Machiavelli vs. Castiglione

Topics: Political philosophy, Prince, The Prince Pages: 4 (1540 words) Published: June 14, 2006
Ideas on the same topic always seem to differ from person to person. This holds true to the ideas of Machiavelli and Castiglione. The Prince, written by Machiavelli, and The Courtier, written by Castiglione, are both somewhat how-to guides for nobility, royalty, and princes. However, there are many distinct differences among the ideas of Castiglione and Machiavelli. Castiglione's philosophy leads down the path of a well-rounded person; a more peaceful manner. Machiavelli's philosophy is more straightforward and violent, where you should do anything and everything you have to do in order to achieve your goal. Both books and figures were of great importance to society. Machiavelli's philosophy was that "The end justifies the means." This meant that the end result is the most important, and how you got there was of no importance. The Prince was a book of advice to rules on how to found a state and how to stay in power. Machiavelli explained in his book the many different ways to gain power. One way was to acquire land. The four methods that he discusses to acquire more land is: Your own arms and virtue, fortune, others' arms, and inequity. To Machiavelli, the word virtue meant manliness and strength. Machiavelli also advocates the use of evil to achieve any goals. He gives an example of Agathocles of Syracuse as a proof that this works and will enable the prince to rule the land peacefully through fear. "Born of a potter, this one always had an iniquitous life throughout his years: nonetheless, he accomplished his iniquities with such virtue of spirit and of body that, having joined the militia, he rose through its ranks to become praetor of Syracuse. Being established in rank, and having decided to become prince and to keep with violence and without obligation to others what had been conceded him by agreement... morning he convened the people and the senate of Syracuse, as if he had had to deliberate things pertinent to the republic; and at a preordained...
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