Virtue And Effective Rule In Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

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In The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli’s understanding of virtue and effective rule emphasizes the maintenance of political power and the disregard for morality, differing from the ideology of the classic political philosophers. Machiavelli’s concept of virtue is centered around the glorification of a ruler, facilitated by behavioural traits such as bravery, cleverness, deceptiveness, and ruthlessness. Effective rule requires these attributes, as the successful application of these characteristics towards the acquisition and maintenance of power will allow one to become a powerful leader. Machiavelli first explains the foundations of various principalities, such as hereditary and mixed principalities, as the maintenance of power differs …show more content…
He disregards the well being of the people, and instead focuses on the will of the prince. This is evident through his reasoning when providing options for rulers who had just acquired a nation in which the people have lived under liberty and freedom. Machiavelli’s first option is to simply destroy them, citing the Roman’s destruction of Capua, Carthage, and Numantia in their successful endeavor to control a free society. Machiavelli’s disregard for human life, coupled by the fact that he provides methods for ruling without seeking a means of good for the people, allows one to understand his definition of …show more content…
Machiavelli argues that too much compassion brings along dire consequences, as too much mercy allow disorders to take place, thus justifying acts of cruelty, on occasion, in order to prevent such outcomes from happening. Therefore, acts of cruelty may also be used to protect the people. This leads to Machiavelli’s answer to his famous question, arguing that while one hopes to be both feared and loved, it is nearly impossible to carry out such high standards. Being feared is more preferable, as those living under the ruler’s feared reputation are protected from acts of evil. In addition, Machiavelli argues that men are “ungrateful, fickle, pretenders and dissemblers, evaders of danger, eager for gain”, which should dissuade princes from too much compassions, as they will be taken advantage of from the

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