the subjects being more accustomed to the blood of the Prince. Machiavelli’s straightforward advice on the art of warfare is to use your own military and that a Prince should always study the art of war. The ideal situation between a Prince and his subjects is to be feared rather loved, so that there is order. There is a difference between being feared and hated, and as long as the Prince doesn’t take a subjects property, women, or execute a subject without a proper cause.
Machiavelli then presents his thesis, that a ruler must use both good and evil in order to maintain his power over the state. The reader has almost no choice but to accept this idea before any proof has been given. With the reader in the palm of his hand, Machiavelli needs only to make a very general argument of his point to convince the reader of its validity. The author states that there are actions for which a prince is either praised or blamed. He lists many examples of good qualities and their opposing attitudes.
In The Prince, Machiavelli believes that the key to power is a combination of fear and love; in the Discourses on Livy, he writes that knowledge of the past is important, and Bacon seems to think that being a private man while knowing much about others is most vital. Machiavelli’s The Prince shows how to gain political power in anyway possible. He is almost completely pragmatic in the book with little regard to morals. He states at the outset of the book that he is not dealing with republics but with princes and the best ways for them to rule over the people (1). Machiavelli believes that one of the most needed traits in a prince is that he be both feared and loved.
Since the North’s main goal was to abolish slavery, they are remembered to be a group of men who were well equipped and prepared for battle because they represented the morality of the war. However, the North is shown through Crane to be a group of amateurs who are untested, lack discipline, and do not appreciate the opportunity to fight for their country and their way of life. In this sense, The Red Badge of Courage relates to life for how it is instead of how people want to remember it to be. Contrary to Crane, Cicero once wrote “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” (It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country). Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage begins as a validation of these sentiments of Cicero: although, the rationale of the sentiment is challenged throughout the story, Cicero outlook is ultimately shown to be true in the last battle scene.
He was able to work with them to come to a decision in his favor. Machiavelli’s The Prince is basically a handbook for rulers. In Machiavelli’s ideal world this is how a ruler would need to take control in order to be an effective leader. Instead of the common phrase “Make Love, Not War”, the viewpoint in this book is “Make War, Not Love”. “When princes have thought more of ease than of arms, they have lost their states.” This quote from The Prince truly captures Machiavelli’s rough outlook on the leadership of leaders.
In his book, The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli outlines many characteristics that he thinks an ideal prince should have. A true ruler, according to Machiavelli, looks out for his own good as well as the welfare of his country, even if that requires him to resort to deceitful means. There are many examples of Machiavellian princes in literature and one such example is Denethor, Steward of Gondor. In this paper I will first clarify a few quotes from The Prince, and then describe how Denethor fits the requirement for being a true prince, according to Machiavelli. In section 18 of The Prince, Machiavelli wrote this: “And so he needs to have a spirit disposed to change as the winds of fortune and variations of things command him, and as I said above, not depart from good, when possible, but know how to enter into evil, when forced by necessity.”(Pg.
Machiavelli’s explanations throughout the book easily sway one into believing that he is supporting violence and aggression as crucial to maintaining power. He discusses how violence can be essential to maintaining power, but his accounts are nearly always supported with exceptional reasoning. When leading others, it is all about balance and acting accordingly when chastising individuals. When people dislike or disrespect the individual overseeing them, all control is lost. Machiavelli saw aggression and war as essential to the success of any leadership, and necessary to gain reverence.