The Moral Use Of Power In The Princess Diaries Two

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When I was 10 years old, I discovered the film The Princess Diaries 2 starring Julie Andrews as the regal, well-bred queen of a small European country and Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis, her unsightly, Californian granddaughter. While trying to adjust to her new royal role, Mia falls prey to a handsome, charming suitor whose sole goal is to insinuate himself into her life in hopes of reinstating his family to the throne. In a scene that takes place shortly before he initially encounters Mia, he meets with his scheming uncle who demonstrates a trick that he learned from “an old Italian philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli.” The uncle tells his nephew that he can make his dart hit the bull’s-eye without fail; he then proceeds to walk cockily to …show more content…
It contains a number of adages regarding the ascension of non-hereditary princes or, as he referred to them, “new powers.” Up until that point, authors who composed similar royal advice books had a very moral outlook on the use of power; they advised that only princes with virtuous personal moral character should exert political power. Contrarily, Machiavelli writes that “…it has seemed wiser for me to follow the real truth of the matter rather than what we imagine it to be…for how we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation” (The Prince). This statement makes it clear that, unlike his peers, Machiavelli intended to examine how successful politicians actually work instead of how they should work …show more content…
(WORD CHOICE) He promotes killing enemies of the state, killing personal enemies of the Prince, and in some cases, killing friends or family. He states that, “…princes who have accomplished great deeds are those who have cared little for keeping their promises and who have known how to manipulate the minds of men by shrewdness; and in the end they have surpassed those who have laid their foundations upon honesty” (The Prince). On the subject of laws and the enforcement of laws, Machiavelli says that, “…there cannot be good laws without good arms…” which essentially means that without at least the potential of coercive force, governing powers cannot legitimize laws. He later states that a prince must “…have no other objective, no other thought, nor take up any profession but that of war, its methods and its discipline…” (The Prince). Controversial statements such as these have been associated with such notable persons as Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Fidel Castro, leaders infamous “…for their ability to maintain their power by doing whatever necessary” (Pennington). Because of Machiavelli’s calculating ideas about maintaining power and those who have emulated them, many critics have dismissed Machiavelli’s treatise The Prince as one that supports ruthless dictatorship, autocracy, and

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