What Makes A Good Ruler?

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Throughout class one of the major themes has been what qualities make the best possible ruler. Two of my favorite philosophers, Plato and Machiavelli, although very different both attempt to give an answer of what makes a good ruler. Plato’s Philosopher King and Machiavelli’s Prince share their similarities and differences, but in the end Machiavelli paints a more realistic picture of a ruler which makes his prince more favorable. In order to understand why Machiavelli’s Prince may be more appealing than Plato’s Philosopher king, we must 1st come to understand what the King and the Prince look like as described by our writers. When it comes to the Philosopher King we are talking about someone who is truly virtuous on the basis of morality and justice. In Plato’s head a just person can create a just society. The Philosopher King rises to power by using his knowledge, and is very wise. He understands all that is good and evil, which is something your average citizen cannot do. In addition to this, the Philosopher King uses religion and education to bind people together. The King is incorruptible, and has a deeper understanding of reality. He loves truth above all, and uses his rationality to rule as the just person he is. The Philosopher King understand that pleasures of the soul are more important than that of the body. He shows courage, and no fear of death. In the best society the Philosopher King would be serving as a Monarch acting on behalf of everyone. He lives up to

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