Machiavelli Essay

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Machiavelli’s Ideal Prince Machiavelli's The Prince provides an overview of what the author considered the necessary characteristics of a prince and the natural elements of his rule. For Machiavelli, the ideal rule would embrace or at least display a number of the following five characteristics: mercy, faith, humanity, sincerity, and religious focus. Though Machiavelli goes on to distinguish the different applications of these characteristics, he believed that rulers who did not at least display these qualities would feel the repercussions of social condemnation. Machiavelli wrote: "I say that all men, whenever one speaks of them, and especially princes, since they are placed higher, are noted for some of the qualities that ring them either blame or praise" (61). The ideal ruler for Machiavelli would be merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, and religious, but would also demonstrate a number of less virtuous qualities in their rule. While these are the qualities that draw the greatest level of allegiance from the people being ruled, they are not the only qualities that Machiavelli desired in his design of the ideal ruler. Though it appears to go against Machiavelli's belief regarding man's need to demonstrate humanity and sincerity, Machiavelli recognized that a ruler "should not care, if he is prudent, care about a name of meanness"(63). At the same time, because the ruler must make determinations that often appear to go against the desires of individuals, "A prince therefore, so as to keep his subjects united and faithful, should not care about the infamy of cruelty, because with very few examples he will be more merciful than those who for the sake of too much mercy allow disorders to continue" (65). Machiavelli believed that while the prince could achieve a greater level of unity through his personal characteristics, he also should be both feared and

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