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Analysis Of Napoleon As An Individual In History; Particular Attention Is Paid To Napoleon's Role As Emperor And The Abilities That Allowed Him To Accomplish His Fantastic Achievements,

1660 words - 7 pages

Napoleon Bonaparte: Image of an EmperorNapoleon's story has a fairy tale quality, but instead of rags to riches it is immigrant to Emperor. What follows is an analysis of Napoleon as an individual in history; particular attention is paid to Napoleon's role as emperor and the abilities that allowed him to accomplish his fantastic achievements,"Even when I am gone, I shall remain in people's minds the star of their rights, my name will be the war cry of their efforts, the motto of their hopes." (Napoleon Quotes)Napoleon's Character: Driven to GreatnessNapoleon embraced the French Revolution and was a product of The Enlightenment,... Having entered into a life of action, he still remained a thinker. This warrior was never happier than in the silence of his own study, surrounded by papers and documents. In time he became more practical and we would boast the he had repudiated "ideology." Nevertheless, he was still a typical man of the eighteenth century, a rationalist, a philosophe. Far from relying on intuition, he placed his trust in reason, in knowledge, and in methodical effort..." (Memoirs, 92)However, many French exhibited common characteristics of the Enlightenment; what set Napoleon apart was his self-driven need to lead, conquer and especially his incredible ability to project an image of himself and his endeavors which would aide him continually until his defeat (though afterwards through his memoirs.) Madame de Stael provides a contemporary account of Napoleon's personal character and demeanor,"So the fear he inspired was caused only by the extraordinary effect of his person upon nearly all who approached him. I had seen men worthy of respect, and I had seen fierce men: there was nothing in the impression Bonaparte produced upon me that recalled either the former or the latter. I very quickly saw, in the various occasions I had to meet him during his stay in Paris, that his character could not be defined by the words we ordinarily use;" (Memoirs, 85)Napoleon had an unrivaled talent for presenting an appealing image of himself and his causes, this talent manifested itself in all aspects of his ascent to power but especially his military conquests,During his first campaign in Italy, he carefully crafted reports from the battlefield, designed to increase his glory while masking the ruthlessness with which he plundered the country. [. . . ] He created his own newspapers -- France and the Army of Italy, and The Newspaper of the Army of Italy, which exalt his victories. Bonaparte himself actually writes some articles. He himself wrote: "Bonaparte flies like lightning and strikes like a thunderbolt." (Napoleon: The Man)Throughout Napoleon's ascent he understood that it was not enough to merely win victories, but rather to also ensure that his triumphs were publicized and the he was idolized. Even his personal image was tailored to portray greatness, as evidenced by the striking paintings showing Napoleon in full battle garb and with exotic...

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