Comparing Platos Republic Vs. Machiavelli's The Prince

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Plato’s Republic and Machiavelli’s The Prince depict their views of both the duties and the ideal personas that rulers should strive towards. Socrates, in Republic, strives to discover truth in the creation of a hypothetical “perfect city,” in which all citizens are just and fair to each other. His Philosopher King was designed to rule this ideal city, and as such this is a perfect and ideal figure. Having been educated only in the just for his whole life, this Philosopher King is always virtuous, and relies purely on this virtue to be a good ruler for his people. Machiavelli’s Prince is a more morally ambiguous ruler; though he does not look down upon the just, and in fact praises and strives towards it whenever possible, the Prince does not fear committing harsh deeds and ordering unjust acts if he determines that doing so will further the interests and prosperity of his state and his people. He is trained primarily in the art of war, and places the …show more content…
Plato’s Philosopher Kings are raised from birth to be virtuous, and protect the state by ensuring that justice would be considered in the settling of any dispute. Their citizens understand that the ruler will protect them, and they inherently trust him for the morality by which he guides his life. The idealistic leader is a perfect ruler for a just society at peace, as he will always consider the wants of the people and the fairness of his behavior. The Prince may attempt to be moral in his actions, but in a more realist take on the nature of the state, Machiavelli states that virtue should always fall second to war. Actions that seem at their surface to be impossible cruel are justified if they provide safety and security to the people of the state. Stability for the people of the state is always the goal of a ruler, whether by the utmost consideration of morality, or by any means

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