The Prince Essay

1505 words - 6 pages

Timeless literature often leaves lasting impressions on society years after it I written. Nowhere is this statement better proved than in The Prince, an awe-inspiring series of essays on monarchies written in the early sixteenth century by Niccolo Machiavelli. In this brilliant piece of literature, Machiavelli describes his ideas on how to seize and retain power. Written using many brilliant themes and ideas about politics, this book contains ideas and opinions derived from many specific events in history to support and prove the numerous arguments of Machiavelli as he describes his perfect ruler. The thoughts and opinions of great minds can be immortalized with a pen and paper to teach and inspire new generations of thought for centuries after centuries, and The Prince is a collection of Machiavelli's revolutionary thoughts and ideals. His motives played a strong role in the way he wrote the book, especially since pleasing his own prince was not sole purpose of The Prince. The content and Machiavelli's choice of words also make a strong statement to readers. As a result of the qualities, events, and instructions in The Prince, history has been unmistakably altered to follow Niccolo Machiavelli's piece on power politics."Those who wish to win favor with a prince customarily offer him those things which they hold most precious or which they see him most delight in...Wishing, then, to present myself to Your Highness with some mark of my duty to you, I have been unable to find anything that I possess that I hold so dear or esteem so highly as my knowledge of the actions of great men, learned from long experience in modern affairs and from constant reading of ancient ones." (Machiavelli 12). From this statement, one sees that Machiavelli wrote The Prince partly to please and impress his prince, Lorenzo de' Medici (Deutsch). Machiavelli's political masterpiece was written with de' Medici in mind, and Machiavelli even states this in the dedication of the book (Machiavelli 12). From his statements in this section of the book, it is obvious that Niccolo Machiavelli was trying to win favor with Florence's new governmental leader.Though the motives Niccolo Machiavelli mentions for writing The Prince seem valid, he surely had unstated reasons for writing the book. After a recent military failure, Machiavelli was banished from Florence for a year by the Medici government, which had been out of power for eighteen years (Donno 5). After these events in 1512, Niccolo Machiavelli was dismissed from his beloved career in politics and banished for a year (Donno 6). He retired to a ranch in the Florentine countryside and began to write The Prince to win favor with the new government regime (Deutsch). "For him to be cut off from political activity was like being deprived of vital air." (Donno 6) While writing a book about gaining power, Machiavelli himself was in the process of trying to gain political ground. A major purpose of The Prince's publication was to...

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