Niccolo` Machiavelli on Cesare Borgia

Topics: Cesare Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, The Prince Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: October 29, 2012
Machiavelli on Cesare Borgia

Niccolo` Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is a discussion on leadership that is of sound and clear foundations. His practical methods are not idealistic in any manner which makes his reputation undeniably different from the people of his time. Yet the effectiveness of his ways are exemplified by many rulers in “The Prince”, one being Cesare Borgia; son of Pope Alexander VI. Machiavelli saw the efficiency of Borgia’s acts of cruelty and treachery as methods that may have not gained glory but surely grasped supremacy.

Machiavelli believed that there were two ways of becoming a prince which was ability or good fortune. Also, Machiavelli believed that if it was good fortune, it was only the arbiter of half our actions and we still had control of the other half. “A prince who relies entirely upon fortune will fail when his fortune changes” (92).This here was true for Cesare Borgia who acquired power through his father’s fortune and lost it once his father died. Despite the fact that Cesare tried to exercise every effort as a leader in pursuit of power should in the sense of Machiavelli’s methods, Cesare was granted fortunes by others and therefore had no control over it.

“Those who become princes by virtue of their abilities, as these men did, acquire dominion with difficulty but maintain it with ease” (30). This idea Machiavelli has of abilities in leaders better establishes their state and assures their security. He goes on to say “But when they depend upon their own resources and can use force they can rarely fail” (31). Here is an extent of a design Cesare Borgia used where he did what it took to gain his own resources and be dependent on himself and using tactics that are forceful. Yet as said before, he was brought into power through good fortune so he ultimately was set for failure once those around him failed.

Cesare Borgia gained Machiavelli’s high opinion because of his...
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