The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. To the great Lorenzo Di Piero De Medici. Those who try to obtain the favourable attention of a prince are accustomed to come. Download free eBooks of classic literature, books and novels at Planet eBook. nished Machiavelli with a subject of a gibe in 'The Prince,' where he is cited as. Readers have differed sharply in their assessments of The Prince, as well as the character of its author, Niccolò Machiavelli, since the book's publication in


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When explaining what a prince should or should not do in pursuit of his ambitions, Machiavelli cites the actions of well-known historical and contemporary leaders, both successful and unsuccessful.

The Prince

Throughout The Prince, Machiavelli explicitly aims to give machiavelli book the prince unsentimental analysis of actual human behavior and the uses of power.

Is Machiavelli simply being clear-sighted and objective, or is he providing spurious justifications for the worst impulses of those who seek power? In The Prince, the results of actions are what matter. Murder, the incitement of quarrels among citizens, the purchase of temporary loyalties, and betrayal: He sets the ambitions of the prince and the need of the people for order machiavelli book the prince by side, seeing the two as complementary.

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  • Questions and Topics for Discussion

Perhaps they are, or perhaps this equation is merely a self-serving way for those who crave power to defend injustices. To what extent the means that Machiavelli promotes in The Prince are justified by the ends, and whether the means actually bring about the ends, remain machiavelli book the prince questions.

The Prince Reader’s Guide

machiavelli book the prince In this portion of The Prince and in some of his other writings, Machiavelli appears more idealistic and friendly toward a form of government that would give citizens a say.

In his Discourses, Machiavelli portrays the ideal government as a republic that allows groups with differing opinions to speak openly. Machiavelli thus sets the stage machiavelli book the prince an enduring discussion among his readers. Is he best understood as a seeker of unity and peace, concerned to make his advice practical and effective?

So secure was his power that he could afford to absent himself to go off on military campaigns in Africa. However, Machiavelli then strongly rebukes Agathocles, stating, "Yet one cannot call it virtue to kill one's citizens, betray one's friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; these modes can enable one to acquire empire, but not glory.

Thus, one cannot attribute to fortune or virtue what he achieved without either. On the other hand, Gilbert shows that another piece of advice in this chapter, to give benefits when it will not appear forced, was traditional.

Becoming a prince by the selection of one's fellow citizens Chapter 9 [ edit ] A "civil principality" is one in which a citizen comes to power "not through machiavelli book the prince or other intolerable violence", but by the support of his fellow citizens.

Machiavelli makes an important distinction between two groups that are present in every city, and have very different appetites driving them: The "great" wish to oppress and rule the "people", while the "people" wish not to be ruled or oppressed.

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A principality is not the only outcome possible from these appetites, because it can also lead to either "liberty" or "license". A principality is put into place either by the "great" or the "people" when they have the opportunity to take power, but find resistance from the other side.

They assign a leader who can be popular to the people while the great machiavelli book the prince, or a strong authority defending the machiavelli book the prince against the great.

Machiavelli goes on to say that a prince who obtains power through the support of the nobles has a harder time staying in power than someone who is chosen by the common people; since the former finds himself surrounded by people who consider themselves his equals.


He has to resort to malevolent measures to satisfy the nobles. One cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed Also a prince cannot afford to keep the common people hostile machiavelli book the prince they are machiavelli book the prince in number while the nobles smaller.

Therefore the great should be made and unmade every day.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli - Reading Guide -

There are two types of great people machiavelli book the prince might be encountered: Those who are bound to the prince. Concerning these it is important to distinguish between two types of obligated great people, those who are rapacious and those who are not.

It is the latter who can and should be honoured.

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