This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing Machiavelli's The Prince And Plato's The Republic

1796 words - 7 pages

Comparing Machiavelli's The Prince and Plato's The Republic  

    Many people in history have written about ideal rulers and states and how to maintain them.  Perhaps the most talked about and compared are Machiavelli's, The Prince and Plato's, The Republic.  Machiavelli lived at a time when Italy was suffering from its political destruction.  The Prince, was written to describe the ways by which a leader may gain and maintain power. In Plato?s The Republic, he unravels the definition of justice.  Plato believed that a ruler could not be wholly just unless one was in a society that was also just. His state and ruler was made up to better understand the meaning of justice.  It was not intended to be practiced like that of Machiavelli's. Machiavelli, acknowledging this, explains that it is his intention to write something that is true and real and useful to whoever might read it and not something imaginary,"?for many have pictured republics and principalities which in fact have never been known or seen?(Machiavelli 375)."  Therefore, because one ruler is realistic and the other imaginary, the characteristics of Machiavelli's ruler versus Plato's ruler are distinctly different. 

            Machiavelli?s model for his ideal prince was Cesare Borgia, also known as Duke Valentino and son of Pope Alexander VI.  He believed Cesare Borgia possessed all the qualities of a prince destined to rule and maintain power in his state. He believed that politics has a morality of its own.  There is no regard of justness or unjustness, of cruelty or  mercy, of  approval  or  humiliation, which   should   interfere   with  the  decision  of defending the state and preserving its freedom.  Therefore, the ruler/prince's single responsibility is to protect the state from any possible danger even if it means deception or cruelty.  Of course it is far better to be considered humane than cruel, but sometimes cruelty is the only way to achieve security and stability in the state. Cruel actions by the prince should be done at once, and quickly.  Then the prince should slowly reward his people with benefits so that the cruel actions may be forgotten.  "For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them last longer (Machiavelli 370)." Cruelty, therefore, will not seem like it is committed everyday and people will soon forget if they are reassured with benefits.

            On the contrary, Plato's idea of the ruler is almost exactly the opposite that of Machiavelli's.  Plato's reason for his ideal ruler and state was to explain the meaning of justice. One must examine what it means for a state to be just and what it means for a person to be just to truly understand the meaning of justice.  According to Socrates, ??if we first tried to observe justice in some larger thing that possessed it, this would make it easier to observe in a single...

Find Another Essay On Comparing Machiavelli's The Prince and Plato's The Republic

Comparing the Concepts of Seeming and Being in Relation to Political Power and Leadership in The Prince and The Republic

3114 words - 12 pages Comparing the Concepts of Seeming and Being in Relation to Political Power and Leadership in The Prince and The Republic 9. Machiavelli says the prince only has to seem good, not be good. Socrates insists that seeming is bad, being is good. Is it better to remain in the cave with Machiavelli, or see the light with Socrates? Write three pages for Machiavelli and against Socrates, write another three pages against Machiavelli and for

Comparing Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, and Gurney's Dinotopia

1513 words - 6 pages Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, and Gurney's Dinotopia   Throughout history, mankind has struggled to lead better lives and improve their society for future generations. What do we continuously attempt to improve? What kind of changes are we trying to institute? In other words, what is an ideal society? Many people have very diversified views about a perfect civilization. In Plato's Republic, Sir Thomas More's Utopia, and James

Macbeth and Machiavelli's The Prince

888 words - 4 pages . Before comparing the two characters to Machiavelli’s Prince, we must understand Machiavelli’s views on the subject. In chapter XVII Machiavelli stats that it is good to be both loved and feared but that combination is rare to exist in one person. So instead he says “that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency.”(Machiavelli) What I believe Machiavelli

Machiavelli's "The Prince"

1398 words - 6 pages Machiavelli's, The Prince, is a straightforward, no-nonsense book on the application of power during the sixteenth century (Teuber Par. 1 Intro). Published in 1513, it was an attempt Machiavelli made to hastily re-enter politics (Machiavelli Pg. 3).Machiavelli was born May 3, 1469, in Florence, to a well-known middle-class family. Not a lot is known about his early life, but it is known that as a young man he learned Latin and that he much

