Caesar Vs Machiavelli

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They say that the measure of a man is what he does with power, but what is power through the eyes of William Shakespeare and Niccolo Machiavelli? Our interest in the perspectives of power in Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince and William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is further enhanced by the consideration of how differing contexts shapes one's morality. Machiavelli’s treatise offers an insight into how people are ruled by those who govern based on self-interest. Rulers are no humanitarians and Machiavelli understands that power is necessary, and maintaining power is the key to stability, which he depicts through the ideas of goodwill and hatred. Contrastingly, Shakespeare utilises the ideas of manipulation to further explore his perspective on…show more content…
He states that ”You must either pamper people or destroy them; harm them just a little and they’ll hit back; harm them seriously and they won’t be able to,” this raises crucial attention to the potential of doing good deeds for the population through the alliteration ’pamper people,’ and through the highly modal word ’must,’ however, he then immediately juxtaposes this against destroying the people, examining the stark differences in the only viable approaches to ruling. He utilises the anaphora in ”harm them” to constantly emphasise the need for cruelty and reveal that a moderate approach can only result in a leader's downfall. In doing so, he reveals his perspective as political, or imperial whilst disregarding morality. This is further explored when he rhetorically engages the audience asking, ”Is it better to be loved rather than feared, or vice versa? The answer is that one would prefer to be both but, since they don't go together so easily, if you have to choose, it’s much safer to be feared than loved,” here, he successfully utilises anthypophora, revealing his definitive perspective that creating fear is a much more effective tool in the maintenance of power than love will ever be. It is evident, through these examples, that Machiavelli regards goodwill to have minimal importance is ruling, whereas as fear can have a positive

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