Qualities Of A Leader In Machiavelli's The Prince

720 words - 3 pages

In Machiavelli’s, The Prince, he listed seven of the characteristics that he thought a leader had to have to be a good leader. However, some of these tenants had conflicts concerning the lack of thought towards actual human nature. One of the tenants specifically said,”Virtue can ruin a person, and vice can bring success.” This statement seems logical when you first look at it, but, as you delve into the actual meaning of the tenant, you realize it is more complex and misleading than before.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of virtue is,”morally good behavior and character”. So how can good behavior and character ruin a person? Some people might argue that if you are too benevolent, you could give the majority of your money away to other people. But when you look at the definition, it says that it is morally good behavior. So by saying this, the person who gave his money away is pleased with what he has done. He/She did this for a reason, making himself/herself a better person. How does that ruin a person? Is self-happiness harmful? Is feeling like you did a good deed a bad thing? This statement contradicts itself with the aspects of human nature. A person does not feel bad after doing the deed that they feel makes them possess “good behavior and character”. This is also irrelevant because if a person really has these virtues, he/she carries them wherever they go. So, even in bad times, after doing moral deeds that made you feel good, you will have mental success.
Looking at the second half of this tenant, we must first figure out the definition of vice. According to Merriam Webster, the definition reads as,” bad or immoral behavior or habits”.So, how can you reach full success when you feel as if you are always doing bad acts or participating in bad habits? Constantly doing acts that you think are wrong, could give you the physical, palpable success you are looking for, but you will never mentally get over the fact that you did multiple bad and immoral...

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