Comparing Leadership In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar And Machiavelli’s The Prince

1467 words - 6 pages

John Maxwell once said, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” A leader must have a solid foundation as a human being before he can try to pursue the public about his visions. He will be examined from every angle about his leadership traits, style, characteristic, and so forth. All of these areas of leadership comes together in what we know as integrity. Integrity is doing what is right morally; it requires honesty, making the “right” decisions for the community, taking the blame, and being selfless. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Machiavelli’s The Prince, there are various examples as to what is the difference between a good and a bad leader, including initiative, accountability, generosity, and the leader’s values.
A leader must learn to take the initiatives for many of his projects. In Julius Caesar, Cassius tries to convince Brutus of joining the conspirators against Caesar. Cassius says that sometime men are responsible for their own fate and should not blame it on an outside force (Shakespeare I-ii 147-150). Thus, if they blamed the situation on God, it will not do them any good because they did not even try to take actions to change their fates. In this example, Cassius demonstrates that a leader should take initiative and responsibility; a good leader should be fearless and try to do something for the greater good. Machiavelli agreed because he mentioned that the Romans would try to fix a problem before it actually developed, knowing that a problem only got bigger if it was not fixed right away (11). Being proactive, rather than reactive, will help the leader be one step ahead of the game. However, the initiative should always be for the greater good than to benefit the leader solely since it will likely be publicized. This would eventually turn out to be a two-way exchange: The leader will help the community, and the people will put more trust and have more respect for the leader. For example, Brutus expressed that he loves Caesar, but he will work hard for the general good (Shakespeare I –ii 94-95). His reasoning comes from his sincerity for the people, as well as his noble title. By helping more people than himself, the actions of a leader will greatly benefit the outcome in almost any situation.
Accountability is very important when it comes to a higher-level position because it shows others that a person is willing to admit his mistakes. When a leader does present something to the general population, he should know that the citizens will anticipate his words and expect whatever he says to happen. If the leader is making a substantially impactful promise of betting the community, the population expects him to go through with it. However, if he does not, citizens will eventually lose faith and trust in their government for not keeping their own words and promises. For example, in The Prince, Machiavelli mentions that rulers and leaders these days will not consider keeping their word as an important personal...

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