Machiavelli was trying to gain the favor of a local leader by giving him advice. Through the use of repetition, historical reference, and persuasive aphorisms Machiavelli effectively conveyed the important skills required to be a prince. Machiavelli repeated himself numerous times throughout the piece. The purpose of this was to relay the importance of the advice given. To illustrate this point, Machiavelli says that if a prince wants his people to respect him, he must “keep his hands off the property and the women of his citizens and his subjects.
”, in paragraph 15. In paragraph 25, he reiterates the same concept of not being rapacious. He says, “As I have said, what makes him hates above all else is being rapacious and a usurper of the property and the women of his subjects;”. Another example, is to not worry about what the masses call you. Machiavelli says this multiple times with different adjectives attached. Machiavelli informs the reader that a prince must not worry about being called things such as a miser, cruel or cheap as long as it is for the good of the state.
By repeating the concept, Machiavelli shows that if a prince is doing what is right as he should, there is no need to fret upon names one is called. Machiavelli is very successsful in reaching his point through repetition, it drilled the ideas into the minds of the readers. To give his advice structure, Machiavelli used an abundance of historical references. One leader he refers to is Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. Sforza fought and won power as a Duke, he passed that power on to his sons.
His sons avoided war and lost power. This a great story to persuade the reader to think that the advice Machiavelli is giving should be taken. His message is that if a prince is not willing to fight, as Sforza’s sons were not, they too may lose power. Machiavelli stresses the point that it is better to be feared than loved. A perfect comparison of the two sides is Hannibal and Scipio. Machiavelli refers to these two leaders because in times of war a prince must not worry about being called cruel.
Hannibal was inhumanely cruel to his soldiers, but it worked. Dissention never arose because Hannibal was respected and feared. On the contrary, Scipio was excessively compassionate. This only led to Spain rebelling against him, for they had no military discipline. Machiavelli’s use of historical references greatly adds to the receiving and understanding of the message portrayed in this piece by the readers. Machiavelli uses aphorisms to persuade the reader into thinking that what he is saying is the truth.
In support to that statement, Machiavelli says since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. He goes on to support his advice by stating that in times of war, your “friends” will turn away. The way Machiavelli phrases this sentence followed by his support, leads the reader to believe there is no possible way he could be lying. Also, Machiavelli advices that a prince should learn how to live by hidden deceit, for past princes have been successful from knowing how to manipulate the minds of men by being malicious.
At the end of paragraph 19, he says “… and in the end they have surpassed those who laid their foundations upon honestly. ” By employing that honesty will leave you in the dust compared to princes who deceit his subjects by appearing to keep his word, Machiavelli accomplishes making the reader believe his advice is truthful. Machiavelli conveyed the important skills of being a leader in The Prince through advice successfully by the use of repetition, historical references, and persuasive aphorisms to effectively convey his message.