Machiavelli's The Prince Character Analysis

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“It is necessary, if you want to master her, to beat and strike her” (Machiavelli, The Prince). In this quote, Machiavelli is referring to fortuna, or luck, as a lady and the individual as the potential master. In order to achieve this status of mastery, becoming a virtuoso, one must deal roughly with luck. In essence, this means that one must be bold and strong in one’s decisions in order to succeed over fortuna. This ability is referred to as one’s virtù. Virtù is one’s intelligence and capability. In order to be a successful man one must be both skillful and lucky (with luck being subservient to the virtuous man). In 1775 New York City, the atmosphere was a dangerous one. Two factions warred an internal war while the overarching threat …show more content…
Delancey showed his true colors. He was the establishment. He owned vast holdings in the surrounding area, his connection with Britain made him wealthy and he was exceedingly influential. He was a loyalist through and through, and he possessed a substantial following. He never faltered in making morally questionable choices for the greater good. Backroom deals, misdirection and manipulation were his specialty, so long as it was for his greater goal. He shut down those who opposed him, and believed himself to be above almost everyone else. These qualifications, while perhaps personally and morally repugnant, are quite virtuous in terms of making a good leader. However he was stubborn and proud, and lacked the virtù to make others respect him or fear him enough to avoid the threat of physical violence. He decried the Patriots as an extremist group, who despite several valid points, were heading down a suicidal path. This fear of self-destruction is what drove most of Mr. Delaney’s actions against the Patriots. Due to his unwillingness to bend, Mr. Delancey failed to master Lady Fortuna, and he paid with his life. Mr. Delancey could not imagine an independent America and sought to return to life under Britain’s rule as a cooperative colony. He truly believed that he was fighting for the right thing. However, he lacked the empathy to foresee the mob, and this lack of empathy was ultimately the source of his downfall. He was far too dismissive of others and their capacity for action. Confidence was both a great strength and a damning weakness to Mr.

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