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We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean the rest have failed Chapter XVI The Prince In this essay I shall be discussing the above stated question firstly I shall be analysing the usage of the term good in relation to the question I will then discuss Machiavelli theories about public perception of a prince whether its better to be hated loved or feared Then the factor of comparative and variable morality within Machiavellis work a highly significant feature when answering the previously stated question Finally I will discuss Machiavellis views on glory and whether a prince should be truly honest or not before finally concluding my arguments Good is a highly situational and contextually variable term as such firstly I feel it is important to clarify the meaning or at the very least the principle connotations that it implies in this question I would deem good to be directly linked to the conventional Christian and more specifically catholic morality which was the predominate theology prevalent in sixteenth century Florence This would define good in the era Machiavelli was writing in as telling the truth keeping promises not committing murder and so on It is here that Machiavelli differed significantly from his contemporaries and ultimately why his books were banned on publication by the Catholic Church One of the most important chapters of The Prince when answering this question is chapter 17 where Machiavelli discusses whether it is better to be loved hated or feared by the public Here much of his arguments about the behaviour of a prince being relatively justifiable in given situations is set out ie end justifies the means He augments his views as throughout his work with historical examples- Cesare Borgia was considered cruel notwithstanding his cruelty reconciled the Romagna unified it and restored it to peace and loyalty chapter XVII And then justifies this cruelty
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