Machiavelli's Definition Of An Ideal Person

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What is the ideal person? Depending the people asked, the majority of people’s opinions will differ. During the time of the enlightenment and colonial periods, there were three men who wrote popular books that defined what an ideal person was, Niccolò Machiavelli, Baldassare Castiglione and George Washington. Machiavelli was a military advisor when Lorenzo de Medici was temporarily excommunicated from Florence. Machiavelli grew up under the Medici rule, but he saw the instability in government when others didn’t. When he was dismissed of his military position, he wrote The Prince. Published in 1532, The Prince gave advice on how to get political power and keep it. Castiglione was a recognized citizen of Venice, who was also the Bishop of Avila. …show more content…
It later gained popularity with the public when he advanced as a general of the United States Army in 1775 (The George Washington Foundation). Castiglione, Machiavelli and Washington all had different ideas on what the ideal person was. For Castiglione and Machiavelli, humanism has a large influence on their writings. Humanism is the study of the ability to improve the quality of life on Earth for humans by teaching and studying the classics of Ancient Greece and Rome. Comparing the main traits that these three men discuss, the values that they admired from the Renaissance and Colonial periods will not greatly differ from today’s ideal person. Machiavelli valued the unpleasant truth, always having control, and being nice even when one doesn’t want to. Castiglione admired the traits of admitting your fictitious facts before one speaks, the ability to quickly solve arguments, and creating physical and mental strength. George Washington believed in candor, the ability to see both sides of an argument and still hold your own opinion, and having the capability to admit to your wrongdoing when …show more content…
It helps gain trust and builds the foundation for a stable relationship. Machiavelli had an adverse outlook on this trait, taking out any kindness there could be in honesty. “...it has been my intention to write something which may be of use to the understanding reader, it has seemed wiser to me to follow the real truth of the matter rather than what we imagine it to be.” (Machiavelli, ❡3) From this, it is understood that Machiavelli wanted people to view the world and take all concepts with the notion of realism. Take for instance, a circumstance where a friend asks for an opinion on their painting. The painting looks sloppy and incomplete, but telling the friend could hurt their feelings, and result in a loss of friendship. Being honest and realism are two disparate characteristics. Honesty is the telling of the truth, but when doing so it is pleasant and not meant to be mean. Realism is when one looks at the world as it is, and don’t hesitate to tell others their opinion. Machiavelli wants the telling of the truth, even though it may be unpleasant, which is a main point that he wanted people to take on from The Prince. Today, many deem this trait to be brutal and unappealing in a person, so the simple truth is preferred. Castiglione, on the other hand, had a more positive perspective on honesty in The Courtier. “And let her not stupidly pretend to know that which she does not know, but

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