Machiavelli's Conception of Virtu and Fortuna

2644 WordsMar 20, 200711 Pages
Machiavelli's conception of virtu and fortuna Niccolo Machiavelli is considered the father of modern political science. Living in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth-century's, Machiavelli was a citizen of the city-state of Florence where he served as a secretary to the city council and as a diplomatic envoy for 14 years. The Prince was published five years after his death and is regarded as his most famous work. The Prince is an articulate and precise explanation of the way to use the lesson of history in politics as an example to learn and build ideas from. The Prince can be broken up into four parts. Firstly, Machiavelli explains how a prince gets a state. Secondly, he explains how a prince holds on to a state. Thirdly, he…show more content…
Machiavelli summarizes these qualities which are severity and graciousness; magnanimity and generosity; determination and diplomacy; and the capability of protecting himself from enemies, of winning friends, of conquering either by force or by fraud, and of being loved and feared at the same time. Machiavelli believes that those qualities are a recipe for success, however in Cesare Borgia's case, Machiavelli explains that, fortune had turned on him with the death of his father at a time when Cesare Borgia was still securing his position of power and Cesare Borgia's own serious illness. These two misfortunes, Machiavelli explains, were the result of an extraordinary and extreme instance which was by no fault of his own. This shows that fortune can sometimes overwhelm a situations and no mater how skilled a person is on dealing with the situations fortune has brought them, some things, in Cesare Borgia's case, cannot be stopped. In the case of a private citizen who become a prince merely by fortune; Machiavelli explains, Those private citizens who become princes through fortune alone do so with little effort, but they maintain their position only with a great deal; they meet no obstacle along their way since they fly to success, but all their problems arise when they have arrives…such men depend solely upon two very uncertain an unstable things: the will and the fortune of him who granted them

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