Tyrannies and Tyrant in "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli

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Tyrannies are ruled by a Tyrant, or in our society better know as a dictator. They offer cruel and unfair treatment, as well as power over others. This power belongs to one person and is completely invested in a singular individual. Once a Tyrant is in control, they have an obligation to keep the society/ civilization happy by forming improvements, such as the city walls. This helps in the creation of a better image of the Tyrant so the Tyrant can still be in power. Maintaining power is thought to be done, one of two ways, either by concealing Tyranny as the form of Kingship or maintaining a consistent rule of oppression, mentioned by Aristotle. The Tyrant must always be in power if they want to keep being a Tyrant, if they lose power, they need to gain it again. The Tyrant needs to maintain and create new rules and laws to make individuals fear him and help him gain power. A Tyrant is a leader who takes over a government illegally and abuses that power, but they are extremely dangerous because they would do anything to keep power, because they have an excessive amount of freedom, and they don’t listen to the citizens because they are selfish and act in their own best interest. The definition of Tyranny is an extreme form of both oligarchy and democracy, that both serve their own private selfish needs. The rise of popular leaders that were chosen and trusted because of slanders against the nobles, but the hatred and anger always exists during their reign.

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Machiavelli’s Price focuses strongly on the second advice given by Aristotle on how a Tyrant should keep power, by maintaining a constant rule of oppression. This brings us back to the aspect of being feared over being loved. The theory of being feared over being loved does connect to human nature, because when an individual fears you, they are less likely to rebel against you. Individuals are easily manipulated but others choose to deceive to gain power, when no fear is involved in the equation. “Wretched creatures who will not keep their word to you”. Wanting to gain or maintain power does not always come with acting nice, but deceiving is necessary. The connection between Aristotle’s advices on how a Tyrant should keep power is linked to Machiavelli’s Prince. The Prince is essentially summarized in the idea that a ruler should be feared over being loved by its citizens. Machiavelli continues to explain that the prince or the ruler needs to prioritize the aspects of his agenda in order to keep power and should ignore factors simply for the ideals. Machiavelli’s prince revolves around political power and how to act as a ruler, stressing on the aspect of being feared and respected over being liked. Being feared is preferred when ruling because it keeps people disciplined. The Prince is an absurd illustration of sovereignty and seeking power is not always converging toward morality and freedom. Machiavelli’s work revolves around political deception and advised Tyrants to be frugal, cruel and break promises if it serves their self-interest. The man looks for self-interest and to deceive, but the tyrant is aware of the problems and is able to balance the deception, but be feared and crafty at the same time.

The Tyrant stands in power only when the government has made its citizens completely unconscious and ignorant of the power they posses as a joint unit. Trust is another important factor, because kingships are preserved in that manner, but in tyrannies, the deceiving is constant amongst people they consider friends. Through Aristotle’s view, flatters have the potential to be grand rulers because the subservient citizens such as the woman and slaves value the tyrant’s method of ruling. More importantly, the tyrant desires that the citizens have complete distrust in one another, because in this manner they are powerless to take the step towards political action. The main difference between Aristotle and Machiavelli, in the concept of making a tyranny last is citizens must feel awe in comparison to fearing the ruler. The main aim of The Prince is the ideologies concerning the exercise of power and moral norms. The argument targets how the prince should not pay attention to norms or laws, and should only occupy his time with power and authority. The only rule of the prince is to lead with the preservation of power, because the stable state is considered the highest good. This power is connected to politics because there is no stability without power that is acquired through the immoral execution of power. In order for the Prince to maintain his state, the ruler must rely on personal characteristics to direct power and is constantly vulnerable to the loss of the state. When the king’s power is protected but limited, this is the method of how Kingships are maintained. However the Tyrannies method of preservation works by completely getting rid of any other rivals that may have power. Tyranny consists of many of the same aspects that and an extreme democracy does, such as the tyrant having complete control of command and requires military virtue. However the ruler needs to have moderation when conducting with someone of the opposite sex and demonstrate to other that he/she is caring of the gods. The method the Tyrant uses to maintain ruling for a long period of time, while not being completely vicious consists of no preferential treatment of others, regardless of financial situation, but needs to honour the individuals of the city and command that other officials under his rule penalize the wrongdoers, as well as placing resources that aid the city, such as new building.

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