TheEmergence of the Modern
Thispaper will highlight a few points in several chapters of the bookPrince by Machiavelli. In chapter 4 and 5 of the story, the authordescribes the theme of ability and circumstances that would lead tothe definition of a leader’s success. How a leader solvessituations, he finds himself in is more important than talents hehas. This chapter dwells more on the different decisions andabilities that a ruler is based on rather than the talents hecarries.
Inchapter 6, the author describes the two ways a prince could ascend topower. These are ascension by luck or by fighting to gain a throne.It is understood that those who claim power by luck find it rough tomaintain their grip on power. On the other hand, those princes thatfight to gain their thrones would find it easy to rule over theirkingdoms.
Chapter7 dwells more on a prince ability and means used to gain power. Hegives examples of citizens like Francesco Sforza who gained his stateby his own abilities. On the other front, Cesare Borgia ascended topower by his father’s abilities. The challenges the latter facedwere due to his inability to lead. He crafted his own downfall by hisinability to control the state by depending on the loyalty of hisfather’s troops. It is evident that a good ruler should use his ownstrength and abilities to gain power and dominance in order tosucceed in the leadership.
Myanalysis of chapter 23 shows that the success of a leader is verydependent on the correct selection of a good inner circle. Thereforethe leaders should be clever enough in their appointments ofministers. Advisors are there to give technical advice to the prince,but a good prince should always distinguish the good and bad advice.
Inchapter 24, the author talks about the incompetence of a ruler. Heexplains using examples that a ruler should do all it takes not tolose a grip to his kingdom. He states that those who lose theirstates do so due to lack of military power and understanding ofleadership. This should be entirely blamed on their tacticalawareness and lack of leadership skills.
Theauthors’ view of fortune and having to control your own fate aredisplayed in chapter 25. Fortune and respective actions are importantto determine the princes’ success. The author describes fortune asevents or circumstances occurring that could hinder the success of aruler. He claims the difference between one who succeeds and the onethat fails is small and is more dependent on how one prepares andhandles situations as they come along (Marriott).
Inchapter 26, the author speaks of the Italian succession from theleadership of the prince to the Medici family. He claims that for thenew rulers to succeed they have to look back to the failures of theprevious leaders. They have to build empires and form strong armiesto protect their kingdoms. Their decision making should always be inthe interests of the states (Marriott).
Theplay Mandrake is an interesting comedy by the Italian philosopherMachiavelli. The main character is Callimaco. He is a lustful manthat wants to sleep with a beautiful lady called Lucrezia. Lucreziais, however, an upright and faithful woman who would never agree tosleep with another man other than her husband. The Nicia-Florentinejudge is the husband to Lucrezia. The protagonist Mr. Callimaco thenshifts to using cunning and deceitful ways to achieve his long timedesires. He resolves to plan with Ligurio a doctor cum priest totrick Nicia. The plan involves the administration of a drug namedMandrake to Lucrezia in order to increase her fertility and thusenabling her to sire a kid. This plays to the heart of Nicia becausehe was very eager and desperately get a child heir to him.
However,in his plot, he creates a plan for himself to fulfill his desires. Heclaims that once the drug is administered to Lucrezia, the first manto have sexual relations with him would end up dead.
Heuses a more convincing plot to convince Nicia to talk to the wife toenable her sleep with a stranger because at the end of the course thegreater reason would be to gain a child. Lucrezia hesitates but isfinally convinced to do so. She meets with the stranger who later isCallimaco and in disguise sleeps with him (Newbigin, 2009).
Thetwo main characters Callimaco and Lucrezia are engaged in some formof deception with one being a victim of the others lustfulness. Atthe end of the day, Nicia is the loser because the whole plot was adeceit and he fell to a trap to enable a stranger to sleep with hiswife yet the promise to get a child seems not to bear any (Newbigin,2009).
Inthis plot, we see that deceit seems to offer a solution to everyone’sdesires. The protagonist gets to sleep with Lucrezia. Lucrezia soeager to be a mother was convinced by the husband to partake in theplot in order to gain a child. The husband was also duped with thepromise to get a child. This links up so well with the current worldwhere anything goes in order to achieve a given goal. At the end ofthe story, Lucrezia is duped because she becomes a victim of lies yetshe is not able to geta child.
Marriott, W. (n.d.). The Prince Translation.
Newbigin, N. (2009). Mandragola Translation. Nerida Newbigin.