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Analysis Of "the Prince": How A Prince Should Prepare For War And Why? (Essay Sample)


The task was to analyze a book "The Prince" and to write short answers on specific questions given referring to certain chapters that were indicated in the assignment.

Name: Name of lecturer: Course No: Date: The Prince 1 How a prince should prepare for war and why. The most important thing a prince should study is the skilled art of war which is the best way to win a state. According to Niccolo Machiavelli, a prince must take a considerable amount of his time studying this art where he trains his body to hardships by learning the nature of his environment. Machiavelli also stated that a prince should study the effect of geography in battle strategy, as well as the actions of great leaders by reading their history, which prepares him well for wartime (Chapter XIV). Machiavelli wrote that “the prince ought to read history, reflect upon the deeds of outstanding men and examine the causes of their victories and defeats and thereby learn to emulate the former and avoid the latter”. All this is because; his portrait as an ideal prince doesn’t describe him as a ruler who equally values philosophy, art and politics as aspects of his reign, but one who exclusively focuses on the military strength in his state. 2 Should a prince be a lion or a fox and why? According to Machiavelli, a prince must learn to act like both the lion and the fox as being one of them; the prince may not understand what he is doing. Machiavelli wrote that “like the fox, a prince must learn how to recognize traps, and like the lion, he must learn how to scare off wolves”. He stated that a prince should be cunning, crafty and be able to trick others. In dealing with people, a prince must break any promises he had made if the reasons for which he made those promises no longer exist and if they put him at a disadvantage (Chapter XVII). As men are deceitful and wretched by nature, a prince should never rely on promises. However, Machiavelli does not advise that the prince should be ruthless just for the sake, but rather indicates the unfortunate necessity that may arise which will require ruthlessness for successful leadership. 3 Advantage or disadvantages of a prince acting liberally. Liberality is a quality that is admirable to many men. But a prince developing this quality leads to him ruining his state as it requires outward lavishness which will end up depleting all his resources. If a prince acts liberally, he will end up burdening his people with taxes for him to get the money to maintain his liberal reputation (Chapter XVI). Ultimately, his people will despise and resent him due to the excessive taxes. In connection to this, Machiavelli stated that “a prince should not worry too much about what others think of his actions, but instead, he should act only in the way that will result to the best practical advantage”. He also stated that, a prince atte...
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