A Comparison of the Prince and the Analects

Topics: Florence, Cesare Borgia, Confucius Pages: 7 (2136 words) Published: December 1, 2010
The Prince or The Analects

By Rory Steuart

Comparing the The Analects (confucious) with the Prince (Machiavelli) is something like comparing George bush and Elizabeth May of the green party. Basically the wrtitings of The Analects totally disagrees with the writings of The Prince. Confucius believes people are easily improved and taught through self promotion and development, Machaveli however sees humanity in a much different light. Machiavelli was an innovator of realism politics and believed that people of power should conduct themselves as tyrants. Machiavelli and Confucius are from totally different time periods and different places in the world. Which could possibly be the reason The Analects and The Prince are so very different(yet both lived in times of war).

Machiavelli’s short Bio

Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian state politician and well-known person of the Renaissance. Machiavelli was born on May 3rd, 1469. His father was Bernardo di Niccoli who came from an impoverished part of Florentine, there is little recorded about Machiavelli’s father. Machiavelli lived in Florence at a time of constant war and endangerment of other forces such as France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire all of which had an interest in Italy (quite possibly the main reason for Machiavelli’s philosophy). Machivelli was a major player in military dealings he had many diplomatic assignments. He met with the likes of Ferdinand II of Aragón, in Spain and to the Papacy in Rome, in the Italian states. Machiavelli examined Duke Cesare Borgia(son of the pope Alexander VI) who was a very important figure in the The Prince.

From 1503 to 1509 Machiavelli controlled the militia of Florentine and was responsible for the cities defense. By 1512 the medici had regained control of Florence and decided to expel Machiavelli from office. In 1513, Machavelli was accused of conspiracy, while being contained Machiavelli was tortured but still had nothing to say. Machiavelli was released and retired back to Florence where he then wrote the Prince.

Confucius shot Bio

Confucius was given the name K'ung Fu-tzu which means Great Master K'ung. Confucius is believed to have been born either in 551 BC or 552 BC. . Confucius father died when he was only three years old so his mother raised him. After the death of his father Confucius and his mother were forced to live in poverty. Confucius was a police chief in the city of Lu where he made many diplomatic arrangements. Confucius dedicated most of the rest of his life towards teaching and he died in Lu in 479 BC. The most thorough usual account of Confucius's life is contained in the Records of the Historian by Ssu-ma Ch'ien, many people believe this is fake nonetheless it is the closest to a biography of Confucius as you can get.


Machiavelli does not discuss the thoroughly the importance of family very much in the Prince. However in the very first chapter Machiavelli proclaims that it is much easier to control a hereditary princedom than one that is created or passed over.

Confucius was man who believed that a strong family was the key having a strong society. Confucius sees the family as the beginning and the place where great men are brought up in families with good relationships. Confucius also believed that the best teacher is usually a parent. Confucius believed that even if a person was not born smart they could still be taught the more important virtues of respect, loyalty, obedience, humility, trustworthiness and you guessed it love of ones parents. A great deal of importance was concentrated on loving and learning from your parents.

War and aggression

Since Machiavelli ponders so much on the importance of a strong army and strong defense I will focus much of Machiavelli’s portion of the essay on war and aggression. In the Prince Machiavelli has a win at all costs notion on war, being wicked and immoral are strategies. Machiavelli...
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