The Prince

Niccolò Machiavelli Character Analysis

Machiavelli serves as both the narrator and a protagonist of The Prince. When released from prison in 1513, Machiavelli retreated to private life and wrote The Prince in an effort both to gain the favor of the ruling Medici family, which had accused Machiavelli of conspiracy and to help enable Lorenzo de Medici to unify Italy. Machiavelli's narration is direct, pragmatic, and authoritative and he uses examples from both antiquity and his own life to illustrate the principles of governance.

Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes in The Prince

The The Prince quotes below are all either spoken by Niccolò Machiavelli or refer to Niccolò Machiavelli. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Prince published in 2003.
Preface Quotes

Nor I hope will it be considered presumptuous for a man of low and humble status to dare discuss and lay down the law about how princes should rule; because, just as men who are sketching the landscape put themselves down in the plain to study the nature of the mountains and the highlands, and to study the low-lying land they put themselves high on the mountain, so, to comprehend fully the nature of people, one must be a prince, and to comprehend fully the nature of princes one must be an ordinary citizen.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 3-4
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehendLoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmodLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris Lorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. ExceptLorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostru

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Prince quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

And if, from your lofty peak, Your Magnificence will sometimes glance down to these low-lying regions, you will realize the extent to which, undeservedly, I have to endure the great and unremitting malice of fortune.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker), Lorenzo dé Medici
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt uLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea c

Chapter 2 Quotes

The fact is that the natural prince has less reason and less need to give offense; and so it follows that he should be more loved; and if he does not provoke hatred by extraordinary vices, it stands to reason that his subjects should naturally be well disposed towards him. And in the antiquity and persistence of his rule memories of innovations and the reasons for them disappear; because one change always leaves a toothing-stone for the next.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dol

Chapter 3 Quotes

For always, no matter how powerful one's armies, in order to enter a country one needs the goodwill of the inhabitants.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 8-9
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

If the ruler wants to keep hold of his new possessions, he must bear two things in mind: first, that the family of the old prince must be destroyed; next, that he must change neither their laws nor their taxes.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 9-10
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptateLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut a

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla par

The Romans did what all wise rulers must: cope not only with present troubles but also with ones likely to arise in the future, and assiduously forestall them. When trouble is sensed well in advance it can be easily remedied; if you wait for it to show itself any medicine will be too late because the disease will have become incurable. As the doctors say of a wasting disease, to start with it is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; after a time . . . it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. So it is in politics.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Ancient World, Disease
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderi

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The Romans . . . never, to avoid a war, allowed them [their troubles] to go unchecked, because they knew that there is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Ancient World
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate ve

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

We can deduce a general rule, which never or rarely fails to apply: that whoever is responsible for another's becoming powerful ruins himself, because this power is brought into being either by ingenuity or by force, and both of these are suspect to the one who has become powerful.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proid

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nu


Chapter 5 Quotes

Indeed, there is no surer way of keeping possession than by devastation. Whoever becomes the master of a city accustomed to freedom, and does not destroy it, may expect to be destroyed himself.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 6 Quotes

Men who become rulers by prowess . . . acquire their principalities with difficulty but hold them with ease. The difficulties they encounter in acquiring their principalities arise partly because of the new institutions and laws they are forced to introduce in founding the state and making themselves secure. It should be borne in mind that there is nothing more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through than initiating changes in a state's constitution.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 20-21
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu f

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.Lorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor i

Chapter 8 Quotes

So it should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once for all . . . and in that way . . . win them [his subjects] over to him when he confers benefits. Whoever acts otherwise . . . can never depend on his subjects because they . . . can never feel secure with regard to him. Violence must be inflicted once for all; people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful. Benefits must be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in volu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 9 Quotes

I shall only conclude that it is necessary for a prince to have the friendship of the people; otherwise he has no remedy in times of adversity.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in

Chapter 12 Quotes

A prince must build on sound foundations; otherwise he is bound to come to grief. The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms; and because you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow, I shall not discuss laws but give my attentions to arms.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia d

