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 The Prince Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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The Prince: Character Profiles

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There are countless characters that Machiavelli employs to demonstrate his assertions in The Prince.  Yet a summary of these characters would be long, tedious, and generally futile.  The timeless value of The Prince lies not in its ability to recount the lives of former princes, showing some to be good and others to be bad. Machiavelli's political message is the main reason to read The Prince.  Machiavelli offers a very unique, clearly Renaissance-like view of political office.  He is a realist, someone who sees politics not as they should be, but as they are.  Thus, his political framework is centered around this realization.
The most important characters in The Prince are the characters that Machiavelli speaks little about-the Medici family of Florence.  In exile, Machiavelli wrote The Prince in efforts to be appointed a position in the Medici family, who controlled Florence at the time.  Unfortunately, the Medici family was unseated in 1527 when international military confrontations upset the brief era of Medician peace.  Though Machiavelli would die soon after these events, The Prince would ultimately become the most famous literary work of the Renaissance.




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