Socrates and Machiavelli essay

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Book analysis and understanding is very important, because it helps in making satisfactory comments and arguments about the dominant themes in any presented literary work. In this essay analysis out of many themes reflected in these two novels: The Apology by Socrates and The Prince by Machiavelli, the discussion highlights and focuses on the major theme of authority. It is very controversial as to how both books reflect its dominancy, and this is why this paper will have the full capacity to look into both sides, in order to justify the basis of taking any stand on the same.

As it is known that authority is power in practice, how this theme is practiced in both books, and in what circumstances it worked, with regards to the view of both the authors, even though the scenario of use is distinct. For instance, “The prince” by Machiavelli shows scientific investigations on ways in which power tactics can be practiced, while in the position of power and authority. Due to this, Niccolo Machiavelli presents that a successful leader is the one with ability to effect expansion of state as a key objective (Machiavelli, 1980). This is majorly done for the power dominancy. On the other hand, in The Apology, Socrates never mentioned King Archon, who was the judge, because he had no power and influential authority (Plato, 1986). In fact, the authority in the courtroom lied mainly in the hands of the jury. This makes it clearer that in this case, authority and power are a major theme for consideration in this essay.

In the Prince, Machiavelli was giving some pieces of advice to the rulers on what they ought to do, in order to achieve power and fulfill their aims and objectives. By securing, power shows certain tactical moves on maintaining power and the dominant authority over the subjects who are ruled by the political elites (Machiavelli, 1980). This forms a major part of exploration of this theme in the book. It is also evident that authority comes with responsibility, as highlighted in the other book by Plato. Socrates hypothesizes that in case of trial in a court of law; the procedure is for the responsible prosecutor to make his accusing speech to the defendant first, before the accused person makes any speech. This shows a sense of authority and dominance over the subjects, even in the courtroom. However, this could be in the contrary, if the defendant makes a speech before the prosecutor, since the situation would be much different.

Moreover, Machiavelli gives some pieces of advice for any new prince on the ways of taking over the authority, making mergers and other acquisitions. On the same line, he laments that any leader should be “as strong as a lion and also to be cunning as a fox, in order to be feared and loved at the same time” (Machiavelli, 1980). This piece of advice is basically due in search for authority, and it accomplishes the requirements of the theme. On the same note, according to Socrates, in any case a philosopher shows some reluctance to abandon the pleasures of pure contemplation, the responsible philosophers would tell him, “But you we have coursed to be born for your own sake and that of the polis, like leaders and kings in beehives” (Machiavelli, 1980). This argument could justify that the leaders and the kings normally deserve some respect in their roles. Therefore, people should respect their authority and roles given to them.

The statement that is stated above signifies the leaders’ authoritative status in the society. In addition, supporting the authoritative nature of the persons as a key factor in his book, Socrates argues that formal laws and informal practices are not similar to the ones that the future rulers of ideal state are required, as categorized by Plato (Machiavelli, 1980). However, on the other book, Machiavelli declares that in order to maintain the authority, the chief or the major, only the subject who is important to the war should be apprised, since this would help in retaining authority by the persons in such position. The theme is strengthened by this argument on the basis of the provided foundation in understanding the provision of the law. 

In the Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli stated that king of France Louis XII had quickly occupied Milan then due to struggle of authority, he then lost it against his desire to retain and even use the forces from Lodovico, because there were some signs of mischief by those who had supported him initially. This is a clear evidence of struggling to get to power and attain some authority through the means of leadership. In the same connection, to strengthen the argument on the authority, Machiavelli stated that it was difficult to differentiate between the changes in the operations in the modern days, because as it is a custom that each corporation must have its king and even its barons (Machiavelli, 1980). The authority of its ambassadors must also be incorporated in the system. This establishes and strengthens the authority in the leadership system.

To sum up, based on these facts of arguments, Socrates presented fewer views in line with the theme. His apology was in the most interest of the sense of authority, which could be able to act as sense of being forensic oratory. The theme as presented in the argument enables a better relation of the two books in reflecting some shared opinion according to Socrates and Machiavelli.

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