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 13 Quotes

Wise princes, therefore, have always shunned auxiliaries and made use of their own forces. They have preferred to lose battles with their own forces than win them with others, in the belief that no true victory is possible with alien arms. . . . In short, armor belonging to someone else either drops off you or weighs you down or is too tight.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip exLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 14 Quotes

A prince, therefore, must have no other object or thought, nor acquire skill in anything, except war, its organization, and its discipline. The art of war is all that is expected of a ruler. . . . The first way to lose your state is to neglect the art of war.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in repreLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmodLorem Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidat

A wise prince . . . must never take things easy in times of peace, but rather use the latter assiduously, in order to be able to reap the profit in times of adversity. Then, when his fortunes change, he will be found ready to resist adversity.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proide

Chapter 15 Quotes

The gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done moves towards self-destruction rather than self-preservation. The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous. Therefore if a prince wants to maintain his rule he must be prepared not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to his need.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. ExceLoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu f

Chapter 17 Quotes

From this arises the following question: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both. One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit. . . . Men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. . . . but fear is strengthened by a dread of punishment which is always effective.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisLorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The prince must none the less make himself feared in such a way that, if he is not loved, at least he escapes being hated. For fear is quite compatible with an absence of hatred; and the prince can always avoid hatred if he abstains from the property of his subjects and citizens and from their women.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 54-55
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo conseqLorem ipsLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excep

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aLorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolLoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna

But above all a prince must abstain from the property of others; because men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irur

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure doLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irureLorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt

Chapter 18 Quotes

So, as a prince is forced to know how to act like a beast, he must learn from the fox and the lion; because the lion is defenseless against traps and a fox is defenseless against wolves. Therefore one must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Fox and The Lion
Page Number: 56-57
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuLorem ipsuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla LoreLorem i

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo conLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo

So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honor his word when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made his promise no longer exist.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo conseqLorem iLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,

Chapter 19 Quotes

Princes cannot help arousing hatred in some quarters; so first they must strive not to be hated by all and every class of subject; and when this proves impossible, they should strive assiduously to escape the hated of the most powerful classes.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in repre

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sun

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 23 Quotes

A prince must, therefore, never lack advice. But he must take it when he wants to, not when others want him to. . . . a prince who is not himself wise cannot be well advised.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 25 Quotes

So as not to rule out our free will, I believe that it is probably true that fortune is the arbiter of half the things we do, leaving the other half or so to be controlled by ourselves.

Related Characters: Niccolò Machiavelli (speaker)
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire The Prince LitChart as a printable PDF.
The prince.pdf.medium

