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Machiavelli On Human Nature Essay, Research Paper

Machiavelli s view on human nature is that basically

the worst of people is to be expected rather than the best.

Throughout his book The Prince, he points out certain aspects of

this behavior. There are specifically two quotations I feel best

describe his cynical attitude.

One quote is For a prince must have two fears: one,

internal, concerning his subjects; the other, external, concerning

foreign powers. It is generally concerned with one aspect of human

nature, which is fear deriving from expecting the worst from

people. Machiavelli indicates two fears. An internal and an

external fear. The internal fear deals with his troop. If the

relationship between him and his subjects is good, all will be stable.

Yet, the concern about conspiracy takes place. A prince must

always keep in mind that though all may seem well, there may in

fact be an attempt against him. This is expecting the most bad

from people. There is no true trust in them. They have to maintain

a balance amongst themselves because of a possible betrayal. It will

always have the prince alert and less likely to have a downfall. the

same goes for foreign powers and conspiracies. If there were no

bad expectation, there would be no fear in the first place. No

worries at all because everything would be good.

The second quote is, And therefore, it is necessary that he

have a mind ready to turn itself according to the way the winds of

Fortune and the changability of affairs require him. It stresses the

changing personality that the prince must have. He must be

unpredictable and therefore put up some sort of act. It states that

he must have a mind ready to turn itself. Why? Again expecting

the worst from people. He must train himself to adapt to any

change. Most of the time he should seem good, but whenever

necessary, he must know evil ways. …it is necessary to know how

to disguise this nature well and to be a great hypocrite and a liar.

The prince carries a false front because he never knows when

someone will deceive him. If a prince is generous, the people will

take advantage of him instead. Therefore he must always stay

generous and then he will eventually lose power. The people can

basically walk all over him. Yet, the prince may become miserly

when necessary and that people will respect. He is showing control

over a situation.

Machiavelli cynical attitude shows a primary cause of fear

and distrust in others. This causes the prince to always have to be

wary of his ambiance. Having to keep certain relationships with those around him. He must

portray a good image, but know how to do the opposite. This goes for every type of behavior he

displays. Having distrust in others keeps the prince in control.


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