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Compare Machiavelli And Socrates

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How Would Socrates Feel?

Machiavelli and Socrates are two people who lived during times of great instability, political fragmentation, and war. Living in these times helped form their views on the role of government in a society, and these views are accurately depicted in The Prince: And the Discourses by Machiavelli, and Plato’s account of Socrates in The Apology and Crito. Although these pieces were written at different moments in time, it is safe to say that the arguments of both authors are similar in theory, but different in practice. While both agree that the people should be happy—or at least hold the illusion of happiness—and that they must obey the orders of the state, they differ in their approaches to politics, in their thoughts on how to rise to power, and in their values on public interest. With that, Socrates would most likely disagree with most of the arguments suggested by Machiavelli on how to be the ideal “Prince”.
The purpose of Machiavelli’s The Prince, is to create a guide for Lorenzo de Medici, the ruler of Florence in 1492, explaining how a person can successfully rise to power and remain in office afterward. Because at this time Machiavelli was frowned upon by the new regime and removed from office, his goal was to hopefully regain his political reputation with the help of Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli emphasizes how important it is for a sovereign to be feared but at the same time liked by the public. He believes that this equilibrium between fear
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