Niccolò Machiavelli Character Timeline in The Prince

The timeline below shows where the character Niccolò Machiavelli appears in The Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Addressing Lorenzo dé Medici, Machiavelli begins, "Men who are anxious to win the favor of a Prince nearly always follow... (full context)
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli implores Lorenzo to accept his "unworthy" book, stating that the work is a humble but... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli closes his introductory letter by asking Lorenzo to accept his gift and to ponder its... (full context)
Chapter 1
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli explains that all states are either republics or principalities. Among principalities, there are hereditary states,... (full context)
Chapter 2
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli states that he will "leave out any discussion of republics" in The Prince, having already... (full context)
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Employing a contemporary Italian example, Machiavelli argues that the "natural" or hereditary prince "has less reason and less need to give... (full context)
Chapter 3
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Unlike hereditary principalities, new principalities present considerable difficulties for rulers. Machiavelli discusses composite principalities, which are "not entirely new but a new appendage to an old... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli adds, "When lands that have rebelled are reconquered they are not lost so easily," because... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...more easily maintained when the conquering and conquered states share the same country or language. Machiavelli writes that people typically "live quietly" as long as their "old ways of life are... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...difficult. In this case, both fortune and prowess must aid the ruler. In these instances, Machiavelli advises rulers to either live in the conquered state or establish settlements there. By living... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...powerful ones. With this method, a ruler can protect himself against the threat of invasion. Machiavelli references the Romans, who grew their empire by conspiring with disgruntled natives in neighboring states.... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli returns to his earlier discussion of Louis XII, analyzing the mistakes that he made during... (full context)
Chapter 4
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli turns to the ancient empire of Alexander the Great, addressing how it was that Alexander's... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Machiavelli employs contemporary examples to illustrate the distinctions between the two types of principalities. The Turkish... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
According to Machiavelli, Alexander conquered Darius's state, which resembled the Turkish empire, by defeating Darius on the battlefield.... (full context)
Chapter 5
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
With newly acquired states that "have been accustomed to living freely under their own laws," Machiavelli lists three ways to secure control. Firstly, a prince can destroy the state. Secondly, a... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...conquered republics there is "more life, more hatred, [and] a greater desire for revenge." Therefore, Machiavelli concludes that the "surest way" to secure control of conquered republics is "to wipe them... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli encourages prudent rulers to "follow in the footsteps of great men" and to strive to... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...they face involves the establishment of a new state, complete with "new institutions and laws." Machiavelli writes, "There is nothing more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous... (full context)
Chapter 7
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli turns to a discussion of princes who gain their position through fortune. Unlike those who... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces the examples of two contemporary rulers, one who came to power by prowess and... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli retells the story of Cesare Borgia for instructional purposes. He begins with Pope Alexander VI,... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Discussing the Romagna at length, Machiavelli describes the situation that Borgia inherited when he conquered it. The Romagna had been ruled... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli returns to Borgia's saga. With his power fairly consolidated, Borgia began to consider further expansion.... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...Borgia was caught "between two extremely powerful and hostile armies," the French and the Spanish. Machiavelli argues that Borgia was a ruler of "such ferocity and prowess" that if he had... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli's only criticism of Cesare Borgia stems from his choice of pope, Julius II (also known... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli highlights two ways of becoming a prince that "cannot altogether be attributed to fortune or... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces the ancient example of Agathocles, who rose from the "lowest, most abject condition of... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Turning to the modern example, Machiavelli introduces Oliverotto of Fermo. Raised by his uncle Fogliani, a leading citizen of Fermo, Oliverotto... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli considers how it was that Agathocles and others like him were able to "live securely"... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli discusses the second way in which rulers may gain power without the aid of fortune... (full context)
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
According to Machiavelli, when the nobles see that they "cannot withstand the people," they work to "increase the... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Machiavelli lists "two main considerations" with regard to the nobles: they are either dependent on a... (full context)
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...his position with the favor of the people, he "must work to retain their friendship." Machiavelli argues that this is simple because "the people ask only not to be oppressed." However,... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli warns princes that they cannot rely on what they have "experienced in times of tranquility"... (full context)
Chapter 10
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli discusses a manner in which the strength of a principality may be measured. Machiavelli draws... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Citing the modern examples of independent German cities, Machiavelli writes, "A prince who has a well-fortified city and does not make himself hated is... (full context)
Chapter 11
