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A plot summary of niccolo machiavellis book the prince

The Prince Summary & Study Guide Description

Since its publication, The Prince has been surrounded by popularity and controversy. It is considered the first modern philosophical political work of literature, considering its message reflects certain modern ethical political themes. Widely circulated at the time, The Prince is about how princes, either hereditarily empowered or newly crowned, should rule over a plot summary of niccolo machiavellis book the prince subjects.

Machiavelli himself was a historian, politician, diplomat and philosopher. He was well established and he lived in Florence during the Renaissance. Niccolo Machiavelli also held positions within the Florentine government.

The Prince Plot Summary

At one point he worked as a diplomat and political advisor for the Republic of Florence. Despite his political wit, the Medici family disliked him, and when the Medici family came back into power in 1512, they banished Machiavelli from Florence, thus ending his political career.

While Machiavelli was in political exile, he wrote many great works, one of them being The Prince. In chapter 17 of The Prince, Machiavelli outlines how rulers should be viewed by their subjects.

The Prince Summary

He discusses if princes should be loved or feared. Machiavelli casts a dark light on ruling over men, suggesting that it is better to be feared than loved. As a result, many of his contemporaries view him as more shameless than he considered himself.

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Introduction & Overview of The Prince

We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. Machiavelli had an obvious bias when it comes to this subject matter. Being a politician, he was supportive of this type of government authority. He often used tyrant and prince as synonyms.

He figured that it was better to be feared than loved, because when you are loved, men feel obligated to help you when you are in need, and he notes that men can and will break obligations.

But when you are feared, men will help you because they fear punishment, because they value their lives. In this book, Machiavelli stresses that it all comes down to authority, and that someone who makes himself loveable has less authority than omeone who makes himself frightening.

Machiavelli also notes that there is a sizeable difference between being feared and being hated. He claims it is capable to be feared but a plot summary of niccolo machiavellis book the prince hated.

The Prince Notes

In order to do so, one must inflict punishments while being fair and just, and taking only what is necessary. The Dignity of Man describes the limitless potential of the average man, and how no a plot summary of niccolo machiavellis book the prince are placed on men as long as they have free will.

This contradicts The Prince because The Prince is all about how to rule over and impose boundaries and laws on men, while The Dignity of Man discusses how men have limitless potential and that God is the only actual authority. These contradictions are interesting because both Machiavelli and Mirandola were prominent philosophers during the renaissance, which exemplifies the different theories and philosophies circulating during this time period.