Machiavelli's The Prince

1396 words - 6 pages Machiavellian is used for immoral cunning. Machiavelli's dedication of "The Prince" to Lorenzo was all but expected during his time. Dedications of writings to powerful men were part of nearly all literature during the Renaissance. Written in this tradition, Machiavelli's dedication states his unworthiness and praised Lorenzo's greatness, even referring to him as magnificent. Just like Machiavelli, many writers during this time were also hoping

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

1043 words - 4 pages Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince examines the nature of power and his views of power are still somewhat in existence today. I'll discuss this in this essay, emphasizing the following theses. Machiavelli discusses power over the people, dictatorial power, and power with people, shared power. While it is possible for power with to attain greater prevalence in society, it will not completely eliminate power

Machiavelli's "The Prince"

986 words - 4 pages The study of Machiavelli's view of human nature is a doleful task. In reviewing The Prince, it does not seem that Machiavelli attributes to man any basically good intrinsic characteristics, such as loyalty, selflessness, or concern for others. In short, he appears to view humans as being downright wicked. When good fortune prevails, they conform and in unfavorable times, they rebel. Machiavelli counsels that a prince must always be wary of men

Machiavelli's "The Prince"

1081 words - 4 pages The PrinceWhat would it take to be a Prince and stay in power? In the story of the Prince,Machiavelli writes about some controversial ways to keep power, if you were a Prince. Afterreading this story I asked my self the question, do I agree with Machiavelli's methods. If I werethe Prince and was presented with Machiavelli's treatise, I would accept and his ideas andadvice. Machiavelli, first makes the point of how a countries army's structure

Machiavelli's "The Prince" - 750 words

750 words - 3 pages Niccolo Machiavelli offers his constructive thoughts regarding numerous complex issues within his book "The Prince". Exiled when Pope Julius II defeated the French and took over Florence, Machiavelli did not have faith in the church. He saw the corruption in the Church as a self-destructing weakness and was not convinced of the Church's virtue. Machiavelli's animosity against the Catholic Church, along with his desire to be reinstated to public

Machiavelli's book "the Prince"

4585 words - 18 pages When I set out to write this paper I pondered how can I make this an interesting paper? So I thought that I would take Niccolo` Machiavelli "The Prince" and give a twenty year-old Generation X's views on his masterpiece. So with that I will try to give you my opinions on what I think of Machiavelli's book and the idea's there in. The first idea that I will discuss is Machiavelli's view on how many principalities there are and ways to obtain them

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

1189 words - 5 pages More than 480 years ago, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince was published. It established a system of governance influential still today. His ideas were available before thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke. Men who believed that government derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. Machiavelli, unlike Rousseau and Locke, did not suggest government of the people, but government were power was centralized and secure in the hands of

Similar Essays

Comparing Orwell's "1984" And Machiavelli's "The Prince"

1932 words - 8 pages When examining the totalitarian government of 1984 by George Orwell, a direct connection can be drawn to the motives and ideals associated with Niccoló Machiavelli’s The Prince. Machiavelli’s support of the political necessity as a means to remain in power resonate with the government whose aim is to “extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought” as a way to ensure complete political orthodoxy within the country (193

Comparing Contemporary Politics To Plato's "The Republic"

1197 words - 5 pages Contemporary politics seems to more closely reflect Thraysmachus’ view of justice more so than Plato’s. Contemporary is defined as belonging to the present time adding on to it, politics, which are decisions and actions between parties with power. In “The Republic”, Socrates asks Thraysmachus to give him the answer to his question of what justice is. Thraysmachus was a sophist, who charged people for wisdom. The battle of seeking the true

Comparing Good And Bad Qualities Of Machiavelli's The Prince To Leader Mao Zedong Homeschool English 10th Grade Essay

626 words - 3 pages Surname 1 Name Professor Course title Date Good and Bad Qualities of Machiavelli's the Princes and Leader Mao Zedong Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist revolutionary, a political leader, a poet and the founding political leader of the people's republic of China. He was the chairperson of the Communist Party of the republic of China from the time it was established in the year 1949 until 1976, the year in which he died. While Machiavelli's the

Comparing Plato's Republic And Gulliver's Travels

867 words - 3 pages Plato's Republic and Gulliver's Travels       In The Republic, Plato attempts to define the ideal state as it relates to the tripartite division of the soul. In this division, wisdom, the rational characteristic of the soul, is the most valuable and important. In the ideal state the ruling class would be the guardians, those who maintain rationality and will operate according to wisdom. Each individual "should be put to use for which