The Prince by Machiavelli

Topics: Cesare Borgia, Political philosophy, Niccolò Machiavelli Pages: 6 (2135 words) Published: November 11, 2008
The Prince: Analysis Paper
Good Qualities of a Leader:

A good leader is one who does not promote liberality because liberality makes the leader despised, hated and poor. If he is despised by the people, the people will arrange a conspiracy against the prince; therefore, the prince needs to satisfy the people to some extent (Machiavelli 3). To do this the prince will arm the people and soldiers (5). Nicolo Machiavelli also states another quality that the prince must lack is greed and abuse of woman (3). Machiavelli’s ideal leader uses meanness and cruelty as a weapon to instill peace and loyalty (1). The good leader is merciless so disorders like robberies and or murders cannot arise (1). A wise leader can carefully utilize wealth properly avoiding poverty (1). A wise leader is feared rather than loved by the people in order to discipline the people and restricting their popular power (2). The leader has manipulated the political and militaristic issues to be in his favor so that he may retain his power (2). A successful prince must use deception to “maintain the state, to act contrary to faith, friendship, humanity, and religion” (3). It is also imperative that the prince that he keep the strong (aristocrats, bureaucrats, and the soldiers) his friends so that he may maintain power during his reign. I believe that these qualities surely are the basic characteristics that an iron leader needs. Through discipline and unity, Machiavellian leaders can accomplish much in a single reign. Too much freedom in a society can cause the overthrowing of the king. Machiavelli also sets a particular limit for the prince to abstain from which is really good. If too much power is given to the king then the whole kingdom will be in danger of the revolting residents.

Machiavelli’s Good and Bad Leaders:

In Machiavelli’s perspective, Cesare Borgia’s cruelty made him a successful leader, “Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty…to avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed” (1). He was cruel but to some extent, an extent that was allowed some mercy. Alexander the Great, Cyrus, and Caesar became effective leaders because they were thrifty, “…be a ready giver, as were Cyrus, Caesar, and Alexander; because it does not take away your reputation if you squander that of others, but adds to it; it is only squandering your own that injures you” (1). Wasting money extravagantly was something that these great leaders fortunately lacked. Hannibal is one of the many military leaders that Machiavelli respects because he could maintain such a huge army through rough strictness, “Hannibal…his inhuman cruelty, which, with his boundless valour, made him revered and terrible in the sight of his soldiers, but without that cruelty” (2). Similarly, Scorpio of Spain enforced militaristic discipline which was the key element in winning the rebellion in Spain “…Scipio, that most excellent man…which gave his soldiers more licence than is consistent with military discipline” (2). These masterminds utilized control through intense discipline. Alexander’s VI tactics were to trick men so then he can use the false image to manipulate the people. “Alexander VI did nothing else but deceive men…he well understood this side of mankind…useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and…to change to the opposite…in order to maintain the state, to act contrary to faith, friendship, humanity, and religion” (2, 3). Through his sly strategy, Alexander VI was able to preserve loyalty in his kingdom. Messer Annibale Bentivoglio was a prince in Bologna and was conspired against because of his ill treatment of many, not just one. “Messer Annibale Bentivoglio, who was prince in Bologna (grandfather of the present Annibale), having been murdered by the Canneschi, who had conspired against him, not one of his family survived but Messer...
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