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Analytical Essay Based on Machiavelli

Analytical Essay Based on Machiavelli

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Machiavelli developed a unique way of interpreting human behavior based on the notion of bad luck and evil. He has also been criticized for encouraging the use of questionable means to attain and retain power. He acknowledges the conflict between the means used to achieve something and the end and the issues that may arise from using unpleasant means. His advice focuses on doing good, dealing with subordinates, and human conduct. The advice is influenced by values linked to moral foundations and a rational viewpoint that influences their acceptability.


Machiavelli’s advice on doing good seems accurate, given that human behaviour is influenced by their environment and ability to withstand external pressure from others, especially authority figures and influential people in society. Machiavelli argues, “A man who wishes to make a vocation of being good at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good” (Machiavelli  74). This statement can be justified from a moral perspective, given that doing well requires moral obligation. However, culture, peers, and family influence a person’s moral development. Doing good at all times puts those doing it at risk of being ruined by the majority who are not good due to the selfish nature of human beings. For example, in a public institution where employees and top management use public resources to enrich themselves, a manager or employee dedicated to doing good at all times by using public resources for their intended purpose and fulfilling their obligations is likely to be ruined by the majority either through threats, intimidation or even being fired because he creates a barrier to the majority’s pursuit of what they desire. Machiavelli’s statement can also be justified from a moral perspective because the vocation of being good is a voluntary decision that is not tied to a person’s obligations in society or the workplace, hence creating room for public criticism, which may ruin a person.

Machiavelli’s advice for leaders on dealing with subordinates by winning their trust and support is also accurate based on the notion that the majority yields power. According to Machiavelli, “Such methods as these a wise prince must follow, and never in peaceful times must he be idle; but he must turn them diligently to his advantage to be able to profit from them in times of adversity” (Machiavelli 77). This statement can be justified from a moral perspective, given that human support is influenced by the benefit they get from the person they are supporting. For instance, leaders who meet people’s needs and offer them money and essential products such as food and clothing feel obliged to follow the leaders and obey their directives. Therefore, leaders may choose morals that appeal to the majority to gain their support, thus creating a group of people that can come to their rescue during hard times. The moral perspective of the statement is also evident in how leaders leverage existing connections during hard times to overcome challenges due to the assumption that they will help because they offered them the help they needed at some point. Many people also believe in repaying good with good and evil with evil. Therefore, a leader can only turn people to their advantage by giving them the response they anticipate, such as rewarding their good actions with good.

Machiavelli’s advice on human conduct, especially for influential people in society, is also accurate. He states, “All men, when they are spoken of and particularly princes since they are placed on a higher level, are judged by some of the qualities which bring them either blame or praise” (Machiavelli 78). This statement is accurate because society considers a person’s qualities to conclude whether they are good or not. For example, a person with qualities that are acceptable to society, such as respect, courage, and integrity, is praised and used as an example to influence other people’s behaviours. However, people with negative attributes such as greed are blamed for societal issues such as poverty and corruption. The statement also has a moral perspective because personal attributes are linked to values that define morality. For example, human values such as responsibility, integrity, and accountability represent the moral foundations of harm, loyalty, fairness, and respect. Therefore, values create a foundation for personal attributes that can either be perceived as morally acceptable or not. Culture also influences morality, thus influencing people’s expectations of what is right and wrong. Therefore, in a society with a culture of upholding specific moral foundations such as fairness and care, people with values linked to these foundations are praised.


Machiavelli’s advice on different aspects is linked to moral perspectives and reveals the connection between human behavior, society, and moral values. They also express the link between human behavior and moral foundations. Therefore, they should not be condemned but should be applied to understanding the behavior of humans in society and encouraging acceptable behaviors. Machiavelli’s advice is also linked to real experiences in society, thus making them acceptable and relevant in understanding society and the interactions that shape societies.

Works Cited

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince, translated by W. K. Marriott. Project Gutenberg. Released January 2, 2021. The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Prince, by Nicolo Machiavelli


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Quoting and/ or Paraphrasing with MLA documentation is required.

MLA Works Cited page required. See the format below.

No research required; be sure to focus on the assigned chapters (14-19) in Modules

Analytical Essay Based on Machiavelli

Analytical Essay Based on Machiavelli

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Essay question:

Machiavelli is often referred to in discussions of politics, ethics, and philosophy through the use of the adjective form of his name: Machiavellian. This word is usually not used as a compliment! People might refer to a “Machiavellian” plan, idea, or act when they’re noting something unscrupulous, cynical, devious, or immoral. This is one way to interpret Machiavelli’s message.

Choose one or two of the assigned chapters to analyze carefully. Your thesis should answer these questions: To what extent does the usual interpretation of Machiavelli’s advice seem accurate? Do you find anything in his statements in your chosen section that can be justified from a moral perspective? Or should his thinking be condemned? Or something in between? There is no “right” answer to this question; your analysis just needs to be logical. Your essay should show that you’ve thought about the text (you may use “I” if you wish). Be sure that you clearly present each step in your logical thinking. Choose just one or two of the assigned chapters (14-19) to analyze in depth; don’t try to cover them all.

You should be as specific as possible, and you’re welcome to use examples from your own experience and observations. However, the essay should also be grounded in this text. Please be sure that each of your major points is linked back to Machiavelli in some way, either through a quote or paraphrase from his text. Part of the goal of the essay is to show that you have read and understood Machiavelli, though you should avoid summarizing. If you need to summarize as you’re making a point, keep the summary to just 1-2 sentences at most. Each paragraph should consist mainly of your own analysis of Machiavelli’s ideas.

Remember not to begin a paragraph with a quotation, since the reader doesn’t yet know why it’s there. Each paragraph should function as a unit of thought, built around one main idea. First introduce a concept in your own words, and then use the quotation as illustration. After the quotation, return to your own analysis. An easy way to remember this pattern is to think of “saying hello” to your quote, then giving the quote, and then “saying goodbye” to it. Limit quotations to just a sentence or two, or even a phrase if possible.

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