“The Qualities of the Prince”
Niccolo Machiavelli’s essay, “The Qualities of the Prince” is a very interesting piece of literary work that has an atypical way of depicting the qualities of a successful leader. Machiavelli developed a way of thinking that changes the human perspective on what a quality leader is made of. He took what people were afraid to say aloud and voiced it in a way that almost unraveled the truth about what people in power were really like. Machiavelli comes to a junction is his essay when he writes; “being disarmed makes you despised”. When Machiavelli says this he means to say that in order for someone to appear powerful they must be armed and physically capable of warfare. In his essay he very clearly portrays that in order for someone to have control and ultimate power, they must have the means to start a war.
Machiavelli makes the point in his essay that people are ultimately naïve and easily manipulated and that in order to be an exceptional leader, you must be unafraid to do what’s necessary to survive the political wilderness. This is not to say that you should go about your power abusing it because you have the power to, but rather use it in situations when it is necessary. He also says that it is more important to be feared then loved but not too feared because then people may get the idea to over throw you.
I found this essay quite radical but very interesting. I think that although I wish it weren’t true, that most politicians today have this sort of mindset. I believe this piece of literary work to be the most contradicting of Machiavelli’s time.