Machiavelli’s The Prince

In making your arguments refer specifically to examples in the text of The Prince giving in parentheses the chapter numbers in which each example is to be found, e.g., (chap. 5).

Include footnotes.

It is clear that in The Prince Machiavelli often argues that “the end [the goal or purpose] justifies the means” in regard to some highly unconventional and sometimes shocking actions.

1. Give four or five examples of unethical or ethically questionable actions (means) that Machiavelli recommends a prince must take in order to achieve his goal or purpose. Consider which, if any, of these recommended actions are more unethical than others. You might put these actions on a scale of moth unethical, less unethical, least unethical, if you think there are clear differences between them.

2. What is the end that Machiavelli thinks justifies these actions? Are there more than one? Does he give any aruguements as to why his end(s), purpose(s), or goals(s) is (are) so desirable or important?

3. Do you think that Machiavelli holds that “the end justifies the means” in all instances, without exception? This would make him a kind of moral nihilist, who believes that “might makes right,” and that there are no stable values, only power and its acquisition and maintenance. Is this true or does he believes in values of some kind? If so, what are they?


Assume the person reading the essay is familiar with the text you are writing about. DO NOT USE DIRECT QUOTATION FROM THE TEXT. instead briefly paraphrase and then cite the reference.

The essay should have a brief, clear introductory paragraph stating what you are going to argue. Arugue for your position, and support it with specific examples from the text. A brief concluding paragraph should sum up the argument. The purpose of the assignment is to analyze the text and argue for your opinion. Give your own ideas. DO NOT USE ANY SECONDARY SOURCES. DO NOT USE INFORMATION FROM THE INTERNET.

Rules for writing the essay
1. There must be two spaces between the period ending one sentence.
2. Use the present tense or the past tense in a consistent way do not alternate between the two.
3. The titles of all works of literature and foreign words must be in italics.
4. Do not use abbreviations such as “&” for “and”.
5. Do not use contracted forms.
6. Try to avoid referring to yourself in the first person (“I”) all the time.
7. Under no circumstances should you write “I feel that…” When what you mean is, “I think that…”

Primary source

Please include Footnotes!! Thank you.

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