The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

The novel centers on how to attain and uphold political authority. Throughout the 26 chapters, the author discusses the ideologies that should be supported by a grand regime. The plot takes the readers through kinds of princedoms, types of militaries, the conduct of a prince and the anxious political situation in Italy. The book illustrates the ideas in the form of counsels with the aim of guiding rulers. The final chapter sees the author appeal to the Medici family to supply a monarch to deliver the country from mortification. Indeed, much of the advice given to the prince regards between prosperous and futile modes of leadership.

Counsel on Armies

The author recommends for comprehensive laws and an able military for a territory to attack or shield itself. He disregards acts of leaders relying on military help from associates. And so, the ability of an emir to take his army to a field is an indicator of self-sufficiency. As identified in the text, “a wise prince therefore avoids dependence on these forces and relies on his own” (Machiavelli & Goodwin 82). This is because if they lose the princedom collapses and if they win the ruler operates under their favor. Besides, lenders may use their soldiers to turn against a kingdom. He asserts that princes who have weaker armies should fortify their territories instead of using military support. In light of this, a princedom with sturdy military and secured boundaries can withstand a siege. Machiavelli also uses an account of several leadership failures in Italy to criticize the use of hired soldiers. Mercenaries are unruly, fainthearted and treacherous. Nevertheless, the fact that borrowed soldiers have unity and are controlled by competent leaders makes them dangerous than mercenaries. As a result, the supporting soldiers could turn against a princedom effortlessly than mercenaries. An emir is always required to take caution on military matters. Indeed, war can assist a hereditary leader to remain in power or facilitate a civilian ascend to power.

Advice on a Prince’s Virtues

Machiavelli asserts that it is better to be feared than loved. The skeptic argument is based on shaping relationships between a leader and the subject. He highlights that “it is much safer to be feared than loved (Machiavelli & Goodwin 94). The approach is compared with fear, in which the author affirms that agitation can be applied to initiate fear, but hardships create an opposite response. The author employs a realistic justification —people may easily injure leaders who sought to delight public then those induce fear —to endorse fear. The subject views leaders who use fear as supreme and final. However, the notch of terror should be controlled to avoid developing hatred. Machiavelli also highlights that fear can be applied to unite the army and to some extent cruelty may be used as a reinforcement. His assertion suggests that fear is the sole way the prince can obtain total respect from his soldiers. For instance, he uses an account of two military leaders to prove the importance of fear in leadership. The first is Scipio, who encountered numerous rebellions due to his excessive mercy while as the second is Hannibal, who despite having a multiethnic army, it was always obedient because they feared him (Machiavelli & Goodwin 95). Without a doubt, fear is a pragmatic tool for obtaining loyalty and respect.

Advice on Conquest

Conquest by Fortune

The author holds that leaders who easily gain power may also lose it similarly. He gives a justification by saying that princes who ascend to power through fortune or influential people may experience a difficult time in retaining power (Machiavelli & Goodwin 82). For instance, the prince is forced to operate according to his backers’ will. Hence, he does not receive enough loyalty and may be easy to withdraw the soldiers from him because he has limited skills and strength. The author alternatively points out that a prince may make several political maneuvers to achieve stability despite having acquired power through the help of others. For instance, the leader may win the allegiance of followers by appeasing them with money and impressive administration posts. In addition, the prince can impose harsh measures to mercenaries who plot against him.

Criminal virtue

This is where a prince uses adverse methods to ascend to power. According to Machiavelli & Goodwin (60) “in taking a state the occupier has to act quickly and commit the worst offenses right away so that he doesn’t has to go on offending everyday”. In other words, a leader may be compelled to execute political rivals as a way of creating his path to victory. Consequently, all accomplishments should occur during the ascending process to avoid committing any more adversities in future. This ploy makes the subjects to overlook his unpleasant acts gradually and thus the leader’s popularity develops.


The author uses philosophical and historical accounts to offer advice on leadership. Readers understand that a monarch should always be physically fit and vigilant. One also identifies that war and military knowledge are essential tools for guarding a realm. Machiavelli arguments are significant to any leader or learner seeking familiarity on the ruling of principalities. For the person in power, it’s always questioning what is right and what is wrong and it’s difficult to find the right answer. You can look in this essay about power, what leaders exactly do with such problems. and Heads of territories should always be prepared to endure in periods of strife.