The Prince Essay

1830 words - 8 pages

Over 500 years ago Machiavelli wrote one of his most influential books The Prince, which to this day continues to be discussed and interpreted. Machiavelli’s The Prince identifies key characteristics required for leaders of certain countries to sustain their power, with each mode of ascension requiring different strategies in maintaining it. Thus, we need to be aware that some of the examples he uses may be well written and can be supported with modern evidence but, it is evident that a majority of this book can be considered out of date.
Cesare Borgia was a contemporary of Machiavelli’s Prince. In chapter seven of the Prince, Machiavelli claims many aspects of Borgia’s political career are discussed. He is the very embodiment of the ingenuity, efficacy, and manliness that defines Machiavelli’s concept of political virtuosity. After Borgia had conquered the area of Romagna, he is now in charge to set the state in some type of order. Machiavelli asks how a prince, who has just conquered a state, gains the obedience of the people if people those are characterized by a human nature governed by fickleness greed etc. Well, this is how Borgia went about it; he brought peace and obedience, which put in place a cruel and efficient minister. This was a brilliant example that Machiavelli displayed because Borgia realized that his authority may have been too excessive, for he feared that it would become revolting. With that being said, he asked one of the ministers to place a wood block and a blood stained knife alongside him. This wicked and cruel act left the people of Piazza surprised and satisfied. The brilliance behind this example, in the eyes of Machiavelli and many others, was that Borgia managed not only to exercise power, but also enabled him to manipulate and control the signs of power. This was a great metaphor in which Machiavelli showed to be an effective ruler you must be able to compose the semiotics of power, therefore you put yourself in a position where you do not actually have to use power or coercion to achieve your aims.
Machiavelli discussed the issue or religion multiple times in the Prince, discussing its role in the governing of countries, and the influence of religious institutions such as churches. Religious influence during his time is unquestionable, and he does not want to alter this stigma. He was just attempting to take a closer look at how religion is used in society and more specifically how it altered the rules in politics. Machiavelli, in chapter eleven, talks about ecclesiastical principalities are the most secure and happy because they are held to their rulers by religion. No matter what the prince does the people would stay loyal to him. He proclaims that religion should be held in the hands of men. Further, he believes that it is good to encourage morality and religious principles among the people. Although we clearly see a decline in religion in the past five hundred years, no one can deny that it is still...

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