What is a King without the Hearts of his People?.
In Shakespeare's Richard III, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Henry V, he tells the stories of four kings, all different in certain ways. In Machiavelli's, The Prince, he explains the best way a king should rule. Here is a look on overall how the four kings did under Machiavelli's doctrine. Looking at Henry V, the model and best king, helps prove that Macbeth is the worst king followed by Richard III and then Claudius because Macbeth did not have the hearts of his people or an effective way to handle his kingship.
Chapter fifteen of The Prince, is about how a prince should seem good but not necessarily act it. He must look like the "innocent flower" but be "the serpent under it" (Macbeth I.vi.76). Macbeth was only seen as unnaturally cruel because he killed families and took land from people. These two things were the two things Machiavelli bluntly said not to do as a king. The fact that he only became king after the king was murdered and the two sons sent to two separate far away countries did not help his situation either. He was never seen as good only evil. Claudius was just there, never seen as good or evil, just there, he never did anything at all. He was only concerned with his family and justifying his own problems . Richard III could not win the hearts of the people either. "Mum" (Richard III III.vii.2) was truly the word when it came to Richard III. The citizens did not say a word about him when he first became king. On the other hand, Henry V had priests come in and they told him that he was king with the hearts of the people. He seemed good and did his job well. An example of seeming good and acting evil was the situation with his friend, Bardolph. In his mind hanging his friend was evil but in order for his army to respect and honor him he had to follow the law and set the example by hanging Bardolph.
In The Prince, chapter seventeen, Machiavelli explained that it is better to be feared than loved and just to avoid being hated.