The Influences of Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince on Richard the Third

607 WordsFeb 1, 20182 Pages
Richard the Third was a power-hungry tyrant, willing to do whatever it took to become the most powerful man in the land. He lied, schemed, and ran down anyone who stumbled across his highway to fame and fortune. His exploits, though morally deplorable, were highly successful for him up until his fateful end. Many of his actions were taken straight from Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, which is famous for its hard-hearted philosophies on achieving power and ruling. Richard followed Machiavelli’s advice in that he was ruthless and careful to cover his tracks, but he failed to heed one of his warnings: he made himself unpopular. Richard was pushed far back in the line to the throne, being a third child and the present King already having his own heirs. To even have a chance at ruling, his brothers and the oldest brother’s children would have to be killed. Richard saw to this quickly and methodically, as if murdering family and children were completely natural to him. Near the end he did recognize that what he had done was a damnable deed, but he consoled himself by saying that it was a neccisary evil for him to ascend the throne. By using this justification, he was able to kill anyone who he thought was a threat to his kingship. Machiavelli advised his Prince that if he wanted to gain a position that didn’t belong to him, he would have to be ready to kill the defenders of that space. He warned the Prince that the deed might anger God, but implied that there was no other way
Open Document