A Leader: Love And Hatred, Fear And Love

1201 words - 5 pages

Many philosophers have discussed, written, and influenced the implementation of their ideas of the perfect qualities of a leader, and the techniques that one must use to improve and perfect their leadership abilities. Majority of these philosophers conclude that a leader must demonstrate favourable traits, which will in turn generate the public in which he is ruling over to love him. This will result in a successful leadership. These philosophies are also devised as if the real world was a perfect world. However, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book, named, The Prince, which introduced the realistic idea that the world is not perfect and people do bad things. Because of this, leader must act differently to take charge of the naturally bad behaviour of the human race (The Prince 1). In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, there are numerous leaders who apply these ideas, and many who don’t. Although The Prince discusses many dark and relentless ideas of the perfect leader, his philosophy is proven true by the characters from Shakespeare’s playwright, Julius Caesar, and the cause and effect of their actions.
Brutus is a perfect example of a leader who did not follow Machiavelli’s advice, and did not succeed as a leader. For instance, Brutus’s main concern was pleasing the public and doing what was best for Rome. He did this by killing Julius Caesar (3.2.23-28). “If you want to acquire a reputation for generosity, therefore, you have to be ostentatiously lavish; and a prince acting in that fashion will soon squander all his resources, only to be forced in the end if he wants to maintain his reputation…to impose extortionate taxes.” (The Prince 2). Machiavelli stated that to be generous will have damaging effects on the leader. The damaging consequences for Brutus’s actions were that Antony’s plans to assassinate him. Brutus’s naïve personality also brought him to fault when he made the decision to only kill Caesar instead of killing Caesar and Antony as well. “For Antony is but a limb of Caesar./Lets be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.” (2.1.178-79). Brutus expected very little from Antony. But if he had not have expected so little and been so naïve, the would have killed Mark Antony regardless of how it made the public feel about his generosity. By not following Machiavelli, he put himself in a bad situation where Antony would go on to make plans to assassinate him. In addition, Brutus expected that Antony would not say anything bad about Brutus and the rest of the conspirators like Antony said he would (3.1.248-76). Machiavelli stated that you should not expect people to be perfect, you have to expect the worst of everyone and you cannot be naïve if you want to be a good leader. (The Prince 1). This is one thing that Brutus was, naïve. He saw the best in Antony, and then Antony re-convinced the crowd into thinking that Caesar was good, and Brutus was not honourable for what he did. If Brutus was not so naïve, he would not have let Antony speak, and...

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