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli segues into a discussion of ecclesiastical principalities, which are "won by prowess or by fortune... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...Julius' successor, Pope Leo, now finds the Church and papacy "in an extremely strong position." Machiavelli expresses his hope that Leo will use his "goodness and countless other virtues" to make... (full context)
Chapter 12
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
...different principalities and having considered some of the varying reasons for their success or failure, Machiavelli turns to a discussion of the ways in which states can prepare themselves for attack... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...for his defense, there are his own troops, mercenary troops, auxiliary troops, and composite troops. Machiavelli explains that mercenary and auxiliary troops "are useless" and he encourages rulers to avoid employing... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...not skilled, then they will lose battles and ruin the prince "in the normal way." Machiavelli cites the Romans, Spartans, and Swiss as examples of states that maintained their sovereignty by... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Discussing the Venetians' use of mercenaries, Machiavelli tells the story of how Venice, in "one day's engagement," lost the territory that it... (full context)
Chapter 13
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli transitions to a discussion of auxiliaries, "the other kind of useless troops." Auxiliary troops are... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Machiavelli argues that auxiliaries are even more dangerous than mercenary troops, since auxiliaries "constitute a united... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Discussing Cesare Borgia, Machiavelli writes, "One can easily see the difference between these forces by considering the difference between... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Citing the ancient examples of Hiero of Syracuse and David of the Old Testament, Machiavelli concludes, "Armor belonging to someone else either drops off you or weighs you down or... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli declares, "The prince who does not detect evils the moment they appear is lacking in... (full context)
Chapter 14
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Having discussed the various types of troops, Machiavelli asserts that a prince "must have no other object or thought, nor acquire skill in... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
To illustrate this principal, Machiavelli invokes the story of Francesco Sforza and his sons. With his knowledge of war, Sforza... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli urges a prince to study warfare "more vigorously in peace than in war." This study... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...prince should model his behavior on "some historical figure who has been praised and honored." Machiavelli cites ancient leaders who have similarly modeled their actions on their eminent predecessors. Finally, a... (full context)
Chapter 15
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces a discussion of the way in which a prince "must regulate his conduct towards... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...view," they are "judged for the various qualities which earn them either praise or condemnation." Machiavelli argues that, due to the "conditions of the world," princes cannot possess or exercise only... (full context)
Chapter 16
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
To begin his more specific discussion of particular virtues and vices, Machiavelli first turns to generosity and miserliness. While Machiavelli states that it is "splendid" for a... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Citing several modern examples, Machiavelli argues that "great things have been accomplished only by those who have been held miserly,... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli asserts, "Miserliness is one of those vices which sustain his [a prince's] rule." In the... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli adds another qualification to his general rule: a prince should be "frugal" with regards to... (full context)
Chapter 17
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Contemplating virtues and vices, Machiavelli transitions to a discussion of compassion and cruelty. Machiavelli states that a prince "must want... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli declares that a new prince "finds it impossible to avoid a reputation for cruelty," due... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces the question of whether it is better for a prince to be loved than... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
However, Machiavelli cautions that a prince "must make himself feared in such a way that …. he... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli argues that a prince in command of his army "need not worry about having a... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli concludes, "Since some men love as they please but fear when the prince pleases, a... (full context)
Chapter 18
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Discussing the way in which princes "should honor their word," Machiavelli writes that while it is "praiseworthy" for a ruler "to be straightforward rather than crafty... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli states that there "are two ways of fighting: by law or by force." Fighting by... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Since a ruler must learn to act like a beast, Machiavelli urges princes to study "the fox and the lion." The lion is "defenseless against traps"... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli adds, "A prince .... need not necessarily have all the good qualities I mentioned above,... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...of good faith, a man of integrity, a kind and a religious man." In particular, Machiavelli emphasizes the importance of this last characteristic. Machiavelli argues that the people judge princes by... (full context)
Chapter 19
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Having discussed the most important virtues and vices, Machiavelli turns to the other qualities, which he groups under a generalization: "The prince should ....... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...ruler can defend himself against foreign foes by being "well armed and having good allies." Machiavelli writes that good allies follow from good arms. A prince can overcome internal threats by... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli references a modern example of this principle, recounting the conspiracy of the Canneschi against Annibale... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli cites France as a kingdom that is "well organized and governed." The French king's security... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
To support his conclusions, Machiavelli turns to the examples of several Roman emperors. Machiavelli begins by noting a particular challenge... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli writes that the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius, Pertinax, and Alexander, "who all lived unadventurously, who... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli elevates Severus, who as a new prince ably acted "the part of both a fox... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
