Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a Satire: An Exploratory Look at Machiavelli's Works to Determine His True Political Inclinations

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This paper discusses a research study on Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a satire. The author argues that 'The Prince' challenges all of Machiavelli's other works and what we know of his life, and that this inconsistency and the knowledge of Machiavelli's opinions give evidence that perhaps 'The Prince' is a satire.

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27 p.

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Kniatt, Stacey & Johnson, Ken March 29, 2007.

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This paper is part of the collection entitled: The Eagle Feather and was provided by the UNT Honors College to the UNT Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 7913 times, with 145 in the last month. More information about this paper can be viewed below.

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  • Main Title: Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a Satire: An Exploratory Look at Machiavelli's Works to Determine His True Political Inclinations
  • Series Title: University Scholars Day

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This paper discusses a research study on Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a satire. The author argues that 'The Prince' challenges all of Machiavelli's other works and what we know of his life, and that this inconsistency and the knowledge of Machiavelli's opinions give evidence that perhaps 'The Prince' is a satire.

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27 p.

Notes

Abstract: For centuries, scholars have viewed 'The Prince' as a work representative of Machiavelli's shift in political ideology, however, this work does not accurately reflect Machiavelli's true opinions. In 'The Prince', Machiavelli expressed his views about how a ruler should act. For many years, scholars took Machiavelli at his word: malice, nastiness, insincerity, and a lack of gratitude are characteristic of princes. Later scholars reexamined the work and started to doubt the seriousness of Machiavelli's message. In fact, several authors have suggested that Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' as a résumé to the Medici family in hopes of securing a government position. Another point greatly debated, and supportive of 'The Prince' as a satire, is the idea that Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' after he drafted the first part of 'The Discourses on Livy'. His thinking and the theme of his works shift from republicanism in 'The Discourses' to pragmatism and recognition of the need for a prince's control in 'The Prince'. Scholars believe that Machiavelli may have written 'The Prince' before 'The Discourses on Livy' and therefore always believed that a republic is the ideal government. 'The Prince' challenges all of Machiavelli's other works and what we know of his life. This inconsistency and the knowledge of Machiavelli's opinions give evidence that perhaps 'The Prince' is a satire.

Fourth Annual University Scholars Day, 2007, Denton, Texas, United States.

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  • Eagle Feather, Issue 4, University of North Texas Honors College: Denton, Texas. 2007

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  • Publication Title: The Eagle Feather
  • Volume: 4
  • Issue: 2007
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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The Eagle Feather

Launched in 2004 by UNT's Honors College, The Eagle Feather was an interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal that promoted the work of students and their faculty mentors. The Eagle Feather was published annually until 2017 when it transitioned into the North Texas Journal of Undergraduate Research.

UNT Undergraduate Student Works

This collection presents scholarly and artistic content created by undergraduate students. All materials have been previously accepted by a professional organization or approved by a faculty mentor. Most classroom assignments are not eligible for inclusion. The collection includes, but is not limited to Honors College theses, thesis supplemental files, professional presentations, articles, and posters. Some items in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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Machiavelli's "The Prince" as a Satire (Presentation)

Machiavelli's "The Prince" as a Satire

Presentation for the 2007 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing research on Machiavelli's "The Prince" as a satire.

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  • March 29, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 31, 2012, 11:22 a.m.

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  • April 14, 2020, 4:58 p.m.

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Kniatt, Stacey & Johnson, Ken. Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a Satire: An Exploratory Look at Machiavelli's Works to Determine His True Political Inclinations, paper, March 29, 2007; [Denton, Texas]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94274/: accessed March 4, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.

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