Questions and Answers for The Prince

The Prince

For the prince to maintain power, it is important that he act ruthlessly if necessary. Contrary to popular belief, Machiavelli is not endorsing blood-soaked tyranny. He's simply saying that, under...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2019 8:32 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Prince

First, it is important to establish that "liberality" for Machiavelli means willingness to spend lavishly, not any political ideology in the way the term is used today. With that in mind,...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2012 3:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

There are several advantages to being the kind of ideal ruler that Machiavelli recommends in The Prince. Most importantly, you're much more likely to hold onto power. If you follow Machiavelli's...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2018 10:31 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

The first main theme is politics. The Prince was written as a manual for new rulers who desired complete control. Machiavelli argued that the prince must maintain sovereignty over his subjects....

Latest answer posted November 11, 2017 11:29 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli makes a distinction between those who rise to become princes through their own abilities and those who are merely fortunate, admiring the former more and remarking that their positions...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2020 2:03 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli advises his audience that Princes should not keep promises, nor live uprightly, if they intend on keeping their power. He argues that in the time The Prince was written, those Princes...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2016 4:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli places his most famous work, The Prince, well in the tradition of other humanist works which were very popular during the Renaissance. Humanism draws heavily on using examples of actual...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2019 3:48 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli takes a very cynical, jaded view of human nature that can be summed up by the following statement in Chapter 17, "Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It is Better to Be Feared...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2017 3:36 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli was greatly influenced by humanist thought when composing his seminal work, The Prince. Humanism concerns the potential for power that individuals have in determining their fate and...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2019 2:10 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli’s early-sixteenth century The Prince is considered a treatise on how rulers should conduct themselves and handle affairs of state, should they wish to survive. Machiavelli was...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

While I hate to say it I totally agree with Machiavelli on many points including this one. When I first began studying Machiavelli I thought his system was too black and white and way too cold, but...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2007 6:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Though the conventional view of The Prince is that it promotes a supposedly amoral ideology for political leaders to embrace, this is probably not the only reason the religious authorities banned...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2018 6:26 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

In The Prince, we could argue that Niccolò Machiavelli compares fortune to women for sexist reasons. In his comparison, Machiavelli brings in many toxic tropes about women, including the belief...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2020 12:23 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Prince

The Prince flew in the face of a prevailing theory that a virtuous prince would rule most successfully. Instead Machiavelli advised that too much virtue could be the downfall of a ruler and that...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2017 1:19 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

According to Machiavelli, it is better for a ruler to be feared than to be loved. This is the case, he says, because a ruler who is feared is less likely to be overthrown. In other words,...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2011 8:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

The main criticism that modern readers level at Machiavelli is that his notion that the "ends justify the means," when put in practice by governments, can lead to horrific consequences. In a modern...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2018 6:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

As Machiavelli explains in Chapter 16 of The Prince, it is better to be stingy, though he notes that it can be advantageous to cultivate a reputation for generosity. However, the lavish displays...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2019 9:04 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli makes a dramatic break from former advice books to princes by distinguishing between virtue and the perception of virtue. To Machiavelli, it is more important for a...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2019 11:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli is considered the first political realist because he argued in The Prince that a ruler does not have to be virtuous but merely appear virtuous to the people. In fact, he goes on to say,...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2018 11:29 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

Lord Macaulay notes in his essay on Machiavelli that The Prince was so shocking both to Machiavelli's contemporaries and to succeeding generations that they strove to account for it by various...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2019 3:54 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Prince

At the time when Machiavelli wrote The Prince most Italian states relied on mercenaries for their defense. Machiavelli's own Republic of Florence was one such state, much to Machiavelli's...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2019 6:48 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli depicts humankind as far more motivated by fear than by love. Since The Prince is a work about how a prince can best maintain his power, Machiavelli advises princes to...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2018 12:14 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

A Machiavellian leader should lie to his subjects if it is necessary. A leader has to always act in ways that will make his people respect him, even if this means that he has to break his word....

