Prince In Chapter Twenty Of Essay

Length: 7 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Essay Paper: #24185424 Related Topics: Rhetorical Analysis, Metaphor, Argumentative, Argument
Excerpt from Essay :

What is almost funny about this tactic is that Machiavelli notes the importance of specific circumstances throughout the chapter immediately before making generalized statements, but when it comes to actually judging the efficacy of fortresses, he refrains.

However, this does not mean that he does not come up with a general pronounce, it just means that this general pronouncement takes the form of a discussion of the importance of specific circumstances, and in this instance, the specific circumstances that matter are the degree to which a ruler is loved or tolerated by his or her subjects. Machiavelli ends the chapter by saying that fortresses may be useful or harmful, depending on the relationship between ruler and ruled, and furthermore, that fortresses or a lack of fortresses will not matter if a ruler is hated by the ruled. The way Machiavelli reaches this point is interesting because he is one the one choosing to formulate the question in this way.

In other words, Machiavelli is the one proposing a judgment regarding the efficacy of fortresses, but he only proposes this judgment in order to make his real point, which is to argue that this judgment is irrelevant if one does not secure the love or acceptance of the ruled. This is interesting because Machiavelli does not actually discuss public sentiment or affiliation in this chapter, even though this topic does take up much of the rest of the book in one form or another, including the chapter immediately preceding this one. This forces one to question, then, what the actual purpose of this chapter is, because it is certainly not concerned with advising princes about whether or not they should build fortresses.

Instead, it appears that this chapter is part of Machiavelli's larger goal, which seems to be the elevation of strategic thinking above and beyond traditional military concerns into the realm of a holistic realpolitik. Machiavelli is of course concerned with military strategy, but only as it fits within a larger strategy of successful governance based on practicality and actual human behavior rather than ideals and perceived tactical advantages. In this light, the final line of chapter twenty can be seen as a specific instance of Machiavelli's larger goal, because this line serves to performatively discard the original...


public sentiment).

Understanding that this is Machiavelli's real goal helps one understand how he might be comfortable with his gap in providing historical data and the ease with which he immediately contradicts himself, because these gaps and contradictions really only matter in the context of a discussion about the utility of specific practices, whereas Machiavelli is ultimately engaged in a discussion about what it takes to make these specific practices reasonable options in the first place. By using fortresses as his central metaphor, Machiavelli is able to make an argument about how to consider tactical options in the first place, because he demonstrates how these tactical options are only valid or useful in a political context conducive to their use. Put another way, these kinds of tactical options are subordinate to the larger question of rule, because they cannot be used to effectively influence the nature of that rule.

While changes in the way subjects are treated may have the effect of altering those subjects' perceptions of the ruler, and thus their willingness to follow his or her instructions, the construction of a fortress cannot substantially affect the good or ill will felt towards a ruler because this fortress does nothing for the population at large, except to generate a new space from which they might be excluded. This is why Machiavelli says that "therefore the best fortress is to be found in the love of the people, for although you may have fortresses they will not save you if you are hated by the people" (87). In other words, fortresses are only truly useful so long as the ruler has secured the good will of the ruled, because otherwise the fortress simply becomes a convenient place to trap the ruler once the people have risen up or sided with an enemy.

Works Cited

Machiavelli, Niccolo and Luigi…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Machiavelli, Niccolo and Luigi Ricci. The prince. London: Grant Richards, 1903. Print.

Cite this Document:

"Prince In Chapter Twenty Of" (2013, April 28) Retrieved June 12, 2021, from

"Prince In Chapter Twenty Of" 28 April 2013. Web.12 June. 2021. <>

"Prince In Chapter Twenty Of", 28 April 2013, Accessed.12 June. 2021,

Related Documents
Machiavelli and the City
Words: 2348 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy Paper #: 14010129

Machiavelli's Understanding of the Populace in the Prince and the Discourses The focus of this study is Machiavelli's Understanding of the Populace in the Prince and the Discourses. This study will answer the question of what makes the populace of his contemporary era different from that of other places and times. Secondly this work will compare the populace of Machiavelli's contemporary era with past societies and republics. Machiavelli's Understanding of the

Consumer Perceptions Toward Personal Behavior
Words: 6548 Length: 19 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 34093687

During the survey of participants, the researcher investigates: Thai online game players' personal perceptions of online games; significant reasons that motivate the participants to play online games; factors that motivate participants to choose an online game; participants' opinions of digital society Affects of playing online games in real world. Study Objectives Objective 1 Conduct a thorough review of literature relating to online games and online game players in general, seeking specific information related to Thailand but also

Academic Profile of Home Schoolers a Case Study
Words: 16937 Length: 62 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 56680433

Academic Profile of Home Schooling - a Case Study Home Schooling vs. Traditional Educational Methods Home Schooling Methodology Focus of the Practicum Culture Area of Inquiry Subject/Topic Areas Home Schooling as an Alternative Curricula and Materials Used for Home Schooling The Success of Home Schooling Evaluation Design Conditions for Change Timeline Chronology Legislative Information: Maryland: A Legal Analysis State Laws and Regulations - Maryland Goulart and Travers vs. Calvert County Home-schooled Kids Find Social Growth" Home Schoolers in the Trenches" Home School Academic Advantage Increases Over Time" Home Schooling." ERIC Digest,

Price Beauty 'For Though Beauty Is Seen
Words: 6265 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Astronomy Paper #: 40095914

Price Beauty? 'For though beauty is seen and confessed by all, yet, from the many fruitless attempts to account for the cause of its being so, enquiries on this head have almost been given up" William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, (1753) Not very encouraging words, but if the great artist William Hogarth felt himself up to the task, we can attempt at least to follow his lead. That beauty is enigmatic

Non-Pronominal Coding of Active Referents in Message Structure of...
Words: 5498 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Communication - Language Paper #: 33546694

Non-Pronominal Coding of Active Referents The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of English sentence structures with regard to non-pronominal coding of active referents. In order to do this, it is important to have a baseline definition of non-pronominal (NP) coding and active referents. We look to recent literature and case study of not only English but other languages examined to understand sentence structure. Upon reviewing the literature,

Censorship in Music
Words: 12976 Length: 36 Pages Topic: Music Paper #: 66604850

Censorship in Music Censorship Under the Guise of Protecting the Children Rock and Roll Culture Hip Hop Culture Is Censorship in Music Viable and Does it Make a Difference? There have been many attempts by society control music. Governmental statutes, agency regulations, business controls and parents have all tried to censor the music. Sometimes they have succeeded and sometimes they have not. The examination of various aspects of rock and rap music censorship involves general