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The Prince Guiding Questions

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1.Why did Machiavelli write The Prince?
Machiavelli wrote The Prince because he wanted Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was the current ruler, to be impressed by him and show him that he was intelligent and a useful advisor to him. Machiavelli also wrote it for Princes to read and comprehend how to be successful in power.

2.Name the three major themes of The Prince. (HINT: Look at the chapter titles) One of the major themes in The Prince was Statesmanship and Warcraft. Much of The Prince describes precisely how to conduct a good war. Another major theme in The Prince is Goodwill and Hatred. Machiavelli shares his beliefs that being hated can be the cause of a prince’s downfall and that goodwill is just a political tool to assure the prince’s ruling. The last theme in The Prince is freewill because the success or failure of a prince is caused by his own free will.

3.Describe the role of armies according to Machiavelli.

According to Machiavelli the armies’ role is to gain new territories and protect the kingdom. Machiavelli then explains that it is not enough to just have a strong army, the ability to maintain morale among the troops and the citizens and having powerful protection are very important.

4. How does Machiavelli’s advice concerning the prince’s conduct in chapters 15-19 conflict with the advice previous writers would have given? The advice Machiavelli gives in chapters fifteen through nineteen is for princes to be basically be bad rather than a good prince. Machiavelli’s advice went against all traditional advice books written for rulers that were all about princes being good, honest, and generous because he did not want to discuss imaginary things.

5. Why does Machiavelli say that it is better for a prince “to be both loved and feared?” Is it possible for a prince to be both? Explain. Machiavelli says it is better for a prince “to be both loved and feared” because if a prince is only feared then his people could rebel against him and try to over throw him for a better ruler because he would be mean. On the other hand, if the prince is only loved then his people would take advantage of his kindness and would not take his leadership seriously. Overall it is possible for a prince “to be both loved and feared”.

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