Machiavelli The Prince Chapter 6 Analysis

1642 Words7 Pages
Machiavelli’s, The Prince, seems to suggest that virtue is a quality that is exalted by others. He posits that people only do virtuous deeds because others consider them to be good therefore a prince’s virtue is different. A prince’s virtue is relative with securing power. The Prince must always keep in mind that to be virtues is to benefit the state. This contradicts the traditional concept of virtue. Aristotle and others describe virtue as some higher-up “goodness” but Machiavelli perceives virtue in a different light. His seemingly more simplistic understanding of virtue can be perceived as bad or dangerous when used to govern. Though it might be tempting for a Prince to be virtuous, because others discern virtue approvingly, Machiavelli…show more content…
In chapter six, Machiavelli looks at “those who have become princes by their own virtue and not by fortune ;” and according to Machiavelli, this Prince will have a harder time rising to power because he will have to work hard to achieve power independently. This is important to Machiavelli who sees virtue as distinctly separate from fortune, virtue is only thus when it is individual. Once the Price succeeds in gain power virtuously, that is to say through his own work, his reign will be more stable. If a ruler gains power in this way and not through luck or inheritance, he will thus be more capable and more self-sufficient. The ruler has to be virtuous for the state and, thus, must be strong and persistent and independent. He must not hope that change will happen for the better he must work to make that changes that benefit the state. This comes into play when a ruler needs to make new laws. Machiavelli discusses how the changing of laws can be catastrophic in that the changer of the laws will face natural opposition. Those who benefited from the previous order will resist the change passionately and those who benefit from the new order will not be as enthusiastic about the change because it is scary and new. It is understandable to be tentative about new developments. The ruler must however, make changes that benefit the state even if that change compromises what is considered to others as virtuous. Machiavelli understood that a ruler will inevitably disappoint some people and thus the Prince must not be afraid to have the means to force his supporters to continue their advocacy for change, otherwise the ruler will lose power. Machiavelli compared this rule to Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus whom, he said, used force to maintain rule. Machiavelli thinks that this was necessary and good because he was able to enforce his laws. To Machiavelli, force is an integral part of ruling. Machiavelli

    More about Machiavelli The Prince Chapter 6 Analysis

      Open Document