The Prince Short Summary
“The Prince,” written by the famous Niccolò Machiavelli, has created much controversy in interpretation among different scholars over the years. It is a guide about ruling for a king. Many scholars see it as so while others view it as a satirical book that shows how not to rule.
This book was addressed to the ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de Medici. In its first chapter, Machiavelli starts by describing different principalities and princes to give a path for the book. His book is only focused on strict regiments.
He then describes how to maintain composite principalities, in specific those lifted from different powers. After here, the reader gets the topics to be discussed in the book, namely, politics, war, and also goodwill.
The author praises great leaders like Alexander the great among other great ones who were successful in ruling and also conquering. He gives two different types of a ruler’s subjects. One is the self-governed who are difficult to govern and hence have to be met with force or else they can destroy a rule. The second type is those who adapt to the rule.
Machiavelli sheds light on the concept of free will, human nature, and ethics. He then goes to the qualities that a prince should possess. He shares that harsh ideals can cause poor governance. Also, there has to be a set of values to be upheld, and the prince should try to abide by them to gain better support.
However, sometimes, serious and vicious actions are essential for the rule to succeed. He also reveals that a ruler can maintain power if he has the goodwill of his population. This paves the way for his next point, which is that a good liar makes a better ruler. Machiavelli considers many areas such as the issue of too much generosity and excessive mercy to subjects. He says that ruling in fear is safer than being loved by subjects. He wants the Medici family to bear a prince to restore Italy’s honor and pride where others have failed.