The Prince2

In The Prince, Machiavelli discusses the importance of portraying virtues, but not necessarily practicing them. The English dictionary defines virtue as an act of moral goodness. On the contrary, the text defines it as a kind of personal strength and spirit that gives a Prince the power and faith to carry out his mission. The capturing and retaining of a principality are the main focus of the author. He warns of certain virtues that are often praised but ultimately lead to the destruction of a Prince. Machiavelli believes that a virtue is the ability to gain an advantage through certain situations by the use of personal powers. In his remarks on the Princes who gained their states by virtue, he states, one does not see that they had anything else from fortune then the opportunity(pg.48). Their virtue of spirit allowing them to capitalize. For example, Moses found the people of Israel enslaved and oppressed by the Egyptians and gave them a reason to follow him out of their life of servitude. If a leader becomes a prince through the path of virtue, it only means that he has used his own personal excellence and strength to take advantage of the opportunity that appeared to him. Such virtuous Princes acquire their principality with difficulty but hold onto it easily. They hold it easily because they have the natural qualities of leadership and strength needed to hold onto a state. Machiavelli discusses many types of other Princes. He shows his disregard toward virtues with the approval of the tactics used by Cesar Borgia to acquire and govern land. Machiavelli stresses the importance of taking the necessary measures to ensure the security and success of a state. These measures would include minimal amounts of force to obtain control. Machiavelli warns that a Prince who is too liberal with his subjects may run serious risks. He suggests that it is better, to be held liberal,(pg.64) than to actually…

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