Machiavelli's Letter To Prince Lorenzo De Medici

735 Words 3 Pages
Through acquired wisdom and experience, Niccolo Machiavelli composed an intricately detailed letter to Prince Lorenzo de Medici in order to gain his favor. Comprised of military, leadership, and royalty advice, the letter has served not only as advisement to the addressed, but also to future leaders in the years to come. Free will is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God.” Though many interpret Machiavelli’s opinions and viewpoints in different ways, there is sufficient evidence in the letter to suggest that he believed in the concept of free will. Another question that lies within the text is whether or not Machiavelli fully agrees with government brutality. Because of the format …show more content…
Covering topics like domains of the states, military leaders and their armies, how a prince should conduct himself, and the poor political footing of Italy at the time, Machiavelli covers a wide variety of issues and concerns. By using this layout for his letter, Machiavelli is giving the reader of his letter, the prince, the power to choose which advice to heed or ignore; the decision is left to Medici. Machiavelli shows his concern not only for the prince’s well-being, but also for the future of the prince’s country. “One ought not, then, let this occasion pass, so that Italy, after so much time, might see the one who is her redeemer. Nor can I express with what love he would be received in all those provinces which have suffered by these foreign floods; with what thirst for vengeance, with what obstinate faith, with what piety, with what tears.” (Page 154). This passage exemplifies the deep love Machiavelli obviously has for his country; he desperately wants the upcoming ruler to succeed in all aspects of leading a nation. Because this letter was written to advise and had Medici’s best interests in mind, it can be deduced by the reader that Machiavelli would have believed that man has free …show more content…
In chapter three, Machiavelli writes, “At this point one may note that men must be either pampered or annihilated. They avenge light offenses; they cannot avenge severe ones; hence, the harm one does to a man must be such as to obviate any fear of revenge” (Page 17). By writing this passage, Machiavelli exposes his feelings about cruelty within a government by explaining that it should only be used when absolutely necessary. Therefore, a choice between cruelty and benevolence can be a difficult, costly decision. A leader should put thought into how consequences might ensue due to violence, but also needs to take into consideration what means are necessary to fulfill the needs of the country. Machiavelli also addresses the fact that a leader should be strong toward his subjects and free of compassion or mercy. Ultimately, leaders should strive to put themselves before anything else. Despite the fact that this outlook seems harsh, it is important to remember that Machiavelli wanted the prince to thrive in his position and avoid failure at all costs. Consequently, the fate and well-being of the people are of unimportance compared to that of the ruler’s

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