Baby Boy Toy Essay

1614 words - 7 pages

Machiavelli wrote one of the most influential treatises on leadership that is still utilized in politics and management today. One of the defining conceptions he explores is locating a balance between being virtuous and righteous and practicing carefully selected deceit and cunning. Gilgamesh’s exhibition of leadership is much more primordial and archetypal, yet does more to highlight the inherent tragedy and emotional trauma present in such high-stakes situations. Ultimately, the differences in leadership between the two is a product of radically different eras, in which the notions of power and the state were at opposite ends of a spectrum, as were the structures that organize people.
For all of Machiavelli’s ruthlessness and espousal of deceit, he knew the value of authenticity and relying on his administration. A true leader cannot achieve greatness alone. Machiavelli says that the prince is the state, and the state is the prince. This means that whatever vision and principles the leader holds in the highest regard, they must be known to the state so that they can be realized. He believed that no matter how a prince was elected, his success would depend largely on his ministers. Collaboration between a prince and ministers would create an atmosphere of harmony and camaraderie, highly reducing the chances of rebellion. Without the support and cooperation of the people, military action is not possible, expansion is not possible and most importantly, governance is not possible. If a leader does not satisfy the needs of the people, they have the power to overthrow him through strength in numbers. Thus, a leader depends just as much on the people as they do on him. A leader must be able to convince the people to buy into his vision and stand by him no matter what odds they are up against. Because of their strength in numbers, this can only be done if the leader is feared to some degree. As he states, “anyone compelled to choose will find far greater security in being feared than in being loved” (65). If a leader is feared, the people are less likely to revolt, and in the end, only a threat of punishment can guarantee obedience.
He must be careful not to be hated though. While having no virtue will lead the people to question judgment, this will not inspire hatred. A leader will be hated if he is cowardly, indecisive, or if he treats his subjects badly. One of the reasons Machiavelli would see Gilgamesh as a failure of a leader is because he treats his subjects with disrespect to the point of oppression, leaving “no son to his father,/day and night he would rampage fiercely . . . Gilgamesh would leave no girl to her mother!/ The warrior’s daughter, the young man spouse,/ Goddesses kept hearing their plaints”(101). His mistreatment becomes so gross and unwieldy that the people plead to the gods to intervene. The gods respond by creating a beast-like man named Enkidu, who can match the force of Gilgamesh and stand up to him. Here he exhibits a...

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