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The Prince

            Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince was one of the first, and most influential .
             In the novel, Machiavelli outlines several aggressive .
             methods and tactics which he believed would produce a perfect ruler. A ruler, who was .
             more concerned about securing a stable and thriving society than maintaining his own .
             moral integrity. For some scholars, Machiavelli's practical and realistic ideology to this .
             day is considered an abandonment of ethics, and still spurs controversy within modern .
             day politics. Although Machiavelli does advocate some ruthless strategies, his novel can .
             be viewed essentially as an ambitious attempt to outline the steps necessary to ensure .
             success for a ruler and his realm. .
             Machiavelli's ideas in The Prince are revolutionary, in that he describes politics .
             as they are, rather than a fantasized version of what they should be. It departs from "the .
             typical idealization of the prince- (Jensen 1960, 9) and the other, more theoretical .
             documents of the time. The Prince, instead had practical suggestions on how to deal with .
             the current, existing problems of the period. The book discusses bold means of gaining .
             and controlling land and measures these means on their ability to increase the glory of the .
             prince while also benefiting the general public. He reasons that politics are governed by .
             rules of their own and therefore the success of a kingdom should be the sole objective of .
             a ruler, even at the expense of traditional moral values. From this application derives the .
             controversy over Machiavelli's methodology, as well his reputation for advocating .
             ruthlessness, deception, and cruelty (Scharfstein 1995) .
             Despite his notoriety, Niccolo Machiavelli is among the most widely read of the .
             great writers of the Renaissance. He is known for his work as a political philosopher, .
             writer, historian, government official, and is often deemed the founder of modern day, .
             secular politics. (Viroli 1998, 22) Born on May 3rd, 1469 in Florence, Italy to a wealthy .

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