The Romantic Hero

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Machiavelli and Alighieri Niccolo Machiavelli's famous phrase, "The ends justify the means," can be explained in detail in his famous work entitled The Prince. The phrase basically means do whatever it takes to accomplish the task at hand, and if success is met, the means by which one reached it is irrelevant. Machiavelli's political goals include uniting Italy under one rule and creating a republic for Italy. Machiavelli says rulers should be manipulative, selfish, and aggressive. Unlike Christian values, Machiavelli states a ruler should have the appearance of liberality, but should really be miserly and hang on to the bulk of his treasury. The Prince states the ultimate goal of every ruler is to stay in power by whatever means necessary.

Niccolo Machiavelli can be compared and contrasted to Dante Alighieri. There are many similarities between Machiavelli and Alighieri. First, many classical works influenced both writers. Machiavelli read many Latin works, which can seen through his idea of having a republic for Italy.

Virgil, author of the Aeneid, mainly inspired Alighieri. Next, Machiavelli's Prince and Alighieri's Divine Comedy challenge the Catholic Church. The Prince teaches rulers to be aggressive and beastly, while the Catholic Church teaches rulers to turn the other cheek. Likewise, in The Divine Comedy, Alighieri places Pope Celestine V in Hell. On the other hand, Machiavelli and Alighieri differ in their ways of thinking. While The Prince deals with Machiavelli's goal of uniting Italy and turning it into a republic, The Divine Comedy deals mainly with the theme of free choice, explaining that people choose to sin. Machiavelli believes people should be miserly, while Alighieri thinks people should be placed in Hell for their sins. Machiavelli teaches rulers to be manipulative; however, Alighieri teaches rulers to be truthful and honest by placing sinful rulers in various rings of Hell. And so, Machiavelli and Alighieri have many similarities and many differences. Although their views on how rulers should act are different, both try to make a bold statement with their works.