Latest answer posted November 22, 2011 2:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

This question refers to one of the most famous statements in all of Machiavelli, regarding the question of whether it is better to rule by fear than love. Machiavelli, in answering this question,...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019 9:15 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Renaissance humanism is considered to have first developed in Florence, Italy, beginning in the 14thC. for a variety of reasons, and perhaps the two most important are the rise of the Medici...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Humanism is evident in both works and in both senses of the word. As has already been mentioned in a previous contribution, Machiavelli cites a number of examples of classical wisdom—Livy being an...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2018 2:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli actually says it is “safer” to be feared than loved. He bases this assertion on the premise that men are “thankless, fickle, false, studious to avoid danger, greedy of gain, devoted to...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2018 12:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli is best known for his idea (which was groundbreaking at the time) that a ruler should not worry too much about morality. He said that rulers should, instead, do whatever was...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2011 1:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli was not being sarcastic or a moralist; he was being honest. From his observations, he wrote what he percieved to be true -- this is how leaders operate, particularly the Borgias of his...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2012 4:20 am UTC

9 educator answers

The Prince

Even in Machiavelli's own time, his ideas were regarded as immoral by many, and the ruthless, cunning, cynical, exploitative "Machiavel" became a stereotypical figure on the Elizabethan stage....

Latest answer posted September 4, 2011 11:45 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Prince

Numerous commentators have noted that Machiavelli was a modernist political thinker in that he rejected universal principles of morality and ethics to posit a form of statecraft based on exigency...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli writes, at the beginning of chapter 1, that "All states...have been and are either republics or principalities." As the title suggests, almost all of The Prince is devoted to analysis...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2019 2:32 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Prince

The Prince was infamous among political and intellectual circles during the Early Modern Era. To quote from the introduction to The Portable Machiavelli: "It is a remarkable book, one which...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2019 7:07 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Prince

The meaning of the word "humanism" has changed since the Renaissance. Since you are writing about Machiavelli's treatise on the art of government, The Prince, it is the Renaissance definition of...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2020 7:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli's The Prince is very obviously a political piece. While Machiavelli himself was not a prince, he did grow up in a politically active family in France. Despite an educated childhood...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2010 11:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli's most prevalent and well-known idea is perhaps the most impactful, in large part due to its controversy. I will address this concept for those reasons and because I believe it is the...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2019 10:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

Machiavelli was a true child of the Renaissance. He was a thoroughgoing humanist who looked fondly to antiquity for models of learning, wisdom and statesmanship. The Prince stands as a monument to...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2017 12:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli says that in general, humans are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous . . . Therefore, a wise prince must be prepared for the fickle or changeable aspect of...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2019 12:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli's work indicates the basic instability of government and of rulers in Italy during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. At the time, Venice was the most powerful of the Italian city...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2011 11:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

There are really two parts to this question. The first deals with the concept of humanism that gained sway during the Renaissance in Italy and beyond. The second addresses the related issue of...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 10:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Macchiavelli sees hereditary rule as the easiest type to maintain since the people are used to the customs and rule of their families, probably for many generations. There are less problems because...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2007 1:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli argues that a leader's reputation and honor are all important. Perception is reality. A prince doesn't have to be virtuous, but must appear virtuous to the people he is...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2016 3:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli urges the rulers of new principalities to follow the example of great leaders of the past (of which there are no shortage in The Prince) in order to "imitate those who have been...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2018 3:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli talks about classical humanist ideals, which comprised a different world view than our present day "humanist ideals" encompass. Machiavelli spoke of classical Renaissance...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2013 7:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

The Prince is replete with examples of contemporary leaders, whom Machiavelli uses to support his arguments about how a prince should behave if he wants to be successful. He points, for example, to...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2019 2:32 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli, in The Prince, espoused qualities of initiative and calculated ruthlessness: this second part is particularly important, because Machiavelli is sometimes misunderstood on this account....

Latest answer posted November 11, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli discusses the prince's acquisition of power in relation to the acquisition of territories. He draws a distinction between hereditary and composite principalities. The acquisition of...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2009 2:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

"Principalities are either hereditary,...or they are new." Hereditary principalities are those where rule has been established for generations, usually by one family. The people tend to...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2007 3:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prince

In The Prince, Machiavelli, in chapter 18, notes that it is to a leader's advantage to present himself as a model of faith and piety, without actually being so. He then alludes, without naming him,...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2018 9:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prince

Machiavelli was a staunch patriot, and like so many of his fellow countrymen, he hated the fact that Italy was always riven by wars of conquest. Once Rome had dominated the world, yet now the...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2019 11:18 am UTC

2 educator answers

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