Essay on Critical Analysis of "The Prince" by Machiavelli

Isaiah Berlin (1909–97) was a British philosopher, historian ofideas, political theorist, educator and essayist. For much of his lifehe was renowned for his conversational brilliance, his defence ofliberalism, his attacks on political extremism and intellectualfanaticism, and his accessible, coruscating writings on the history ofideas. His essay Two Concepts of Liberty (1958) contributedto a revival of interest in political theory in the English-speakingworld, and remains one of the most influential and widely discussedtexts in that field: admirers and critics agree that Berlin’sdistinction between positive and negative liberty remains, for betteror worse, a basic starting-point for theoretical discussions of themeaning and value of political freedom. Late in his life, the greateravailability of Berlin’s numerous essays began to provoke increasingscholarly interest in his work, and particularly in the idea of valuepluralism; that Berlin’s articulation of value pluralism contains manyambiguities and even obscurities has only encouraged further work onthe subject by other philosophers.

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Critics have found it ironic that the fiercely republican Machiavelli should have written a handbook advising an autocratic leader how best to acquire and maintain power and security. Machiavelli was acutely aware, however, of foreign threats to Italian autonomy and thus deemed it necessary for a strong prince to thwart French and Spanish hegemony. Hence addressed to the ruling Medici. He believed that a shrewd head of state, exemplified by Borgia, was essential to sublimating self-interest to common welfare. Since handbooks of conduct meeting monarchal needs had become immensely popular by the 1400s, the external form of was neither startling nor particularly remarkable to Machiavelli's contemporaries. Yet, from its initial appearance, proved no mere manual of protocol nor, for that matter, of even conventional strategy. In its chapters, Machiavelli delineated a typology of sovereignties and the deployment of available forces military, political, or psychological to acquire and retain them. is the first political treatise to divorce statecraft from ethics; as Machiavelli wrote: How one lives is so far removed from how one ought to live that he who abandons what one does for what one ought to do, learns rather his own ruin than his preservation. Adding to his unflinching realism the common Renaissance belief in humanity's capacity for determining its own destiny, Machiavelli posited two fundamentals necessary for effective political leadership: and refers to the prince's own abilities (ideally a combination of leonine force and vulpine cunning); to the unpredictable influence of fortune. In a significant departure from previous political thought, the designs of Providence play no part in Machiavelli's scheme. On issues of leadership hitherto masked by other political theorists in vague diplomatic terms, Machiavelli presented his theses in direct, candid, and often passionate speech, employing easily grasped metaphors and structuring the whole in an aphoristic vein which lends it a compelling authority.

Machiavelli Essay Questions—The Prince - Polazzo

Berlin had always been a liberal; but from the early 1950s the defenceof liberalism became central to his intellectual concerns. Thisdefence was, characteristically, closely related to his moral beliefsand to his preoccupation with the nature and role of values in humanlife. In his thinking about these issues Berlin would develop his ideaof value pluralism, which assumed prominence in his work in the 1960sand ’70s. In the early 1960s Berlin’s focus moved from the morepolitical concerns that occupied him in the 1950s to an examination ofthe nature of the human sciences. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s he wasworking on the history of ideas, and from the mid-1960s nearly all ofhis writings took the form of essays on this subject, particularly onthe romantic and reactionary critics of the Enlightenment.

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Critical Essay: Stage 1 | English 1102-E3 by Robert Eagar

For sheer volume and intensity, studies of have far exceeded those directed at Machiavelli's though the latter work has been acknowledged an essential companion piece to the former. All of the author's subsequent studies treating history, political science, and military theory stem from this voluminous dissertation containing the most original thought of Machiavelli. Less flamboyant than and narrower in its margin for interpretation, the contains Machiavelli's undisguised admiration for ancient governmental forms, and his most eloquent, thoroughly explicated republicanism. Commentators have noted the presence of a gravity and skillful rhetoric that at times punctuate but are in full evidence only in that work's final chapter, a memorable exhortation to the Medicis to resist foreign tyranny. The also presents that methodical extrapolation of political theory from historical documentation which is intermittent in Max Lerner has observed that "if is great because it gives us the grammar of power for a government, are great because they give us the philosophy of organic unity not in a government but in a state, and the conditions under which alone a culture can survive."It has been deemed not at all incongruous that an intellect immersed in historical circumstance and political impetus should so naturally embrace comedy as well. For Machiavelli regarded comedy exactly as he conceived history: an interplay of forces leading unavoidably to a given result. Machiavelli's his only work in the comedic genre, clearly reflected this parallel. De Sanctis has remarked that "under the frivolous surface [of ] are hidden the profoundest complexities of the inner life, and the action is propelled by spiritual forces as inevitable as fate. It is enough to know the characters to guess the end." The drama's scenario concerns Callimaco's desire to bed Lucrezia, the beautiful young wife of a doddering fool, Nicia, who is obsessed with begetting a son. Masquerading as a doctor, Callimaco advises Nicia to administer a potion of mandrake to Lucrezia to render her fertile, but also warns that the drug will have fatal implications for the first man to have intercourse with her. He slyly suggests to Nicio that a dupe be found for this purpose. Persuaded by her confessor, a knavish cleric, to comply with her husband's wishes, the virtuous Lucrezia at last allows Callimaco into her bed, where he has no difficulty convincing her to accept him as her lover on a more permanent basis. Tales of this sort" replete with transparent devices, mistaken identities, and cynical, often anticlerical overtones" were already commonplace throughout Europe by the Middle Ages, though critics have remarked that Machiavelli lent freshness to even this hackneyed material. Sydney Anglo has commended his "clear, crisp repartee" and ability "to nudge our ribs at improprieties and double-meanings," despite characterization that is "rudimentary, haphazard, and inconsistent, with even protagonists going through their motions like automata." Macaulay, on the other hand, has applauded the play's "correct and vigorous delineation of human nature."

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Niccolo Machiavelli Biography - Brandeis University

Machiavelli Essay Questions—The Prince . Section 1. 1. Machiavelli notes that by destroying the weaker powers King Louis made a dangerous mistake.

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