Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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The Bible teaches love, compassion and generosity. Niccolo Machiavelli found the Bible’s lessons idealistic and unrealistic for leaders. Machiavelli wrote his book, The Prince, to show the ruling Meddici family that the world is not a fairy tale. Prior to Machiavelli writing The Prince, the majority of books depicted people as virtuous and ethical. However, The Prince is not the only work of literature that manifests Machiavellian techniques. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar utilizes similar methods. As shown in Julius Caesar and The Prince, a leader who follows Machiavelli’s advice will accomplish their goals; if the leader does not adhere to Machiavelli’s recommendations, then the leader will not fulfill his aspiration. A …show more content…
In Julius Caesar, Cassius achieved his goal of executing Caesar by applying Machiavellian approaches. Machiavelli wrote, “One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars and deceivers” (Prince 3). The description Machiavelli gives of men is equivalent to Cassius’ actions. Antony, another Julius Caesar character, employs three Machiavellian skills: using fickleness to his advantage,“...while you treat them well, they are yours” (Prince 3), and ruling by fear. Antony’s objective was revenge toward the conspirators for killing Caesar. Antony also successfully used the fickleness of the Roman people to his advantage. After Brutus explained why the conspirators had killed Caesar, the crowd was understanding and agreed with the conspirator’s actions. The Roman peasants are convinced; they even want Brutus as their new emperor, with better qualities than Caesar. The plebians say, “Caesar’s better parts / Shall be crowned in Brutus” (3.2.54-55). But the level of the masses’ support for Brutus did not deter Antony’s opinion of the wrongdoing of the conspirators. In Antony’s speech, he spoke both confidently and assertively, which led to Antony convincing the crowd to support his cause and fight against the conspirators. Additionally, in Machiavellian style, Antony understands the crowd’s perspective; they need praise to believe in Antony’s cause. Antony appeased the Roman masses when Antony
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