Machiavelli composed ‘The Prince’ during an intense political time as a prefaced plea to the Medici family who were in power, integrating guidelines that would diminish his exile and allow his freedom. ‘Julius Caesar’ was written and performed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a time Of intense controversy concerning her heir to the throne, which altered aspects of Shakespeare work. The historical context associated with both composes determined the shaping of specific concepts.
Within both texts, the constant allusion to the power, and the inherent importance of understanding human nature are demonstrated and provide audiences with the knowledge and understanding of leaders. The acquisition of absolute power induces corruption within leaders. Machiavelli establishes a need for political power and stability in order to succeed, using these qualities as a way of justifying intense cruelty. This perception was influenced by the conflicting context during the composition of The Prince,’ where Machiavelli himself was tortured and threatened with execution for a period of time.
The intensity placed on the acquisition and maintenance of power is demonstrated within the ruthlessness of ‘Harm them a little and they II hit back; harm them seriously and they wont be able to… Make sure you needn’t worry about their reaction. ‘ The power accompanied with colonies establishes a system of morality where callous behaviors are encouraged in order to achieve power. This in itself is a clear demonstration of a corrupt mankind, harming others in the pursuit of success. Metaphorically, the use of colonies doesn’t ‘cost a great deal.. [they] are cheap, more loyal, [and] provoke less hostility among your new subjects. The composer personifies qualities of colonies to establish a higher sense of power within their duties. He demonstrates a reliance on violence and considers these ways unavoidable. A similar effect of power is exposed within ‘Julius Caesar’ with the establishment of a hierarchy. The brutality of Cassias’ plan to kill Caesar highlights a chilling lack of feeling and conveys a sense of corruption within this particular leader. The metaphorical use of ‘cut the head off and then hack the limbs… /Lets be sacrifices, but not butchers’ attempts to rationales an immoral act Of pure violence.
This deed is an attempt to eliminate the metaphorical disease accompanied by both Caesar and Mark Antonym that is spreading throughout Rome, in order to achieve power. Contrastingly, Caesar has power within respect. He was loved by the Roman population, and did not need to demonstrate any of these inhumane brutalities in order to maintain his power. The repeated stage direction of ‘Flourish and shout is a clear indication of this power, where he is respected and honored by the public. He is considered god like and rewarded for his friendly nature with the quality of power.
The utilization of various methods to demonstrate power alters the response of the public. When power IS evident through means of violence and callousness, the people will respond with fear and forced respect, however when power is obtained through simple ways with consideration an opposing response is acquired where the people love and respect the leaders. Human nature dictates political reality and necessity. For the ultimate goal of power there needs to be an understanding of the qualities inherent in individuals. Machiavelli highlights the relevance with understanding the many hypes of people and the qualities they retain.
He functioned with many different rulers during times of civil turmoil and was able to understand the leadership styles and the effect on the population. His perception of this generated a deceptive and manipulative nature when attempting to integrate himself with the Medici princes who had taken over the government of Florence. The metaphorical use of ‘love endures a bond which men, being scoundrels may break whenever it serves advantage to do so, but fear is supported by the dread of pain, which is ever present’ advocates the use of realty to achieve statecraft.
This understanding of human nature will lead to power. ‘To be feared and loved’ simultaneously in order to be respected and maintain a high status. A similar understanding of human nature is demonstrated within ‘Julius Caesar. ‘ Aspects of Shakespearean work were altered during this conflicting political time he was writing in. This highlights a self-understanding of human nature with the composition of plays that address issues of government and generate a political statement. In order to deflect any possible suggestions that he was sympathetic towards the ideas f Brutes, Shakespeare titled the play Julius Caesar.