Essay on A Book Review of Niccolò Machiavelli's THE PRINCE

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A Book Review of Niccolò Machiavelli's THE PRINCE


Brittany Nicole Garner

History 102 Northeast Alabama Community College Blake Wilhelm Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Published by Signet Classics
pp. 3 to 126

Gifted to Lorenzo the Magnificent, Son of Piero de Medici as a way to win over the Prince’s favour, Niccolò Machiavelli contributes many promising, if not often confusing fares to his Lord. Throughout this book, it is often conceivable that Machiavelli wishes to dethrone his ruler by introducing him to many of the, now failed, attempts of dominance from past Monarchies.

As having read this book carefully, there were several passages that seemed almost to insult the Monarch, in a way that was wrapped so carefully in ego enhancing phrases, smaller minds might grasp the positive over the negative, such as; “And should Your Highness gaze down from the summit of your lofty position towards this humble spot, you will recognize the great and unmerited sufferings inflicted on me by a cruel fate.” Or “…Although I deem this work unworthy of Your Highness’s acceptance, yet my confidence in your humanity assures me that you will receive it with favour, knowing that it is not in my power to offer you a greater gift than that of enabling you to understand in a very short time all those things which I have learnt…”

It is my inclination that Machiavelli thought his Prince to be a buffoon of high standards and shallow knowledge perception, and often enhances this with the way he seemingly talks down to the emperor. Quickly, though rather late, Machiavelli then inserts his charm that removes his head from the guillotine’s shadow. Machiavelli strikes as grandiloquent in his beliefs, His remorse for common folk; extinct, if not imaginary. “… He only injures those whose lands and houses are taken to give to the new inhabitants, and these form but a small proportion of the state, and those who are injured, remaining poor and scattered, can never do any harm to him, and all the others are, on the one hand, not injured and therefore easily pacified; and, on the other, are fearful of offending lest they should be treated like those who have been dispossessed.”

Machiavelli's descriptions encourage leaders to attempt to control their fortune splendidly, to the extent that some situations may call for a new founding of the ways and structure that define a community, despite the danger and heartlessness and greed demanded from such a project. For such a powerful name in politics to produce this work with his name in the title is cause for praise, if not great praise, at his bravery, for this is one of the quickest ways to find one’s head on a pike paraded