Machiavelli Plato Rebuplic Prince Comparison

1419 Words Jun 16th, 2007 6 Pages
Haþim Cihan Demirköprülü, 20303433

Essay Question: Compare the Characteristics of the true guardians, as described by Plato (Republic, bk VII, pp.158 – 61, 484b – 487e) with the characteristics of the rulers, as described by Machiavelli (The Prince, ch.15, pp. 47 – 49 and ch. 18, pp.54f). What is the most important difference between the two accounts? In your view, which account is better, and why? For centuries, every ruler created their own principles and rules and somehow they ruled millions of people and controlled their future. In this essay, I will try to compare the characteristics of two types of ruler, one is Plato’s true guardian where he mentions in the Republic and the other one, Niccoló
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On the other hand, a true guardian, who searches for justice and wisdom in his all time an all life, couldn’t be afraid of death which overshadows his path to the justice. Rulers need to stand bravely, in order to find goodness. So that, Plato definitely rejects cowardice and slavishness, where he signifies that “then it seems a cowardly and slavish nature will take no part in the philosophy” [Republic, p.160, 486a – b]. Shortly , Plato says that, a ruler, should be naturally “good at remembering, quick to learn, high minded, graceful, and a friend and relative of truth, justice, courage, and moderation” [Republic, p.161, 487a]. These characteristics truly show the idealistic position of Plato. He tries to create a perfect ruler for his utopian world kallipolis.
But, not surprisingly, Machiavelli is against this imaginary ruler. Although it would be marvelous if a ruler have all these good qualities, he believes that a ruler who has all of these good characteristics cannot exist in practice [Selected Political Writings, The Prince ch. 15, p.48]. For him this image is suitable only for an ideal world. Unlike Plato, Machiavelli highlights that in practical reality, for a ruler, who wants to hold on to power, it is necessary to learn how not to be good. Misery, cruelty, duplicity, irreligion or untrustworthiness are evil qualities, for
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