...hated." As a result, one of Antoninus' own soldiers assassinated him. As a side note, Machiavelli adds, "Princes cannot escape death if the attempt is made by a fanatic, because anyone... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Turning to Commodus, Machiavelli explains that, as the son of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus succeeded to the throne by hereditary... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Lastly, Machiavelli discusses the rule of Maximinus, a "very warlike man" who, with the favor of the... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli concludes his discussion of Roman emperors by stating, "Contemporary princes are less troubled by this... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Summarizing his analysis of the Roman emperors, Machiavelli attributes the downfall of emperors to "either hatred or scorn." Machiavelli concludes, "A new prince... (full context)
Chapter 20
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces a discussion of the various ways in which princes can "keep a secure hold... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli advises, "No new prince has ever at any time disarmed his subjects; rather .... he... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli considers the policy of using factions to secure control, stating that earlier generations of Italians... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli states that a ruler's greatness rests on his ability to overcome "difficulties and opposition." Machiavelli... (full context)
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Discussing new princes, Machiavelli states that many new rulers "have found men who were suspect at the start of... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli turns finally to fortresses, which can "act as a curb on . . . rebellion"... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
According to Machiavelli, "The best fortress that exists is to avoid being hated by the people." Machiavelli argues... (full context)
Chapter 21
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
On the question of how to "win honor," Machiavelli states that nothing brings a ruler "more prestige" than displays of prowess, citing "great campaigns... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli encourages rulers to "give striking demonstrations" on their skill in domestic governance as well. Most... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli asserts, "A prince also wins prestige for being a true friend or a true enemy,... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli adds that a prince should avoid an "aggressive alliance" with a more powerful state, unless... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Finally, Machiavelli advises rulers to win honor by recognizing and rewarding the talents of others, taking care... (full context)
Chapter 22
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
According to Machiavelli, "The choosing of ministers is a matter of no little importance for a prince." Nonetheless,... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Citing the modern Italian example of the prince of Siena and his skilled chief minister, Machiavelli explains that three types of intelligence exist: "One kind understands things for itself, the second... (full context)
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli offers advice for princes seeking to assess their ministers. If a minister thinks only of... (full context)
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli summarizes, "When .... relations between princes and their ministers are of this kind, they can... (full context)
Chapter 23
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli broaches the "important subject" of flatterers, who "swarm the courts." Machiavelli writes that wise princes... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
As a solution, Machiavelli suggests that a ruler "adopt a middle way," choosing able advisors and "allowing only those... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli offers a "modern illustration" of this principle, citing Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, who "never... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...listen patiently to the truth" when he asks for it, acting as a "constant questioner." Machiavelli adds, "If he [a ruler] finds that anyone for some reason holds the truth back... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli declares a universal rule: "A prince who is not himself wise cannot be well advised,... (full context)
Chapter 24
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli opens by stating that a new prince who "carefully observes" the rules that Machiavelli has... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli turns to a consideration of modern Italian rulers, such as the king of Naples and... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli concludes that these deposed Italian princes, whose "power had been established many years," cannot "blame... (full context)
Chapter 25
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Discussing fortune, Machiavelli states that many believe that events "are controlled by fortune and by God in such... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli asserts that Italy "is a country without embankments and without dykes," to which he attributes... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Analyzing fortune in more specific circumstances, Machiavelli declares, "Those princes who are utterly dependent on fortune come to grief when their fortune... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli declares that "prosperity is ephemeral" because rulers succeed or fail to the extent that their... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli introduces the modern example of Pope Julius II, who "was impetuous in everything." Because "he... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
Machiavelli closes by stating that since "fortune is changeable" while rulers are firmly set in their... (full context)
Chapter 26
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
In his final chapter, Machiavelli considers the state of present-day Italy. Pondering whether conditions in Italy would favor a "prudent... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Machiavelli cites an unnamed leader [Cesare Borgia] that some believed "was ordained by God to redeem"... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Machiavelli explains that earlier Italian leaders failed to bring order to the peninsula due to their... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
To achieve honor and glory, Machiavelli declares that it is necessary for the Medici, "before all else," to create "a citizen... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
In conclusion, Machiavelli urges Lorenzo to take advantage of this unique "opportunity" to unify Italy. Machiavelli describes the... (full context)