Comedy essay literary machiavelli tragedy works

To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. That requires the prince being a public figure above reproach, whilst privately acting amorally to achieve State goals.

The examples are those princes who most successfully obtain and maintain power, drawn from his observations as a Florentine diplomat, and his ancient history readings; thus, the Latin phrases and Classic examples. Machiavelli is aware of the irony of good results coming from evil actions; notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince , registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum , moreover, the Humanists also viewed the book negatively, among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam.

As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism —thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises necessary , methodical exercise of brute force punishment-and-reward patronage, clientelism , et cetera to preserve the status quo. As there seems to be a very large difference between Machiavelli's advice to ruthless and tyrannical princes in The Prince and his more republican exhortations in Discorsi , many have concluded that The Prince is actually only a satire.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau , for instance, admired Machiavelli the republican and consequently argued that The Prince is a book for the republicans as it exposes the methods used by princes. If the book were only intended as a manual for tyrannical rulers, it contains a paradox: it would apparently be more effective if the secrets it contains would not be made publicly available. Likewise, Antonio Gramsci argued that Machiavelli's audience for this work is the common people because the rulers already knew these methods through their education. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Machiavelli wrote in Italian, not in Latin which would have been the language of the ruling elite.

Although Machiavelli is supposed to be a realist, many of his heroes in The Prince are in fact mythical or semi-mythical, and his goal i. Contemporary, pejorative usage of Machiavellian or anti-Machiavellism in the 16th C. It is a series of lessons on how a republic should be started and structured, including the concept of checks and balances , the strength of a tri-partite political structure, and the superiority of a republic over a principality.

Vickie B. Sullivan, ed. The Comedy and Tragedy of Machiavelli: Essays on the Literary Works.

Besides being a statesman and political scientist, Machiavelli also translated classical works, and was a dramaturge Clizia , Mandragola , a poet Sonetti , Canzoni , Ottave , Canti carnascialeschi , and a novelist Belfagor arcidiavolo. Despite remaining a politically influential writer in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the 19th and 20th centuries that rediscovered his political science for its intellectual and practical applications. The most reliable guide to this renewed interest is the Introduction to the Mentor Books edition of Il Principe , wherein Christian Gauss, the Dean of Princeton University, discusses, with pertinent historical context, the commentaries on The Prince made by the German historians Ranke 19th c.

The commentators view the political scientist Machiavelli positively—because he viewed the world realistically , thus, such statecraft leads to generally constructive results. In the 20th century there was also renewed interest in Machiavelli's La Mandragola , which received numerous stagings, including several in New York, at the New York Shakespeare Festival in and the Riverside Shakespeare Company in , and at London's National Theatre in Machiavelli was in many respects not an innovator. His largest political work seeks to bring back a rebirth of the Ancient Roman Republic ; its values, virtues and principles the ultimate guiding authority of his political vision.

Machiavelli is essentially a restorer of something old and forgotten. The republicanism he focused on, especially the theme of civic virtue, became one of the dominant political themes of the modern world, and was a central part of the foundation of American political values. Machiavelli studied the way people lived and aimed to inform leaders how they should rule and even how they themselves should live.

To an extent he admits that the old tradition was true - men are obliged to live virtuously as according to Aristotles Virtue Ethics principle. However, he denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule [11] Machiavelli states boldly in The Prince, The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.

Hans Baron was the most influential scholar to study Machiavelli. Najemy examines Baron's ambivalent portrayal, arguing that Baron tended to see Machiavelli simultaneously as the cynical debunker and the faithful heir of civic humanism. By the mids, Baron had come to consider civic humanism and Florentine republicanism as early chapters of a much longer history of European political liberty, a story in which Machiavelli and his generation played a crucial role.

This conclusion led Baron to modify his earlier negative view of Machiavelli. He tried to bring the Florentine theorist under the umbrella of civic humanism by underscoring the radical differences between The Prince and the Discourses and thus revealing the fundamentally republican character of the Discourses. Thus, he challenged the arguments of clerical intellectuals who wanted to limit access to classical sources to prevent any moral harm to Christian readers.

The revival of classical antiquity became a foundation of the Renaissance, and his defense of the importance of ancient literature was an essential requirement for its development. A depiction of Giovanni Boccaccio and Florentines who have fled from the plague, the frame story for The Decameron. A generation before Petrarch and Boccaccio, Dante Alighieri set the stage for Renaissance literature. In the late Middle Ages, the overwhelming majority of poetry was written in Latin, and therefore was accessible only to affluent and educated audiences.

