The author of the primary source, The Prince is Niccolo Machiavelli. His intended audience was the Medici Family. They were the rulers of Florence during the time when Machiavelli wrote this piece. He wrote it as a form of guide for the leaders to use in acquiring and maintaining power.
The writer is biased in addressing the family of rulers, the Medici family. He is advocating for the ruling family to retain power by all means possible. He says for instance that, “A king must safeguard himself against such individuals and fear them as much as if they were publicly declared enemies.” He further says that “ you can be sure that, in adversity, they will help to overthrow you.” Niccolo tried to make his harsh views appear less harmful than they were. He goes on to say that a prince should make himself feared so that even if he is not loved he is respected. He expresses that violence and cunning actions are necessary for leaders who want to maintain power. He is giving the ruling family the validity of being in power.
He also talks about how the rules should treat the people in the high social class. He says that the leaders should only treat their allies with respect but not trust them for they can quickly turn against them. His ideal form of leadership is to maintain confidence and loyalty of the subjects rather than that of the elites. According to Machiavelli, the maintaining of power matters more than how it was acquired. When directing the book to the rulers, he asserts that despite the method they used to gain power, what matters is whether they can maintain the possession of power. Machiavelli is also biased in advocating for the use of forcefully ruling the subjects of the state. He seems to find it okay to use violence to retain power when need be. His work of art does not support Democracy in any way.
This document was written 1513. It was during a time when Italy was under the rule of the Royal Family. According to a secondary source by Nicole Smith, Machiavelli talks about dictatorial leadership. The level of dictatorship is gracefully coated. According to her analysis, Machiavelli advocated for the ruling class making the subjects fear them. It was a way of ensuring loyalty to them rather than making them enjoy being ruled (Smith). The secondary source gave me a different view Machiavelli’s work. He was for violence and use of power and money to acquire more. He advocates for preparation for war in saying that the prince in power only receives power, but glory is not necessary.
According to Machiavelli, having power was the ultimate price, the glory was not required. He implies that it is okay to kill an opponent, but it is okay if they can be subdued without the use of violence. He is for the idea that violence was always the only other option when everything else failed. Nicole’s analysis of Machiavelli’s writing is eye opening. She shines a light on the type of leadership that was appropriate according to Machiavelli (Smith). He was of the idea that the best leaders were those who were evil when it was necessary. The glory that a leader acquired during his tenure was what determined how good a leader was and not how feared he was by the subjects.
Smith, Nicole. ‘Feared Versus Loved: An Analysis Of The Prince By Machiavelli.’ Articlemyriad.com. N.p., 2011. Web. 19 July 2015.
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