CurrentRelevance of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”
Theworks of literature relate to two main elements of context, time andplace. The two elements dictate the significance of the text in aliterary work. The significance of any work of literature can howeverbe relevant over time depending on the content and its relation tothe changes in the setting. For relevance in literature, time andplace of some literary works change with the changes in the society.To explore this concept, this paper will analyze NiccolloMachiavelli`s “The Prince” with a view of placing the book intoday’s context. As a result, the analysis will determine whetherthe text is limited to its setting of time and place or itssignificance is useful in the current time.
Thetext is not limited by the particular time and place when it waswritten. Instead, the text spans its significance over a wide periodof time as well as place. This is because the text is based on someideals that are relevant in the current world, just as it wasrelevant in 1527when it was written and published in 1532.The main ideology of the book focuses on the humanist ideals of thetime during the Renaissance. For instance, in the book, Machiavelliis more comfortable with citizen militia instead of an army ormercenaries. These ideals are relevant in the current world wherecountries base their trust in armies or military power instead ofhumanism and democracy.
Thebook focuses on giving different perspectives regarding the Europeanpolitics at a time when many countries did not have solid states. Forinstance, Italy was a compilation of cities seeking power over eachother rather than a republic. In the current day, many the politicalset up is different all over the world, but the principles inMachiavelli’s book are applicable. They are applicable becausecountries are struggling to gain power over others, but on theeconomic scene. In current times, economic dominance has replaced thepolitical power that countries struggled for during Machiavelli’stime.
AsMachiavelli strove to give practical and simple advice to LorenzoDe’Medici, the dedication forthe book, he also gives the modern world relevant ideas. One of themain teachings that relate to modern day and will ever be relevant tohumanity is the essence and role of leadership. According toMachiavelli’s believe, the importance of a strong leader dominatingthe country is not for his individual advancement, but for thebenefit of the citizens of the country (Machiavelli 42). Based onthis advice, the evaluation of the current world proves situationsthat the principle is violated. Therefore, the book directly relatesto issues affecting the society and governments worldwide.
Moreover,Machiavelli’s message to the rulers in relation to the subject isas relevant to the current world as it was in the 16thcentury. He advises leaders to maintain a positive public opinion inorder to achieve goals by gaining the support of the people(Machiavelli 36). This ideal was against the violent and volatilepolitical methods used at the time to capture and maintain power.With the same volatile political schemes being used today, the bookgets its significance in the events of the current world. As aresult, the text is useful in the current time, place and contextjust as it was in the time of its writing.
Machiavelli,Niccolò. ThePrince,London: Randy Dillon, 2009