Machiavelli The Prince Rhetorical Analysis

Superior Essays
In the written work “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli the author elaborates on how a prince can only be a strong leader if he engages in duplicity. Machiavelli focused on a more realistic and immoral strategy to keep the people of his time unified, realpolitik a system based on practical rather than moral considerations. The author, Niccolo Machiavelli, goes through great depths to explain why it takes rulers who are “cruel, dishonest, duplicitous, and manipulative.” There are many great examples to prove his ideology, however, the writing is very subjective and bias as Machiavelli does not give a rebuttal to the different kinds of ruling. He writes “The Prince” after the current leading family of his time falls in order to keep the stability …show more content…
Machiavelli dives into politics with a very aggressive and pure mindset suggesting kings and princes to only worry about the end result without caring for the means of achieving it. Informing the readers that they should do anything it takes to get into and stay in power, the ends justify the means ideal. Machiavelli states that “Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them; and in the actions of all men, and especially of princes, which it is not prudent to challenge, one judges by the result.” essentially saying even if the means are unjust the people only see and judge you by the results. However, the “few” mentioned by him will eventually lead to a breach in society. If the ruler leaves behind any amount of dissatisfaction through his means there will always be a certain level of dissatisfaction among the people, creating a rift amongst them. Hence, if the current leader follows through Machiavelli’s theories and practices duplicitous acts of dishonesty he is generating a volume of instability. For example, Muammar Gaddafi, the autocratic leader of Libya, ruled with an iron fist. He would swiftly take down any opposition to his dictatorship and ruled through kleptocracy and fear. While he was unopposed for a long time, eventually the dissent leftover from his ruling caught up to him and he was executed after a successful coup

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Contrarily, Thoreau emphasized justice, freedom, and empowerment of the individual. It is clear that Thoreau would disagree with Machiavelli's ideologies as they clash with his own. Machiavelli sought a powerful government whose primary goals are protection and honor, even if it meant robbing civil liberties. Machiavelli thought this way because of his assumption that people are generally not good. In The Prince, he states that, "[people] are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, [and] greedy for gain" (46).…

    • 1328 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Never in The Prince does Machiavelli advocate using cruelty for no explicit reason, but instead urges rulers to use it in the interests of the state. Thus, Machiavelli views fear as a necessary evil to the throne, and a tool one must use very cautiously in order to maintain the sanctity of the state. From the…

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I do not believe that it was an accident that Machiavelli gave such poor advice, it is simply one of the ways he will convince Lorenzo to destroy his political career. One of the first ways that Machiavelli tries to sabotage Lorenzo with power hunger is to advise him to practically blackmail his subjects: “A wise prince should think of a method by which his citizens, at all times and in every circumstance, will need the assistance of the state and himself; and then they will always be loyal to him” (335). While it may be true that a prince’s subjects needing him is necessary, it is still a plan doomed to fail because that is blackmail. When the people Lorenzo rules over realize that he is doing things that will force them to remain his subjects forever, there is a chance for up rise and overthrow his power. Another way that Machiavelli tries to deceive Lorenzo to form an unhealthy vision of what power should look like: “A prince must not worry about the reproach of cruelty when it is a matter of keeping his subjects united and loyal” (339).…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When studying social contract theory, Hobbes and Locke are must-reads. Indeed, the two philosophers are arguably the fore-founders of today’s democratic fabric. Now, despite their ideologies being somewhat in agreement on the origins of commonwealths, they certainly differ as to the reach and purpose of it. Locke’s critique of Hobbes pertains to the latter’s case for absolute monarchy. Locke notes that “absolute monarchs are but men,” as such, anyone governed by them will be subject to their “reason, mistake, or passion.” In this sense, being governed by this arbitrary and absolute power, Locke argues that they would be even worse off than in a Hobbesian State of War, where they would not be subject to any other person’s desires.…

    • 1573 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli, is a controversial work of literature that offers the frightening reality of how any government is truly ruled. It varies from the popular patriotic belief that our nation does no wrong, and produces the idea that greed, lies, and sin are necessary evils to a functioning nation. During Machiavelli’s time there were many transitions of power, as mankind was still settling in, and it seemed necessary to him to outline steps for the new rulers, the De’Medici family, as to gain favor. He had also hoped to influence the De’Medici rulers to form a government that was just and constant. In his hopes to influence the De’Medici, Machiavelli outlined various forms of government for the new rulers to consider…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is because the rule of the strongest is continually challenged by alternative power at all levels, thus there is no stable condition of peace but of continual war. Hobbes backs up this claim by stating, “Competition for riches, honour, command, or any other power tends to produce quarreling, enmity, and war; because one competitors path to achievement of his desire is to kill, subdue, outwit, or repel the other competitor.” (Leviathan Chapter 11 pg58) Hobbes believes that absolute sovereignty is the best government as men give up their power of self-government and self-protection to leave the condition of war and enter into a society ruled by the Absolute Monarch. Since Hobbes’s believes that humans have a perpetual and restless desire for power, making a mutual agreement among all other men to give up their power to one common ruler is the only way to satisfy that desire for power and live in peace. Hobbes backs up this claim the men will obey a common power for…

    • 2003 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Brutus was a nobleman, Cassius was going to need a legitimate reason for wanting to kill Caesar. He goes through the entire speech trying to display how the abundance of power was going to corrupt Caesar. Cassius uses claim of policy in his speech, it is given with the intention of persuading Brutus to help him remove Caesars power. He uses Brutus’s concern for the greater good to make him believe caesar is becoming a tyrant. Cassius uses an immense amount of support in his speech, he knows it won't be easy to convince Brutus.…

    • 432 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government, he argues for his vision of society that has a small and restrained consent-driven government that respects the rights of its inhabitants. Locke might be best known for his unbounding aspirations of productivity and theory of a government being based on the consent of the governed, yet one of his most intriguing theories revolve around when citizens can rise up and dissolve a government. This is an essential theme of the treatise, and Locke addresses it at the end with a strong defense. While Locke strives to find harmony in his consent driven society, he opens the door to many more revolutions and constant change that he would hope to avoid for the benefit of the society and of the people.…

    • 2225 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Machiavelli summarized what he believed should be the main priorities of a prince or a political leader. The state always came before the people. Machiavelli even said, “Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity” (Kerns). He did not believe that a leader should be honest to the people. He felt that cruelty and war were necessary to maintain power.…

    • 1016 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He states that a prince must create a divided self. He says that the only way to create a long lasting fatherland is to be taught evil qualities and display them when beneficial for the state. For example, Machiavelli states that it is well documented that liberality is a good thing, but at times it is far better to seem liberal, but actually be miserly. “A Prince […] ought to care little though he incur the reproach of miserliness, for this is one of those vices which enable him to reign” (Machiavelli, 42). Even though being a penny pincher is not favorable, it enables the ruler to reign and make decisions that are difficult to make.…

    • 1300 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays