The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli’s Essay

In The Prince. Niccolo Machiavelli’s nonsubjective and class are direct in both their purpose and direction. Concerned more with political acumen than societal accomplishment. Machiavelli’s The Prince examines the class of leading ; through historical comparing and logical thinking. he draws a way through the assorted hurdlings that accompany a swayer. In contrast. Baltasar Gracian’s The Art of Worldly Wisdom reads more like a list on good manners at times. Machiavelli’s is a field manual. While they espouse similar positions on the personal unity and character of their topics. the purposes of each text are so different as to be debatable when comparison.

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Though pulling on the history of Greece and other civilizations. Italy is the battlefield on which Machiavelli he concentrates and draws much of his illustration. Gracian’s text is more obscure in context. holding in some cases with Machiavelli’s averments while differing widely in attack. The Prince. easy viewed in a planetary sense. has the differentiation from The Art of Worldly Wisdom of being a text constructed around particulars. With a specific purpose in head Machiavelli is able to contract his range ; he concentrates non on the accomplishments which will help a adult male in comfort amongst the aristocracy but to steer him to a higher station.

One of the particulars which Machiavelli addresses which Gracian does non is the function of weaponries and warfare in the constitution and care of station. While Machiavelli notes that war should be avoided. he besides recognizes the necessity of weaponries in keeping a place of power. “chief foundations of all provinces. new every bit good as old or composite. are good Torahs and good weaponries ; and as there can non be good Torahs where the province is non good armed. it follows that where they are good armed they have good laws” ( Machiavelli ) .

Soldiers work manus in manus with Machiavelli’s thoughts of an armed province ; observing Italy’s deficiency of success with soldier of fortunes. he explains that the truest ground forces is that which has a interest in the success of the mission at manus. Mercenaries are simply contending for the capital. and this wearied position will necessarily take to a discourtesy of a ruler’s basic strength. the people. Peace. to Machiavelli. is all good and good but besides unrealistic. The end of a swayer should non be to avoid armed struggle at all costs. but alternatively to acknowledge its necessity and attack it in a moral manner.

Weaponries for hire have the really distinguishable disadvantage for a swayer in that they have no attention for the well being of the people. Mercenaries hired by a prince or male monarch will be seen to transport out his will. Indiscriminate force causes no 1 to win. “ can non be called endowment to murder fellow-citizens. to deceive friends. to be without religion. without clemency. without faith ; such methods may derive imperium. but non glory” ( Machiavelli ) . While a prince may win the conflict. he may besides lose public favour. In losing public favour he sacrifices his eventual success.

Violence as a agency and an terminal are neither successful nor good to the prince in the long tally “ can non be called endowment to murder fellow-citizens. to deceive friends. to be without religion. without clemency. without faith ; such methods may derive imperium. but non glory” ( Machiavelli ) . If at all possible a swayer should non merely possess an ground forces but lead that ground forces into conflict ; this leaves no room for misunderstanding of his purpose and shows a mode of strength necessary to govern. While Machiavelli’s work is addressed straight to those who would and could busy the place of swayer. Gracian’s attack is more wide.

For him a wise adult male should cognize the “great work forces of” his “age” ( 122 ) . for Machiavelli wise work forces should endeavor to follow in the footfalls of the great work forces of their age. “A wise adult male ought ever to follow the waies beaten by great work forces. and to copy those who have been supreme. so that if his ability does non equal theirs. at least it will taste of it” ( Machiavelli ) . He notes besides. that many of the great work forces of history have succeeded in their runs by being financially frugal. non wash uping the resources that are so really necessary to the success of a princedom.

Except when these resources are his ain. “Either a prince spends that which is his ain or his subjects’ or else that of others. In the first instance he ought to be saving. in the 2nd he ought non to pretermit any chance for liberality” ( Machiavelli ) . The class laid out in Gracian’s The Art of Worldly Wisdom. encompasses all of aristocracy and outlines how best to lift supra and keep within the ranks. Social grace and personal behavior are the primary marks in The Art of Worldly Wisdom.

A control of the interior individual every bit good as the use of the outside world’s perceptual experience seem to be cardinal to going successful at tribunal. Gracian’s courtier is advised on topics changing from public behaviour to how best to seek out cognition and utilize virtuousness or pull strings truth candidly. There are cases where the advice extends to appearance and societal bearing. at others it transcends to the philosophical. At several points within the work Gracian addresses the necessity for honestness piece at the same clip keeping a degree of control over the full extent of the truth. “The Truth. but non the whole Truth.

Nothing demands more cautiousness than the truth: ’tis the lancet of the heart” ( 108 ) . Like Machiavelli. Gracian proposes a certain discretion on the portion of the aristocracy when it comes to what is made known and that which is unbroken hidden. For Gracian this helps to develop a mystique environing the individual. based on the premise that the unknown creates respect. “Mix a small enigma with everything. and the really mystery arouses veneration” ( Gracian. 2 ) . By maintaining other’s outlooks of them easy realized. courtiers can earn support from their fellow Lords and the people.

To Gracian and Machiavelli a major constituent of power is a “feeling of dependence” ( Gracian. 3 ) on the portion of the people. When the people feel trust on their prince or male monarch. they are more inclined to back up their enterprises. A true swayer maintains ageless hope in his people by ne’er wholly carry throughing their wants. “to maintain them on the threshold of hope is diplomatic [ … ] Let it be one of the main lessons of experience to maintain hope alive without wholly fulfilling it” ( 3 ) . By making this a swayer or a mere courtier can stay indispensable.

An person can more easy take when they know the monetary value of another’s trueness and support ; it is every bit of import to cognize the head and motivations of your protagonists as those of your enemy. though both can be every bit profitable. Machiavelli has a similar position. observing that a good leader will give hope to his topics but besides maintain them closely allied with him by transfusing them with fright in what the enemy could make ( Machiavelli ) . While Gracian dressed ores on the courtier. many of his advices when taken a measure further can be seen as besides a manner for which swayers to act every bit good.

Gracian sees graciousness as a necessity for both courtier and king. as it is the foundation for successful land. Through this graciousness a courtier can obtain goodwill. peculiarly that of the people. Like many of Gracian’s instructions earning the support of the people is something that takes work. Even as an individual’s personality may assist them to derive popularity. the support of the people can non be left to opportunity but must be cultivated.

Machiavelli besides sees the importance of the people and the aristocracy in the success or failure of a swayer. “one can non by just covering. and without hurt to others. fulfill the Lords. but you can fulfill the people. for their object is more righteous than that of the Lords [ … ] It is to be added besides that a prince can ne’er procure himself against a hostile people. because of their being excessively many. whilst from the Lords he can procure himself. as they are few in figure.

The worst that a prince may anticipate from a hostile people is to be abandoned by them ; but from hostile Lords he has non merely to fear forsaking. but besides that they will lift against him” ( Machiavelli ) . Both an unhappy populace and an unhappy tribunal can hold damaging effects on the regulation of a land. Gracian’s advocate extends merely briefly into the disability of association whether it be nationality. political standing or merely household. Unlike Machiavelli. Gracian does non widen his advocate in these countries to practical application or historical relevancy.

While Machiavelli explores the deductions of familial lands. Gracian merely advises the wise adult male to get the better of these obstructions. Since The Art of Worldly Wisdom is concerned more closely with the life of a courtier as opposed to a prince or male monarch. Gracian espouses obeisance to the present order over rebellion. His regulations of behavior are for that of a follower. while Machiavelli hopes to model a leader. However. like Machiavelli. Gracian sees success as determined non simply by lucks but by the ability and actions of the single courtier. “what costs small is small worth” ( 11 ) .

However. cognizing when to discontinue is besides of great importance. as there are some enterprises which when pursued can take away from the greater good ( 19 ) . A courtier’s mode should flux with popular sentiment so as to ally themselves with the others and addition power through the association with the multitudes. “The greatest wisdom frequently consists in ignorance. or the pretension of it. One has to populate with others. and others are largely nescient [ … ] Better be wise with the many than a sap all alone” ( 78 ) . Just as of import to Gracian as discourse. is the footing of cognition from which any valuable duologue can originate.

Knowledge is non merely a affair of structured instruction but of societal grace and civilization. “wise work forces patronize the houses of great Lords non because they are temples of amour propre. but as theaters of good breeding” ( 7 ) . Gracian equates good genteelness with high civilization and experience from which utile illustrations may be drawn. Knowledge. like all virtuousnesss. must be cultivated. Harmonizing to Gracian. adult male as he is produced by nature is uncomplete and unpolished and it is through a polish of head that adult male achieves excellence. Making usage of the cognition available is what separates a wise adult male from the savage.

Equally much as polish of character and head can play a portion in one’s upward ascent on the political and societal ladders. so excessively does luck play a big portion. Luck can be a mere affair of being born in the right epoch. in the right topographic point. “some work forces have been worthy of a better century. for every species of good does non ever triumph” ( 12 ) . Life may merely be the manus which Fortune has dealt but that is non to state the person can non assist Fortune’s class. An persons appraisal of the state of affairs and bold averment to travel frontward with the flight in which fortune has propelled them.

Fortune. as Gracian explains. “favours the bold” ( 21 ) . Machiavelli sees lucks in a much different manner. Talking on work forces such as Moses. Cyrus. Romulus. Theseus he espouses where luck did non play a function in their illustriousness but instead it was chance. “examining their actions and lives one can non see that they owed anything to fortune beyond chance [ … ] Without that chance their powers of head would hold been extinguished. and without those powers the chance would hold come in vain” ( Machiavelli ) .

In this statement lies besides an underlying similarity between Machiavelli and Gracian’s advice ; a strong head is cardinal to any promotion. There are interesting similarities between Machiavelli and Gracian’s positions. Though the range to which their advice may change. the regulations that govern a tribunal are besides reflected in the wider universe of political relations and society. Gracian and Machiavelli both maintain that contending should be honest. As Gracian explains. “one should contend so as to suppress. non entirely by force but by the manner it is used.

A average triumph brings no glorification. but instead shame. Honour ever has the upper hand” ( 99 ) . Particularly noteworthy. is the comparing of a leader to a combination of a king of beasts and fox ( Gracian. 133 ) . A leader should hold the strength and bid of a king of beasts while besides possessing the accomplishment and craft of a fox. While Gracian’s advices tend to tilt toward societal behaviours and common sense. the behavioural recommendations he makes can be seen in Machiavelli’s work every bit good.

However. Machiavelli chooses to restrict the range of personal improvement to direct advice on what non to be versus what to draw a bead on to. “makes him contemptible to be considered volatile. frivolous. effeminate. mean-spirited. irresolute. from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a stone ; and he should endeavor to demo in his actions illustriousness. bravery. gravitation. and fortitude ; and in his private traffics with his topics let him demo that his judgements are irrevokable. and keep himself in such repute that no 1 can trust either to lead on him or to acquire circular him” ( Machiavelli ) .

While Gracian’s The Art of Worldly Wisdom appears to be more elaborate than The Prince. the specificity and good constructed statements of Machiavelli show a deeper investigation into fewer countries. Machiavelli’s usage of history and patriotism have far stronger intensions than Gracian’s obscure instructions. The differences in the range of the ends. leading of an full land compared to a security of place in tribunal. are mostly dissimilar but still portion common cardinal evidences.

At the base of both texts is a strength of character which can be translated across many battlegrounds. whether it be merely tribunal or an full state. Percept by others regulations and interrupt a prince or courtier’s chances. acknowledging this and demoing character and craft are necessities to any success. regardless of the full comprehensiveness. Machiavelli’s work seems more successful in supplying tangent advice and a logical springboard for farther argument. Possibly because of the mode in which Gracian’s work is written. it appears more philosophical and practical.

However. sing the difference in duty between a courtier and a prince it is an apprehensible fluctuation.

Beginnings Gracian. B. The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Translated to English by Joseph Jacobs ( 1892 ) . Sacred Texts. Retrieved February 4. 2009 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. sacredtexts. com/eso/aww/index. htm Machiavelli. N. The Prince. Translated by W. K. Marriott ( 1908 ) . Constitution Society. Retrieved February 4. 2009 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. fundamental law. org/mac/prince00. htm