Marc Oxoby, Holly Smith
Makavelli in this Renaissance
The term “Machiavellian” was first coined by Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli but the late rap artist Tupac Shakur has also used the term in his lyrics. Machiavelli was a historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance. Tupac Shakur was a gangster rapper, drug dealer, poet, activist and actor born on the streets of East Harlem, New York. These two come from very different backgrounds but they use the term in similar ways. Both Machiavelli’s and Tupac’s use the word “Machiavellian” demonstrates that it can be cynical and even violent in its meaning; however, there may still be some virtue.
The lives of Tupac and Machiavelli had some striking similarities. Machiavelli was dismissed from politics and then later accused of starting a conspiracy against the prominent Medici family. Tupac experienced a similar loss of power when he was accused of numerous crimes. In addition, they both spent time in jail and lost their positions of power for reasons they believed were unjust. Tupac first encountered “The Prince” while in jail and instantly identified with it for obvious reasons. From his song, Hail Mary, he opens with the following line, “Makavelli in this? Killuminati/ All through your body/ it blows like a 12 gage shotty [shot gun]” This is a graphically violent and vivid description of Tupac’s interpretation of this word. He extends Machiavellian political theory as a justification to murder. This lyric exemplifies how the word has evolved into one with cynical and even violent connotations.
Tupac’s interpretation at first glance appears to be a far cry from Machiavelli; however, the two are very similar in meaning. In chapter three of “The Prince” Machiavelli states this: “At this point one may note that men must be either pampered or annihilated.” Furthermore he states that “the first is to extinguish...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document