I find myself to thoroughly enjoy shorter reads that are filled with much insight and knowledge, and I think that The Prince by Machiavelli does exactly that. However, I did not find this read to be all that interesting to me. I initially thought that this book would strike my interest and by right up my alley when it came to preferences, but that was definitely not the case for me here. But in spite of this opinion, I thought that the text was substantial and a great outline of how one can gain power and superiority.
This text is quite reminiscent to Plato’s account, as they merely take the same route by creating an intricate guide to help others succeed in a certain area. Much like Plato’s Republic, The Prince describes step-by-step the way in which a man should act, or the course he should take if he desires to prevail as a Prince. Upon reading Machiavelli’s guide to success, I began to compare past characters we have analyzed in this course to Machiavelli’s expectations and rules; basically seeing which characters are Machiavelli, and which are not. Machiavelli’s dialect acts as a mere handbook dictating the seemingly proper way in which one should rule.
Furthermore, I also found in this book that Machiavelli expresses how a Prince mustn’t be dominated by emotion. I found this to be interesting, for as stated above, this particular rule or standard, is quite similar to Plato’s handbook, which states that guardians should not show extreme emotion of any sort for they will appear as weak. Also, in the guide, Machiavelli also states how a Prince must maintain a proper illusion of goodness to find confidence in his citizens, as a means of strengthening his support from fellow citizens in his nation. With all these little suggestions and rules, I think that it is safe to say that Machiavelli makes extreme presumptions about us as human beings. He is quick to generalize humans, and thinks that we are easily manipulated and naïve. Although I believe that instilling a strong, political structure in a nation is of great importance, I do think that Machiavelli has some harsh and cruel expectations.
Overall, I found this to be a somewhat intriguing read. Although I got bored at many parts and found this book to be more of a task than a fun and interesting read, I thought that it was alright.