The Prince — Analysis

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.

The Tempest

The Tempest was a particularly interesting read for me. I found that it was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I happen to find fiction and play-like reads to be easier for me, since it doesn’t appear to be as difficult of a task. Essentially, I find that plays are a friendlier read (if that even makes sense), less overwhelming for me.

With that being said, The Tempest kept me invested and entertained as a reader. I greatly enjoyed it as a whole. From the plot, to the magical aspects of the play, and the complexity of the characters; everything, I found was quite interesting. In class we analyzed many parts of The Tempest, that of which being how a predominant theme in this play is centered around stagecraft and the theatre itself. I found that it was interesting learning of how this play was interpreted and presented during Shakespearean times, as it addresses audiences directly and it’s power over other people.

Additionally, upon reading The Tempest, the lingering thought about monstrosity was in my mind. In this play, monsters are greatly looked down upon, mocked, and immensely belittled. Essentially, they are viewed as unnatural, outsiders, and deceptive. This particular stereotype has a great effect on one character in particular, Caliban. With Caliban being perceived and represented as a figure for monstrosity, I believe that he is a mere victim in this case. He is bullied by others that merely have the power to demean and undermine his intelligence, which significantly and heavily disadvantages Caliban’s confidence, and ability to defend himself from constantly being harassed and looked down upon.

While reading this, I also definitely got a sense Prospero’s character as well. For instance, Prospero greatly demeans Ariel, making him feel forever indebted to him. Essentially, I got a sense of how Prospero is abusive, and greatly takes advantage of Ariel, demonstrating his superiority and narcissism, whereas Ariel expresses his fearful and submissive attitude towards his mistreatment.  I also found it quite captivating with how The Tempest is Shakespeare’s final play that he wrote. Thus, I thought that Prospero’s monologue when he explains how he is going to get rid of his books containing magic was an excellent way to relate both conceptsAs a whole, I found The Tempest to be a great classical play to read. I felt as though I was able to engage with the characters and the storyline.

Robinson Crusoe Analysis

In my opinion, I would say that I really enjoyed Robinson Crusoe. I feel like people had many different reactions or opinions regarding this particular novel, however I thought it was far more interesting than many other books we have read thus far.

Initially, I was pretty skeptical about reading a story such as this, mainly because it looked like a daunting task. The font was smaller than usual, and it seemed like the story was one that would drag on. However, with that being said, Robinson Crusoe really intrigued me. From the start, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and got quite invested with the story.

Robinson Crusoe tells of a story about a man forced to survive on his own on a deserted island. He is forced to rely solely on himself, and the nature that surrounds him if he wants to survive longer than just a few days. I think that Robinson Crusoe teaches valuable lessons to readers. There are the obvious lessons, that of which being that Crusoe exemplifies a true survivor in the face of adversity, however, there is an underlying lesson that it teaches. I think that Robinson Crusoe demonstrates an improvement in one’s character; how experiences such as these shape a person, and change them for that matter. Thus, I think that Robinson Crusoe is a man to be greatly acknowledged for the way he handled the obstacles that were put before him. Rather than backing down and surrendering to his misfortune, he does the opposite, and finds ways to conquer every battle.

Crusoe demonstrates the way an individual should act in such scenario. His fearlessness and willingness to succeed is very evident throughout the novel as a whole. In my opinion, Robinson Crusoe is exceptionally written, and the narrative makes readers feel like they are more involved in the story.

I thought that the novel was intriguing and immensely captivating with each turn of a page. I became more and more invested, desiring to read further on every chance I could. Contrary to many other people, Robinson Crusoe is by far one of my favourite reads in this course.

This wasn’t a dreary historical account, or a boring adventure story. Robinson Crusoe, (in my opinion at least) is a detailed narrative that really allows the reader to get a deeper sense of Robinson Crusoe as a person, and how he describes life through his eyes.