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Political Influence in The Prince

            In Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince", he addresses many issues involving political influence in relation to one's own virtue. Machiavelli goes into great detail about what it takes to be a ruler in power and how to stay in power. Although his answers to the methods in which power is obtained and maintained are debatable, it can be said that Machiavelli has an informed understanding of what it takes to be a ruler in the society he lives in.
             Machiavelli starts off his argument in a very humble manner. He opens his writing piece by making it clear that he has good reason to be giving royalty advice on ruling and that he means no offense in claiming to know more than they do. He uses the metaphor of a mountain to describe power structure and his expertise in a category he has never been a part of. Machiavelli claims that the best way to observe the top of a mountain is from the bottom up, while the best way to observe the valley below is from the top. Therefore, a prince is able to know the true nature of ordinary men because of his ability to see the big picture of them all, while ordinary men can know royalty by being beneath them and observing through their experiences. Machiavelli claims that his understanding of royalty and ruling comes from his observations from the outside and he goes on to say that he's learned a thing or two about what makes a ruler successful. .
             Machiavelli advises his reader(s) to take value in hereditary ruling for a couple of reasons. For instance, he mentions the difficulty that comes from ruling a principality over a hereditary state. An example of this being that the people will be used to the ruling of one particular person in power and they would expect their family to rule in the same manner. He also mentions that there is a basic desire for the ordinary people in one's society to like the family in power and to be in favor of their decisions.

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