The Prince was a political treatise written by Niccolo Machiavelli in the 16th century. Like other works of the Renaissance literature, The Prince was written creatively and innovatively using the vernacular Italian rather than Latin. …
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Machiavelli's view of human nature in The Prince
In chapter 15, Machiavelli writes, “men…and princes…, are remarkable for some of those qualities which bring them either blame of praise” (Machiavelli, 1961). The princes show those characters that will not deprive him of his state. In this case, men follow what brings them benefit even if it is a vice – “it will be found that something which looks like a virtue, if followed, would be his ruin; whilst something else, which looks like a vice, yet followed brings him security and prosperity.”
Being in the highest position of the land, and with the highest authority, the prince should put in effect policies that will serve his best interest (Machiavelli, 1961). This shows that Machiavelli supported any action of princes that will give them satisfaction, even if it will hurt the citizens. He believed that the prince’s followers are sometimes unreliable, and the prince might lose their loyalty. This is indicated in chapter 11: “For such a prince cannot rely upon what he observes in quiet times, when citizens have need of the state, because then everyone agrees with him; they all promise, and when death is far distant they all wish to die for him; but in troubled times, when the state has need of its citizens, then he finds but few” (Machiavelli, 1961). The prince should therefore ensure that at every moment citizens are in need of the state, and they will always be faithful to him.
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Social differentiation, stratification of society, the allocation of the aristocracy, as the basis of one-man rule, all these contributed to a gradual and natural development of monarchical power. The leader, despot, tyrant, king, having almost limitless possibilities in their own states, could conduct any policies and run the affairs according to their choice.
These two works have exerted their influence upon the workings of governments, personal relationships and have manifested themselves in many other works of literature as well. While an analysis of these works may lead us to many such influences that these works have had upon the cultural and social evolution of Europe and the world, this paper shall limit itself to an analysis of the role of violence in both these works.
It was these initial clashes that made Machiavelli feel the need to join politics and this entire constant urge and struggle for control led to the ideas of a united Italy in his mind. Machiavelli saw a lot of people take the office and saw the same people go down in the hands of enemies.
In this sense, fortune is described as a double-edged sword. On one hand, there exist those like 'the Prince' whom "fortune and your own qualities promise" greatness (13); while on the other hand, are lowly people like Machiavelli who "endure its relentless malice" (13).
The following issues form the outline for the analysis: how a person's core beliefs about the nature of humanity influence one's leadership actions and attitudes, with specific application in the military; categories and types of power in organizations and connections between power and leadership; the influence of utopian ideas on leadership decisions in the past and how these ideas may influence leadership decisions today; the reasons why or why not a utopian vision can apply to a corporation or a unit in the military; the relationship between followership and leadership is discussed; and, how states of mind (including paranoia) can influence the organization's culture and the behavior of f
Although it was viewed as such by the European society, the book remained to be the most controversial in reference to ruling over a society. The book talks about power and the necessary steps in maintaining that power. (http://www.loyno.edu/seduffy/renaissance.html, Nov.
According to the report “The Prince” includes theoretical interpretation of the role of a ruler, and gives practical advice how to keep power and maintain strict control. At the beginning of the 21st century, recommendations and pieces of advice given 5 centuries ago are still of vital importance, because the qualities of a leader are universal and cannot be influence by regime.
Machiavelli praised the way Borgia had acted swiftly, decisively and indeed ruthlessly in playing off France, Italian city-states and the papacy against each other, suppressing conspiracies and laying a strong foundation for the future. ( Rust, 1999)
This then was the background of "Il Principe", or "The Prince", in which Machiavelli describes and analyzes the methods by which an ambitious person may attain power, and then retain it through calculated ruthlessness, boundless charm, and ambiguous morality.
The conclusion from this review states what it also reveals is not a man obsessed with power at all cost, but instead a man that held considerably moderate views on governance that found himself in a situation where he felt plain speaking and controversial advice could be used to his own benefit.
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