Prior to Machiavelli, war was regarded as a means of gaining territory, resources, settling religious differences or achieving glory for oneself on the field of battle.
The Masses and The Elite Summary Analysis Machiavelli highlights two ways of becoming a prince that "cannot altogether be attributed to fortune or to prowess. Focusing on the first method, Machiavelli states his intention to explore two examples, one ancient and one modern, "without otherwise discussing the rights and wrongs" of this method.
Machiavelli firmly separates morality from his discussion of men who win their states through "criminal" methods. Machiavelli refrains from ethical judgment of these princes, focusing instead on the advantages and disadvantages of their harsh tactics. Significantly, Machiavelli draws a distinction between these "criminal" methods and prowess.
Active Themes Machiavelli introduces the ancient example of Agathocles, who rose from the "lowest, most abject condition of life" to become king of Syracuse in Sicily. Assembling the Senate of Syracuse, Agathocles had his soldiers massacre the senators and richest citizens and seized the government of Syracuse.
Machiavelli argues that Agathocles' success cannot Applications of machiavelli attributed to fortune, since his rise was marked by "countless difficulties.
Recognizing the effectiveness of Agathocles' methods, Machiavelli nonetheless states that Agathocles cannot be "honored" with other able rulers. Machiavelli's refusal to attribute Agathocles' success to prowess functions as a sort of implicit criticism of his "treacherous" methods.
Interestingly, this implicit criticism contradicts Machiavelli's earlier attempts to remove morality from the discussion of criminal tactics, though it may fit with Machiavelli's belief that a ruler cannot succeed by inspiring hate in those whom he hopes to lead.
Raised by his uncle Fogliani, a leading citizen of Fermo, Oliverotto was sent to serve as a soldier in his youth. Trained as a soldier and believing that "it was servile to take orders from others," Oliverotto hatched a plan to return to Fermo and seize it for himself.
Returning to his childhood home, Oliverotto prepared a "formal banquet" to which he invited his uncle and other leading citizens. During the banquet, Oliverotto's soldiers "appeared from hidden recesses" and killed Fogliani and all the other guests.
With his opponents eliminated, Oliverotto "strengthened his position" further by creating "new civil and military institutions. Although Machiavelli does not praise the treacherous Oliverotto, he does reference the skillful way in which Oliverotto "strengthened his position" by establishing new legal and military institutions.
By creating and staffing new institutions, Oliverotto fortified his new standing by ensuring that his recently installed ministers and military commanders remained loyal to and dependent on him. Like Agathocles, Oliverotto's methods were criminal but quite successful. Stopping short of praise, Machiavelli does recognize Oliverotto's cunning ability to remove his opponents.
Active Themes Machiavelli considers how it was that Agathocles and others like him were able to "live securely" in their own country after committing "countless treacheries and cruelties. Machiavelli advises rulers to inflict violence "once for all" so that people will then "forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful.
Machiavelli advises rulers to employ cruelty wisely to manage their relationship with their subjects. Violence used poorly will only enrage the people and thus weaken a ruler's position. However, cruelty used well forms the cornerstone of a prudent prince's safety and security, allowing him to strengthen his position and his state.
When used sparingly by a wise prince, cruelty can be a virtue. Cite This Page Choose citation style: Retrieved November 27, Machiavelli Critical Writing #4 Introduction: Many people who have read The Prince by Niccoló Machiavelli were appalled by Machiavelli’s fierce and authorative tone he used to assert his ideas, especially his concept of how the ends justify the means, which slowly made people begin to criticize him and his book as immoral, wicked, and evil.
Machiavelli advises rulers to employ cruelty wisely to manage their relationship with their subjects.
Violence used poorly will only enrage the people and thus weaken a ruler's position. However, cruelty used well forms the cornerstone of a prudent prince's safety and security, allowing him to strengthen his position and his state.
A book with the title, Thoughts on Machiavelli, was published in and is turning the study of Machiavelli and the study of early modern philosophy upside down.
If you are seriously interested in understanding Machiavelli, I recommend that book, although merely reading it will not enable you to understand Machiavelli.
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli: A Critical and Ethical Analysis Critical Analysis of The Prince The Prince presents an extended analysis of the principles that privileged members of the society employ to acquire and maintain political power.
Business Evaluation Le Tang Business w Section 38 Professor Paul Beeheler TA Corinne Knight 12/06/13 About Applications of Machiavelli Project Company. Jun 16, · Machiavelli’s father, Bernardo, was a lawyer with debts that barred him from office and that may have passed down to the son.
The family lived off rents from small lands outside Florence.