Machiavelli’S The Prince Was Written During The Early Years

1647 WordsApr 24, 20177 Pages
Machiavelli’s The Prince was written during the early years of the sixteenth century and was one of the most profound and controversial pieces of literature to emerge from the Renaissance. The political treatise was written for Lorenzo de Medici in hopes that he would use the principles taught in it to rule in Italy. Machiavelli planned for the piece of literature to impress Medici and hopefully persuade him to give Machiavelli a position within the Italian government, a position that he longed to go back to. The Medici family ultimately never implemented any of Machiavelli’s recommendations, but one could find examples of famous rulers from the past that exemplify Machiavelli’s ideal ruler. The Prince is a timeless piece of literature…show more content…
At the very least, one could say that the books influence spread much farther than the author intended or even expected to. According to Machiavelli, there are four main ways that a prince is able to come to power. The first way to achieve power is through “prowess”(personal skill and ability). The second way is through fortune, which means good luck. The third way is through corruption; examples would be to attain power through a rebellion, plot, or assassination. The fourth and last way is constitutional, meaning to attain power by support from either the nobles or commoners. The most important comparison to be made between these four ways is between prowess and fortune. Attaining a state through prowess is clearly going to be more difficult than profiting from sheer good fortune, however; a prince that is blessed with prowess is more likely to hold a strong foundation on his rule, whereas a man with fortune is erratic and unpredictable which potentially leads to a prince’s overthrow just as it had to his rise. That being said, preserving a prince’s power is far easier when said prince attained power through his own cleverness. Being that the preservation of power is essential to Machiavelli, he determines that prowess is the better of the two routes for becoming a prince. Another similarity can be made amongst the criminal and constitutional methods of attaining control. The main

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