Machiavelli

Topics: Political philosophy, Florence, The Prince Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: May 9, 2013
My intent of this essay is to present a commentary on passage 3, chapter 18 of The Prince focusing on the assumptions about Human naturethat under lie in it. In this passage Machiavelli is providing advice on how a Prince will succeed. Machiavelli was in Florence in the 1490's so it is understanding that he developed such an interest in politics as this was a time of intense political conflict. The cities Florence, Milan, Naples and Venice were all competing for the control of Italy. From these times Machiavelli witnessed many actions and strategies of great leaders and rulers which gave him the foundations to develop his opinions to write this book. Machiavelli recognises that a Prince must be strong and "act like a beast"(Machiavelli, 2008, p69) a technique he uses is to compare humans with animals. he explains that a Prince must take on the traits of two different beasts to become a strong ruler. He uses the animals, a fox and a lion to demonstrate these traits. The lion represents the physical strength and brawn whilst the Fox represents the wit and intelligence. A fox is defenceless against other animals such as Wolves and a Lions is defenceless at protecting itself from snares and traps. A prince must be fearsome like the lion in order to frighten off attackers and quick and clever like the Fox in order not to fall for competitors traps or trick. The Prince entailing these traits will help him gain political power. Machiavelli states "a ruler who just plays the lion and forgets the fox doesn't know what he's doing"(Machiavelli, 2008, p69) I feel it is a natural common human attribute to be one or the other. Machiavelli recognises that a truthful, reliable and virtuous prince is honourable but when dealing with people, a leader cannot always keep his word, As sometimes doing so can put himself at a disadvantage. Also a prince must keep up as situations change and the reason in which he first gave his word may no longer apply. By saying this...
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