In De vulgari eloquentia On Eloquence in the Vernacular , however, Dante defended use of the vernacular in literature. He himself would even write in the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life and the aforementioned Divine Comedy ; this choice, though highly unorthodox, set a hugely important precedent that later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow. As a result, Dante played an instrumental role in establishing the national language of Italy.

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Dante, like most Florentines of his day, was embroiled in the Guelph-Ghibelline conflict. Although the split was along family lines at first, ideological differences arose based on opposing views of the papal role in Florentine affairs, with the Blacks supporting the pope and the Whites wanting more freedom from Rome. He was condemned to perpetual exile; if he returned to Florence without paying a fine, he could be burned at the stake.

At some point during his exile he conceived of the Divine Comedy , but the date is uncertain. The work is much more assured and on a larger scale than anything he had produced in Florence; it is likely he would have undertaken such a work only after he realized his political ambitions, which had been central to him up to his banishment, had been halted for some time, possibly forever.

Mixing religion and private concerns in his writings, he invoked the worst anger of God against his city and suggested several particular targets that were also his personal enemies.

Leonardo Bruni c. He has been called the first modern historian. He was the earliest person to write using the three-period view of history: Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modern. The dates Bruni used to define the periods are not exactly what modern historians use today, but he laid the conceptual groundwork for a tripartite division of history. Bruni argued that Italy had revived in recent centuries and could therefore be described as entering a new age.

He was also the author of biographies in Italian of Dante and Petrarch. As a Humanist Bruni was essential in translating into Latin many works of Greek philosophy and history, such as those by Aristotle and Procopius. Christine de Pizan was an Italian-French late medieval author who wrote about the positive contributions of women to European history and court life. Christine de Pizan — was an Italian-French late medieval author. She wrote both poetry and prose works such as biographies and books containing practical advice for women.

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She completed forty-one works during her thirty-year career from to She married in at the age of fifteen, and was widowed ten years later. Much of the impetus for her writing came from her need to earn a living to support her mother, a niece, and her two surviving children.


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She spent most of her childhood and all of her adult life in Paris and then the abbey at Poissy, and wrote entirely in her adopted language, Middle French. Certain scholars have argued that she should be seen as an early feminist who efficiently used language to convey that women could play an important role within society.


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Christine de Pizan: A painting of Christine de Pizan, considered by some scholars to be a proto-feminist, lecturing four men. Christine de Pizan was born in in Venice, Italy. In this atmosphere, Christine was able to pursue her intellectual interests. But she did not assert her intellectual abilities, or establish her authority as a writer, until she was widowed at the age of In order to support herself and her family, Christine turned to writing.

By , she was writing love ballads, which caught the attention of wealthy patrons within the court. These patrons were intrigued by the novelty of a female writer and had her compose texts about their romantic exploits. Her output during this period was prolific. Between and she composed over ballads, and many more shorter poems.

Written in the 13th century, The Romance of the Rose satirizes the conventions of courtly love while critically depicting women as nothing more than seducers. She argued that these terms denigrated the proper and natural function of sexuality, and that such language was inappropriate for female characters such as Madam Reason. According to her, noble women did not use such language.

For Theme For English B Comedy Literary Machiavelli Tragedy Works

Her critique primarily stemmed from her belief that Jean de Meun was purposely slandering women through the debated text. She continued to counter abusive literary treatments of women. Christine produced a large amount of vernacular works in both prose and verse. Her works include political treatises, mirrors for princes, epistles, and poetry.

Description Reviews. Contemplating the comic and tragic in Machiavelli, the contributors offer new perspectives on his obsessions, intentions, and capabilities and reveal through sometimes opposing visions of their subject much about his political-historical treatises as well.


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  • Comedy and Tragedy of Machiavelli | Yale University Press.
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The contributors to the volume—among them Harvey C. Mansfield, Arlene W. Saxonhouse, Franco Fido, and Ronald L. Martinez—do not always resolve their opposing visions of the essentially tragic or comic Machiavelli, yet none contests the weight of his insights into the world and especially into the actors on the great stage of politics. Vickie B.

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Sullivan is associate professor of political science at Tufts University. Ascoli, University of California, Berkeley.