During the period of Medici’s ruling, politics and government was corrupted. In order to stop it, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince, stating the qualities for a successful ruler, to convince the Medici Family to start ruling Florence appropriately. He used his knowledge to deceive the Medici family in hope that the end justifies the means. Besides the main purpose of The Prince, Felix Gilbert claims Machiavelli was also signifying crucial insight to how the prince should act due to the fact that we live in an imperfect world, where politics is a science, and in order to keep society alive the prince must preserve his state and power.
As we live in an imperfect world, it is critical to be aware of what is happening around us. Especially if one is a prince, he needs to be vigilant of those nearby him or despises him. Therefore, a prince should act like a fox who is wise and a lion who is feared. Developing too much faith in others, “would be disadvantageous and when the reasons for making promises no longer exist. If all men were good, this precept would not be good. But since they are bad and would not keep their promises to [the prince], it is not necessary for [the prince] to keep [his promise] to them,” (287). If a prince puts too much trust into other people, he is likely to be betrayed since not everyone is truthful.
In an imperfect world, a ruler does not have to contain all the great qualities, but he should deceive his people just enough for them to think he does. A prince is judged by his reputation. If he is thought to be a coward, “the prince ought to guard against these as from a dangerous reef,” (289). If the prince has a good character, it is difficult for others to plot against him, but only if he ...
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...d trustworthy, but unfortunately those qualities will make a prince look weak. If he loses the people’s support, he will be taken down as a disastrous ruler. So, he needs to be admirable, but also hostile at the same time to secure his royalty position.
Conclusively, in order for a prince to be a successful ruler in Gilbert and Machiavelli’s eyes, one must understand that we live in an imperfect world where people are betrayed if they are too sympathetic and faithful towards others. He must stand as wise and fearful while upholding a good reputation. The prince must also be intelligent and acquire proficient military skills as a politician and study the actions and history of war. Lastly, he must be able to dominant his power. If he cannot maintain his position as a ruler, he is unsuccessful. Thus, he must be cautious and be willing to take on any situations.
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