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The Perfect Prince

  • Date Submitted: 11/06/2012 02:50 PM
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The Perfect Prince


Daniel Byrne
CHY 4U
Mr. Fedorowicz

In the 15th century, many writers wrote stories about princes. They would write detailed accounts on their behaviors and actions. Many of the writers had different opinions on how a prince should act. In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli attempted to explain what decisions a prince had to make in order to obtain the right reputation and he also stated that a prince should never neglect the thought of war. Of course not every other writer agreed with this.   In 1516, Erasmus focused more on the differences between a prince and a tyrant. In the writings of Desiderius Erasmus and Niccolo Machiavelli, both writers talk about how you should behave as a prince and whether it is better to be loved or hated by society.

The writers’ works are very opinionated and meant to influence the reader. Desiderius Erasmus was an idealist, which means he didn’t see the world as it was, he saw it as it should be. In his writing “On the education of a Christian prince”, he says that the difference between a prince and a tyrant is that one cares for his state and the needs of his people and the other one is just interested in himself and his needs. Often when the term “prince” is used, people immediately think of a dominant and cruel ruler. In actuality, this is not true.   A prince can either be a horrible ruler or a kind and just ruler. Also, a tyrant is seen as a person who will make sure nobody will go against him or his subjects and will not allow any attempts for a revolution. Machiavelli focuses on the duties and decisions a prince has to make to either be loved or hated. He also talks about what gives you more advantages as a prince: “Still, a prince should make himself feared in such a way that even if he gets no love, he gets no hate either” (P.13). As a prince, it is safer to be feared than loved. The reason is that love is a link of obligation which men will break at any time for their advantage, but fear involves...

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