The Prince Deals With The Idea That Princes Should Complete Actions Essay

The Prince Deals With The Idea That Princes Should Complete Actions Essay

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Chapter nineteen of The Prince deals with the idea that princes should complete actions that would make his subjects believe that he is outstanding. The concept behind this idea is the striking intended image that they want their subjects to see and make their decisions based on that intended image in order to keep power. As stated in chapter eighteen, “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know who you are…” (95). As long as the prince is able to make his subjects believe that he is outstanding then he will be able to keep his power.
At the beginning of the chapter Machiavelli states that, “Nothing makes a prince so greatly esteemed as do great campaigns and giving rare examples of himself,” (108). The concept created by this statement is that taking part in special conquests will lead to a better public image. (change into some noun, the kind of public image that is changed by warfare) The meaning of this is quite straightforward, the prince must show himself to be different from his subjects. In making this statement Machiavelli makes the assumption that people believe that going on campaigns and acts of the like are what makes a prince esteemed by his subjects. It ignores the fact that the subjects may find a prince who is not flamboyant with his conquests or trying to make himself stand out to be much more esteemed. A prince who is humble may actually be more esteemed than the opposite. This changes the definition of the sub-concept from being great and unique deeds lead to a better public image to being humble about your great conquests will lead to an improved public image.
Later on he describes Ferdinand of Aragon’s conquest of Granada by saying, “…that campaign was the foundation of his state. First of all, h...


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...e his projected image. On the other hand, he is able to save face by leading his troops by himself without anyone’s help, giving his subjects some peace in knowing their prince is capable of leading an army. In originally creating the concept, Machiavelli makes the mistake of assuming that the more powerful prince would force his partner to be his prisoner. It very well may be that the more powerful prince holds his partners as his equals even though he is clearly the more powerful between the two. What comes into play here is a code of honor between warriors and if the more powerful prince were treat the weaker prince as a prisoner, he would lose respect and support from him. These contradictions change the concept from making decisions based on how they will affect his image in the long run to making decisions based on the long and short run projection of his image.

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