An Analysis Of Machiavelli's The Prince

Submitted By skyla23
Words: 994
Pages: 4

Schyler Worrell
Dr. King
World Civ 1
September 20, 2013

According to The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli a tyrant has many options to deal with his challenges, for example a tyrant has to take control and send all his citizens who can fight in battles, but the issue is some citizens form mercenary groups and make their decisions based off a group consensus. What Machiavelli says is that a true tyrant will take charge and make any citizen fight for the republic they belong to, even if they don’t want to and feel they don’t have to. Not taking charge or taking authority can destroy the republic, “mercenaries do nothing except damage” (Machiavelli, 12). In a modern day perspective it would be like a CEO breaking the union that works for him because he doesn’t give in to their demands, they give in to him. This shows everyone else that the tyrant’s reputation is boosted when he shows he will not take any radical anarchists or whoever apposes him for granted. On another perspective, according to Hiero the Tyrant by Robin Waterfield and Paul Cartledge, a tyrant has similar choices that can reflect his reputation. For example when a tyrant suspects someone of plotting against him he can make the decision to execute this person based on his assumptions. Sometimes the tyrant has proven facts to support his claim and sometimes he doesn’t. But when he puts these “enemies” to death he isn’t strengthening the community. In aspect he is decreasing the number of people he rules over so that means fewer subjects. But a tyrant has to assert his authority no matter what, even if it means decreasing the number of subjects he rules over. Keeping a happy and confident poise even though it kills him inside. “This just goes to show how disgusted he even feels about his own actions” (Hiero, p.14). Another brutal challenge that a tyrant may face according to Hiero is family feuds. The bond of a family is sometimes the death of a tyrant. A tyrant may face danger of being assassinated by his own children, brother, or wife. So a tyrant must take precautions by killing his own son when he feels that he is plotting against him. “When the people we naturally feel the most affection toward compel us to hate them so much” (Hiero, p.15), this would be a hard challenge for any human being. To kill your own brother or son because they want the power that you hold could psychologically make a tyrant become crazy. The similarity that tyrants face in both texts is the aftermath of the decisions that they make. Whether it’s killing your own brother or killing a group of radicals, the tyrant always makes the decision. But he has to live with his decision whether it increases or decreases his reputation. The motto that I believe a tyrant must live by is trust no one and never thinks twice about the decisions you make. Finding solutions for how to be the best possible tyrant is set by following by example and studying tactics and mindsets of previous successful tyrants. According to Machiavelli a good tyrant studies his history about how a tyrant handles multiple tasks at once. Basically imitating those successful tyrants before him can display his dominance not only for his republic but also in the eyes of opposing territories. For example, “Alexander the Great imitated Achilles, Caesar Alexander, and Scipio Cyrus” (Machiavelli, 14). It sounds simple enough that if you want to be great and find the solution to becoming the best tyrant you can be just follow by example. But following someone who leads an entire nation isn’t just for any man. A tyrant has to be intelligent and stern. When a tyrant reaches these